Little Big Town: House of Cards, Minecraft and More

Killing Time Was a “Blessing”

Talk about a silver lining. When Little Big Town was forced to sit this summer out to accommodate for Jimi Westbrook’s vocal cord surgery and recovery, they made the most of their time off the road.

And on Wednesday (Sept. 9), they learned that they’ve gotten five nominations at the upcoming CMA Awards.

“It was a blessing actually. We all actually needed some time to heal and rest, and this allowed us time to be with family,” Phillip Sweet told me when the band played a sold-out show in Chicago recently.

Kimberly Schlapman said she and her husband and daughter went on a lot of picnics and saw a lot of drive in movies.

But what did Westbrook himself actually do? Because I know that for a portion of his recovery time, he wasn’t allowed to talk, whisper, or even clear his throat. Their house, he said, was very quiet. And when I asked him what he did all day, he told me, “We watched a lot of TV.”

Westbrook’s wife and bandmate Karen Fairchild was more specific. She said that they binge-watched House of Cards, that he played a lot of Minecraft with their son, and that he finally put together a massive telescope she’d bought for him a while ago.

And when he needed to tell his wife something, he had an app for that.

“When he needed to say anything, he’d type it in and the app would speak it,” Fairchild laughed, “but he put it in a British accent, so a lot of times I still couldn’t understand him.”

Westbrook was also blessed to be able to help his family while his sister was fighting cancer.

“My family came up,” he said about playing host while his sister was undergoing treatments in Nashville. “We normally wouldn’t have been there. So that was good, and felt like it was meant to be.”

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