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Rodney Atkins, ‘Take a Back Road’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Rodney Atkins
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Rodney Atkins is back with another future hit song on his hands, ‘Take a Back Road.’ Penned by Rhett Akins, who also co-wrote Atkins’ last single and Top 10 hit ‘Farmer’s Daughter,’ and Luke Laird, the song has the signature lyrical content that the singer’s fans have grown to expect.

“About two days before Luke and I got together to write, me and a buddy of mine were listening to some old country songs like Hank Jr.,” Akins tells Taste of Country. “He said, ‘Man, listening to this kind of music makes me want to ride a dirt road right now!’ I had that in my head when I got together with Luke to write.”

When Akins arrived at Laird’s studio, Laird had a drum loop and melody working, but was lacking lyrics. “I said, ‘Man, this title doesn’t really sound like it goes, but it’s the only title I have,’” says Akins, who suggested ‘Makes Me Want to Ride a Dirt Road.’

“I grew up in rural Pennsylvania on a dirt road,” Laird says, laughing. “I loved the idea.”

“We talked about it, and we thought it sounded better to say ‘Makes Me Want to Take a Back Road,’” notes Akins. “The track had sort of a hip-hop-ish feel. It didn’t feel like normal country song. We just kind of wrote the verse in a sort of rap style and phrasing.”

“I’ve been cooped up, tied down / ‘Bout forgotten what a field looks like full of corn and cotton / So sick and tired of this interstate system / I need to curve and wind and twistin’ on a dusty path with no end / With the wind blowin’ through my baby’s hair,” Adkins sings in the second verse.

“The song is really fun,” says Laird. “I love that it related to where both Rhett and I grew up. Plus, it doesn’t sound like everything else out there. Sometimes you write these songs and it really gets people’s attention. It’s kind of a different song, but one that has something to it.”

“Yeah, makes me wanna take a back road / Makes me wanna take the long way home / Put a little gravel in my travel / Unwind, unravel all night long / Makes me wanna grab my honey / Tear down some two-lane country / Who knows / Get lost and get right with my soul / Makes me wanna take / Makes me wanna take a back road,” Adkins sings in the chorus.

“I put my vocal on the song that day, and we pitched it as is,” says Akins. “It was real raw sounding. When I heard Rodney wanted to cut it, I thought, ‘No way … he’s so country! I gotta hear this to believe it.’ He cut it just like the demo, and it sounds great!”

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