no one who listens to country music can have missed brad paisley, but i'm afraid i didn't focus adequately. i'm just now listening through the whole body of work: ten albums or so, of remarkably consistent excellence. what a fine singer and what a great songwriter: he has added wonderful and hilarious and traditional and moving songs to the permanent country repertoire, if you ask me. i swear if you were making your list - hank, george, johnny, conway, alan jackson, randy travis, etc - and you fetched up on paisley (going on to stapleton, maybe), that would be perfectly sensible. and you can believe me or not, but he is one of the most wildly excellent guitar players who has ever played in any genre. almost uniquely among actual country stars, he did an album of instrumentals ("play," 2008). he can play anything, and even on a hit country song he might roll through some jazz riffs, or hit the blues nice and hard and juicy, as it were. right he can play unbelievably fast, but it's always coherent, smart as shit too. i mean try a low-key apparent throwaway like this:
on the other hand try this tribute to dick dale:
here are a couple of favorites, drawn from this great big songbag.
this is from his fine recent album love and war.
there are really very many classic original traditional country songs.
then there's this. he's definitely a performer and a charmer, and very hilarious on gender ("you need a man around here"). enjoy that, but don't let it distract you from the surpassing musical excellence.