Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brad Paisley

After high school, Brad Paisley began his studies at nearby West Liberty College. But his college advisor, Jim Watson -- noting what he'd done and what he still wanted to do -- kept urging him to move to Nashville and enroll in the Belmont University music business program. Initially, Paisley resisted, preferring instead to remain close to home with his "serious girlfriend" and his college and musical buddies. But when he came to Nashville to attend a friend's wedding, he stayed on long enough to check out Belmont. Excited by what he saw there, he decided to transfer.

At Belmont, Paisley met Frank Rogers, a fellow student who now serves as his producer; Kelley Lovelace, a frequent songwriting partner; and many of the musicians who would later work in his band and play on his first album. Paisley served his college internship at ASCAP, the performing rights association. There he met Chris DuBois, another of his co-writers. His friends at ASCAP were sufficiently impressed by the songs Paisley was writing and set up an appointment with the talent scouts at EMI Music Publishing. A week after graduation, Paisley signed a songwriting deal with the company.

Like many up-and-coming artists in Nashville, Paisley earned extra money by singing and playing on demos. One of these attracted the attention of Arista Nashville's A&R Department. After a series of meetings and phone calls -- during which each party proclaimed its affection and esteem for the other -- Paisley added his name to the Arista roster.

The newcomer made his mark in 1999 with the single "He Didn't Have to Be," co-written with friend Lovelace. The song, which detailed the story of Lovelace's real-life relationship with his stepson, gave Paisley his first No. 1 single and helped his debut album Who Needs Pictures go platinum (for sales of 1,000,000 copies).

In 2000, Paisley won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music's best new male vocalist trophy and received his first Grammy nomination in 2001 in the all-genre best new artist category. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut May 28, 1999, and after 40 some appearances, he was inducted into the Opry on Feb. 17, 2001.

In 2002, he released his follow-up album Part II. According to Paisley, Part II picks up right where Who Needs Pictures left off, literally. "The fiddle that fades out at the end of the first record leads you into the first song on Part II," he says. "I pictured someone putting them in the CD player and playing them back to back." The album garnered his third No. 1 hit with the hilarious "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)." The video included several celebrities in cameos, including his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, whom he married in 2003.

Paisley's third album, Mud on the Tires, arrived in 2003. It featured the hit "Celebrity," which poked fun at fame and reality television. The surprise hit, though, was a duet with Alison Krauss, "Whiskey Lullaby." The tale of double suicide due to alcoholism, the song won CMA honors for its writers Bill Anderson and Jon Randall, as well as for music video (directed by Rick Schroder) and musical event.

In 2005, he released Time Well Wasted, which included the hit "Alcohol," as well as another powerful collaboration, "When I Get Where I'm Going," with Dolly Parton on harmony vocals. The album also included "The World" and "She's Everything." In 2006, it won the CMA award for album of the year; "When I Get Where I'm Going" won for vocal event. Brad Paisley Christmas was also released in 2006.

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1 comment:

Tim said...

Regardless of genre, Brad Paisley is one of modern music's finest guitarists. Since 2007, he's been featured in Guitar Player Magazine twice. In 2007, it was thanks to his album 5TH GEAR and, in 2008, PLAY got Paisley featured in the magazine again.

I only wish that, since the live DVD Mud on the Lens is out-of-print, that Brad Paisley would release another live DVD! Well, at least I have his upcoming album, AMERICAN SATURDAY NIGHT, to look forward to!