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Lady Antebellum loving first headlining tour

of the Oakland Press

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With a pair of platinum-or-better albums and seven country hits, Lady Antebellum has had headline credentials for a while. But the Nashville trio is currently on its first headlining tour — and enjoying it immensely according to the group’s Dave Haywood.

“Y’know, man, it feels incredible,” says Haywood, a Georgia native who co-founded the group in 2006 in Nashville with lead vocalists Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott. “We’ve always been kind of squeezing eight or 10 songs into little 30- or 40-minute windows our whole career, but this is our first chance to slow down and take our time, play what we want to play and play what the fans want to hear and really showcase who we are.

“It’s a new kind of experience for us, I guess is what I’m trying to say. It’s a really new experience just to be in a room of totally our fans, so it’s pretty incredible.”

The tour certainly catches Lady Antebellum at a new career peak. Its sophomore album, “Need You Now,” debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and country charts earlier this year, spawning three chart-topping country hits and a fourth, “Hello World,” currently on the ascent. It also netted the group five Country Music Association Award nominations.

And while the group already has “a bunch of songs we’re piling up to record” its third album, will give a holiday present to its fans with the Oct. 12 release of “A Merry Little Christmas,” a six-song EP that will be released exclusively at Target featuring five “classics” and one new song, “On This Winter’s Night.”

“We recorded all of this in July,” Haywood recalls, “so it was a little bit peculiar being in the studio in the middle of July in Nashville, Tennessee, 100 degrees outside, sweating, and doing a Christmas record. But we had a great time doing it.

“We had the studio all decorated ... We brought everything we had from our houses and decorated and tried to get into the spirit. It was a fun experience.”

Lady Antebellum and David Nail perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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