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Brad Paisley’s ‘Southern Comfort Zone’ Stays Down on the Farm

Arista

Brad Paisley wanted to get out of his own comfort zone while recording his latest single, “Southern Comfort Zone,” so he made some pretty radical changes to shake things up. He basically tore down the whole recording process and started from scratch, leaving his longtime producer Frank Rogers so that he could produce the project on his own.

Relinquishing the Nashville studio system altogether on this album, Brad instead built his own recording studio on his farm. He also abandoned ProTools and other studio trickery usually used to enhance recordings. A special sign was hung outside the door to remind him how immediate and special the recording process should really be if you want to create sonic magic. It read: “This place on earth, this moment in time, has never been recorded before and will never happen again.”

“It was the scariest moment of my recording career, because we were really doing it without a net,” Brad tells Billboard. “I felt like as an artist it was time for me to challenge myself, for better or worse. At some point, you’ve got to go outside, ironically, your comfort zone to do that.”

Brad likes the sentiment of the title track and debut single from the CD, “Southern Comfort Zone,” and is excited that the whole album is a bit of a departure for him at this stage of his career. “”It’s an open-your-mind kind of song,” he says. “That, to me, feels more risky, like there’s more reward for having written it as an artist. I like sonic messes. [laughs] This whole record is basically that.”

The single features some help from a few extra singers — 120, in fact. Brad enlisted a Baptist choir to give the tune a little extra oomph. Because he remained a bit sequestered during the recording process this go-round, the country superstar says he was a bit anxious about the song until he heard the final version.

“This has been such a wonderful and painful process to me to make this,” he notes. “But other than to record the choir, it never left my farm until I heard it on that radio.”

The new CD is set for release April 9, and Brad will likely perform the disc’s first single at some point during his CMA Awards show co-hosting gig with Carrie Underwood. The 46th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville, Nov. 1 on ABC.

Brad Paisley, ‘Southern Comfort Zone’ Behind-the-Scenes
Watch Brad Paisley’s ‘Opening Act’

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