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Interview:
Lady Antebellum at DTE, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Lady Antebellum has covered a lot of ground during the 10 years since the release of its debut album.



The country has sold more than 10 million albums of its seven studio albums in the U.S. and has notched nine No. 1 country hits. Its most recent effort, 2017's "Heart Break," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. It's also won seven Grammy Awards and a similar slew of Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music and CMT Music awards.



This summer Lady A is out on the road with Darius Rucker, a good buddy who opened for the group in 2012, when he was kicking off his own country music career. But rest assured that Lady A's pile of hits is still potent enough to, well, own the night...



The group's Dave Haywood says being on tour with Rucker again is a kind of old home week for both acts. "We had so much fun with him before, so we've been eyeing over the last few years and seeing when we can get back with him," Haywood, 36, says by phone. "All the songs just kind of fit well. We love what he does, and he totally loves what we do, so it's a great kind of collaborative environment."



Haywood and bandmates Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, in fact, count themselves as Rucker fans via Hootie & the Blowfish, before his started a solo career in country. "When we met (Rucker) the first time, Charles showed him a video of (Kelley) playing 'Hold My Hand' when he was 11 years old -- and Darius immediately felt old. (laughs) And I was heavily influenced by (Hootie's) 'Cracked Rear View' record when I was in high school; I learned how to play guitar and sol, really, from that record. We've written a handful of times with him and sung on 'Wagon Wheel,' but it's always a little surreal because (Rucker) is really part of our roots as well as being our friend."



Hitting the 10-year mark, Haywood says time "feels like it's flown by, but at the same time we've been out on the road for 10 years, traveling 300 days a year or so. We've gotten to do a lot of great things. For the first few years it felt like this kind of wild ride; We were holding on for dear life and saying yes to everything. Then you obviously settle into a part of your career where you can pick the right things that makes sense for you and find the balance to making great music and making great time so you can be present at home, too. It's been fun to watch the evolution.



Lady A has been starting to write songs for a follow-up to "Heart Break," but the project is in the formative stages right now. "We're always writing," says Haywood. "We've been writing with Darius and Russell Dickerson, and every weekend we're putting down a few new ideas and getting at least a song or two. We're starting to build up a stockpile. So we're in that early stage of writing for fun, writing out of pure joy with no pressure or calendar or agenda yet. That's what you thrive on as an artist."



In December Haywood and his wife, Kelli, had their second child, daughter Lillie Renee. "We have six (children) total between us, which is wild. They kind of rotate coming out on tour, and every now and then we have all the kids out at the same time, which is hilarious. Everyone is up at 6 a.m. trying to find things to do with their kids. It's bouncy houses backstage and a little party on stage. We've really walked through our while lives together, every season of life. We feel lucky and blessed to be in this season as a band."



>b>If You Go:



Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Russell Dickerson



7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7.



DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.



Tickets start at $30.



Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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