Trace Adkins roared through a catalog of hits and shared two news songs during Pandora Presents Trace Adkins at Marathon Music Works in Nashville last week. The concert -- promoted only to Pandora listeners -- was intimate and lively.

After taking some time away from the stage to deal with a few personal issues, Adkins has reemerged energized and thinner. Between songs he shared stories and told a few jokes. 'No Thinkin' Thing' opened the show Thursday night (Sept. 4) show, but the audience found surprises in songs like 'There's a Girl in Texas,' the first song Adkins ever released to country radio.

The 52-year-old shared the story of producer Scott Hendricks urging him to write that song soon after he moved to Music City in 1992. He'd spent 10 years in the oil fields of Louisiana -- plus a few playing honky tonks in Texas -- before coming to town. The way Adkins tells it, Hendricks' request was almost a challenge. The song became a Top 20 hit.

'You're Gonna Miss This,' 'Hot Mama' and 'Chrome' were early highlights from Adkins and his eight-piece band. Midway through, he introduced a new song called 'Heartbreak Song' that kept the crowd of roughly 500 fans staying put. 'Maintenance Man' was next.

"This may be the nastiest song I've ever written," Adkins said about a rowdy country-rocker that celebrates high-maintenance women.

'I Left Something Turned on at Home' and 'Honky Tonk Badonkadonk' closed the show. Adkins stuck around to shake hands with fans who'd squeezed their way to the front of the stage. If anyone was looking for some sort of sign that the past year has been dragging the big man down, they found none. The only whiff of something personal was Adkins saying, "I'm still here" after 'Every Light in the House.'

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