Kellie Pickler on Being Just Kellie Jacobs

To most of us, she is Kellie Pickler — the same Kellie Pickler she’s been since we met her on American Idol in 2006. But at home, to her neighbors and friends and most importantly her husband, she is just Kellie Jacobs. And that is exactly how she stays closer to nowhere.

Just like in her new single “Closer to Nowhere,” Pickler knows as long as she is with her husband Kyle Jacobs, she’s good.

“I love this song because it’s a love song that’s not too heavy,” she told me when we sat down during ACM weekend in Las Vegas. “It’s all about getting away from the craziness and the hustle and bustle of the world and just being with your significant other. We all need to make time for that. You don’t want to be married to a stranger. I know I don’t.”

Pickler is blessed, she knows, because being married to a songwriter (Jacobs has written hits for Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Eli Young Band and more) means that he can travel on the road with her.

“Sometimes he can’t, but that works for us,” Pickler said. “There are moments when we miss each other. Then when we see each other, we are so excited to be together. We always make time for us. We are our No. 1 priority. Work always comes second.”

Pickler told me her favorite “Closer to Nowhere” spot is a back porch swing her husband built for them. (Yes, he is a woodworker in his spare time. “I worked hard for this, and I found the perfect man,” she said.)

That swing lets the couple look out over the back yard of their Nashville home.

“We have pickin’ parties out there,” she said. “We are like the rednecks of Green Hills, I swear.”

As for that barrel of Jack Daniel’s whiskey they received back in December? It’s in their wine cellar.

“So now our wine cellar doesn’t have wine in it,” she said. “It’s a whiskey cellar now.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.