Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brad Paisley Flexes His Clout

When you're at your peak in Country or any other genre you can persuade your record company to let you do anything. Country's Brad Paisley does this with Play, 11 of 16 songs are instrumentals, because Arista told him they wanted some vocal stuff to market. But what Paisley does here isn't new as far as marketing. Merle Haggard in the early 70's did concept albums about Bob Wills and Jimmie Rodgers. Willie Nelson did one on Lefty Frizzell. Loretta Lynn did a gospel album. All of these were done in their peak years, when they had the clout.
Paisley's album is good, though. He shows his guitar influences well: Don Rich, Chet Atkins, Mark Knopfler, James Burton and yes, even Eddie Van Halen. It's true, instrumentals blunt Paisley's best asset which is his humor. But he gets by that with a surf instrumental and a hair metal romp.
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