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Little Big Town went for "big" statement on new album

of the Oakland Press

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Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town says the country quartet always tries “to do something different” whenever it makes a new album. But the group felt an even greater urgency for its fourth release, “The Reason Why,” which debuted at No. 1 after its Aug. 24 release.

“We felt like, OK, this is our fourth CD, and we wanted to maintain the Little Big Town sound the fans are familiar with but also grow and evolve and take a step forward,” explains Schlapman, 40, who co-founded the group during 1998 in Nashville. “We just did a lot of things differently ... we even changed things around physically, in the studio, moved the furniture around — we called it redneck Feng shui.

“We just didn’t want to be too comfortable, y’know? We wanted to freshen things up a little bit. All those little things we changed made it some of the best music we ever made, I think. We’re really proud of this.”

Among those new approaches was the album’s first single, “Little White Church,” a bluegrass-flavored song that Schlapman says was started by bandmate Karen Fairchild and quickly became a team effort between the band and producer Wayne Kirkpatrick.

“Karen came in with the idea in the morning and we all loved it,” Schlapman recalls. “We had so much fun writing it and wrote it so fast, doing the handclaps and everything as we wrote it. Right at that moment we knew we had something special. The whole (album) kind of started there.”

Little Big Town performs with Sugarland and Randy Montana at the 99.5 WYCD Birthday Bash at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $24.25-58.25 pavilion and $29.75 lawn with a $75 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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