More about Aaron Tippin......
million albums down the road, Aaron Tippin finds himself governed by
twin passions. One is the
clear path that has always captured his imagination.
still love playing for folks,” he says. “I love to see people
loving the old songs, and to hear them roar when we’ve done a good
other, embodied in his wife Thea, daughter Charla, and son Teddy,
gives purpose to it all.
all is said and one, “ he says,.”I depend on my family.
That’s the most wonderful part of my life, and the real
saving grace to me.”
more than ever before, Aaron has been able to bring the two together
in the grooves of his latest CD, People Like Us. Musically,
lyrically, and thematically, the CD amounts to a state-of-the-Aaron
document, one that he is undeniably proud of.
matter what this record does in terms of the history of country
music,” he says earnestly, “this is the one I’ll always enjoy
because it’s full of the important things in my history—my music
and my family.”
of the project’s songs—“Kiss This” and “The Best Love We
Ever Made,” – were co-written by Aaron and Thea, and two songs
feature vocals by family members.
Thea does a moving duet with Aaron on “The Best Love We Ever
Made” and ends a rollicking “Big Boy Toys”—his favorite on the
album—by saying the title in his two-and-a-half-year-old voice close
enough to a microphone to make the cut.
befitting a family-written song, “The Best Love We Ever Made”
makes it clear that love’s most treasured outcome for parents is the
child or children it produced. Aaron
calls it “one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
”Kiss This,” the other Aaron/Thea composition is vintage Aaron
Tippin, full of honky-tonk attitude.
The rowdy side is further represented by the title cut,
co-written by David Lee Murphy and Kim Tribble and “Big Boy Toys,”
co-written by Aaron and Buddy Brock.
Aaron’s tender side is showcased in songs lile “And I Love
You,” “Always Was,” and “I’d Be Afraid of Losing You.”
In addition, Aaron, who has given us anthems to working people,
adds another the genre with an anthem to single mothers called
“Twenty-Nine and Holding.”
by Aaron and Biff Watson and Mike Bradley, the album brings together
all the dichotomies that make up Aaron in to a unified whole, and
reflects a hard-won philosophy for the
used to want every record to read like a novel, to follow a theme,”
he says. “Now, I just want to put together the greatest songs I can
music has always been a mixture of tough and tender, romantic and
philosophical. His first
hig, “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” established him as an
artist with something to say, and showed that he has a compellingly
pure country voice to say it with.
The record went Top Five, and has since been spun more than two
million times on radio. As
importantly, it helped establish a fanatic fan base that has been with
him through thick and thin ever since.
hits came regularly. “There
Ain’t Nothing Wrong With The Radio,” a song about a car that
became a country anthem, soared to #1 and cemented Aaron’s
relationship with rowdy fans everywhere. “My Blue Angel” was a
classic country that established Aaron as a vocalist with an achingly
personal style. “Working
Man’s PH.D.,” “I Wouldn’t Havit It Any Other Way,” and
“That’s As Close As I’ll Get To Loving You” expanded both his
fan base and his reputation.
though, there was a period where the hits were harder in coming, and
Aaron and his former label parted ways.
wasn’t sure I wanted to cut records anymore,” he says.
“The last couple albums I had done, we were cutting all
outside material, and it didn’t feel like there was much Aaron in
the records.” For two
years, though he was without a label deal, his fans remained
steadfast. They recognized
in Aaron a kindred spirit, and with or without current singles, he
spoke to them musically as few artists had before; his concerts
remained spirited excursions into some of the best and most authentic
live country music anywhere. Then,
as Lyric Street Records was getting established in
, he got a call inquiring about his interest in a new label deal.
thing they really wanted was for my writ8ing to be a bigger part of my
career,” he says. “They
also wanted me to co-produce by first album for them.
I though, ‘Maybe these guys really do want Aaron music.’”
did indeed. The first
collaboration featured “For You I Will,” which strengthened
Aaron’s bond with his fans and opened new chapters in both
creativity and chart success that continue in People Like Us.
career successes have brought him a long way from the
mountains where he grew up. His
pilot father helped pass along a love of flying, but Aaron took
naturally to country music. While
his friends were listening to arena rock, Aaron was playing in
honky-tonks. After his
teenage marriage ended, he moved to
and threw himself into music.
competed on the Nashville Network’s “You Cab Be A Star,” landed
a publishing deal, and took up a now-legendary regime, working the
midnight shift in a Kentucky factory, writing songs on Music Row
during the day, and indulging a passion for weight-lifting in the
began weight-lifting competitions, his songs were being recorded by
Charley Pride, David Ball, Mark Collie and others.
Soon his first nightclub show in
earned him a recording contract. He
toured with Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, and Hank Williams, Jr.,
and launched his remarkable career.
of the elements of that life are still there.
Weight-lifting is part of a workout regiment both he and Thea
still carry on, and his musical tastes remain similar.
I’m still about the same guy,” he says.
“I’m still about classic country, I’m still a big fan of
the big bands, and I still love bluegrass.”
business side, while it requires work, is, he says. “a pretty
well-greased train, and it rolls down the track pretty steady.”
He is doing about 90 dates a year, everywhere from big arenas,
festivals, and fairs, to small theaters and casino stages.
every once in a while, we get to go back and do a little honky-tonk
playing.” He says. “ I still enjoy that, because that’s where I
come from, and on Friday night, when they’re out there having a good
time, there isn’t a much better place to be.”
his down-time, he and his family live on a 300-acre farm well outside
think the greatest gift a child could have is being raised out in the
boonies, because there’s so much to learn from nature, and from
learning to make some of your own fun,” he says.
a major fan of the “boonies” himself.
the most wonderful part of my life, the real saving grace to me,” he
”When I’m really frustrated, I can go to the house and grill some
chicken and look over the Tennessee hills and see if I can hear any
turkeys gobbling out there.”
has been a life of a journeyman, filled with scrapes and scars
requiring a ton of toil to produce every ounce of glamour, but he has
made peace with the process.
changed a lot since the early years,” he says.
“I think I’ve learned to take the good and bad in stride,
and to let the heartache roll off my back.
Not every song is going to be a hit, and you learn that what
you’ve got to do is keep moving on.
When the record isn’t going so well, I can still write
another new song or have a great day on the tractor out on the farm.
You learn to make good out of what you can.”
is, at bottom, though, one part of show business that doesn’t grow
old for him, and the he knows is in his hands.
matter what,” he says, “when I go out there on that stage, I can
be absolutely in control of what goes on for that hour, and when we
get to the end and I’ve really got ‘em, boy, that’s when I prove
to myself I’ve still got
what it takes to entertain people.”
that,” he adds with smiling self-assurance, “is very