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Rodney Atkins - Self Titled Album
Available Exclusively at Cracker Barrel
By Connie Breeden - CSO Staff Journalist

Native to East Tennessee and often called the "guy in the ball cap" or "the all American Country boy", Rodney Atkins is not only a talented singer and songwriter, but he is a loving husband, devoted father, and a man who takes pleasure in helping The National Council for Adoption. As a sick infant Atkins was put up for adoption at the Holston Methodist Home for Children in Greenville, Tennessee. Twice he was adopted out and twice returned for medical and financial reasons, but the third time really was the charm, Allan and Margaret Atkins became his proud parents.

Guided with love and raised in the church this young man was determined to make a difference. He began singing as a boy and by the time he reached high school, he had picked up guitar, began writing songs, and gained experience by performing for local events and festivals.

Upon finishing high school he attended Tennessee Tech. It didn't take long for him to make his way to Nashville where he learned all he could about the country music business. He performed in several of the local clubs where he was soon spotted and signed to Curb Records.

In 2006 Atkins' sophomore platinum-selling album, "If Your Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)," topped the charts at number one. This song comes from a quote by Winston Churchill "If your going through hell keep going, may you be in heaven before the devil even knows your dead." It's about going through some rough times. This album would land the talented and charming country boy four number one hits. Soon he was touring with some of the biggest names in Country Music.

Atkins has now teamed up with Cracker Barrel to debut a CD that consists of twelve songs, five which have already climbed to number one on the Country music charts. This includes one of my favorites, "Watching You," which Akins co-wrote with Shane Minor and Tom Hambridge. Each song on this album has a special story behind it. Inside the cover of this Cracker Barrel CD you will find "Rodney Song Stories."

As stated on his website “With this record, I knew I wanted to keep making songs that folks can sing along with, and laugh at, and pump their fists to,” he says. “Sometimes it is the simple things in this great country that really make me appreciate it. When we share this sense of pride through music, you become friends with everybody listening. It’s an honor to go out there and represent the everyday man, and to represent country music and what it’s all about.”

Not only was I lucky enough to have been picked to review this album but I was also able to see Atkins perform near his hometown in Knoxville this past Wednesday. It was easy to see why this exciting entertainer has songs busting the charts. We witnessed, first hand, his performance in front of an audience of standing room only, devoted, faithful, rowdy, fist-pumping, loud and adoring, fan. The dedication and admiration he has for his fans, gives a whole new meaning to "These are My People."

Inside the cover of the album Atkins says "I knew that if these things were true to my life-they were likely the same things that other folks were experiencing too. Taking the time to slow down and connect with family and friends over a good meal is real life for us, and it doesn't get more real than Cracker Barrel."

Atkins says, "Whether it's on the front porch, or on the road, I'll look forward to seeing you," and I guarantee you, he means it.



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