The end

I badly wanted to get to Summerfest once more tonight. It's closing night, and I wanted to see Lady Antebellum, of whom I've become a fan during the last few weeks -- thanks to an interview with member Charles Kelley ...

But after the tournament this weekend, and an exhausting run last week, I'm done. I spent most of the afternoon flat on the couch, and I'm done ... Kates and Phoebe left the house to get supper, and I was so far out I didn't even flinch.

And so ends my tour ...
a Thursday: Stevie Wonder
a Saturday: Dashboard Confessional
a Sunday: Polyphonic Spree
a Monday: Gin Blossoms | Performer Passes Out On Stage
a Tuesday: O.A.R. | Interview with Chris Culos
a Interview with Marty Stuart
a Thursday: Ingrid Michaelson | Interview with Ingrid Michaelson

Here's a piece I had in Friday's News about Lady Antebellum ...
Two years ago Charles Kelley was down and out on music, wondering if he’d ever do it again. He had graduated from Georgia University and was trying to find something worthwhile. “I was just hating it and not having a good time,” he says.

Then his older brother Josh — whom pop fans might recognize as the singer/songwriter of hits like “Amazing”and “Just Say The Word” and the new husband of actress Katherine Heigl — called him to Nashville. Josh let Charles live at his place for free and took him under his wing. They began writing songs and Charles began to get reacquainted with his musical aspirations.

“I‘d put it to the side for awhile, and I owe him a lot,” Charles said during a phone interview last month. “He introduced me around to a lot of people in the industry.”

Country music fans owe Josh Kelley a lot too. Without him encouraging Charles to come back to music, Lady Antebellum — whose name came out of a random photo shoot in front of some old Antebellum-styled homes — might not have been born.

The country trio, consisting of Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, have wowed the country music world this spring, taking this year’s Academy of Country Music award for Top New Vocal Group. They’ve watched their first single “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” race up the country radio charts, and the video has become a staple on CMT and GAC.

Their wildly popular self-titled debut album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and Nashville Lifestyles magazine simply dubbed them “the next big thing.”

Now, Lady A, as their nicknamed, is coming to the Big Gig. They’re scheduled to help close down this year’s Summerfest at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard.

It’s one of 25 shows they have scheduled in the month of July alone. They are scheduled to appear at Country Thunder on July 16.

“For us, all this stuff is so brand new and we’re just getting out there,” Kelley said. “People know the first single so much now, it’s a different feel now. Before we were tying to win over people and now we’re having a lot of fans come out to the shows. We’re just trying to soak it up.”

Though Haywood and Kelley have known and played together since their days at Riverside Middle School in Augusta, Ga., it was a chance meeting with Scott at a Nashville-area nightspot that brought the group together.

“We just hit it off and asked her if she wanted to come over and write some songs,” Kelley said. “Almost immediately there was this chemistry, as artists and as friends.”

The trio spent time hanging out at Kelley’s home and, in almost no time, they penned the third track on the album, a ballad called “All We’d Ever Need.” A couple months later they were forming the group, which before had been an after thought.

Before their meeting, Kelley had been writing pop songs. But when he started singing with Scott’s sultry alto voice, something clicked and their blissful country rock sound came out.
Kelley and Scott, who is the daughter of Grammy-winning country artist Linda Davis and accomplished musician Lang Scott, hit on a combustible chemistry as a vocal duo while Haywood’s instrumental and harmonizing chops rounded out the music. Their emotionally-charged sound blends classic country with a sharp rock edge.

“I started singing lower and found this kind of really neat part of my voice,” Kelley said. “She’s got a more traditional country-sounding voice, and when the two of us blended together it created this country sound. The sound was whatever came out. We didn’t try to force it.”

By April 2007, after drawing an overwhelming response to the demos posted on their MySpace page, the group was signed by Capitol Nashville and began work on their debut album.

The result is an 11-disc album filled with catchy, vibrant country rock songs and traditional ballads, all of which will appeal to even the most unlikely of country music fans. From the irresistible party anthem and second single, “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” to the beautiful “I Run to You,” the album has Kelley and Scott trading vocals and producing sparkling harmonies.

The range of emotion encompasses both the joyfully romantic “Love's Lookin' Good On You” and the desolation of the swelling ballad “All We’d Ever Need.” Between those extremes is the driving “Long Gone,” a display of attitudinal assurance from Hillary.

“It was a fun experience,” Kelley said of the album’s construction. “It was just a blast, every day going to work, being able to go in there and just be creative everyday.”

Kelley said fans at Sunday’s Summerfest show can expect an energetic set filled with crowd interaction.

“We’re excited to get out there,” Kelley said. “It’s been fun just doing a bunch of shows. We’re just hitting the pavement.”

No comments: