(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
What a great way to look at making records: like the albums themselves are all friends. That's the impression Kimberly Perry gave me when we talked about the album The Band Perry is making right now. "I feel like this one holds hands really well with the first project," she said. "If you listen to album No. 2, you'd certainly know it's The Band Perry. But it also sounds like we've had two years of brand new experiences and have brand new things to say." In a lot of respects, Perry said, this one will be even more true to who they are as songwriters and musicians. The band has been working with Rick Rubin, a producer they have admired for years. She called the experience magical, miraculous and life-changing. "I feel like that is the magic of a great producer -- to meet the artist right where they are at that moment in time and to really figure out how to get the best out of that artist," she said. "And he certainly has done that for Reid and Neil and myself. And, man, I don't know how we would've gotten this record done any other way." She added, "It's a real spiritual experience for Rick," noting that she read somewhere that when he was producing records with the late Johnny Cash, they'd take communion together every day that they were in the studio. Perry said the album is 75 percent done and the first single will be delivered to country radio stations this fall.