April 20, 2013
Jack Binion’s Steak House
Little Big Town With David Nail
About Little Big Town
With David Nail
It takes a perfect storm to make a great album – an audacious mix of tension and release, passion and calm, love and violence. Hallmarks associated with all true forces of nature, these mighty attributes were exactly what Little Big Town had in their corner as they blew into the studio in late February for the whirlwind recording session that produced their strongest work yet, their aptly titled fifth album, Tornado.
LBT didn't set out to break any land speed records in the studio. However, considering that the majority of Tornado took just seven days to record, that's exactly what the recording process felt like to Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, a group famous for their trademark four-part harmonies. The elements that would produce Tornado started brewing earlier this year. After doing a bit of soul-searching, the band realized they were ready for a change. Despite a solid 13-year career during which they've sold 1.5 million records, racked up multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM nominations, and crafted Top 10 country hits ("Boondocks" and "Bring It On Home" from their platinum 2005 album The Road to Here, and "Little White Church" from their acclaimed 2010 release, The Reason Why), LBT was feeling a little too secure in their time-tested way of doing things in the studio.
They decided to shake things up a little.
Fond memories of their brief time in the studio notwithstanding, each member of the band is thrilled with the final product. "I think "edge" is a word that gets overused," Karen says. "But this record does have a raw edge to it." "It has a really different vibe to it," Jimi agrees "It doesn"t sound like anything else on the radio right now."
"There's a confidence that permeates this album," says Phillip. "And that applies to the sound of the vocals and the performances; it applies to the lyrics and the ways we're emoting. We weren't scared to perform it or say it from our heart. There was no tiptoeing around about it. It was about speaking the message clearly and as loudly as you can."
For a band of Little Big Town's stature, experience and esteem, this level of transparency and the decision to take the road less traveled into the studio are bold moves – ones they're proud to have taken. "I read a quote recently that said you should do something everyday that scares you, it's good for you," Phillip says. "Well, at the beginning we were scared and nervous. But we would have never dreamed that it would come together so beautifully." Indeed, both gorgeous and fearsome, Tornado is nothing short of a force of nature.