Jason Aldean’s Career Opens Up


Jason Aldean performs at the VAULT Concert Stage at LP Field in Downtown Nashville Friday, June 12 during the 2009 CMA Music Festival. Photographer: John Russell / CMA.

Sept. 8, 2009 — When Jason Aldean debuted "She’s Country" during last year’s edition of the Country Music Association Awards, he had no idea how big an impact the song would have on his career.

The exposure on a national television was great, but the continued reaction by fans was overwhelming as the song whipped its way to No. 1 on the national charts. It wasn’t the first time Jason had reached the top, but he’d never had a song that influenced his fan base so visibly.

"It just goes to show you what having one big song can do for you," he told The Bend Bulletin, of Oregon. "People are kind of aware of you, and then all of a sudden you have that one song that everybody knows, and all of a sudden it puts you on the map. So it’s been a little strange. Our crowds have gone from 2,500 or 3,000 to 6,000 or 8,000 and just in the span of the last six months. That’s something that’s hard not to notice."

"It’s Country" was hard not to notice, as well. The distorted power chords owe more to AC/DC than to Merle Haggard, and the hard-rock feel made the single stand out on radio. It wasn’t a huge stylistic leap for Jason, who’s been known to do Guns N’ Roses songs in his concerts, but it underscored his willingness to push the envelope within the genre.

"The writers said, ‘You know, we wrote this song and ... we knew the only chance we had of getting it cut was Jason Aldean,’" he noted. "I like that. [I] like the fact that we’re not scared to go out and try new things, man. Music’s music. It’s meant to be fun. It’s meant to be experimented with. And I’m glad that we’ve kind of carved out a little niche for ourselves where people think of us that way, almost like we’re not scared to do anything."

Jason’s Wide Open album has since yielded another No. 1 single, "Big Green Tractor," and he’ll be singing both of those songs as tours the Northwest this weekend. He plays Bend, Ore., on Thursday; Puyallup, Wash., on Friday; Butte, Mont., on Saturday; and Worley, Idaho, on Sunday.