Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFans of Blake Shelton‘s early hits like “Austin” and “Ol’ Red” should be very happy with his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, available now. While Blake is happy with the progressive sounds of his recent hits “Doing What She Likes” and “Boys ‘Round Here,” he wanted to find a way to incorporate his early country sound in the new music.

Says Blake, “I think we did that. ‘Neon Light,’ I think, is a perfect example of staying true to who I’ve become as an artist but also tipping my hat to that old honky-tonk sound that I started with.”

Blake points to the crowd reaction to his older hits, including “Some Beach,” during his live shows as a big reason for going back to his musical roots.

“They get as big of a reaction still today as ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ and whatever other current song I’ve had,” Blake explains. “So, it shows me that that’s still alive —  that sound, that type of music is still alive.”

In keeping with the theme of going back to his roots, Blake sent his team to his hometown of Ada, Oklahoma, to take photographs for the new album’s artwork. They ended up using a shot of the town’s water tower on the cover of Bringing Back the Sunshine because Blake says, “I’m tired of seeing pictures of myself!”

He adds, “I’ve been looking at that water tower my whole life. It may not be iconic to everyone out there, but it is to me. When I see it, it takes me back to being a kid.”  

Look for Blake to promote Bringing Back the Sunshine with an appearance on Live with Kelly & Michael on Thursday.

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