Fresh from his CMA trophy for album of the year, Brad Paisley announced he’s starting work on a new album this month. He visited with reporters backstage at the CMA Awards on Monday night (Nov. 6) in Nashville.
“I’ve written some things for it, and I like them so far,” he says. “That journey is always the one [that] shapes the tour. And then you can go out and find some cool lights, gadgets and explosions or whatever you need to make the show work.”
Paisley’s victorious album, Time Well Wasted, includes the hits “Alcohol,” “The World” and “When I Get Where I’m Going,” which won a CMA Award for vocal event. The successful collaboration with Dolly Parton hit No. 1 on the country charts earlier this year and was also nominated for single, song and video of the year.
Asked if he’s thought about how to build upon his stage show, Paisley replied, “The thing that I think about daily — and I never lose sight of this — is it’s about songs. It really is. And people can lose sight of that when they do these tours. They put all their money into production, but what I need is more hit records. The show evolves, thanks to hit records.”
He also emphasized the bond he shares with his audiences. “I look forward to trying to write in an even more surgical way for those fans who show up,” he explained. “I know what they want even better than I used to. I know what those folks in those first few rows are wanting to hear, if they haven’t heard it. I feel that I’m more connected to these fans, and I’m able to write a little more personally and apply it to them.”
When one reporter asked him to “speak to” each of the awards he had won, Paisley hoisted them up to eye-level and deadpanned, “Should I talk directly to the awards?”
But it was Kimberly Williams-Paisley, his pregnant wife who stars in the TV sitcom, According to Jim, who sneaked in the best comical line of the night when she confessed to the audience that she couldn’t see well enough to read the lines on the teleprompter. She and co-presenter Gary Allan chatted for a while about country singers, to which she complained, “I married one, and now I’m knocked-up and blind.” The awards audience as well as the pressroom erupted in laughter at her impromptu remark.
“I thought she stole the freakin’ show tonight,” Paisley said with a big grin. “It was great! We had talked about it before she went up. She said, ‘I can’t see anymore.’ She could not read the lines in rehearsal, and I said, ‘Just tell them that.’ Then she went up and it was amazing — the ad-libbing. I loved it. I’m very proud of that. It’s nice for people to see her personality for real for a second.”
In addition to his two wins, Paisley was also nominated for entertainer, male vocalist and music video. He has won seven CMA Awards in his career so far. He collected his first, the Horizon Award, in 2000. In 2001, he shared the vocal event award with Buck Owens, George Jones and Bill Anderson for “Too Country.” A year later, he nabbed a video trophy for “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song),” which co-starred his future wife and Little Jimmy Dickens. In 2004, his duet with Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby,” won for video and vocal event.