If there was ever a musical match made at the recording studio in heaven then it’s Danny Gokey and country music.

“I love what it stands for, I love what it means,” Gokey said Thursday afternoon during a promotion tour stop in Sacramento. “I am very proud to call myself a country singer.”

Gokey rolls into Santa Rosa on Friday afternoon for a singing/radio promotion tour stop at the Chrome Lotus. He’ll perform in a noon-2 p.m. time slot, but only for a select few lucky winners of a promotion sponsored by country station Froggy 92.9 FM.

About this time a year ago, Gokey was being anointed by one Simon Cowell as one of the favorites to contend for the title on season eight of American Idol. And he contended all right.

All the way to the Final 3.

And was he shocked when he stood there with Kris Allen and Adam Lambert and saw his AI path end?

“No, I was prepared for it,” he said, “It was my time to go.”

And when Allen beat out Lambert for the title?

“No, I actually thought Kris was gonna win because my fan base and Kris’ were alike. Adam didn’t have our fans.

“It was like anything else. I’m sure before I got voted off I took some other people’s votes. That’s the way the game works.”

And now, nine months after that ending, six months after the conclusion of the AI Tour, Gokey is playing a different sort of game – selling records.
He dove headfirst into the world of country music at the urging of Randy Travis and he never looked back.

“Going country was easy for me,” he explained. “If you look at the show I covered four country artists. At first I didn’t know if country would accept me.

“But when Randy Travis came to our show and told me that I should pursue country … I thought ‘Wow.’ For him to say that meant a lot to me. And it’s going great. Country people are loving it and I’m loving it too.”

His single – “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” and his debut album “My Best Days” have done unexpectedly well on the charts.

The single was actually supposed to be “It’s Only” but it was switched last November to the highly successful “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me.”

“I am glad the single was changed,” Gokey explained, “cause, as I came to find out when I did Idol a couple of weeks ago, we have a big following.

“The writer of the song didn’t watch Idol and I didn’t know anything about him and he had lost his wife just like I did. The song is all about hope. And I picked that song out of a whole slew of songs. It was incredible. You can’t make that stuff up.”

So, the promotional tour continues through Santa Rosa on Friday and then it’s off as the opening act for the group Sugarland on their “Incredible Machine” tour that opens in April.

It does look like Gokey’s best days are ahead of him.

Following is a link to Gokey’s latest release:

http://www.froggy929.com/FrogNationAppreciationPartyDannyGokey.aspx