Saturday, March 28, 2009

TOP 10 Reasons Why You Should Love Brad Paisley As I Do

Now it is time to write my long-awaited reflections on seeing Brad Paisley perform at the Frank Erwin Center. I have received hundreds of comments from faithful blog readers since I posted my musings on Darius Rucker's show. The people, they want to know: How was he?

All I can say is that I believe everyone should be a fan of Brad Paisley. I am afraid some of you-- namely my Yankee friends, my really cool liberal friends, and some of my other friends who aren't keen on country music--won't even check him out. On the surface, he probably comes across like any other skinny, little white guy who sings with a southern accent.

When I have these fears (and this is part of what has taken me so long to write about this), I get a little frustrated. I'm just so sad for y'all.

My TOP 10 Reasons Why You Should Love Brad Paisley As I Do:

10. He just won two Grammys and is nominated for six American Country Music awards, including Entertainer of the Year. 10 million albums sold. Thirteen #1 hits.

9. If you're a dude, Brad Paisley should be your role model. You should admire him because he is SO grounded in the things he loves in life. It's not that he's not into chicks--he is (just check out "Ticks")--but not so much that's he's gonna give up going fishing or playing his guitar. He's not the one writing these pathetic, co-dependent, "I'm gonna die without you" songs. (Well, except for "Whisky Lullabye." but that song is SO over the top, with the double suicide and all. You know better than to try that at home).

8. If you're a woman, you should want to be/be with a guy like Brad. See #9. Women, believe me, you want a guy who's grounded in the things he loves in life. And most importantly, you should ground yourself in the things you love.

7. He is a great songwriter. His songs are catchy, and usually funny, and smart. We all need more catchy, funny, smart songs. Do yourself a favor and go watch "Letter to Me" and see if your heart is unmoved.

6. At his Austin show, even though he's a big fancy famous guy, he brought out locals Ray Benson and Redd Volkaert. How cool!

5. He did this crazy thing where Alison Krauss appeared on stage with him in a hologram. Spooky!

4. He showed this amazing and fun little animated movie that he made, featuring delightful caricatures of his band, The Drama Kings. Like he doesn't have enough to do, between being a great songwriter, an amazing guitarist, touring all over, being married to that actress from the "Father of the Bride" movies, and being a dad. He's just gotta bring it home to the fans.

3. He respects his elders. Brad is a guy who reveres the traditions and teachings of those who came before him. His new CD, "Play," features many of his heroes, folks like B.B. King, Albert Lee, James Burton, Buck Owens, Steve Wariner, and Vince Gill. And oh my God, speaking of elders: have you seen that video with Andy Griffith, for "Waitin' on a Woman"?

2. He is a complete badass on the guitar. I call him "BrAD-ASS"! If you have any doubts that this statement is true, go buy or download his new guitar record, "Play." Thank me later. Any dudes who didn't make him their role model after reading #9 above, should do so after listening to this CD.

Here's what Brad Paisley he says about his new CD:

"This album is my love affair with the guitar. When I was eight I got a gift from my grandpa. No coincidence that around that time I also got an identity. See, no matter how I have changed, learned and evolved as a person, the guitar has been a major part of it, and really the only constant. A crutch, a shrink, a friend, love interest, parachute, flying machine, soapbox, canvas, liability, investment, jackpot, tease, a sage, a gateway, an addiction, a recovery, a temptress, a church, a voice, veil, armor, and lifeline. My grandpa knew it could be many of these things for me, but mostly he just wanted me to never be alone. He said if I learned to play, anything would be manageable, and life would be richer. You can get through some real tough moments with that guitar on your knee. When life gets intense, there are people who drink, who seek counseling, eat, or watch TV, pray, cry, sleep, and so on.

I play.

1. If you are a human, you ought to like Brad Paisley. He comes across as a very successful, multi-talented, down-to-Earth, super nice guy who gets to do what he loves for a living. And he's at all shy about expressing his gratitude about that.

(Brad, I do have to say that I will not be watching the ACM awards on Sunday night. I'll be taking my husband to see Bruce Springsteen, at your joint, the Frank Erwin Center. I guess this is my year of big arena shows.)