Rodney Atkins released his latest studio album, Take a Back Road, in 2011, and fans waiting for new music will be happy to know that the singer is "writing like crazy" for his follow-up project.

"We’ve been writing a whole bunch, working on outside tunes as well. I do a lot of the stuff at home," Atkins tells The Boot. "It’s kind of cool, from when I did the first successful album, [If You're] Going Through Hell, I was encouraged by the record label to experiment, to push myself, to learn and to evolve and to try to different things."

When Atkins first signed to Curb Records, he worked with label executive Phil Gernhard, who tragically passed away in 2008. But in recent years, with the addition of Jim Ed Norman as Curb Records' CEO, Atkins is once again energized by the creative environment at his record label.

"Getting to know that guy has been phenomenal," Atkins says. "He produced some of the most influential records of all times, in a lot of genres in music. And I was just blown away with his insight, his encouragement and his thoughts on things to try, directions to go in.

"It's been kind of that sort of experiment all year, on and off the road, trying different things, writing different stuff, writing with different people," he continues. "And it’s been a whole lot of fun. We’ve been trying different kind of vocals."

The new format is also making Atkins rethink the entire process of making music.

"We’re starting the recording process, and so that’s what we’ve been doing, as fast as we can. We’ll go in, and we’ll track three or four songs, come home, I sing, see what works, see what I love, tweak things," he adds. "I love that writing process. It’s more of a rock way of approaching things -- like, Aerosmith will go in and do the tracks before they even have the lyrics. Jim Ed was talking about working with the Eagles, how they would be standing out there with a notepad or notebook, singing "Desperado" and making changes in the notebook."

Atkins hopes to have his new music available by the spring.

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