The singer will appear Sept. 4 at the Canfield Fair to open for Brad Paisley.
By JOHN BENSON
Chris Cagle is known as a no-nonsense, raucous performer who blurs the lines between country and rock music.
While normally very laid back, the Texas native is downright giddy about his upcoming third album "Anywhere But Here," due in stores on Oct. 4.
"I'm pretty jacked up," said Cagle, calling from a tour stop in Lima, Ohio. "I never really get too excited until it's all said and done. And I hate listening to people say this when they do a record, 'This is the best stuff I've ever done.' And then you get excited about it, listen to it and it's not. So, I'm just going to be quiet and let the record speak for itself. But I'm more excited about this record than I have been about any one of them."
Considering what this Nashville, Tenn., resident went through in the last few years, Cagle has plenty of reasons to be jacked up.
After performing more than 600 shows in a three-year stretch, the 36-year-old found himself in a doctor's office with serious polyps on his vocal chords, putting his future in jeopardy. Three months of vocal rest, in which he wasn't allowed to talk, drink or smoke (yeah, he gained 15 pounds), made him stir crazy. On top of that, the artist was dealing with a legal issue concerning his former manager.
Shoveling instead of singing
As an outlet for his energy, Cagle donated his time to literally shoveling horse manure at a local Nashville stable. From there, he emerged a new man, ready to once again tackle the country music world.
Something else new in his life is manager Doc McGhee, whose r & eacute;sum & eacute; includes stints overseeing the careers of rock acts Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and Kiss. It was McGhee's idea for Cagle to cover the classic '80s Bon Jovi track "Wanted Dead or Alive" on his new album. Cagle didn't hesitate.
"I said to my manager, 'You call Jonny and Richie and ask if they'll play with me on it,'" Cagle said. "And if they will, [that will] give me validation. But after we finished it, they called me back and said, 'You don't need anything else. This song, the way you've done it, was awesome.' I was like, 'Wow.'"
Cagle said he goes way back with the New Jersey rock act, even if they don't know it. Bon Jovi's 1987 hit "Never Say Goodbye" was his high school class song.
While Cagle is touring this summer, including a Sept. 4 opening for Brad Paisley at the Canfield Fair, fans shouldn't expect to hear any new material until a full-fledged fall tour in support of "Anywhere But Here."
That doesn't mean the singer won't be bringing the house down with his high-octane, no-frills country rocker bravado, which so far has defined his career.
Said Cagle, "I don't know what it is or why we do it. I just know I love music, I love what I do and when I get on stage, I let it all hang out because I might not to get to do it the night after."
IF YOU GO
Who: Chris Cagle opening for Brad Paisley
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 4
Where: Canfield Fair, Canfield Fairgrounds
Tickets: $21 reserved grandstand/$25 reserved chair seats (required gate admission is $6 adults/$2 kids ages 7 to 12/children 6 and under are free)
Info: (330) 533-4107