Fifteen years into his career, Brad Paisley is among country music’s most low-key superstars. The West Virginia native has built a devoted fanbase with his catalog of both traditional and contemporary tunes, his clever wit — on display annually as cohost of the CMA Awards — his skillful guitar playing, curiosity about human interaction, and his nice guy affability.
All of those elements are in place for his latest effort, “Moonshine in the Trunk.”
While he partakes of the current party-hearty atmosphere pervading country radio — cutting up “Limes” for margaritas and proffering cold cans of Bud Light for “Crushin’ It” — the sentiments don’t seem out of a character in a man who’s hosted several musical shindigs in the past. And he generally offers a clever spin on the fiesta as when he laughs all the way to the “River Bank,” with a narrator daydreaming of hitting the lotto but content with what he has.
Elsewhere he shines on the you-go-girl anthem “Shattered Glass,” which offers wisps of Beatles-esque lilt and harmonies, the comic ode to frivolous litigation “High Life” — with an assist from CMA cohost Carrie Underwood — and the salute to a redneck “Gone Green” on a whimsical tune written by his bassist Kenny Lewis. (Out today)
ESSENTIAL “High Life”