Georgia native Billy Currington's love of his home state runs deep — so much so that he calls it home between touring travel and recording in Nashville.
"I really love where I grew up. It's like a vacation all the time," Currington tells Rolling Stone Country about the area near Tybee Island where he spends a good chunk of his time. "It's nice during the winter months to take a little break. But it's not really like laying down and being lazy — I stay pretty busy during that time. It's just not as much touring going on in those winter months."
Now that 2016 is in full swing, Currington is back on the road and made his appreciation for Georgia even more clear at the February 27th Macon stop of his Summer Forever tour by singing "Georgia on My Mind."
"If there was ever a place to play this song my first time, it would be here," he says to the crowd, introducing the Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell tune famously recorded by Ray Charles. Currington plays it straight with his rendition, singing with his signature soulful restraint before his steel player gets a quick solo. He ends the song on an sustained high note, drawing enthusiastic applause.
Though the "Georgia On My Mind" rendition might have been a one-off for the Macon stop only, Currington's Summer Forever tour continues through mid-April with guest Kelsea Ballerini (on select dates) and hits like "People Are Crazy" and his latest "It Don't Hurt Like It Used To."