Blake Shelton: ‘God’s Country’ Is ‘the Right Three and a Half Minutes’ to Start His Next Chapter
Given the way the song shot up the charts at country radio and earned Blake Shelton his first CMA Award in years, it's hard to deny the power of "God's Country." The singer himself goes a step further, though, pointing out that the track's release re-energized him at a time when he thought his career might be beginning to fizzle out.
Not only has the song taken him back to the top of the charts, it also propelled him to plan a new album, Fully Loaded: God's Country, which is due out on Friday (Dec. 13). Shelton says that "God's Country" inspired him to continue making music, and lit a new kind of fire under his fans, too.
"I think the success of "God's Country" is a combination of the message of the song and simply the title of the song," he reflects. "Where we are right now in our culture, in this country, it's refreshing just to see a title like that, I think."
The style of the song feels like a rare find to him, too, Shelton continues. "You don't hear songs that sound like that anymore. There probably hasn't been that many to begin with. But it's just one of the those things that kind of has the "A Country Boy Can Survive" element to it, a little bit, for me. [It has] the "Ol' Red" type of feel to it. So I felt like, for me, it was a little bit more throwback, with a little bit of a rock edge to it," he elaborates.
Though "God's Country" itself represented something entirely new to Shelton, the concept of one song changing an artist's life is deeply familiar. "There was a guy that was pretty important in my career early on, named Doug Johnson -- [he was] one of the people that signed me to Giant Records," the singer recalls. "He used to tell me, 'Man, the right three and a half minutes can make a liar out of anybody.' That's still as relevant today as it was almost 20 years ago when he signed me to my record label.
"And not only that, but the right three and a half minutes can kind of, for me, reignite my passion and excitement for what I do," Shelton adds. "It's always there in me. Sometimes I just need a song like "God's Country" to slap me in the face and go, 'Hey man, you need to pay attention and get back after this.'"
From its melody to its message to the sheer exertion and skill the song requires when he performs it live, "God's Country" inspires Shelton on every level. Now, not only is that song the title track of his new album, but he'll continue to take it on the road on his 2020 leg of the Friends & Heroes Tour.
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