Brad Paisley Clings to the "River Bank" as Summer Recedes

"Easy to Love" Song Leads to a No. 1 Album Debut

The summer may be coming to an end, but Brad Paisley is still floating along with the refreshing feel of his single, "River Bank."

After earning loads of radio airplay and rising to No. 1 on CMT Hot 20 Countdown, the song helped propel Paisley's new album Moonshine in the Trunk to a No. 1 debut last week on Billboard's country chart.

In an interview with CMT Hot 20 Countdown, the singer-songwriter said his crafty tune was a long time in the making.

"I really had that hook for about two years," he said. "I sat down to write it a few times, and every time, it started sounding like a horrible, corny, throwaway from the musical Oklahoma or something. Then, all of a sudden, I sat down to write, and I was alone when I started the loop ... and called Kelley Lovelace and said, 'Remember that hook we worked on last year? That river bank thing?' He said, 'Yeah, the one you hated?' I said, 'Yeah, I don't hate it anymore.'"

Paisley said he wanted Moonshine in the Trunk to include a quality that all of his own favorite albums had.

"My goals with this record were to make a record that's easy to love," he said. "The last album (Wheelhouse) wasn't about that. It was about taking chances and stepping out and realizing some things may be misunderstood, but the risk of that was worth the reward.

"With this album the criteria for me was, 'Will someone love this? Is this something that's easy to fall in love with quickly?'"

For the past six years, country fans have been falling in love with Paisley's charm and quick wit when he and Carrie Underwood host the CMA Awards show. This year will be no different.

In previous years, he's delivered clever one-liners about specific artists and some of their more embarrassing moments or traits, so CMT's Katie Cook asked Paisley about his preparations for this year's opening monologue.

"I don't know," he said. "I mean, nobody's been that dumb this year yet. We need a little help with this. If there's somebody out there that's paying attention, come on. Show us some skin or something! Randy Houser, come through for me buddy!"

Tune in to the CMA Awards on Nov. 5 on ABC, and don't miss CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 13-14) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.

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