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Entertainment News

Sunday, 4 May, 2008 7:43 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Lady Antebellum

Photo by David Johnson

Capitol Records Nashville recording artists Lady Antebellum.

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

Though Country is the foundation for Lady Antebellum's music, other echoes rise and play above that bedrock. Yet they all fit together in ways that testify to these artists' ability to inspire and complement each other.

Their story begins with the friendship of Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, who began playing music together as middle-school students in Augusta, Ga. Their paths separated when Kelley started playing drums in his older brother Josh's band, while Haywood pursued a career in accounting. In 2005, he answered Kelley's call to Nashville.

Hillary Scott, meanwhile, was already settled in Music City. The daughter of CMA Award-winning vocalist Linda Davis and musician Lang Scott, she grew up in the music business, performed on "The Linda Davis Family Christmas Show" while in high school and nearly sealed a solo artist deal. In true postmodern fashion, she encountered Kelley's music through his MySpace site, which led all three to connect and begin nurturing their collective talents.

Produced by Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley, Lady Antebellum's eponymous debut album on Capitol Records Nashville ranges from the dramatic power ballad "All We'd Ever Need" to the swagger and strut of "Love's Lookin' Good on You." All but one of the tracks were written by the group together or with other co-writers, and through them all, Scott and Kelley take turns in the solo vocal spotlight when not locking together in polished yet freewheeling harmonies. This combination feels right, sings tight and sounds ready to rock it 'til the morning light.

Q&A:

SONG YOU'D LIKE TO COVER
CHARLES: "'Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car,' by Billy Ocean."
DAVE: "'Jump,' by Van Halen."
HILLARY: "'Hard to Handle,' by The Black Crowes."

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
HILLARY: "A Dave Barnes song called 'Grace's Amazing Hands.' He's an amazing singer/songwriter who lives in Nashville."

SONG YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN
CHARLES: "'What Hurts the Most' performed by Rascal Flatts and written by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson."
DAVE: "'Ants Marching,' by Dave Matthews."

CD IN YOUR STEREO
CHARLES: "Miranda Lambert's Crazy Ex- Girlfriend."
DAVE: "Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride."
HILLARY: "John Mayer's Continuum."

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
CHARLES: "The entire collection of encyclopedias."
HILLARY: "My journal."

MUSICAL HERO
CHARLES: "Bono."
DAVE: "James Taylor."
HILLARY: "Gladys Knight."

DREAM DUET PARTNER
CHARLES: "Hillary Scott. I'm living my dream."
HILLARY: "Gladys Knight."

PET PEEVE
CHARLES: "Someone who talks just to talk."
DAVE: "People asking me for gum."
HILLARY: "Negativity."

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER
CHARLES: "Speed walking."
HILLARY: "Planes.

WORD OR PHRASE YOU SAY OVER AND OVER
CHARLES: "Rawesome. It's a combination of radd and awesome."
HILLARY: "Seriously."

ACTOR TO PORTRAY YOU IN YOUR BIOPIC
HILLARY: "I think Mandy Moore would do a great job."

MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE YOU'D RELIVE IF YOU COULD
CHARLES: "Senior year of college. It was rawesome."
HILLARY: "I don't believe in reliving or regretting anything because those are the things that teach you and make you grow as a person."

TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
CHARLES: "A man who lived rawesomely."
HILLARY: "The Story of the Lady in Lady Antebellum."

WHEN THEY LOOK BACK ON YOUR LIFE IN 50 YEARS, WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU
CHARLES: "I like that guy's voice."
HILLARY: "I hope people say that I love life, work hard, but have fun doing it and help to better this world in some way. I want to have more than just a list of accolades and awards, I hope to touch people with what I do because that is much more important."

On the Web: www.ladyantebellum.com

Note: Lady Antebellum will perform at the Downtown Hoedown on Friday at 6:45 p.m.

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