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Brad Paisley brings famed talent, wit to Thunder Valley

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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Brad Paisley in concert

  • When: Aug. 3
  • Where: Thunder Valley Casino, Lincoln
  • Tickets: thundervalleyresort.com

He has sold over 11 million albums. He is country music’s funny guy and he’s coming to our region. Brad Paisley is bound for Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln for one night only on Friday, Aug. 3.

Paisley has earned three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards and two American Music awards. He has earned one of the industry’s most prestigious honors by becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has become the iconic co-host of the annual CMA Awards. Despite the many accolades, the 46-year-old continues to be one of the industry’s most approachable, witty and “guy next door” personalities.

For Paisley, his love of music came at a young age. Growing up in West Virginia, he was gifted his very first guitar when he was just 8 years old from his grandfather, Warren Jarvis.  Jarvis taught the young Paisley how to play the instrument, which he recalls was a Sears Danelectro Silvertone. Two years later, he began performing to the public, singing at his church each week.

“Pretty soon I was performing at every Christmas party and Mother’s Day event,” Paisley said. “The neat thing about a small town is that when you want to be an artist, they will make you one.”

As a kid, Paisley found himself performing at local school events, in front of the town Rotary clubs and more. Today, he performs before thousands and hasn’t forgotten his roots, including references to many of them in his music.

Today, Paisley is not only known for his dynamic performances and classy style in which he hosts country music’s highest profile awards show. He is known for his songwriting, something he admits is the stronger aspect of his music career. “As a guitar player, it’s harder for me to impress somebody performing than it is to write a song they like”,” he said. “You look out there and there’s people that their day is changed because of your contribution to it.”

Paisley’s latest album is titled “Love and War.”  The album was released in 2017 and it’s content headlines much of his live performances throughout his tour along with his greatest hits of the past. For Paisley, the newest album is a reflect of himself and the journey his music career has taken him on.

“This is an album for me that represents where I am at in my thinking in my life and my observations of the world we are living in. It’s also my attempt to sort of weave the usual way I make a record and collaborate way beyond my pay grade. Where I go and team up with some legends that I sort of have no business being in the same room with, let alone writing with. This record has been worthwhile for me. I feel like it is vintage me but also has the collaborations of a lifetime behind it.”

Throughout his career, Paisley has been known to interject key moments of his life from a child to an adult. These references are often common lifetime events that all of us experience between the day we are born to our final days.  From being raised by a single parent to references to the iconic Pac-Man game, the internet, teenage shenanigans in a small town right up to experiencing love, marriage and coping with loss of loved ones that is best expressed in “Whiskey Lullaby” and “When I get where I am going.”

Today, Paisley’s debut single is still a fan favorite. The song is titled, “He didn’t have to be,” and it’s the story of growing up as a child of a single mother and being accepted her new love interests, something that doesn’t always happen easily for kids. Although it’s now 19-years-old, it’s still popular on the radio and in live performances.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s been anywhere near that long,” he said.

Since 2013, Paisley has co-hosted the CMA Awards alongside Carrie Underwood. The duo has nearly made a full-time job out of the honor and they are both known for hosting the shows with class, with and respect, even in the many jokes they have collaborated on surrounding world issues and politics.

“I love doing that show. We have control and creativity over what we do,” he said.  “It’s us, it’s what we write. We have a big say in what goes on. We’ve done it year after year and we are having fun with it.
It’s no mean. We’re edgy, but we are never going to make fun of someone on their big night.”

As Paisley takes the stage in Lincoln on Aug. 3, look for his wit and talent to light up the Thunder Valley stage. At the same time, expect the unexpected as even America’s beloved songwriter and all around articulate “good guy” admits he makes mistakes on stage. When it happens, he doesn’t fret, he has fun with it. He is a self-proclaimed class clown and some of that comes out in every show he does.

“I do the mistake that you make when you play a song a lot. The kind of mistakes you make at the end of the tour singing songs that have been hits for a decade.  They are the kind of mistakes make you go, “what was that?”  The interesting thing is that when it’s a hit, you can just point at the audience and it looks like you did it on purpose.”

“Playing live is about going for it, I can’t play the show the same way every night,” he adds. “I really need to be in a creative environment every night or I’ll go nuts. My manager accuses me of singing just long enough to get me to my next guitar solo, which is true.”

When it comes to his own music likes, Paisley admits he likes a bit everything including classical music, the blues as well as alternative rock.

“Allison Kraus is definitely my favorite singer that’s ever lived,” he said of the artist which he performed his edgy hit, “Whiskey Lullaby” with.

While Paisley will headline the Aug. 3 show, his opener is one of country musics rising talents as well. Northern California’s own Rachel Steele will take to the stage. Steele is fresh off her debut album “Stupid Love.”  The duo is sure to entertain and tickets are likely to sell out fast.

For ticket information on Brad Paisley’s event, visit thundervalleyresort.com.  Thunder Valley Casino is a contract advertiser and supporter of the Folsom Lake Entertainer Magazine.