Play Bottom Line:Sometimes I think it's a real shame that Brad Paisley got so big because he'd be an awesome Americana/Independent artist. As it is, because he DID make it in Nash Vegas, a lot of the Indie artists and groupies tend to overlook him. Fortunately, Brad doesn't let any of that stuff get in the way of him doing what he likes to do - that is, real country music - the way he likes to do it, with whoever he happens to like hanging around with.
A Little Background:This is Paisley's second disc in just over year. His last album 5th Gear was released in June 2007. At first I wasn't sure if this was a disc I'd warm to, because on the whole, while I can appreciate and admire pure instrumentation, a lot of the time it's the lyrics that make me pay attention (hey, I'm a writer; words are my medium). But to my pleasure and surprise, there are a number of standard Brad Paisley songs here, filled with his usual quirky, cheerful country humor. While the bulk of this disc is, as Brad himself calls it, his love affair with the guitar, there's plenty for us word-junkies, too. Paisley is a pretty good writer, himself, whether it's lyrics, music, or even just the heartfelt liner notes that tell us everything about how his beloved grandpa gave him a guitar when he was eight years old, and how that started everything. While the rest of the world might "eat, watch TV, cry, sleep, and so on, I play."
Play - The Songs:And Play he does; from the opening "Huckleberry Jam" (a song for son Huck) all the way through, this disc ably demonstrates Paisley's talent, and showcases many of his equally talented friends, such as those gathered for the "Cluster Pluck": the legendary James Burton (Elvis's TCB Band), country favorite Vince Gill, Albert Lee (Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton), John Jorgensen (Elton John), Brent Mason (George Strait, Alan Jackson), Redd Volkaert (Merle Haggard, Dale Watson, Robbie Fulks), and Steve Wariner.
He also performs a duet with his "down under" pal Keith Urban, "Start A Band," as well as the majestic B.B. King himself on "Let The Good Times Roll," and presents here for the very first time a final performance from Buck Owens on "Come On In," a previously unheard demo that Buck laid down in the months before he passed away. Brad added duet vocals and some more instruments, and it's a pretty impressive little tribute.
Brad also pays tribute to his wife with the simply named "Kim," and closes out the disc with a song that appears on Time Well Wasted, "Waitin' On A Woman," re-recorded with television icon Andy Griffith adding spoken vocals as the old man in the song (just like he does in the video for the song). It's a disc that's just for fun. Paisley is inviting us to play along.
Release Date: November 4, 2008 - Label: Arista Nashville
Play Track List:
- Huckleberry Jam
- Turf's Up
- Start A Band (Duet With Keith Urban)
- Come On In (Featuring Buck Owens)
- Playing With Fire
- Kentucky Jelly
- More Than Just This Song (Featuring Steve Wariner)
- Les Is More
- Pre-Cluster Cluster Pluck Prequel
- Cluster Pluck (Featuring James Burton, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, John Jorgenson, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert and Steve Wariner)
- Cliffs Of Rock City
- Let The Good Times Roll (Featuring B.B. King)
- What A Friend We Have In Jesus
- Waitin' On A Woman (With Andy Griffith)