Former soldier and current chart topper enjoys the slow pace of country life

Growing up poor did a lot to inspire Craig Morgan. His family lived in a single-wide trailer on a dirt road, and his mother would milk a neighbor’s goat to make butter.

That’s the kind of stuff he writes about, what seems like the minutiae of everyday life. The little things that add up to a life story.

“I think because of my experiences, those are things that I pull from, especially when I’m writing. It’s easier to relate to things when I have those experiences,” Morgan said. For example, Morgan wrote a lot of letters home as a soldier in the Army, part of the story behind “Something to Write Home About.”

Morgan spent 10 years active duty in the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. Despite the aggressive sound of his record, the Army is also where Morgan honed his guitar-playing skills, entertaining fellow troops while he learned and improved.

But it wasn’t an easy road to stardom. He went through jobs as a construction worker, security guard and sheriff’s deputy before landing a Nashville job. Even that was a letdown, because while he was recording music, he sang demos for other songwriters and publishing companies.

“These experiences gave me a great deal of appreciation in life, so I think that those things that I write and sing about are the things that people often take for granted, but it’s easy for me to appreciate because of my experiences,” Morgan said. “I live every aspect of life to the fullest: my music, my career, my home life.”

It helps Morgan to stay grounded in his little bit of life, with four children and an avid outdoor agenda. The hunting fan also races dirt bikes competitively, ranking second in the Mid-South HareScramble Series: “Two hours of the most intense crap I’ll ever do,” he said.

Although he’s worked with big names in the business, like Daryl Worley and Alan Jackson, he still values hard work. He tours 200 days a year and loves it, but laughed, “Once you been in a helicopter getting shot at, you’ve got to do something to stay up there. It’s either that or crack, and I’m not too fond of drugs.”

He doesn’t know what the future holds. His past seems somewhat of a surprise to him.
“Whatever it brings we’re going to hit it full force and do the best we can,” he said. “If it works, it’s great. If it don’t, well, we’re having fun in the process.”

Craig Morgan
The Country Club
Friday, Dec. 14
7 p.m.
$25 advance, $30 at the door


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