Paisley’s ‘Party’ Tour Draws to a Close
Brad Paisley is one of country music’s most popular singers. His most recent Play album has featured guest such as B.B. King, Steve Wariner, Vince Gill and Keith Urban. Recently a performance at a Country Radio Seminar featured him and Peter Frampton trading guitar licks. Therefore it was to be expected that when Paisley finished up the Paisley Party Tour on Saturday in Nashville that he would bring a few stars out as a surprise for the tour’s finale.
They weren’t exactly a surprise. Robben Ford, blues guitarist, emerged on the finale for dueling guitars, and some of those occupying seats included some of the songwriters who have Paisley credits, including Chris DuBois of “Online,” Ashley Gorley of “Start A Band,” and Lee Thomas Miller of “I’m Still A Guy.” Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker came back onstage to sing along with Brad on the song “Alcohol,” although that wasn’t really a surprise either. Other singers appeared but only as images across a gigantic video screen behind the stage: Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash and Alison Krauss. The taped performance of Krauss brought loud screams that were really only deserving of a live performance.
Without having any big names to pull out as surprises, Brad needed to take command of the night by himself. He succeeded.
The Music City appearance by Brad may not have specifically been timed to coincide with the CMA Awards voting but the concert, where he showed off his many talents as singer, songwriter, guitarist and animator, might have gained him some votes for the award “Entertainer of the Year.” He was able to sell the venue out, something that is not guaranteed during these economically challenging times. Paisley, in a Garth Brooks type moment, even ran through a short sample of acoustic songs that he probably sang at clubs while he made his way: “King of the Road” by Roger Miller, “The Chair” by George Strait, “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama, and “Layla” by Eric Clapton.
This June will be the ten year mark since Paisley’s first album was released. What was interesting about the set list on Saturday was that so many of his important songs and early hits like “We Danced,” “Little Moments,” “I Wish You’d Stay,” “He Didn’t Have To Be,” and “Who Needs Pictures,” were absent.
The tour for The Paisley Party is over, but Brad will not be shut down too long. Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Brad’s wife, is expecting the couple’s second child in a few weeks, which is keeping him off road for now. However, there is a lot of other things happening. On Monday “Then,” Paisley’s next single, will ship to radio. On Wednesday he will perform the song on the show “American Idol.” On June 5, the American Saturday Night Tour will kick off with Paisley, Jimmy Wayne and Dierks, and on June 30 his album American Saturday Night is set to be out.
There there is the ACM ceremony. It will take place on April 5 in Las Vegas. Paisley has six nominations and will square off with Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, George Straight and Kenny Chesney for Entertainer of the Year.