Lady A tells the backstory
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
– The story of Lady Antebellum will reach TV screens with the premiere of "Backstory" Lady Antebellum" on Great American Country (GAC), Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. eastern.
"We were really intimidated, I was like, 'Let's just write songs for her, she's gonna be a big 'ol star and we can be, maybe, big 'ol songwriters for this girl,'" recalls Lady Antbellum's Dave Haywood about the way he and band mate Charles Kelley felt after meeting Hillary Scott in 2006 and checking out her MySpace page.
"Backstory: Lady Antebellum" tells the story of two friends from Georgia and a chance meeting with a second generation country singer, their rise to music superstardom while remaining the band everyone loves to love. Childhood photos and performance videos as well as conversations with the trio's parents help tell the story of this remarkable trio.
While Scott grew up in Nashville, Kelley graduated with a finance degree from the University of Georgia and quit his first day job to move to Nashville and pursue music. Haywood earned a degree in computers from Georgia and took a well-paying accounting job in Atlanta. They had written together once in college so Kelley contacted Haywood and was soon driving to Atlanta every other weekend to co-write. "His brother (singer Josh Kelley) was a big influence on us so I figured maybe we could write songs for Josh or maybe for other country artists," Haywood said. Eventually Haywood quit his job and moved to Nashville hoping Kelley's solo career would take off. Their mantra was 'no day jobs' as they focused all of their time and energy on songwriting, maxing out credit cards in the process.
Meanwhile, Scott was also pursuing a solo career and ran into Kelley in a Nashville club; she was a fan of his work on his MySpace page, and they agreed to get together to write. The chemistry was immediate. "There was this intangible magic that happened when the three of us got in a room together," said Scott.
The plan was to simply write songs for each other's solo projects but things changed. "While doing music demos we found out how well our voices blend together," she said.
After several months they'd written enough songs to do a showcase and as Haywood said, "That show was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as us deciding to make it a group."
They abandoned their solo pursuits, and Haywood became booking agent and web master for the group. "We'd agree to play any place that would offer a stage and a microphone," Scott said. "We had to share a hotel room, and Dave and I were sleeping in the same bed in a Comfort Inn in whatever town we were in." Scott's mom, singer Linda Davis, said, "I'd have probably pitched in for separate quarters but nobody asked me so we just let that run its course. And they managed to put up with each other."
Soon they performed at an industry showcase and within days, they had multiple record deals on the table. Signing with Capitol Records, success came quick. While the group claimed the best new artist prize in 2008 from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music and their first number single - I Run To You - was also the CMA Song of the Year in 2009, it was the release of Need You Now that changed everything. "Literally, in less than two hours, we just knocked it out," Scott said of the songwriting session with the trio and Josh Kear.
The song sat dormant for six months and almost didn't make the record. "I truly believe the stars were aligned and fate stepped in and it was part of God's plan for us to be there right then," Scott said of the song that helped Lady A earn 5 Grammy awards including the all-genre Song and Record of the Year prizes.
"We're trying to just enjoy these moments and that's kind of the theme of our new album, "Own the Night" (Sept. 13)," said Haywood. "We have grown closer and at this point in our career are enjoying ourselves and each other more than ever."
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CD reviews for Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum may cause you to throw out many of your country music principles. They don't sing and play traditional country music, for starters. They're not cool like more rocking Americana artists. In fact, they're huge mainstream country stars. So, why are some of us still suckers for their sound? And why does the new "Heart Break" sound so good on the ears? Well, it's simple, but complicated.
Hillary Scott is simply a wonderfully sincere singer. »»»
Six albums into its career, Lady Antebellum pretty much has the formula down pat. Either Hillary Scott or long and lanky Charles Kelley assumes lead vocals with Dave Haywood also providing vocals plus guitars and mandolin in a bunch of songs easy on the ears with a story often involving a lust for love.
The typical song ("Lie With Me," for example) starts with Kelly or Scott taking a stanza, followed by the other with both then tackling the chorus together. This has worked quite well »»»
Lady Antebellum probably needed a change in direction after "Own the Night" dropped in 2011. The material was overly geared towards taking dead aim at the radio jugular and not the best material. That isn't the case this time out on the trio's fifth release because most of the songs veer away from being obviously radio fodder (except for the current singleDowntown with its soulful beginning and strong vocals from Hillary Scott), but that also doesn't man that this was the right change. »»»
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