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Brad Paisley wastes his time quite well

By Jeffrey B. Remz, September 2005

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The disc includes duets with Alan Jackson and Dolly Parton, an instrumental, a cornball spoken ending with fellow West Virginia native Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Bill Anderson and Parton, and a mix of songs about love gone good and bad from ballads to honky tonkers.

Paisley says his approach in making this disc was different, mainly due to his past commercial success.

"Live shows weren't taken into consideration (before) as much as they were now," he says. "In this case, we thought a little bit more or less of the opposite. The reason we decided to record some of these (was we thought) 'wouldn't that go over well with the audience?' instead of cutting a song and determining (if it would).

"Some of that approach causes us to grab some different material than we would have. There were some nice mid-tempo songs that we were pitched that I liked and that I even wrote and thought would be fun to be on this record, but would never see the light of day in concert. There would have been things more for me and not my fans. You can find the medium there where we find songs that fit both," says Paisley.

"Basically, this thinking is something I'm aware of in retrospect," says Paisley. "I didn't start out with that. I sort of wanted to make the record a record a modern Buck Owens would make. I couldn't see Buck & the Buckaroos in their heyday cutting a song and not playing it (live).

In utilizing superstars Jackson and Dolly Parton, Paisley adopts different approaches to the two songs. Jackson helps out on "Out in the Parkin' Lot," a song about friends listening to a concert in the lot instead of paying to go in and the goings on the blacktop.

"I heard that song and thought that song should be sung by two guys," says Paisley of "Out in the Parkin' Lot." "It'd sound better.

Paisley brought the song, co-written by Guy Clark and Darrell Scott, to Rogers after hearing it on a live Clark album.

"He really liked the song, and we did some editing to it," says Rogers, who knows a thing or two about writing since he penned "The Fishing Song," "Me Neither" and "Who Needs Pictures" with Paisley. "It was about a six-minute song in the live version. When we got into it and got to the final version, we got to cutting (and thought) this sounds like a conversation.

"We got to the parking lot of the studio one afternoon, and we were just talking and Brad said, 'Alan Jackson would be really cool' (to cut it with). I said let's call him. A couple of days later, he called back and said as long as he didn't hate the song, he said he would do it.

Paisley says, "Of course he wanted to hear the song too. Everybody wants to hear the song first.

The Parton song, "When I Get Where I'm Going," is a spiritual ballad about going to heaven and being free of earthly concerns.

"I thought of her for a vocal on the song and thought that'd be perfect," says Paisley. "We'd gotten to know each other over the years on TV things and hanging out. It was really (just) a phone call away. That's all. She, of course wanted to and heard it and loved it.

Paisley says he enjoyed both recording experiences, though they were very different.

"Just unbelievable, Dolly especially because it was such emotional song," says Paisley. "With Alan, the song was pretty quick. It was really neat, but at the same time, the one that destroyed me was the song I recorded about death was recorded by this living angel. It was really unbelievable for me to see that.

An uncredited performer on the album - Paisley mainly uses his own band in making the album - is one Kimberly Williams, otherwise known as Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Brad's wife, but better known as an actress on Jim Belushi's television show, "According to Jim.

It seems she showed up at the recording studio one day and was asked to play guitar.

The only problem was that Williams has little clue about the finer elements of playing, according to Rogers.

"We turned the amp on her and hit record," says Rogers. "She didn't know how to play guitar at all. She was just flailing on it, and it sounded absolutely horrible. Somewhere in the second verse, somehow she hit a few strings at the same time and hit the chord in the same time as the rest of the band. Just a beautiful (thing). We actually cut that little piece out. She's actually playing a guitar chord on the record totally by accident.

Williams' recording debut may have been - Rogers wasn't sure - on "Waitin' on a Woman.

Paisley was well into music before meeting Rogers in Nashville. Growing up in Glen Dale, West Va., Paisley started playing guitar at eight, a gift from his grandfather.

He appeared at the Wheeling Jamboree, akin to a mini-Opry, by the time he was 12. He continued doing so through his high school years. After starting his college career in West Virginia, Paisley heard Nashville calling.

He transferred from West Liberty State to Belmont College, known for its music program. He wrote and played, trying to make his mark.

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