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Easton Corbin Remains ‘Under the Influence’ of Classic Country

Rick Diamond, Getty Images for BMI

Easton Corbin is definitely a fan of country’s roots. As one of country’s new traditionalists, he harbors a deep love for the music of country legends Keith Whitley, Merle Haggard and George Jones. Easton performed plenty of Haggard and Jones tunes as part of his sets during his early days on stage and still likes to throw in a classic now and then, although he has plenty of his own hits to play these days. Someday, however, he’d like to cut a few of those classic songs and release them in a collection.

“I’d definitely like to do a record like that someday, kind of like Alan Jackson did with Under the Influence,” Easton tells The Boot. “It’d include all my influences I love — Merle, George Jones. A lot of people today don’t know that stuff, because they just don’t hear it now. Younger people, they have no clue about it. I used to get up in my set sometimes and do some Haggard, some Conway [Twitty], some Keith Whitley. It’s funny because the crowd looks at you like, ‘What’s that?’ I’d love to do a record of some of my favorites like “Silver Wings,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” and “I’d Love to Lay You Down.” It’d be pretty neat.”

With the Possum hanging up his mic at the end of 2013 after 50 years and one final “Grand Tour,” which will hit 60 cities, Easton is grateful he had the chance to catch the legendary singer several times throughout this career.

“I’ve seen George Jones a couple of times,” he notes. “It’s an amazing show … he don’t have all the bells and whistles; he’s just got a couple of video screens up there. But you don’t have to have all that if you cut great music. He gets up there and every song you’re singing along with him. If you’ve got 60 No. 1s, you can’t play a whole show and do all of those! That’s the advantage he’s got, he’s got that many No. 1s so he can get up there and just put on a great show.”

Just like George has done for the past five decades, Easton has been hitting the road hard lately, playing five days a week in support of his latest CD, All Over the Road, which recently debuted at No. 2 on the country album chart. He hits Texas this week for a string of dates before heading to Louisiana, Georgia, and then on to Miami for some fun in the sun on the Blake Shelton and Friends cruise, Oct. 14-21. Blake will also be joined by Trace Adkins, Lee Brice, Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann, among others.

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