Little Big Town Takes the Next Step with Fresh, Progressive New Album, Pain Killer

little big town painkiller

When Little Big Town started to work on their new album, Pain Killer, which is available today, Phillip Sweet says, “I think it was imperative for us to push ourselves and we always want to try new things, but we did feel a little bit of pressure, whether we wanted to admit it to ourselves or not.”  Karen Fairchild agrees and she tells The Country Vibe, “We always want to do something new and we loved Tornado so much, but we wanted to see where else we could go and take the next step and evolve and grow, and I think we did that.”

 

The first indication that they were moving in a new direction came when Karen, Jimi and Phillip wrote “Day Drinking” with Barry Dean and Troy Verges. Kimberly Schlapman says, “I think what we were going for was revealed when they wrote ‘Day Drinking,’ and I wasn’t there that day when they wrote the song, but when I heard the demo for the song I was blown away.  And then I think that was kind of the stepping off point.  ‘Okay, so this is where we start.  Now, where do we go from here?’”

 

Another track called ‘Tumble and Fall’ became a cornerstone for the record, in terms of defining what it was going to be and Phillip says, ‘I felt like we were taking chances and doing something that we hadn’t done before.’”

 

One way they took chances was with their vocals. Although the album doesn’t completely stray from the sound that Little Big Town fans have come to know and love, Jimi Westbrook says, “We talked about the fact that there’s four vocalists here, so let’s try to use that in a different way than we have before, and explore what that might be.  We did that too, and it was a lot of fun.”

 

The band hopes people will listen to all of Pain Killer and realize that songs like “Day Drinking” and “Good People” show they don’t take themselves too seriously.  At the same time, there are songs like “Silver and Gold” and “Turn the Lights On” that offer a lot of depth to the album.  Karen says, “There’s a lot more to the record than just ‘Day Drinking.’”  Although she laughs and says, “But we do like to do that too.”

 

Little Big Town will finish their mentoring sessions for Team Blake tonight on The Voice.  On Thursday they’ll perform on The View and then on October 30th they have a special performance planned with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Jason Aldean Announces 2nd Leg of Burn It Down Tour with Cole Swindell and Tyler Farr

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean is planning to continue his Burn It Down Tour in 2015 with a string of dates that will kick off on February 12th in Greenville, South Carolina with special guests Cole Swindell and Tyler Farr. The second leg of the tour will play a total of 23 dates, with specific dates and venues to be unveiled shortly. Jason will also head to Europe the first week of March to participate in the C2C – Country to Country Festival, which is Europe’s largest country music festival, taking place in Sweden, Norway, Ireland and London.

 

“We are coming off a big album release week, and we wanted to keep the momentum rolling and get this next leg of the tour announced,” said Jason. “Cole and Tyler are two of the hottest up-and-coming artists out right now, and I really dig what they do in their live shows. They are also just great friends, so it’ll be cool to have them out and see what kind of trouble we can get into together.”

 

You can see the announced cities for the second leg of the Burn It Down Tour and get tour updates as they become available on JasonAldean.com.

Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor Teaming with Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert for CMA Awards Performances

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert

The Country Music Association has revealed that this year’s CMA Awards will feature special collaboration performances teaming Ariana Grande with Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert with Meghan Trainor. They haven’t specified what Little Big Town and Ariana will be performing, but Miranda and Meghan will be performing Meghan’s six-week #1 hit, “All About That Bass.”

 

The awards are being hosted for the seventh consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and will also feature performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Keith Urban and Brad and Carrie.

 

The 48th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on November 5th on ABC.

Blake Shelton Gives Barbra Streisand’s Gift a Special Place in His House

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton

As if getting the chance to record a song with Barbra Streisand wasn’t cool enough, Blake Shelton says afterward she sent him a gift that took center stage on his mantle. Blake tells People when he first got the invitation to sing with her he literally couldn’t believe it.  “It’s still shocking to me.  I don’t know how it came down. I don’t know how she knows about me, but I’m just glad. I’m just going with it!”

 

Unfortunately Blake didn’t get to spend any time with Barbra in the studio because she recorded her part first and then had to be out of the country when Blake recorded his part. But she did call into the studio while Blake was recording and he says it was “nerve-wracking.” When Blake received a piece of crystal from Barbra afterward that said, “Thank you, Love Barbra,” he was happy to know that she was pleased with his performance and he says, “I pushed all my awards away and put that in the middle. It was so cool, like, ‘See, she knows me. I knew it.’ ”

 

You can hear Blake and Barbra’s duet of “I’d Want it to Be You” on her new duets album, Partners, which is available now.

 

Brantley Gilbert is Indebted to Keith Urban for His Support While Getting Sober

 

Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert will celebrate three years of sobriety on December 18th and he recently shared a story of how Keith Urban, who went through a very public stint in rehab seven years ago, made a huge impact on him while he was trying to get sober. Brantley told Lon Helton of Country Countdown USA, “When I was making changes in my life, I was down and out, I was even in the hospital, and he showed up and spent several hours with me one day out of nowhere, just encouraging me, because I had a lot of worries about doing my job.”

 

Brantley admits he had been drinking since he was 15 and he didn’t know if he’d still be able to perform and write and do his job without the influence of alcohol, but he says, “[Keith] told me, ‘Man it’s a whole new world.  It’s different but you’re gonna have a lot more fun with it.’ He was just uplifting and reassuring, he’s one of those guys when you meet him, you know he has a good soul. He has an awesome heart and is an awesome dude.”

 

Brantley was so impressed by Keith showing up and spending time with him because he says, “He showed up out of the blue, and I hardly knew the guy.  I’ll never forget that as long as I live, and I’m indebted to him now.  For somebody of that stature to take that kind of time.”

 

Brantley will turn 30 in January and he says, “I had doctors tell me I wasn’t going to make 30.  To me, to be where I’m at, I’m in a really good place, mentally and spiritually, and to be where I am turning 30, I’m proud of that, cause it could have gone the other way.  I’m glad to be here.  I bet I tear more stuff up between 30 and 40 than I did between 20 and 29.  Bring it on!”