The timing couldn’t have been better for Easton Corbin and country music.
Maybe country music was in need of a throwback artist to the greats of yesteryear like George Jones and Merle Haggard when Corbin burst onto the scene five years ago.
If so, Corbin hasn’t disappointed.
Not only did the Florida native assume an almost-immediate place among today’s country royalty, he kicked the door down getting there with a pair of No. 1 singles from his self-titled debut album — “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It” — as well as another Top-15 hit, “I Can’t Love You back.”
In fact, Corbin became the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two singles reach No. 1 on the country charts. He finished the year ranked No. 9 on Billboard’s list of Top Country Male Artists, between Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw.
“Every artist wants to be successful but you just never know,” Corbin said during a recent interview with The Mercury. “The timing was right. You have to go into it with the mindset that you’re going to do the best you can, and if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
“Not every artist does get to experience this. It’s been very gratifying to have this kind of success we’ve had so far.”
Everything is working for Corbin, though, these days, as he followed up his debut success with another pair of smash singles off his 2012 sophomore album, “All Over the Road” — including the title track and “Lovin’ You is Fun.”
In just 13 days Corbin will headline Country Stampede’s main stage at Tuttle Creek State Park — wrapping up the opening day shows on June 26 with a performance at 9:30 p.m.
“When you have success with a new album, you want to keep that momentum going, and that starts with the performances,” Corbin said.
“It’s very important. That’s what it’s all about. If you don’t keep that momentum, everybody is going to forget about you.
“When we take the stage, you can expect some good country music. We like the crowd to get into it and have a good time — we will.”
Corbin brings with him to Manhattan a new single, “Clockwork,” from his yet-tobe- released album. It’s a tune he says is a good indicator of what the new work will sound like.
“It might be a little different from what people might expect me to put out, but it’s still country,” said Corbin, who has toured with Shelton, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts. “That’s what is has to be. That’s what I love, and it’s my heart.”
While his new cut might be a little different, nobody can accuse Corbin of not being country. Being authentic is something he said he takes pride in — especially today when many artists are blurring the lines between what is real country and pop country.
“The fans out there know when you’re not being real,” Corbin said. “They can see through you if you’re not being real and honest in your music.
“Each record has to be music that means something to you. It goes back to be being real and honest with your fans.”