Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum's truth is in the music. But the alchemy which forged this six time Grammy award winning trio extends beyond its signature vocal blend and heartfelt song-writing gifts. With a self-titled double platinum debut album and triple platinum second effort—Need You Now—it's easy to applaud their amazing achievements, but equally sig-nificant is the underlying importance of the group's shared heartbeat.


"That's the core of our group, how we started," says Dave Haywood, harmony singer and multi-instrumentalist. "What spawned our friendship was that special writing chemis-try. That's when we are the happiest, just sitting in a room together making music."


"Maybe it's a self preservation kind of thing," agrees co-lead singer Hillary Scott. "Especially on the road we have to work to nurture our relationship. I write so much from about what is happening in my life and the people closest to me, so knowing my friends care about what is going on in my life outside of Lady A, makes me more likely pour it all out into a song."


“Writing lets us chill and slow down a bit," says Charles Kelley whose edgy lead vocals merge and weave with Hillary’s velvet tone."


Lady Antebellum formed in 2006. Hillary and Charles decided to try writing together after a chance meeting at a Nashville music spot. Charles and his high school musician friend and co-writer Dave Haywood were living with Charles' brother Josh Kelley at the time. Late night songwriting sessions with the new trio soon became the genesis through which they discovered the remarkable emotional effect that was created when Charles and Hillary's vocals blended. With Dave's harmony sounds and instrumental prowess added to that mix the three young musicians realized they might not just be writing songs for other people, but perhaps would get to perform them, too. A Music Row "buzz" began to spread as the newly-formed trio started making appearances on local stages.


Soon key tastemakers began to believe in the group, including producer Paul Worley who has worked on all three Lady A albums. By April 2007, a blink of an eye in music industry time, Capitol Nashville had signed Lady Antebellum to a record deal and the trio began to ascend toward the constellation of country music stars with powerful hits such as "Love Don't Live Here," and "I Run To You."


The group's second album, Need You Now (released Jan. 2010) took the band to an even larger audience. To date the album has sold over five million copies worldwide, spawning three multi-week No. 1 hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love”), and scored five Grammy Awards. It has also received over a dozen other award show trophies. ‘Need You Now’ introduced the world, outside North America, to Lady Antebellum. The single was a huge airplay hit around the globe, reaching the No. 1 spot in numerous markets and achieving Top 5 Airplay in 30 countries world-wide. The album has sold in excess of one million units outside the US, and ‘Need You Now’ remains in the airplay charts more than 18 months since release.


"We never expected to be thrust into the international spotlight in the way that we were…from the success of just one song," says Kelley. "It was six months or so after the album came out that we were finally able to go play overseas. When we got there, we were floored at the life that 'Need You Now' had taken on. The power of that one song really changed the scope of our entire career at home and in all these places we had only dreamed of playing."

"As the frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker was one of the most popular frontmen in mainstream pop/rock during the mid-'90s. The band's debut album, Cracked Rear View, was virtually inescapable in 1995, eventually selling more than 16 million copies and becoming one of the most successful albums of all time. Hootie & the Blowfish couldn't recreate that magic on future albums, though, and the band took a break from the studio after releasing 1998's Musical Chairs. Rucker used his free time to launch a solo career, which allowed the singer to explore his R&B and country influences.


Growing up in Charleston, SC, Rucker was exposed to the sounds of Otis Redding, Al Green, and Gladys Knight at an early age. Those R&B icons helped influence Hootie & the Blowfish's recordings, all of which featured Rucker's soulful baritone at the forefront, but it wasn't until his solo career that Rucker truly paid homage to the sounds of his youth. He initially planned to launch his solo career with The Return of Mongo Slade, which was scheduled for a summer 2001 release by Atlantic Records, but contractual changes prevented the album's release. A few months later, Rucker jumped ship for Hidden Beach Recordings, which then acquired the master recordings of his debut from Atlantic.


After making a cameo in the Farrelly brothers' film Shallow Hal, Rucker introduced his mellow, R&B-influenced music with 2002's Back to Then (essentially The Return of Mongo Slade with a different title), which featured collaborations with Jill Scott and Snoop Dogg. Rucker then returned his focus to Hootie & the Blowfish, releasing two albums with the group during the early 2000s before revisiting his solo career. This time, he opted for a country approach, and the twangy Learn to Live found an appropriate home among country music fans, who sent both the album and its flagship single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," to the top of the Billboard country charts. Two more singles also peaked at number one, pushing the album to platinum status within a year of its release. Rucker smartly stayed in the country mold for his follow-up album, Charleston, SC 1966, which appeared in Fall 2010." - Andrew Leahey, AllMusicGuide

"A husband-and-wife country duo comprised of Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson, Thompson Square combine classic rock, country, and singer/songwriter strands into a sharp, pleasant country-pop mix. Shawna grew up in Chatom, AL, where she listened to acts like Alabama and Reba McEntire on the radio and learned country songs from her guitar-playing father. Keifer hails from Miami, OK, where he was drawn to everything from Roger Miller to Merle Haggard and punk rock to heavy metal before honing his songwriting talent by listening to artists like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Shawna and Keifer relocated to Nashville the same week, and met at a singing competition a few days later -- by all accounts, it was love at first sight. Both pursued solo careers in Nashville, though, for several years before deciding to go as a duo. Thompson Square's cutting-edge style soon created a buzz, and they signed with Stoney Creek Records early in 2010 and were soon working on a debut album. An initial single, “Let’s Fight,” was released by the label in June of 2010, followed by a second single, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” a month later in July." - Steve Leggett, AllMusicGuide

$40 - $75

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Lady Antebellum with Darius Rucker, Thompson Square

Sunday, May 20 · 5:30 PM at Merriweather Post Pavilion