On Thursday night (July 2), on what we like to think of as Independence Day Eve Eve, Kelsea Ballerini showed up with some fireworks of her own: a short-and-sweet virtual livestream show.
For the first ten minutes, Ballerini answered questions about her music and what her quarantine has been like. Then for ten more, she sang a handful of songs off her latest album kelsea. The one that came out right around the same time that the COVID-19 shutdown started. She played a little guitar, and was also backed (virtually) by two sidemen on guitar.
Here's what she played:
1. "The Other Girl"
2. "Hole in the Bottle"
3. "Homecoming Queen?"
And here's what she talked about with RADIO.COM LIVE:
What will the re-entry be like when she can take the stage in real life again?
"Especially in country, we tour non-stop. We love it. It's all about the one-on-one fan connection. So not having that feels weird. It feels like something's missing. I cry at everything. So yes, I will cry," Ballerini said.
How did her collaboration with pop star Halsey come to be?
"I am a fan, obviously. I was a fan before she even had 'Closer.' I was an underground fan," she said. "And she was playing the Ascend here in Nashville two years ago, and after the show I got to go back and meet her. And we just had this instant connection. We're both trying to be smart and savvy and businesswomen at the same time. Just navigating that and having someone who understands that was really, really powerful. When I was writing for this album, I just wanted to write freely. So I was like, what if we do a modern-day 'Does He Love You?' But write it for two women. When you're friends with someone you also respect their art and their credibility, and I never want to cross that line. Because friendship always comes first."
Can you tell the story of where the idea for 'Hole in the Bottle' came from?
"I wish I had some amazing story. But honestly, I thought I was done with the album. I was at a writing retreat down in Florida, and we'd written six songs, and we went out to dinner and drank. A lot. This is so transparent," she admitted. "And when we got back to the beach house, Jesse Frasure played some tracks and he played that track, and Hillary Lindsey -- who is my songwriting hero -- was just tipsy with her glass of wine, singing 'there's a hole in the bottle.' We all just looked at each other and said, 'Let's write it.' And the next morning we listened to it and we were like, 'That's really fun and catchy and I've never written a drinkin' song. It's about time.' Little did I know I was writing my own soundtrack."
The one thing Ballerini didn't talk about during her livestream was The Tweet. The one she posted over the weekend after getting the news that fellow country artist Chase Rice had played a real-life live concert in East Tennessee for a thousand unmasked fans who were not social distancing. She wasn't happy about it, and wasn't shy about telling the world how she felt. "Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect, and play a NORMAL country concert right now. @ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait."
Her latest tweet, right before the livestream, was a little more self-deprecating.