Easton Corbin to headline Bootfest

One of country music's newest game-changers, Easton Corbin, arrived strong on the country music scene in 2009 - ending the year with two No. 1 singles, and a Country Music Association nod for New Artist of the Year.

His own act is a tough one to follow, but Corbin has hit the national roadways once again to promote a second album that's already climbing the charts.

"All Over the Road," which features chart-toppers, "All Over the Road" and "Lovin' You is Fun" is a throwback to classic country, featuring Corbin's ever-sultry twang enwrapped in steel and acoustic guitars.

The Florida native travels to Victoria on Saturday to headline Bootfest. He plans to perform an energetic set of hits from the first and second albums, as well as a few beloved country covers.

The Advocate sat down with Corbin in recent weeks. Here's what he had to say about his upcoming concert in Victoria:

Q: There are a lot of excited Texans waiting to see you perform at Bootfest this week. What do you want to tell them about what to expect at your concert?

A: To have a good time, that's what we're going to have. I love Texas. I really do because they understand my music and what I do. We're going to play stuff from my first record and stuff from the second record and we're going to do some covers. It's really just about having a good time.

Q: Two years ago, you won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the American Country Awards. You were Billboard's 2010 Top New Country Artist, and you're the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1. Has it hit you yet that you're on your way to becoming a country music superstar?

A: I don't know about superstar, or star at all. I'm fortunate enough to earn a living making music, and I'm very happy that people connect with my music. That's a big deal.

Q: I saw your performance a few weeks ago on "Good Morning America," and I thought you did a great job. Do you enjoy those kinds of performances, or do you still like to be in the honky-tonk playing before a live crowd?

A: I enjoy those performances. It's a big deal to play in front of a lot of people. But there ain't nothing like playing in a good ol' honky-tonk where people see you do it live up on stage. That's hard to beat ... hard to beat.

Q: Have you experienced the "I've made it" moment?

A: This whole thing, really. Just to be making a living out of making music, I already feel like I've made it. And that's not measured monetarily; it's the fact that I'm out here making music.

Q: Do you have to be in a certain mood to write music?

A: I definitely don't like to do it when I'm out here on the road. It's hard for me to sit down and concentrate.

Q: So, when's the best time to catch you in songwriting mode?

A: When I'm in town and I have a few days off.

Q: Do you write with a beer in your hand?

A: Well, I don't know about that. I might get too drunk to even think.

Q: Who would you most want to perform a duet with?

A: Merle Haggard is one of my heroes. I think that would be one of the coolest things in the world for me.

Q: Is there something you're looking forward to doing while you're in Texas?

A: I just love being here. The whole vibe in Texas is so good for me. They love music. They love to dance out here - those people. Like, seriously, when I'm playing out here in these honky tonks, there are people out there dancing to all the music. There are not many places where people really do that, you know what I mean?

Q: Is there a song that you never get tired of playing?

A: I like "This Far From Memphis." There's just something about it. For me, when you think about what's characteristically country - that's it.

Q: Do you think you've written your great song yet?

A: I don't think so. I hope not. There's more yet to come.

Q:What are your future plans in country music?

A: I'm going to keep on making country music if they'll let me.

Q: Tell me something good?

A: "Jesus loves you ... I don't know. Dag-gum, I mean, (expletive) I'm out here living my dream. That's good. I'm in Texas - that's good!