“Looking ahead is a helluva lot more fun for me right now than it’s ever been," he said.

“Texoma Shore” is also a career marker that shows the singer’s clear shift in priorities. At 41, Shelton said he’s less concerned with appeasing the country music industry than he is with being happy. And his new music — along with being home with girlfriend Gwen Stefani — makes him happy.

“I’m just feeling so at ease for the first time in maybe ever,” Shelton said. “It’s a peace of mind that I can’t explain and I feel like I owe it to her, and obviously that’s going to be reflected in my music."


“I’ve gotten to the point where I want to do more from home than before,” he said, explaining the vocals for his new album were recorded from his new studio. “We’d sing for a while and then we’d go out on the boat for a while and eat and there was drinking. It felt different. It was way more fun to make this record than I’ve ever had making a record.”

Stefani was sometimes there and assumed the role of caretaker. Shelton remembers she brought down a tray of those “champagne drinks with the orange juice” about 10:30 a.m. just as he was about to start recording.