Tracy Lawrence has been working on a new CD, and he's reportedly pushing the envelope so much that fans may not even recognize it as him. He says he realizes change is a necessary part of the business, which is why he relented when his label asked him to record something a little more with the times. He sees artists being pushed out of the business at a younger age these days and still wants to compete.

"On my next album, I pretty much wrote everything, but my label was pushing me to record something a little more progressive," Tracy tells the Daily Times. "The first single is a rocking sort of thing, and it was really stepping out of my comfort zone for me to make it. This one really pushed me, and I had a long conversation with the label about whether radio or the fans would gravitate toward me pushing the envelope this hard. On this one, people might not even recognize this is me."

Tracy reveals he'll still tackle age-old subjects on the album such as poverty, injustices, and the divide between the haves and have-nots. While the single may sound more contemporary, the remainder of the album will still be the traditional country he's known for and loves. Although, he realizes that you have to give a little to get something back and survive in this current musical climate.

"At this point, you've got to pick your battles and bend like a tree," admits Tracy. "If I get to put nine of mine on there and the label asks me to do one, that's a fair tradeoff. That's OK, because the industry as a whole is moving toward younger people, and seems to be fazing us out at an earlier age."

And though the dedicated family man is much calmer now than he used to be a decade ago, Tracy says he's still a gypsy at heart, and is as restless as ever, always yearning a bit for the open road. "I have recurring dreams where I'm always struggling to get somewhere," Tracy explains. "Where I can't get my clothes on, or can't find my socks. It's always me being in a fit trying to get somewhere I can't get to. I've had that dream most of my life. It's just not as frequent now as it used to be. But I'm still on the road, running all the time."

Tracy hits the road again next month, with his first show in St. Louis, Mo. November 5. Full list of dates here.