Garrison Keillor Bringing Back ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ For One Night

Courtesy: e2 PR

Garrison Keillor is set to resurrect A Prairie Home Companion at least for one night this spring.

Keillor is scheduled to host “A Prairie Home Companion American Revival” May 2 at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The one-night event is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and will feature performances by Brad Paisley, Heather Masse, Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio, and Ellie Dehn. Additionally, Keillor’s longtime APHC cast members, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and Fred Newman will be on hand along with Richard Dworsky and the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band.

“We’ve heard enough about despair,” Keillor said.  “Let’s take a night in the Colorado mountains to have a big time with Brad Paisley, Elvin Bishop, Ellie Dehn, the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, our Actors, Heather Masse, and the host Himself who is very happy to be turning 80. So let’s get our chins up and sing about the beauty of the land and the rainbow our people were looking for, the rivers they crossed, their high hopes for their kids.”

In other news, Keillor is scheduled to release his latest novel, Boom Town April 11. The story takes fans of Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion back to the Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon once more. In this story, the town is seeing an economic boom thanks to millenials who are investing in the town.

Garrison Keillor stepped down as the host of A Prairie Home Companion in June 2016. His home network, Minnesota Public Radio, fired him in November 2019 following allegations of improper behavior in the workplace. Keillor openly explained the allegation, stating he was trying to console a female co-worker.

He said he had put his hand on her back to console her, and the back of her shirt was open. He apologized when the woman reacted and she later accepted his apology until her lawyer contacted him. He did not say when the alleged incident happened. Keillor was one of many well-known male figures that year and in 2016 who were victims of the MeToo movement, which went after every male star in America.

Following Keillor’s retirement in 2016 and firing in 2017, A Prairie Home Companion was re-named Live From Here. The largely music-based program was hosted by Keillor’s hand-picked successor, Chris Thile, mandolin player of neo-folk/bluegrass band Nickel Creek.

More information on Garrison Keillor’s upcoming A Prairie Home Companion event is available along with all of his latest news at:




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Stapleton’s Room is The Envy Of All On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk Albums List

Courtesy: Mercury Nashville

Country music, Americana, Bluegrass and Folk are some of the most closely related sounds out there today.  They are so closely related that it is easier to find acts from the noted genres on one radio station oftentimes than bands in the worlds of rock and metal.  It seems that there are much more finely defined lines in those two worlds even with their similarities.  Considering that the noted genres tend to be so close to one another, it is easier to group them all together in one list for the purpose of the year’s best new albums.  That having been noted, this critic’s list of the year’s top new albums from those realms is spread widely across each one.  Topping this year’s list of the best new country/bluegrass/Americana/Folk albums is Chris Stapleton’s latest offering, From A RoomVolume 2.  From start to finish, this record takes listeners back to the good old days of country while also touching on southern rock and even some blues.  That’s just the musical aspect of his latest album.  The lyrical content works expertly with each arrangement.  If you are a country, blues and southern rock fan but haven’t yet picked up this record, get it.  Period.  Also on this year’s list are new releases from North Carolina-based outfit Mipso, David Messier, Zakk Brown Band and others.  It runs the gamut.

As with every other list, this list features the year’s Top 10 new albums plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is the Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk Albums.


  1. Chris Stapleton — From A RoomVol.  2
  2. Andrew Carter — Andrew Carter
  3. Josh Turrner — Deep South
  4. Brad Paisley — Love and War
  5. David Messier — Waiting For Eldridge
  6. Hank, Pattie & The Current — Hold Your Head Up High
  7. The Infamous Stringdusters — Laws of Gravity
  8. Mipso — Coming Down The Mountain
  9. Mike Mangione & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  10. Outlaws & Moonshine — The Devil In The Moonshine
  11. Buzz Cason — Passion
  12. Luke Combs — This One’s For You
  13. Darius Rucker — When Was The Last Time
  14. Zac Brown Band — Welcome Home
  15. Toby Keith — The Bus Songs

While the list above is this critic’s own list of the year’s top new records from the country/bluegrass/Americana/Folk realm.  There were certainly more albums than what’s listed here that deserve at least one listen including Lady Antebellum’s latest album Heartbreak, Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country, Rascal Flatts’ This Is Us and so many others.  Keeping that in mind, there is plenty out there for fans of every noted genre within that universe.

Next up from Phil’s Picks are lots more lists to try to get to before the year lets out.  Lots to do and not enough time, so we’re going to step things up from here.  There are new Children’s albums, rock records, hard rock/metal, live recordings, and the DVD realm.  So there will likely be multiple lists from this point forward.  Stay tuned!

Brad Paisley Offering Audiences An Early Christmas Present Next Friday

Courtesy: MVD Visual/City Drive Films

Courtesy: MVD Visual/City Drive Films

Country music superstar Brad Paisley has a new live recording on the way.

Life Amplified World Tour: Live at WVU will be released next Friday, Dec. 24.  It will be released in stores and online both on DVD and DVD/CD combo pack via MVD Visual and City Drive Films.

The concert’s release marks the first time in a decade that Paisley has put out a live recording. It was captured by 20 cameras in front of a hometown crowd of thousands at West Virginia University.  That crowd included the Mountaineers’ mascot and members of the university’s cheer squad.

Paisley’s 2-hour, 20-song performance features some of Paisley’s biggest hits including: ‘Miud on the Tires,’ ‘Then,’ and even a touching rendition of John Denver’s hit song ‘Take Me Home Country Road’ among so many others.  Paisley was joined on-stage by special guest Chris Young at different points throughout the concert, too. The concert’s full set list is noted below.

  • Crushin’ It
  • American Saturday Night
  • Water
  • Online
  • Perfect Storm
  • Letter to Me
  • This is Country Music
  • I’m Still a Guy (featuring Chris Young)
  • She’s Everything
  • Ticks
  • Country Nation
  • Old Alabama
  • Then
  • Beat This Summer
  • I’m Gonna Miss Her
  • River Bank
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads
  • Southern Comfort Zone
  • Mud on the Tires
  • Alcohol

Audiences can view a trailer for Paisley’s new recording online now here.  For those not lucky enough to get their hands on the concert, PBS will air the concert January 27 from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. EST nationwide.

Audiences can order the concert both on CD and DVD/CD combo pack via the MVD Shop and via Amazon.  More information on Life Amplified World Tour: Live from WVU is available online now along with all of Brad Paisley’s latest news and more at:










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Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me Is A Moving Tribute To One Of Music’s Greats

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Four years ago country music legend Glen Campbell made one of the most difficult announcements of his career if not the single most difficult. The announcement in question was that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Those that know someone with Alzheimer’s or that have known someone with Alzheimer’s know the emotional pain that comes with such an announcement. Knowing that there is no cure for the disease, Campbell decided that he would not go quietly into that good night. Rather, he wanted to go out with a bang before the disease took control of his mind. He went on from there to release one final album and embark on a farewell tour to thank his fans for their years of support. Now thanks to Virgil Films Campbell’s fans can relive that final tour and everything that came with it in the form of the tour documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. The main reason that this is such a standout documentary is that it isn’t presented like every other tour documentary out there. Rather it is presented more as a tribute to the life and legacy of one of the music industry’s titans. That is just one reason that audiences will find it so compelling. The interviews with Campbell’s counterparts throughout the entertainment industry make the documentary even more intriguing. It isn’t just because his counterparts come from so many different realms of the industry either. The surprising reveal of each celebrity interviewee’s link to Campbell makes the program in whole even more powerful. The final reason that viewers and fans alike will find this presentation so touching and powerful is its editing. The editing is spotless from beginning to end, making for an emotional impact that will move even the strongest person emotionally speaking. It is thanks to the work of those that edited the documentary and prepared it for its release that the interviews and collective footage presented here is so powerful. It brings everything full circle and proves famed Chicago Sun Times writer/critic Richard Roeper completely right in his sentiment that Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is “one of the most remarkable documentaries in recent years” and that “You do not want to miss this movie.”

Every year, there is any number of new music documentaries distributed to stores and online outlets for viewers to choose from. The problem is that most of those documentaries are little more than space fillers used as to hold fans and fulfill contractual obligations with record labels. Luckily though, for all of those poorly put together pieces, there are the occasional diamonds in the rough that manage to somehow shine through. Virgil Films’ new documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is one of those diamonds in the rough. This presentation is not just another run of the mill tour documentary. It is a tour documentary. But it is more than that. It is a tribute to the life and legacy of one of the music industry’s titans. That is the central reason for its success. While it does follow Campbell on his final nationwide tour, it offers audiences more than just a presentation following Campbell on said tour. It also follows Campbell off of the road. Viewers get to follow Campbell and his wife as they check in with the doctor to find out how much the disease has progressed. They also get to follow Campbell as he tries to face the reality of his diagnosis within his daily life. What audiences get here is the picture of a brave man; a man who refuses to just give up and give in. Rather, as viewers will see, he chooses to face it head on with a smile and all of the laughs and love that he can give. This includes some of the most difficult times as the disease progresses. The end result of the presentation will have viewers (including even the strongest viewers) both laughing and crying throughout. By the program’s end, viewers will agree that Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is not just another tour documentary. It is a powerful, moving tribute to a legend that will potentially inspire others with family and friends suffering from that terrible disease.

The overall presentation of Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me makes the documentary stand out head and shoulders above every other music documentary that has been released so far this year. That is because it isn’t just a run of the mill tour documentary churned out to satisfy some label’s contractual obligations. It is a tribute to the life and legacy of a great talent. It’s just one reason that this presentation is such a memorable and moving work. The interviews with Campbell’s family, friends, and counterparts across the entertainment industry make the documentary even more powerful. The interviews in question are with Campbell’s family, friends, and counterparts throughout the entertainment industry. Those counterparts include well-known figures from the country music world such as Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban as well as some of the rock world’s biggest names including: Bruce Springsteen, Chad Smith, and The Edge among others. Even former President Bill Clinton gets some face time along with famed actor/comedian Steve Martin and other well-known figures from the realms of television and movies. The list of people interviewed throughout the program is within itself plenty of reason to watch the documentary. But it is what the interviewees have to say of Campbell that makes each individual’s discussion so important to the whole of the documentary. Every one of the feature’s interviewees speaks with such reverence for him. They also speak with an increasingly noticeable emotion. The reason for that emotion is revealed in the program’s final minutes. Not to ruin it for anyone but it is revealed that the individuals interviewed for the documentary each had a connection to somebody that was either suffering from Alzheimer’s or that had suffered. So it makes sense that they would each get somewhat choked up in discussing the topic as it related to Campbell. It just brought up memories of their own friends and families. It is that heartfelt emotion displayed by each of the interviewees that really makes each separate segment so powerful. In turn, each of the segments combined makes the presentation in whole that much more moving for viewers.

The interviews collected for Virgil Films’ new Glen Campbell documentary are extremely moving to say the very least. They are so moving not because they feature some of the biggest names from the entertainment world and that of politics, but because of the heartfelt sentiment shared by each individual in discussion what Glen Campbell means to them and how his condition relates to them personally. They, along with everything else presented in this documentary, paint a picture that every person should see regardless of their familiarity with Glen Campbell the man and the musician. Of course without the work of those charged with editing and assembling the presentation ahead of its release, none of that would matter. It is the work of those individuals that rounds out the reasons that audiences will so appreciate this work. Their efforts present Campbell as a strong yet still fragile individual. The footage of Campbell in his childhood set against that of him as an adult, raising his family adds even more of an emotional impact to the overall presentation. Seeing Campbell slowly begin to struggle through his tour yet still fight through it and put on the best show that he can ups that emotional impact even more. Add in the expert balance of each element from beginning to end and viewers will find themselves not wanting to turn off the movie. Like a really good book or any other really good movie, the work of the editors makes this presentation’s near two-hour run time pass by with ease. Viewers won’t realize at all just how much time has passed by the time the movie has ended. They will also find themselves moved possibly deeper than they ever had by any fictional feature released in recent memory. In coming to such realization, audiences will agree that those charged with editing this documentary have succeeded to the highest degree in their jobs and have in turn helped craft what is one of the best music documentaries to be released in many years; a documentary that every viewer should see regardless of their familiarity with Campbell’s body of work.

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is one of the best music/tour documentaries to be released in recent memory. The work of the movie’s editors coupled with its interviews and the overall approach to the presentation make it a presentation that every viewer should see regardless of their familiarity with Campbell’s body of work. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Virgil Films’ online store at More information on this and other titles from Virgil Films is available online now at:



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Brad Paisley To Serve As Guest Picker On ESPN’s CGD Broadcast This Week

College GameDay Logo

Courtesy: ESPN

Country music superstar Brad Paisley is set to appear on ESPN’s College GameDay this weekend.

Paisley will be a guest picker on this Saturday’s broadcast of College GameDay presented by Home Depot when host Chris Fowler and the rest of the CGD crew rolls into Morgantown, West Virginia on the campus of West Virginia University. Chris Fowler will anchor Saturday’s live broadcast of the Emmy Award-winning show. He will be joined by analysts Lee Corso , Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard at the desk. The group will offer more picks and insight for this weekend’s slate of college football matchups. The show will broadcast live from the patio of the Mountainlair Student Union on the campus of WVU. Saturday’s broadcast marks only the second time that ESPN’s College GameDay presented by Home Depot has been broadcast live from WVU. The Mountaineers’ matchup against the Horned Frogs of TCU will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30pm ET.

Brad Paisley Promo Pic

Photo Credit: Jim Shea

In regards to the announcement of Paisley’s appearance, ESPN coordinating producer Lee Fitting discussed the network’s excitement at having Paisley, who is himself from West Virginia, appear live ahead of WVU’s matchup later Saturday afternoon. Anytime we can get a star of Brad Paisley’s stature on the show it is a huge win,” said Fitting. “On top of that, Brad is a West Virginia native and huge Mountaineers fan. GameDay’s been on a great run this season with celebrity guest pickers and Saturday morning in Morgantown with Brad on our set should be very entertaining.” Paisley released his latest full-length studio album Moonshine in the Trunk on August 25th.

More information on this weekend’s edition of ESPN’s College GameDay is available online at:




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Fogerty’s New LP Is An Album For Everyone

Courtesy:  Vanguard Records

Courtesy: Vanguard Records

John Fogerty’s first full length studio release in over six years isn’t exactly a new album.  But it is still a fun collection of songs, nonetheless.  Wrote a Song For Everyone takes fourteen of Fogerty’s most famous and beloved songs and updates them for a new generation.  It goes without saying that the classics collected for this compilation didn’t necessarily need an update.  But the updates do admittedly give listeners a new take on the classics.  It’s actually a good thing.  And that will be discussed later.  The song selection itself is just part of what makes this collection of classics a hit in and of itself.  Fogerty was joined by some of the biggest names in the music industry in re-recording the songs for this work.  And some of the names included on the “guest list” might surprise some listeners.  That’s one more reason for fans to pick up this record.  The compilation’s bonus booklet is the extra spice that makes Wrote a Song For Everyone quite the musical dish.  The bonus booklet includes a back story on each of the songs included on the record.  Together with the guest appearances and the song choices themselves, it all combines to make this compilation one that music lovers of ages will love no less with each listen.

The songs collected for Wrote a Song For Everyone are some of John Fogerty’s best known and beloved songs.  The natural reaction to these songs by those more familiar with them is to question if they really needed an update.  The end result after having listened through the compilation is one of pleasant surprise.  Listeners that are more familiar with the original songs will agree that needed or not, these updates are fun new takes on Fogerty’s classics.  It all starts with an update of what is perhaps his most beloved songs, ‘Fortunate Son.’  Fogerty is joined by Dave Grohl and his band mates in Foo Fighters on this update, with Fogerty and Grohl sharing vocal duties on the song.  It’s a great way to open the compilation because it largely sticks to Fogerty’s original song.  At the same time, it gives the song new life because it amps up the song and keeps it fresh for a whole new generation that can relate to it just as easily as that generation that originally related to it.  Fogerty is joined later by Zac Brown Band on the update of another of his hits in ‘Bad Moon Rising.’  The band’s update on this song is just as fun as Fogerty’s original take on the song.  Unlike the update of ‘Fortunate Son’, the update of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ doesn’t stick strictly to the original song.  That aside, it’s still a pretty interesting take on the song.  Brown and his band mates put their own signature semi-tropical spin on the song.  There’s even a little guitar solo added to the song on this take.  It’s another of the compilation’s pieces that fans of the original song will enjoy just as much as younger listeners.  Fogerty’s new take on ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is one of the most interesting on this new release.  He is joined by fellow veteran rocker Bob Seeger on the song.  The pair took the original mid-tempo country-rock piece and gave it more of a pure country vibe.  It comes across as being more reserved on this take than on the original.  That’s not a bad thing, either.  It is just a new and equally enjoyable take on the song.  It’s just one of many more songs from this compilation from which listeners have to choose as their favorite.  Also included on this record are updates of ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’, ‘Born on the Bayou’, and ‘Hot Rod Heat’ just to name a few.  Again whether one is familiar with these songs or not, they all comprise a record that Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy.

Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy this compilation primarily because of the songs that comprise the record.  The songs themselves aren’t all that listeners will appreciate.  The record’s “guest list” is another of its selling points.  As already noted, Fogerty is joined by the likes of Zac Brown Band, Bob Seeger, and Foo Fighters on some of the record’s updates.  Also along for the ride are: Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), and Kid Rock.  Even former American Idol contestant and award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson makes an appearance among many others.  On the surface, one might look at the record’s “guest list” and shrug, asking why any of this is significant.  It’s significant in that it shows the influence that John Fogerty has had on both his fellow veteran musicians and even younger musicians.  It’s an example of actions speaking louder than words.  And it’s a statement that speaks very loudly with this release.

The sequencing and “guest list” chosen for Wrote a Song For Everyone both are critical factors in the album’s success.  They both play important roles in the album’s overall presentation.  Just as important is the album’s bonus booklet.  The booklet included with the album is such an important addition to the overall presentation because it offers a back story to each song.  Those stories come from Fogerty’s own words, too.  Many audiences will be amazed to learn that ‘Fortunate Son’ was written as a result of his own time serving in the Army Reserve during Vietnam.  He writes in the song’s liner notes, that ‘Fortunate Son’ was the result of his person feelings about states using the term ‘Favorite Son’ for their politicians.  He explains in the liner notes that he took that term and changed it to “Fortunate Son” to reflect his negative thoughts on the original term.  Just as interesting to learn is that he felt so strongly about what was going on at the time and ended up writing the song in just twenty minutes.  This after he and the band had originally rehearsed the song without any lyrics at all.  His story behind ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is just as eye and ear opening as it is being read.  He explains how the song originally was the result of a famous movie titled The Devil and Daniel Webster.  He expands on this, explaining how the movie got him to thinking about the impact that music can have on people, and how that links back to the song.  His anecdote is one that will move any fan.  His somewhat cryptic explanation of ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is sure to get fans discussing, too.  He closes his explanation stating that the song is about “seeking the truth.”  He links this to his experience at the very first Woodstock festival.  Those that know the history of the original Woodstock will perhaps understand this better than anyone, especially if said individuals were actually there in person.  It’s just one more story that makes the album’s booklet more a bonus for fans than just a bunch of liner notes.  And together with everything already mentioned, it makes this record even more worth picking up whether for one’s own self or as a gift this holiday season.  It is available now in stores and online.

John Fogerty recently wrapped up a massive tour in support of his new album.  Fans can check in for more tour dates and news from John Fogerty online at and  Fans can also get his album online via either site.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Wheelhouse Is A Hit From Start To Finish

Courtesy:  Sony Music Entertainment

Courtesy: Sony Music Entertainment

Country artist Brad Paisley’s new album, Wheelhouse is unlike many of the records that he is released over the course of his career.  This latest release from the pop country guitarist and singer is entertaining from start to finish.  The closes comparison that can be made is perhaps to the likes of his 2008 album, Play.  Audiences will enjoy Wheelhouse whether in its standard edition, extended deluxe edition or even its special Cracker Barrel Edition.  Musically, it is a catchy record that is front loaded with fun, poppy country songs that are instantly radio ready.  Lyrically, they definitely don’t entirely fit the mold of the songs that make up country’s rich history.  They range in content from songs of lost love, to more whimsical musings of relationships, to a much deeper social issue in his duet with rapper LL Cool J.  “Uncle L’ isn’t the only star that guests on Paisley’s new album.  Veteran Charlie Daniels also makes an appearance along with Mat Kearney and others.  That Paisley can pull big names to help him, and run the gamut both musically and lyrically shows just how talented he is, and obviously how respected he is by his peers and fans.  In the end, it shows that this is undoubtedly one of 2013’s top country albums.

The musical and lyrical variety that makes up Wheelhouse is impressive to say the least.  It is the heart of what makes the album so impressive.  There are those that have had some rather negative things to say about the state of country music today.  True, much of today’s country music has gone pop.  But is that such a bad thing?  Wheelhouse is proof that sometimes it’s a good thing to get away from the old school country-western themes of lovelorn figures and drinking one’s woes away.  ‘Death of a Single Man’ is proof of that.  Paisley’s male audiences will find themselves laughing and agreeing with him as he sings about a man who metaphorically speaking, died, the day that he got married.  One could almost see this song being made into a music video, if it hasn’t already been made into one.  Paisley sings playfully in this song, “Remember when/We got the news/Confirming our worst fears/I said he wouldn’t make it six months/Others gave him a year/And sure enough/Last Saturday/We paid our last respects/He left us here/Still in this life/He’s gone on to/The next/I’ve never seen/Him wear a tie/He looked so natural/Almost like life/The  preacher spoke/His mother cried/When he said/Son, you may now kiss the bride/Everyone cheered/I thought how odd/I didn’t understand/Why would champagne and cake/Be celebrating/The death of a single man?”  The way that he plays on a funeral and ties in the bluesy guitar part makes the song that much more funny for listeners.  The fun doesn’t end with this verse, either.  It gets even better.  But that’s something that listeners will have to discover for themselves when they pick up Wheelhouse.

‘Death of a Single Man’ is just one of the funnier moments that fill Wheelhouse.  There are plenty of other funny moments peppered throughout the record.  By comparison, there are also more emotional moments to contrast the likes of ‘Death of a Single Man.’ A prime example of that contrast is the song, ‘Tin Can on a String.’  It’s no coincidence that this song precedes ‘Death of a Single Man.’  It shows the exact opposite side of the relationship game.  Instead of being whimsical song about the end of bachelorhood, ‘Tin Can on a String’ sees a young man lamenting having let go the woman that he loved long ago, and watching her go off and get married to another man.  The problem is that he can’t seem to let go, thus comparing himself to a ‘Tin Can on a String’ behind the happy couple’s car as they drive away.  Just as the more bluesy vibe of ‘Death of a Single Man’ is a perfect complement to that song, so is the more introspective sound of this song.

Paisley has shown two completely opposite sides of one coin quickly and easily in the two aforementioned songs.  They are a good yin and yang.  And they get the standard musical country fare out of the way, thus clearing the way for what is one of the most interesting songs on the album in ‘Accidental Racist.’  Not many country music artists can say openly that they tackle the issue of race relations in their albums.  Even fewer can say that they have tackled the subject and been joined by a rapper to tackle the subject.  Paisley is joined by rapper LL Cool J on this gentle yet hard hitting song about stereotypes faced both by southern white males and African Americans even today.  It shows the ugly truth that as much as Americans would love to deny it, race relations is still very much a hot button issue in the twenty-first century.  The issue is raised largely through the subject of what the two men wear.  Paisley sings about a man wearing a shirt with a confederate flag on it.  LL Cool J raps about a man wearing sagging jeans.  Both focus on the view that people have on their subject because of what they wear, and how deep the issue goes.  It’s buried deep in the album’s sequencing.  But the very fact that Paisley would once again tackle such a hot button social issue in a genre that would rather stay as far from it as possible makes him and his new album that much more worthy of respect.

Whether for its deep social commentary or the counterpoint of its songs of love gained and lost, or other songs, Wheelhouse offers every audience something enjoyable.  Whether it marks the first time that one is being exposed to Paisley’s music or one is far more familiar with his songs, this is a song that any listener will enjoy for one reason or another.  It is available now in stores and online.  Audiences can download Wheelhouse on iTunes via Paisley’s official Facebook page,  Brad’s Canadian fans will get to see him live this Thursday night when he performs live at the South Okanagan Events Center in Penticton, British Columbia.  A full slate of tour dates is available on Brad Paisley’s Facebook page as well as his official website, and on Twitter at

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