Blake Shelton is on the road once again — and having a blast!
ET’s Cassie DiLaura spoke with the country music star over the weekend, backstage at the Birmingham, Alabama, stop on his ongoing Back to the Honky Tonk Tour.
True to The Cowboy’s style, the tour is a party every night — along with supporting acts Carly Pearce and Jackson Dean, Shelton takes the stage in each city surrounded by a full, working bar, where lucky fans can sit and enjoy the show like they’re back in their favorite Nashville dive.
“It’s just fun,” the singer shared. “It really is like what I started out doing — you know, we played the bars and in some of them old honky-tonks and stuff that I played back in the day, the bar would be kinda there on the side and people would come turn around and [listen]. So it’s fun to kinda relive that a little bit.”
Shelton even ups the nostalgia factor with a segment of the show where he runs through some of his old hits — including tracks like “Austin,” which are now over 20 years old!
“That’s my favorite part of the show and I think it’s honestly I think it’s the crowd’s favorite part of the show,” he shared. “I’ve been one of those guys who has been stubborn with my setlist and changing anything, and finally I changed up my setlist and the entire show and it’s been fun now that I’m used to it.”
However, he couldn’t help but admit that touring feels different now that he’s leaving behind wife Gwen Stefani and his three stepsons when he hits the road.
“It’s terrible,” he said of being away from home. “Right now, they’re having bad storms back in California, and I hate not being there. Not that anything bad is happening… but I know they’re kind of freaked out and it’d be nice to be home.”
“I don’t do a lot of these — I think we’re doing 18 of these shows this year,” he added. “I try to limit it as much as I can, because the whole reason I’m even stepping away from The Voice is so I can just be there more, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”
However, Shelton has plenty of reminders from home while on the road — including a custom-made, rhinestoned denim jacket that reads “Mr. Stefani,” which he was gifted at one tour stop.
“I get a lot of gifts out on the road. Normally when we play a venue — especially if it’s a basketball arena or hockey — they’ll give us one of their jerseys of the team,” he shared. “That night I walked in and I had this jean jacket with ‘Mr. Stefani’ written on it. I sent a picture of it to Gwen and she said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t leave that there. You got to bring it home, I want that!'”
Ultimately, the “No Body” singer admitted that his life now — both personally and professionally — is better than he ever dreamed it could be.
“I didn’t even know you could hope for this kind of situation,” he admitted. “None of it was in my plan. I hoped to hear myself on the radio one day, that was my dream, and so I got it, and now everything else has just been gravy.”
Blake Shelton’s Back to the Honky Tonk Tour runs through March 15. Click here for ticket information.
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