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Interview:
Little Big Town at the Fox Theatre, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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It's been a longer run for Little Big Town than some fans may realize.



Formed during 1998 in Nashville, the country quartet has released nine albums since 2002, including this year's "Nightfall," its fourth No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums charts. The group has also scored eight Top 10 country singles and made guest appearances on songs by Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert and Seth Ennis. Its trophy case includes four Grammy Awards along with nine Country Music Association Awards and eight Academy of Country Music Awards.



LBT co-produced "Nightfall," which came out during January, and group members co-wrote eight of its 13 tracks, adding another body of work to an already impressive repertoire it takes out whenever it hits the road...



LBT's Kimberly Schlapman says by phone that after the group's 22 years "it feels like we've been together forever. We're pretty much family. We're raising kids together now and everything, but the journey of those 20 years is the reason we're still together. That time has made us who we are as a family, or a band, today. it seems to have flown by, but there's been a lot of living in there."



Schlapman says that LBT has been pleased by the reception for its new "Nightfall" material on tour. "I don't think we've ever had as warm and positive a welcome on a record as we have this time. We've heard many stories from fans about how individual songs have affected people and comforted them or helped them celebrate or walk them through grief. There's so many emotions on the record, and fans are clearly using the songs in so many different ways -- which we hoped and prayed for, but you never know what will happen when you put out new music."



"Nightfall" is also "a grown-up record" in terms of its themes, according to Schlapman. "I feel like we weren't afraid to show our emotions. There have been times throughout our career when we listen to the voices in our head and that gave us a lot of fear and made us afraid to do certain songs or make certain moves. But now I think with maturity and growing up together, we were more confident in what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. We just wanted to make a record that we were proud of, and we hoped it would be well-received by the fans."



Nevertheless, Schlapman adds that the greatest response has been to the uptempo track "Wine, Beer, Whiskey, which she co-wrote and is sung by Jimi Westbrook. We have so much fun with that song. It's a very simple lyric, nothing deep about that song. It's just fun and people like to have a good time, so it's getting a lot of attention. That's my little girl's favorite song, too; Even though it says 'Wine, Beer, Whiskey,' the kids love it and sing along whenever they hear it."



Schlapman says LBT's current road trip "is absolutely my favorite tour ever. I love the intimacy and the aesthetic of all these different, historic theaters, 'cause they're so gorgeous. Every show is a different experience because of the setting, and then we've never done so much with the visual element in our show before. When we wrote and recorded ('Nightfall') we knew that we wanted it to be a different kind of experience for the fans, so it's definitely something different than we've done before."



Little Big Town and Caitlyn Smith perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. $29 and up. 313-471-6611 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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