At 21 years old, Adam Gregory is making a comeback.
Six years ago, the Edmontonian hit the country music airwaves and become a star.
His debut album, The Way I'm Made, yielded five Top 10 hits, including Horseshoes, Only Know I Do, and Big Star. His second album, Workin' On It, included the chart-topper The World Could Use A Cowboy.
Success for a teen star isn't easy. While Gregory's rich, deep voice sounded older than his years, song selection wasn't easy. How can an underage boy sing drinkin' songs or about heartbreak? Eventually, Gregory and his record label Sony parted ways. But Gregory cowboyed up and refused to quit.
Last month he released his third album, a self-titled disc released on the indie label Mensa Records.
"I've grown up. I've grown into a man," says the former teen heartthrob who plays Ranchmans tomorrow and opens for Alan Jackson at the Saddledome July 15. "It's all coming together and it's great. "For sure I knew I wanted to come back and that time away (from the public eye) was used to work on my songwriting and some living life."
The work paid off -- he has co-writing credit on six of the 12 songs and there is definitely more feeling behind the words he sings. "I'm still growing as an artist, and as a musician. My music is expanding in different ways. I'm out of the box on this album. I steered away from sounding too pretty. I wanted to rock," he says. "This is the new sound of Adam ... it is an upbeat album and positive."
Gregory says for the first time during recording, his opinions weren't lost in the shuffle. Producer Jeff Nystrom listened to the young artist. "On the other two albums I didn't have quite as much say. This label gives me more say. In the end, my opinion really does matter."
Gregory says he hopes to learn a thing or two when he opens for Jackson. "I'm going to tell him what a great job he's done and see if he has any advice for me. He's done everything right and he can probably give advice until the day is done," says Gregory, who admits to driving past Jackson's Nashville home which he's dubbed "Nashville's palace."
After one show, Gregory hadn't met his current touring partner LeAnn Rimes, but when he does, the two should have a lot to talk about.