Brad Paisley is all about making a splash for summer, from making waves with his rebel ways to … pool parties?
Two weeks after a swing through the Sunshine State, the country guitarist extraordinaire will go to Las Vegas to launch 11th album Moonshine in the Trunk — if you can launch it after pretty much leaking the whole thing via Twitter — with, yep, a pool party.
Kinda offbeat? Yep. All about water? Yep. Totally cool? Yep, sure sounds like Paisley, who plays the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.
Filling a swanky Vegas hotel pool with redneck chutzpah is probably the next best thing to launching the album at a River Bank, his latest hit single about how winning the lottery isn't necessary as long as you have an inner tube and a river (sure, when you also have platinum albums).
We're willing to bet the guest of honor is the music video's water-skiing squirrel, too.
Judging by the leaks, Moonshine in the Trunk, due out Aug. 26, is classic Paisley — smooth guitar licks and country twang backing up tongue-in-cheek hooks — as is his devil-may-care attitude.
Declaring July 26 he was "going rogue," the 41-year-old singer began posting leaked bits to Twitter without consent from management types, then tweeting their angry, nervous and downright snippy texts and emails. He even showed off a chiding email from Sony Music Nashville's CEO and then leaked the song it referenced.
Despite the label plugging leaks within hours or minutes, Paisley has kept one step ahead, acting like he really does have Moonshine in the Trunk.
He's dragged in friends in high places like fellow musicians Ludacris (his Rising Star co-star) and Colt Ford, radio host Bobby Bones, People magazine, NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon and even bestselling financial author Dave Ramsey to post more links. And that's not even counting the women who tweeted small-town romantic ditty Cover Girl: wife/actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley, actor Olivia Munn, Carrie Underwood, Joan Rivers and Kesha.
After all, as Paisley tweeted of his non-industry co-conspirators, "They can't make them take it down."
Is it all a publicity stunt, a ploy to grab more attention than last year's oopsie, Accidental Racist?
"Let me say: I love recording at Sony. I love my manager, my publicist, my agent," Paisley tweeted July 30. "But yes, I'm doing this largely on my own."
Aside from the rebel streak, the three-time Grammy winner does have a bit of Hollywood diva in him. The man who penned an ode to Celebrity is now one of four musical experts on ABC's The Voice knock-off, Rising Star, and is known for tossing actor pals like William Shatner into his music videos.
Paisley likes big-name buddies so much he wasn't above tweeting a dozen times to Chick-fil-A about a track that mentions it. Finally onto the #leakingmooshine bandwagon came CEO Dan Cathy, who knows a little something about Accidental Racist-type publicity.
Can't beat this summer
If #leakingmoonshine revealed anything else, it's that Paisley's 11th album is full of summer fun, from River Bank to a salute to limes in tropical drinks to a shoutout to the Sunshine State in lead-off track and likely single Crushin' It (by "it," he means beer cans).
Make no mistake: The West Virginia native's no island-time beach bum like Kenny Chesney. But Paisley sure can turn up a summer party, just in time for one last hurrah this weekend at the Amp.
It's easy for the guy who immortalized his love affair with water in song, from inflatable pools to skinny dipping (hopefully not both at once).
“Water explores the origins of this lust that I have to be near a body of water," Paisley, who has houses in Tennessee and Malibu, told Entertainment Weekly in 2009. "I think all of us have it. … In the summertime, I guarantee ya that everybody's got something, whether that's an inflatable pool or a swimming pool they go to or they drive to an ocean or something. Most of the summertime activities for me were spent soaking wet."
Then there's last summer's ode to sun, sand and tan lines, Beat This Summer, when he opined that romantic summers never last. Maybe not, Brad, but at least in Florida we don't ever have to worry about "rolling up windows and puttin' up tops" with "a cold wind blowin' the leaves through the air."
Even a spin back through older Paisley favorites leaves you with a feel of Florida's never-ending season, with "sun sets about 9 this time of year" and "crickets singing in the background" (2004's Mud on the Tires). Or the perfect spot for kissing off a relationship by fishing 'cause "that water's right and the weather's perfect" (2002's I'm Gonna Miss Her). Or enjoying "Italian ice, margaritas in the moonlight" on an American Saturday Night (2009).
Still Paisley has a suggestion or two for sending off summer, just as school and football season are cranking up. Last week, he encouraged a fan to bring a lawn chair and plastic pool to a concert.
But good luck finding a water-skiing squirrel.
Contact Caitlin E. O'Conner at email@example.com. Follow @CaitOConner.