Trace Adkins has become a successful country star, but his early days in Nashville weren't so promising. The Louisiana native admits that his first trip to Music City was so disappointing that it took him a number of years to return.

"I choked," Adkins recalled to The Boot and others at a recent media event. "I had started playing with a band in Texas, and we entered a contest … and we won. And so, we came [to Nashville], and it was at TPAC; this was 1985. And, I just remember walking out on stage at TPAC, and we absolutely choked. We went back, and I don’t think I came back to Nashville until 1992."

That time around, a lucky encounter with an industry insider convinced him to give country music another chance.

"I met [producer] Scott Hendricks. He asked if I sang, because when I was introduced to him, he just was impressed with my speaking voice ... I said, ‘Yeah, I’m singing at this club outside of town,' told him to come out, and so he did," Adkins recalls. "He signed me to Capitol, and we started working together. He asked me where I’d been before I came here, and I said, ‘I’ve been in Texas playing honky-tonks -- working in the oil field and playing clubs.'

"He said, ‘Well, is there a girl in Texas?’ I said, ‘There’s a bunch of them out there.' He said, ‘Write me a song about one of them,'" Adkins continues. "So he gave me a homework assignment."

That "homework assignment" became "There's a Girl in Texas," the debut single from Adkins' freshman album, Dreamin' Out Loud, which spawned four hit singles, including his first No. 1 hit, "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing."

Adkins' new studio album, Something's Going On, will be released on March 31.

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