If there's ever been a better road song album released than Aaron Tippin's latest: in overdrive, we've never heard it--and since we're over-the-top cult-leader crazy when it comes to appreciating good truck driving tunes, that's probably saying something.
Speaking of crazy, there's no particular reason it worked out this way, but this month's edition of Custom Classic Trucks represents a few firsts in editorial content. For example, this is the first time CCT has ever done a music story and before you ask why, let us explain how it all came about. An email arrived out of the blue from Don Murry Grubbs, Aaron Tippin's publicist announcing Aaron was going to be releasing a tribute album dedicated to the American trucker, and inquired if we'd like a review copy. It didn't take more than a few seconds to fire back a "Hell, yes," and the wheels were in motion.
We got a chance to talk a little bit with Aaron about his inspiration for the album. A former over-the-road truck driver himself, Aaron expressed our country's truck drivers are next in line in importance to our military when it comes to keeping our nation safe and moving. That's not an exact quote, but rather the drift of what we remember Aaron saying to us. Again from recollection, releasing in overdrive has been a longtime dream for Aaron, something that he's finally been able to accomplish now that he has his own label and doesn't have to bend to the commercial whims of others. Aaron has always liked being around the trucks. "It's part of my chemical makeup I guess," he explains. "I love the way the trucks look, the shine, the mechanics, the ride, roar, and the ruckus you feel when you pass a monster convoy or experience hundreds of tough-looking rigs rolling into a trucking convention or NASCAR race. I can appreciate the tireless and ongoing mammoth effort that goes into moving America. I'm humbled to thank my friends in the trucking business by singing my favorite road songs for them as we all roll on down the road." In overdrive is available on the Nippit Records Country Crossing label, distributed by Red Distribution.
Another fact you won't learn in a canned press release is the Mack truck on in overdrive's cover belongs to Aaron. The funny thing is when we first spoke with Aaron, trying to get a handle on what to write for this story, we asked him about the guitars he owned. The question was posed because every track on in overdrive has some very distinctive sounding twangs, oinks, and screaming lead riffs coming out of the guitar work, so we figured Aaron must have a bunker full of rare vintage guitars to record such a wide range. In Aaron's response he almost sounded annoyed informing us that he doesn't collect stuff just to own it. Everything he has is pretty much a "working stiff" from his musical instruments and hunting rifles to the farm implements on his 500-acre Tennessee homestead. It's funny though, because, after the third time we spoke with Aaron it was quite apparent he has a weakness for letting old Mack trucks graze peacefully on his land. It turns out Aaron does have what most folks would call a truck collection. Judging by the fondness in Aaron's voice, one of his favorites is a Mack LJ with a Cummins 220 diesel engine in it instead of the more commonly found Mack Thermaldyne engine. It's interesting to note the Jacobs engine brake was available on the Cummins, but not the standard equipment Thermaldyne engine. In its favor, the Cummins puts out more power, but Aaron said there's been more than a few times he's drug an old B61 with a Thermaldyne that hadn't run in over 20 years with a chain and it would fire right up. After we talked a little bit more about his Mack wrecker, plus a few other Macks, Aaron said he'd like to restore his big ol' Mack LJ one day. We'd say our buddy Aaron Tippin has white line fever just as bad as any of us, and on top of that he really knows how to sing about it.
East Bound and Down
Truck Drivin' Man
Drivin' My Life Away
Six Days on the Road
The Ballad of Danger Dave and Double Trouble
Prisoner of the Highway
Girl on the Billboard
Long White Line
Drill Here, Drill Now
Seeing Aaron with his Ovation...
Seeing Aaron with his Ovation Custom Legend model 1779-USA slung over his back brings back memories of Buck Owens on Hee Haw with his Semi Mosley custom built red white and blue Mosrite acoustic guitar. After mentioning this to Aaron, he said he got a chance to play Buck's red white and blue Mosrite one time while he was visiting Buck at his office in Bakersfield -- that's pretty cool.