“The Driver” is Charles Kelley’s version of Theodore Roosevelt buying a $700 cowboy shirt and heading for the Dakota badlands, or Rose from Titanic choosing to attend the dance in the boiler room instead of the ballroom because the help knows how to party better. It’s this strange, striving for everything Charles Kelley and Lady Antebellum isn’t that defines this solo album.
If you’re wondering what the Dave Cobb-influenced mainstream country world might sound like after the success of Chris Stapleton, take a good sniff at “My Church.” The arrangement and grainy production quality could very well be that of Lindi Ortega or Nikki Lane, but this is a major label artist looking to gain the attention of the fickle mainstream country music fan.
Camayo, Charles Kelley, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Hank Williams, iHeartMedia, Jamie Lin Spears, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Lindi Ortega, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, My Church, Old Dominion, On The Verge, Review, Taylor Swift
It wasn’t looking good for Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and his bid to launch a solo career amid a hiatus the trio took beginning in late 2015. Despite some additional star power with Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay, much critical praise, and a big promotional push, his first single “The Driver” stalled big time on the charts. Then the completely unexpected happened.
Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum received some happy news on Monday (12-7) after it was announced his debut solo single “The Driver” was bestowed a nomination in the 59th Grammy Awards for Best Country Duo or Group Performance. It appears most, if not all but one or two of the dates on the 22-date Charles Kelley tour have been canceled.
The allure of ABC’s hour-long drama Nashville lost its luster for yours truly many seasons ago after the drama got so ridiculous you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And the music—though still a decent component—got somewhat sidelined in recent seasons in lieu of keeping the sappy and seductive scenes coming to keep eyes glued on the TV screen.
The only thing good that could come from Charles Kelley releasing solo material is that it hints that maybe Lady Antebellum is on the rocks. And since the word is that this is not the case and the band is just taking a short hiatus, not even this can be celebrated as a positive development.
Last night (2-25) as part of Country Radio Seminar festivities in Nashville, Dierks Bentley, aka Douglas “Big Rhythm Doug” Douglason, showed the depth of his commitment to his alter-ego 90’s country band called Hot Country Knights by taking the stage at “The Stage” on Lower Broadway and launching into renditions of big late 80’s & 90’s country hits.