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"We just don't sell CDs like we used to," he tells Billboard. "We live in this download age, and it's a singles-driven industry now. Most people are only going to judge you and get to know you by the songs that they hear on the radio or the singles that they download. I personally am dismayed by that, and it bums me out."
The Louisiana native, whose first-week sales of around 47,000 still gave him a No. 2 chart position (behind Eric Church's No. 1 debut, 'Chief'), finds low sales a bitter pill to swallow. "I'm convinced this is one of the best albums I've ever done. I'm very proud of the music on this record, so it kinda bums me out that not a lot of people are gonna be exposed to it," he laments. "I know the work that goes into these albums, and not just on my part."
Still, the married father of five has no plans of retiring from the music scene anytime soon. "I'm still having fun making records," notes the singer. "I'm still having fun going in the studio. It still stimulated me getting around those creative people. I really get a lot of enjoyment out of it."
For now, Trace, who faced the devastating loss of his home in a fire in June, is moving full-speed ahead, regardless of obstacles. "I still have things I want to do," he insists. "I keep working and pushing and applying myself like I still have mountains to climb. I'm satisfied with my place in music history; I've been around 15 years, and I think that I have at least proven to myself that I've had some worth. But I approach everything like I still have something to prove."
The latest single from the new set of tunes, 'Just Fishin',' is in the chart's Top 15 and steadily climbing. The song, Trace admits, touched a soft spot inside of him. "I'm a pretty crusty old guy and have a pretty thick bark," he tells The Boot. "When a song like that can touch me and move me, I just figure it's probably going to break through just about anybody else's shell, too. That's my measuring stick for songs like that. If it chokes me up and moves me, it will probably hurt some other folks too."
Trace is currently keeping a packed schedule on the road to promote his new album. He heads to California tonight (August 11), followed by stops in Washington, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Keep track of his tour here.