Friday, December 9, 2022

Latest Posts

Little Big Town still finds live TV performances ‘nerve-wracking’

It seems that even top-class musicians are not immune to nervousness at times. Little Big Town has been an award-winning country music band for more than 20 years. But that doesn’t stop her from getting nervous before some of her performances.

The group is certainly adept at their four-part harmonies and the intricacies of live performance. But certain gigs still make them nervous before getting on stage. However, according to some band members, it’s those nerves that keep things sharp for their fans.

The country band, like so many others, had humble beginnings in Nashville in the late ’90s. Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman originally met at Samford University and started making music together. Then they added Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet to complete the lineup we now know. The group is notorious for not having a lead singer and for seamless harmonies.

In 2006, the group had their first top 10 country hit with “Boondocks.” Other hits like “Bring It On Home” and “A Little More You” soon followed. The band achieved new fame in 2013 with the pop crossover hit single “Pontoon”. This single earned the group their first Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group. They later received additional Grammys for the singles “Girl Crush” and the Taylor Swift-penned “Better Man.”

Overall, the group has been nominated for more than 40 awards from the Grammys, Academy of Country Music and other prestigious organizations, according to IMDb. Remarkably, they have been nominated for Group of the Year at the ACM Awards almost every year for the past decade. And they won multiple times.

Despite the multiple #1 hit singles and numerous accolades over the years, the group say they still get nervous about performing from time to time. Understandably, higher-stakes live tournaments — like awards shows — carry the most stressors, said member Jimi Westbrook. Late night shows or productions like the Grammys can be particularly stressful.

“Something with the countdown … you have three minutes to play your song and it’s this whole piling, all day, all day, all day, and it’s like, Go!” Westbrook explained in the Spout- podcast. “It’s nerve-wracking for me.”

Westbrook’s wife and bandmate Karen Fairchild shared one particularly stressful moment when the group were preparing to perform “Girl Crush” live at the 2016 Grammy Awards. The other three singers had their mics and were ready to go, but she didn’t have her mic yet — and had the solo for the hit single. “I kept telling the production worker … I don’t have a microphone,” she said. The countdown began and it was seconds before the song began that she was finally handed a microphone. “Now my heart is racing because I didn’t have a microphone,” she said on the podcast. “You’re trying to calm your breathing.”

“When you see the whole crowd up there, it’s going to be the good butterflies,” LBT member Phillip Sweet told Smooth Radio in a backstage pre-show interview. Fairchild agreed, especially considering they were in the same lineup as singers like Alison Krauss and the Eagles. “The butterflies are on a good, healthy path,” she explained, saying the group hopes to respect the venue and fellow artists by bringing their A-game.

Little Big Town has had plenty of experience shaking off pre-show jitters since taking to the streets following the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The band co-headlined several stops on a second Bandwagon tour with Miranda Lambert in the spring and toured across Europe with the Eagles last summer.

In September, the group released their 10th studio album, Mr. Sun. The album was the result of the group’s split for the first time in two decades of touring due to the pandemic and is a celebration of the things they – and their fans – care about. “Mr Sun is an intentionally emotional record that goes well with our last album nightfall‘ Fairchild said, according to Billboard. “Mr Sun focuses on better days, the value of friendships and family; It touches heartache and letting go, but it’s filled with sunshine and joy.”

RELATED: Miranda Lambert shared her gratitude for a moment with Naomi Judd, the ‘true legend.’

Latest Posts

Don't Miss