George Ducas has become accustomed to his successful under-the-radar role as an award-winning songwriter.

The Texas-born artist has carved out a popular and successful musical career of his own during his four-decade country music career, however, he may be equally known as the creative mind behind a host of chart-topping hits for other artists.

His songs have been recorded by country stars such as the Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers Band, Gary Allan, The Chicks, Radney Foster, and Trisha Yearwood, and some his most notable works include Sara Evans No. 1 hit “A Real Fine Place to Start,” and the 2013 Grammy-nominated “Beer Run” performed by a pair of country icons: Garth Brooks and the late George Jones.

Now, at age 57, Ducas is once again showcasing his fun and uniquely upbeat style of “neo-traditional blend of modern-day and roots” country music on his new album, Long Way from Home, which drops this Friday.

And while his fans get the latest glimpse of Ducas’ guitar and songwriting skills as a solo artist—not to mention a leaner and more athletic-looking stage presence from years of training. Sometimes though, decades later, even his fans are sometimes surprised to hear just how widespread his hits have become across country music.

“I get that quite a bit,” Ducas says, laughing. “Then sometimes, somebody will throw in the [line], ‘Man, you sing that song better than they do. You should have kept that song for yourself.’ That’s OK. I take that as a compliment.”

Artistic versatility is what’s helped keep Ducas in the music game since his debut album in the early ’90. As he puts it, it’s an honor to have other top artists wanting to record his work. He’ll just keep writing more.

“I was told when I first moved to Nashville, is that you can’t hang your hat on one song,” Ducas says. “It’s kind of like [fitness] or being an athlete—you can’t hang your hat on one workout or one ballgame, whether it was good or bad. It’s always on to the next game.”

Ducas maintains that straightforward, old-school philosophy when it comes maintaining his Country Muscle as well. As he pushes 60, Ducas says he’s now pushing more iron in the weightroom as he prepares for his new tour to perform hew hits such as “Hello Fool” and old classics like “Lipstick Promises.” In the country singer’s mind, both require the same amount of year-round dedication.

“It’s about consistency,” he says. “I know it’s a boring answer, but you have to love the grind. It’s about the journey, not the destination. If you love what you do, you’ll stay consistent.”

George Ducas Feels Like Both an Athlete and a Country Singer

In addition to his album release, Ducas also kicks off his Long Way from Home tour on June 21 in Nashville, with performances currently scheduled throughout the south and Midwest.

When he’s not on the road, however, kickoff for George Ducas has been every Sunday for the past 25 years in Nashville. If he’s not watching his beloved Los Angeles Chargers during the NFL season, he’s stretching and getting warmed up for his own game on the weekend Music City flag football circuit. Although focusing on music played a role in not having played during his teen years, he’s made up for it as a weekend warrior. “I absolutely love football,” he says. “Since I didn’t play in high school, I’ve been playing pickup games or league games every Sunday, no matter the weather.”

For Ducas, getting out on the weekends has helped keep the singer game ready when it’s show time.  Staying athletic carries over into his music performance, the conditioning allows him to perform at a high level from show to show without much threat of fatigue.

“My love for football got me to sort of thinking about training like a football player and trying to learn about their offseason and preseason workouts,” he says. “It’s partly to enjoy football. It’s also to put myself through those sort of things to prep for my own flag football career.”

When it comes to training, he likes to quote Chargers new head coach Jim Harbaugh. “The back’s an untapped gold mine of lean muscle mass,” he says. Ducas says he’s begun incorporating more back exercises to help improve his physique and strength.

Like many athletes, Ducas knows what a knee injury feels like. He suffered an ACL tear several years back during one of his weekend matchups. After months of rehab and physical therapy, he was able to re-strengthen his knee to get back on the field. The PT process made the singer feel more like an athlete. It also motivated him to work even harder to come back both physically and creatively.

“iI’s an inspiring environment to be in that rehab environment and see people like working every day at getting better,” he says. “Whatever it is, rotator cuff, ACL, broken bones, everyone’s here grinding. And that grinding environment is so cool to be around. It’s inspirational.”

George Ducas
George Ducas

Home Gym Sessions for George Ducas

Ducas was inspired to build his own home gym after COVID shut down most of America in 2020. He turned his garage into a workout room in order to keep building more muscle mass onto his frame. “There’s no cars in there anymore,” he says

He added a variety of equipment to get in a host of different types of workouts. Ducas’s gym sports a power rack along with plenty Olympic weights to keep pushing himself. The one drawback he says, is the lack of having a spotter on chest day. “A spotter is helpful for those last couple of reps,” he says. “I tried not to empty the tank on my first set.”

Ducas also invested in a TRX system and a rack of dumbbells going up to 60 pounds. At the same time, the pandemic allowed Ducas to get familiar with a host of YouTube trainers. He cited Heather Robertson and Kinobody among his go-to to fill in some of the workout gaps.

“There’s a lot of different options there,” he says. “It doesn’t have everything, but I can get a lot of things done without leaving home.”

Today, he’ll begin mornings by dealing with work matters, then along with a few cups of coffee he gets his first fitness fix of the morning with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pump Club” newsletter. ”Everything he does, it’s all tidbits of information and a lot of really uplifting stuff,” he says. “It’s not just hardcore workout stuff, it’s life lessons presented in a really positive fashion.”

When not touring, George Ducas will train at least four to five times week at his home gym. Now fully recovered from his ACL injury, he says his lower body has picked up strength tremendously. “I’ve never squatted more than I have since I tore my ACL. And of course, I wasn’t doing a whole lot before I tore my ACL,” he says.

With the help of his trainer Pate Young, Ducas’s training plan includes incorporating old-school weightlifting moves. The goal: maintaining muscle and still present a lean and muscular look when it’s showtime.

“[Pate] wanted me to get stronger and so did I,” he says. “I also wanted to bring my body fat down, and by increasing muscle mass, it gave me a better-looking body. I just didn’t want to look skinny fat.”

The training along with a pretty consistent diet menu consisting of the bodybuilding staples—chicken, rice, yogurt and the occasional grilled steak—has paid off. Ducas says he’s added more muscle mass now at 57 than he had when his debut album was released in 1994.

The secret, he says, is pretty old school moves:  pullups and incline presses.

“It’s always nice to get some back work in, and pullups really attack the lats,” Ducas says. “To me, inclines are more difficult than flat bench presses, and tend to give you that look in the chest that guys are really after.”

Making Music for the Masses

Having a Willie Nelson poster hanging from his wall as a kid and his music on constant play on his parent’s record player was the first indicator of which direction George Ducas’ career headed.

Willie was definitely my go-to,” he says. “And he was a runner for quite some time. He was a huge central figure in my life in terms of how I formed my songwriting and even some of my guitar playing during some of my earlier music. He was an influence on all of that.”

Ducas grew up admiring a who’s who of Grand Ole Opry legends, including Buck Owens and George Jones. So naturally as a songwriter, having an icon such as Jones performing your work—and having it nominated for a Grammy as well—was country music artist’s dream come true.

“The late great George Jones isn’t even here with us anymore, so that’s an honor no one can have anymore,” he says. “I was practically a kid when I wrote that song, and this legend winds up singing it. It’s nuts that that was even possible, so I’m forever grateful.”

When it comes to creating music, Ducas says the idea was never to create a piece for someone else’s style. It’s always about staying true to your ideas and what works best for you. In a way, it’s sort of like a training program.

“I never sat down to write, like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna write a Garth Brooks song. Or I’m going to write a Sara Evans song, whoever it may be,” he says. “It’s always just been that. was going to write a great song. I want to write a great song and have a great idea.”

Ducas says an idea for a song can come from anywhere, from the grocery store to the gym.  He uses his concert-closing “Breakin’ Stuff” as an example. The song idea came from helping an elderly woman open a pack of coffee creamer after he finished a workout.

“As she thanked me, I told her I was good at breaking stuff—and then I was like, Oh, that’s a song,” he says. “It became an extension of  all of us being good at breaking stuff—broken promises, broken hearts—all because you did something stupid.”

With his new album coming out, and a tour about to launch, Ducas plans on continuing making music with the same intensity he uses at the gym. And the results speak for themselves. And whoever records his lyrics, he’s OK with it. It’s the same advice he offers young artists today.

“Just always know that you can do it again,” he says. “So if someone wants one of your songs, take it as a compliment. Thank them, hope they make a hit out of it. Then keep writing more songs.”