My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Kimberly Williams

Album Review: Brad Paisley – ‘Time Well Wasted’

Following a successful tour with Terri Clark and Reba McEntire in 2005, Brad Paisley released his fourth album, Time Well Wasted, which in addition to producing three more #1 hit singles, was named Album of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music in 2006. It follows the same winning formula of combining traditional country music and comedy that made Mud On The Tires a commercial success. It also features some marquis name guest artists such as Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens. Like its predecessors, Time Well Wasted was produced by Fred Rogers, with Chris DuBois acting as executive producer.

The advance single was Brad’s own composition “Alcohol”. Once a staple at country radio, drinking songs have more or less fallen victim to the political correctness movement, and there was indeed a backlash against this party anthem for what critics claimed glamorized alcohol abuse. Most people, however, just viewed the song for what it was: a tongue-in-cheek party tune. The minor controversy did little to impede the record’s success on the charts. It reached #4 and also earned gold certification for digital sales exceeding 500,000 downloads.

Brad’s 2003 marriage to Kimberly Williams has been the apparent inspiration for a number of his songs that revolve around the theme of domestic bliss. There a few such offerings here, both humorous — “The World” — and serious — “Waitin’ On A Woman”, “She’s Everything”, and “Rainin’ You”. Both “The World” and “She’s Everything” reached #1, as did a re-recorded version of “Waitin’ On A Woman” when it was eventually released as part of Brad’s next two albums 5th Gear and the mostly instrumental Play. Brad’s vocal limitations are apparent on the album cut “Rainin’ You”, and to a lesser extent on “She’s Everything”, one of Paisley’s least traditional sounding singles to date. It was, however, the most successful single from the album, earning platinum certification for more than one million digital sales.

Even the happiest relationships have their rough patches, as we see in the tracks “I’ll Take You Back”, which is sort of an opposite-sex point of view version of Sara Evans’ “Cheatin'”, and the cleverly written “Flowers” in which Brad is an erring husband or boyfriend trying to make amends by repeatedly sending his wife or girlfriend roses, which are immediately trashed upon receipt, prompting the question:

” … How many flowers have to die
Before you give this love another try?
I’ve asked you to forgive me at least nine dozen times,
Tell me, how many flowers have to die?”

Paisley is joined by labelmate Alan Jackson for a rendition of Guy Clark and Darrell Scott’s “Out In The Parking Lot”, which finds the protagonists avoiding a cover charge at a club by drinking “Old Crow Whiskey and hot 7-Up” in their truck. The lyrics are a bit lightweight, but it’s a fun song and the two sound good together.

Dolly Parton joins Brad for the masterpiece “When I Get Where I’m Goin'”, the highlight of the album. The spiritually-themed song was released as the album’s second single. Perhaps they were seeking redemption following the release of “Alcohol”, but whatever the reason, the result was the finest single release of Brad’s career. It’s often labeled a duet, but technically it is not; Parton serves strictly in a secondary role proving harmony vocals, but because it was a credited performance, she gained some bragging rights when the record hit #1 in March 2006, making her the oldest female performer (at age 60) to ever top the Billboard country singles chart. Like its predecessor “Alcohol”, “When I Get Where I’m Going” earned gold certification.

The final musical track on the album is the title track, on which Brad once again sings about another one his passions — fishing. This is followed by the comedy sketch “Cornography” featuring Dolly Parton and The Kung Pao Buckeroos (Bill Anderson, George Jones, and Little Jimmy Dickens), in a follow-up to a similar sketch from Mud On The Tires. The sketch is followed by a number of hidden outtake tracks. These routines are mildly amusing but they do tend to wear thin with repeated listenings. Luckily they are placed at the end of the album where they can be easily skipped.

Brad is credited as a writer or co-writer on nine of the album’s fifteen music tracks. The wise decision to include some submissions from outside songwriters, makes Time Well Wasted a stronger collection than some of Brad’s other albums. It reached #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and sold in excess of two million copies. It remains my favorite album in the Paisley catalog.

Grade: A

Time Well Wasted
is readily available from online merchants such as Amazon and iTunes.

Spotlight Artist: Brad Paisley

A presence at the top of the country charts for more than a decade now, singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Brad Paisley has frequently been heralded as the savior of traditional country music. While that may be overstating the case a bit, there is no doubt that he has played a key role in keeping the traditional sound alive, having built a reputation for combining contemporary country elements with humor, while showing a deep and profound respect for country music’s past.

The Glendale, West Virginia native was born on October 28, 1972. His interest in country music was sparked at age eight when his grandfather gave him his first guitar. Shortly thereafter he began singing in church. He wrote his first song at age 12 and formed his first band when he was 13. When he was in junior high school, he was invited to perform on Jamboree USA, a Wheeling, West Virginia radio program that is the second oldest country music broadcast in the United States, after the Grand Ole Opry. He became a regular cast member, performing with superstars such as Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, and The Judds.

After high school, Brad attended West Liberty University in West Virginia for two years before transferring to Belmont University in Nashville on a fully-paid scholarship. While at Belmont, he met Frank Rogers, who would one day become his record producer, as well as Kelly Lovelace and Chris DuBois, who became his songwriting partners.

Paisley spent the first few years following his graduation from Belmont as a staff songwriter for EMI Music Publishing, before signing with Arista Nashville in 1998. From that point, success came quickly. His first single “Who Needs Pictures” was released in February 1999. Released at a time when country music was becoming more pop-oriented, the record struck a chord with audiences who yearned for more traditional-sounding music. “Who Needs Pictures” climbed to #12 on the charts, and the follow-up release “He Didn’t Have To Be” made it all the way to #1. In 2000 he won the CMA’s Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Male Vocalist award. He was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2001.

Brad married actress Kimberly Williams in 2003, following her appearance in one of his music videos. They are now the parents of two young sons and live in Franklinville, Tennessee.

In the almost dozen years since his debut, Paisley has racked up 27 charting singles, 15 of which have made it to #1, as well as seven studio albums, five of which have been certified platinum or better, and one that has been certified gold. A double-disc greatest hits package, containing both the studio recordings and previously unreleased live versions of his hits, will be released this week. We hope you’ll enjoy our look back at the accomplishments of this talented performer as we spotlight the career of Brad Paisley throughout the month of November.