Darius Rucker has done a lot of things in his nearly 30-year career as a rock and country star. But on Wednesday night (June 5) he will check off one of the missing items on his bucket list: playing the CMT Music Awards.
The hitmaker has been going through the paces this week in preparation for his CMT performance debut. When we caught up with him after a rehearsal on Monday, he had plenty of reasons to be pumped up for the broadcast.
“This is my first time. I’m really excited about it,” said Rucker of playing on the show, which airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CMT.
“This is the only time Lady A and I have ever played it together since we recorded it,” he added of his No. 1 collaboration with Lady Antebellum on a cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” “I’m excited to sing with them, I’m excited to be on an awards show. CMT Awards, everybody’s watching it, and it’s really cool to get invited to come play.”
Though they performed the song one time at a recent festival date to work out the live arrangement for the CMT Music Awards, Rucker said he couldn’t imagine playing the song without Lady A.
“They really made the record for me,” he said. “I liked it a lot before they got on it, but when they got on it, I really fell in love with it. … It’s an honor. They’re the biggest band in the world.”
A Grammy Award-winning, hit-making machine, Lady Antebellum is moving full-speed ahead to deliver its next record before singer Hillary Scott delivers her first baby. But no matter how long they stay on track, this Nashville trio will avoid covering the same ground.
The country group known for lush harmonies and multi-platinum ballads such as “Need You Now” is going back to the basics with its fourth studio album, Golden, which will be released May 7 on Capitol Nashville.
Some details still need to be finalized, but Charles Kelley, the lanky lead male singer and band co-founder with Scott (who is due to give birth in July) and Dave Haywood, said there will be 11 or 12 songs. Among them is the title track the three wrote with friend and label-mate Eric Pasley over a bottle a wine in a cozy library room at Kelley’s house.
“It’s actually the last song we wrote for the record,” Kelley said over the phone Saturday from San Antonio, where the band was looking forward to playing for the fifth year on a revolving stage before a rodeo crowd of about 30,000.
“And we just thought the title represented the record as a whole and kind of where we are as a band,” Kelley added. “This nice little sweet spot as a band, and kind of getting, honestly, back to how we started with the songwriting together — the three of us in a room.”
So while several aspects of the record-making process remain the same (Paul Worley once again produced with Lady Antebellum at the Warner/Chappell studios where they made the three previous albums), Kelley said they didn’t want to repeat themselves musically this time around.
Expect a more uptempo, “roll-down-your-window type of record” that’s kind of a throwback which, Kelley promised, is “a little more organic and less polished.”
He said the group consciously decided to take the next logical step forward by, oddly enough, going in the opposite direction. This return to their roots will include material that was influenced by Crosby, Stills and Nash, ’70s bands and Southern rock anthems. So maybe for the first time on a Lady Antebellum record, no orchestral strings will be heard.
With “Downtown” burning up the charts, fans are anxious to learn more about what Lady Antebellum’s forthcoming fourth album might sound like. Charles Kelley tells Country Weekly the best words to describe the project are “organic” and “raw.”
“I don’t think we put any string sections on any song, which we had a lot of on the last two records. We just wanted to get back to our first record a little bit,” he says, citing the trio’s 2008 debut.
And while fans won’t be shouting “’Free Bird’!” at Lady A shows anytime soon, Charles reveals that some Southern rock has crept into the studio. “There is a lot of Southern rock influences on the other songs,” he says, comparing the twin lead guitars of “Downtown” to the Allman Brothers. “It feels very Allman Brothers meets Sheryl Crow. It’s something that we knew would be fun live.”
Charles is thrilled for fans to hear what else he and bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood have come up with.
Lady Antebellum sat down with Robin Meade, they talked their upcoming European Tour, ping-pong, and more! An older video of them giving a salute to the troops was also posted. Check out the interview below!
I’ve added scans from People Magazine’s country issue. This issue featured an article on Hillary’s wedding, and annoucement on Dave’s engagement and other odds and ends. Be sure to check out the scans if you weren’t able to pick up your copy!
– Magazines & Publications > 2012 > People (Country Special) – April 29, 2012 (x006)
Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood.
“We will be married this year,” Haywood told PEOPLE before performing at the Oreo Cookies 100th birthday celebration in Los Angeles last week. What’s more, he adds: “I enjoy the wedding planning and setting up where everything is going to be.”
Haywood, 29, popped the question to girlfriend Kelli Cashiola, 29, a VP of Marketing/Brand Management for Warner Music Nashville, this past December with an elaborate winter-wonderland proposal.
Haywood will be the third and final member of Lady Antebellum to tie the knot, closely following band mate Hillary Scott’s surprise January wedding to the band’s drummer Chris Tyrrell.
“[Dave and I] were having a conversation the other day about learning that you have someone to lean on and you can divvy up responsibilities,” said band mate Charles Kelley, who married longtime girlfriend Cassie McConnell in 2009.
“I think being in the band really helped prepare all of us for [marriage] because we all have roles that we fall in to naturally,” Scott added.
But just because his fellow Lady Antebellum members have more marital experience does not mean Haywood is going to blindly follow their leads.
Joked the groom-to-be: “I’m not taking their advice.”
In this interview, Hillary chats about Charles, Dave, and new husband Chris. She talks about where she keeps all those Grammy’s and how the group makes important decisions without bumping heads. Be sure to check out this interview!
It was a quarter after 3, and I needed Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott to call me now.
But this was her day off, and, the newlywed got tied up running errands in Nashville before her bestselling country-pop trio returns to the road for a month, including a concert Sunday at Target Center. Still, Scott, 25, squeezed in time for a phone conversation about her new husband, her bandmates and all their Grammys.
Q Lady A won five Grammys in 2011 [including song and record of the year for "Need You Now"] and one this year, for best country album. Compare those experiences.
A Last year, we were shocked beyond belief. Our lives and careers changed forever because of that. This year, we were so excited to be invited and to have that nomination, but we didn’t expect to win. We thought Taylor [Swift] or Jason Aldean, for sure. When they called our name, those surprised looks on our faces were 100 percent true.
Q Where do you keep your Grammys?
A I have mine in the upstairs bedroom that is going to turn into a writing room. I also have one on a shelf downstairs.
Q Did winning all those Grammys help or hurt when it came to creating the new album “Own the Night”?
A It definitely added pressure, but it also added an excitement and another level of confidence. It really lit a fire under us. I think the pressure came in when we picked the first single.
Q That single, “Just a Kiss,” ended up No. 1 on the country charts. What is it like to sing it every night with Charles Kelley, knowing your husband [Chris Tyrrell] is sitting behind you on the drum kit?
A Honestly, I don’t ever really think about it. We’re acting. I look at Charles like the big brother I never had.
Hillary sat down with Charles and Dave with the Associated Press and revealed some wedding details, including that her colors are green and purple! She also gets some advice from Charles who jokes she should get married onstage! Check out the video below!