Brad Paisley released a double album, Hits Alive, just five weeks ago, but it won’t be long before an all-new studio album reaches stores.
Brad plans to issue This Is Country Music April 19, naming the project after the song he debuted last month on the Country Music Association Awards. Beginning Monday, you can download the song for free for one week at www.thisiscountrymusic.com and pre-order the album. That gives you the opportunity to get additional content before the album’s release.
At the end of that one-week period, the single can be purchased at all traditional digital outlets, in addition to www.thisiscountrymusic.com.
The song is, of course, a celebration of country as a musical idiom. “This Is Country Music” pays homage to the lyrical themes that dominate its current form, but also to some of the classic songs that contributed to country’s foundation.
“When I start an album, I start thinking about ‘what haven’t I said that I really wanna say?’” Brad noted backstage at the CMAs. “And you get to know these people. You get to be buddies with guys like Keith Urban, and we jam on the guitar periodically. And become great friends with Carrie [Underwood], and we do things like [host the CMAs]. And we have a great chemistry. And then there’s Jimmy Dickens and Bill Anderson and that generation that I have been lucky enough to get to know. And so it’s all about finding inspiration. This was my love song to my fans who live these songs every day and my industry, which produces this music that really does become the soundtrack to people’s lives.”
Among the historic songs that Brad references in the course of “This Is Country Music” are George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The U.S.A.,” George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning,” Conway Twitty’s “Hello Darlin’,” Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line,” John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” and Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive.” Since many of those songs and artists were winners — or, at least, nominees — at previous CMA Awards, it was a great place to debut the song, though Brad wasn’t convinced it would work for everyone involved in the album.
“After I wrote it,” he observed, “I thought, ‘You know what? This is probably bad timing in a [record] label sense. This album won’t be ready until spring, but I’m gonna sing this. I have to sing this love song for the fans and the music that I love.’”
What else is on This Is Country Music? We won’t know all of it until April 19. Meanwhile, the awards allowed Brad to put his own stamp on country music. After paying homage to his heroes, he won his very first Entertainer of the Year award at the close of the show.