Little Big Town Brings ‘Pain Killer’ To Nashville

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Little Big Town at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. Photo: Becky Fluke

“We’ve been about to pop for this night to happen,” Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman said as the group took the stage at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium on Thursday night (Oct. 2) to introduce their new album to fans and industry VIPs.

The group will release its sixth studio album, Pain Killer, on Oct. 21 (Capitol Nashville). UMG Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Dungan reminded the crowd that Little Big Town has “sold 1.5 million albums, in a time when records don’t sell.” Praising Pain Killer, Dungan called the project “one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time.”

While the group’s tight-knit harmonies on songs such as “Pontoon” and “Boondocks” have made them a favorite among fans and industry members alike, the new album showcases the group’s individual strengths as much as their instinctual vocal blend. Schlapman’s soulful soprano dominated on songs like “Good People,” while Phillip Sweet was highlighted on “Stay All Night.” Jimi Westbrook‘s powerful rock-drenched vocal was a perfect fit on uptempo tunes such as “Tumble and Fall.” The group’s harmonies are still the backbone of the group, and featured prominently on songs such as “Live Forever,” and “Turn The Lights On.”

From the opening notes of “Quit Breaking Up With Me” and current single “Day Drinking,” through largely rock-infused songs including “Stay All Night” and “Things You Don’t Think About,” the crowd was attentive and enthusiastic.

Photo: Becky Fluke

Photo: Becky Fluke

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the cleverly written, sultry ballad “Girl Crush,” penned by Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey, which featured Karen Fairchild‘s powerful, soulful alto.

The group offered a round of thanks to their label, management, band, and writers on the project. “To the writers in Nashville, thanks for finding things we haven’t done before. These songs are everything and have changed our lives,” said Fairchild. Little Big Town also put their families in the spotlight (literally), shining the light on them as they waved to the group from their seats in the upper balcony.

“Whatever happens to this record, we love it,” said Fairchild who thanked producer-songwriter Jay Joyce for “allowing us to grow as artists, and chase our dreams in different ways.”

The group ended with their signature harmonies on the ballad “Silver and Gold,” sparsely backed by acoustic guitar.

Pain Killer Track Listing

1. “Quit Breaking Up With Me” (Busbee, Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally)
2. “Day Drinking” (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Troy Verges, Barry Dean)
3. “Tumble and Fall” (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
4. “Pain Killer” (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Blair Daley, Hillary Lindsey)
5. “Girl Crush” (Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
6. “Faster Gun” (Jeremy Spillman, Ryan Tyndell, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet)
7. “Good People” (Jay Joyce, Natalie Hemby, Jeremy Spillman)
8. “Stay All Night” (Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Brent Cobb, Jason Saenz)
9. “Save Your Sin” (Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
10. “Live Forever” (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Jeremy Spillman, Ryan Tyndell)
11. “Things You Don’t Think About” (Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman)
12. “Turn The Lights On” (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Natalie Hemby,
Jay Joyce, Jeremy Spillman)
13. “Silver and Gold” (Jedd Hughes, Jay Joyce, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild)

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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