Indy: You have a new album coming out soon, and a lot of people feel it will propel you to arena-headlining status. How are you feeling about how things are lining up?
RA: This next album, I have some really high hopes for it, that we've really dialed in on songs that make people want to pump their fists and sing along. That's what I want. My goal is, I want to make a show that's like Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen.
Indy: Your current CD, If You're Going Through Hell, has given you four chart-topping hits. I've seen you say that you feel the birth of your son, Elijah, about six years ago helped you find quality in your songwriting that you think has played a big part in your success. Could you elaborate?
RA: When my little boy was born, I realized my time is my family's time. It just is. So if I'm going to sing songs and make somebody want to hear that song on the radio or buy the album or download the song or whatever, it needs to be a song that people hear and they want to share it with their families, with their loved ones and their friends, so it's not wasting their time. They don't want to waste their family's time or their friends' time, either, just like I can't waste my family's time. I want to do songs that make people go, "Yeah, that's what I feel." I want to be inspiring.
Indy: Should we assume, then, that the next CD won't reinvent your rootsy and melodic sound?
RA: The thing I realized singing these songs is, we're stepping it up a notch vocally ... And these songs are a little more challenging singing-wise, some of them, a few of them. But we're not changing the basic formula.
At Denver's Grizzly Rose, Jan. 17.