Brad Paisley Recording With Don Henley, Alabama + More
Brad Paisley has recruited some famous friends to the recording studio this month, as he works on his eighth studio album, ‘This Is Country Music,’ due April 19.
As the country superstar has been laying down tracks on the new project, he’s found himself looking beyond the ever-blurring borders of his beloved genre. “I’m trying to do something brand-new, utilizing the influences who made me who I am as a country artist,” Brad tells Billboard. “Some of them, surprisingly, are not necessarily right within country music, but they’re more important to the modern incarnation than you might think. We’re supposed to have Don Henley on a track.”
Brad goes on to reveal that the Eagles‘ singer is slated to sing background vocals on a song titled ‘Love Her Like She’s Leaving.’ “It feels like something that either he would have written or the Eagles would have done,” he explains.
In addition to Don Henley and members of Alabama (who contribute to the song ‘Old Alabama’), Brad has also called in Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow and Carl Jackson to contribute harmonies to the gospel classic, ‘Life’s Railway to Heaven’ — the very first song Brad ever sang, at the tender age of nine.
Stretching even further to his Hollywood heroes, Brad has recruited Clint Eastwood to whistle on an instrumental track titled ‘Eastwood!’ “Watching on video as Clint Eastwood records his part on the new record,” Brad writes on his Twitter page, joking, “Seriously. I think he has potential, this kid. Or should I say punk.”
From tender songs like ‘Little Moments,’ to tongue-in-cheek tunes such as ‘Online’ and ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her,’ Brad has established himself over the course of his career as a country artist who’s pretty much impossible to predict.
“I’m really lucky to be at this spot where people see me as maybe you don’t know what to expect,” Brad tells the Evansville, Ind. Courier & Press. “I have license to do both ends of the spectrum now, and that’s a hard place to get.”
‘This Is Country Music,’ the lead single from Brad’s upcoming album, is currently racing up the Billboard chart. It is the song, Brad says, that sets the tone for the new project.
“The last album [2009’s ‘American Saturday Night’] was the opposite of preaching to the choir … it was asking the choir to sing outside their comfort zone,” Brad muses. “This album is preaching to the choir. This is taking the choir and saying, ‘Sing along with this.’ That’s what it says in the first song: ‘Turn it on/Turn it up/Sing along/This is real/This is your life in a song.’ “
Fans can pre-order Brad’s new album on his website to gain access to exclusive content, including video messages from the Brad and previews of his new music, before it is officially released on April 19.
Last week, Brad posted a picture of the track mixes in the studio on Twitter, writing, “Here’s a song off the new record. Don’t know how it sounds but it LOOKS fantastic!”