Trace Adkins was reminded of the power of a song while recording his new Something's Going On album. "Whippoorwills and Freight Trains" stopped him cold in the studio.

The song, Adkins says, summed up the life he was living after two or three very difficult personal years. "It was just one of those songs that when I was singing it I had to stop a couple of times because that song was just tearing me apart," he admits. "And it was cool to realize and recognize that a song could still do that to me after this many years."

Adkins says "Watered Down" and "If Only You Were Lonely" were similarly powerful. The album — available now — finds the 55-year-old singer stripped down emotionally at times, which he said was not fun, but very real. Listen until the very last note — he pays tribute to one of his musical heroes at the end of "Whippoorwills and Freight Trains."

"The last note on the song that I hit, that low note, that was for Buck," he says, "Because Buck Owens told me one time, he said 'Trace, that low note that you can sing you need to do that in every song, because that's really the only thing you got going for you.'"

Owens died in 2006. Something's Going On is Adkins' first album in nearly four years. Since releasing Love Will ... the singer has dealt with the death of his father, separation from his wife and a visit to rehab. While he's never addressed the emotional toll these events have taken, several songs on the project paint a picture of a man who has lived a difficult life.

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