However, one dimension of Adkins' talent that has not been fully exposed yet is his songwriting. He co-wrote his first hit "There's a Girl in Texas," but he only wrote one other song on the debut album.
"I write a lot," Adkins explains, "but I said in the very beginning, if none of the songs I write end up on these albums, it's not gonna hurt my feelings at all because it's gonna mean that we found songs that were better than the ones that I write. That means we've got good tunes. If you think that the ones that I write are good enough to be included, then I'm honored, and thank you very much, and I had two on my first album, and so far I've got one that's gonna be on the next album."
What else is going to be on the new album? "We've got 11 songs cut already, and we're gonna cut some more in April," Adkins says, so he will have 14 or 15 tracks from which to choose the final 10 that end up on the album, which should be released late this year. "I don't think there's gonna be a lot of change" from the first disc, he says.
Adkins had to know he'd hit the big time last month when he played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in front of a crowd of 50,000. "It was one of the highlights of my career so far. The whole day was one of the best experiences I've had since I've been in the music industry, but that 30 minutes that I was on stage was sheer terror."
The crowds may be bigger these days, but Adkins sounds unaffected. His sudden stardom, he says, "hasn't changed me. It's just changed the way people look at me. I'm still the same old guy. I drive the same old pickup truck."
And he still has the same old attitude. "My goals are to work as hard as I can today and tomorrow and in the near future, and I think that the distant future will take care of itself. "That roughneck work ethic is what I carry over into music, too. When I hit the stage, I give you everything I've got. You can leave one of my shows at the end of the night knowing that I'm backstage wore slam out."
Adkins is just a blue-collar guy doing what he loves to do and doing it the best he possibly can. He may not have the most talent or the most distinctive style among Nashville's newcomers, but he just might have the most desire and the strongest work ethic. And whether you're a country singer or an oil rigger, hard work and determination can go a long way.