Brad Paisley takes tour to Mohegan Sun Arena with Lindsey Ell, Chase Bryant
Canadian-born musician Lindsay Ell always admired Brad Paisley’s guitar skills. She event worked through the guitar solo of “Old Alabama” on repeat until she could play it perfectly.
“If you told me I would be standing on stage trading licks with Brad Paisley, even a few years ago, I wouldn’t believe it,” Ell said.
The Grammy Award-winning country superstar strums his way into the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza tonight with support acts Ell and Chase Bryant for a show chock-full of country music and spectacular guitar performances.
“People can definitely expect surprises throughout the show,” Ell, 27, said. “It’s a really cool concept. … We were talking backstage, and (Paisley) mentioned that it would be so cool to have a tour of just guitar players. I mean, who else has done that before? It’s a really special lineup. People can definitely expect to be well-entertained for the show.”
Paisley, 44, captured the nation’s attention after releasing his first album and receiving the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist of the Year award in 1999. Since then, the singer-songwriter added three Grammy awards, two American Music Awards, 13 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards to his shelf.
For Ell and Bryant, the chance to tour with Paisley immediately shot to the top of their favorite memories as musicians.
“We’re all nutcases on stage,” Bryant said. “If you’re not, it’s not fun. Most of my stuff is all high-energy on stage. We give people what they came to see.”
Like many musicians, Orange Grove, Texas, native Bryant, 23, grew up in a musical family. His grandfather played piano in Roy Orbison’s first two bands and later for Waylon Jennings, while his uncles co-founded the country group Ricochet.
“As a songwriter, going out every night, hearing the fans sing back to you and getting to play some of your favorite songs, including stuff you haven’t written, it’s always a fun thing to do,” Bryant said. “Playing songs that inspire you on a daily basis is great.”
Randy Bachman, founding member of the Guess Who, discovered Ell when she was just 15. Although she picked up the guitar at 8, she said Bachman truly taught her how to play it. Her musical tastes changed from country to jazz and blues during this time, but her style reverted back to her country roots after moving to Nashville eight years ago.
Now, the artist is working toward finishing her new record with Kristian Bush of Sugarland.
“I feel like I have been writing this album for the last 15 years,” Ell said. “The way we are putting this record together, I feel like I’m finally finding me and recording it in concrete.”
Although neither Bryant nor Ell experience true nerves when performing, they both agreed that the rush of adrenaline that comes from walking on stage is beyond thrilling.
“I feel very grateful to wake up every morning and do what I love,” Ell said. “To write about my life and have people connect with it — that’s a crazy concept to imagine, let alone live it.”
— charlotte l. jacobson
If you go
What: Brad Paisley with Lindsay Ell and
When: Tonight, 7:30
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Details: Tickets start at $39.50, available at the box office, 800-745-3000 and ticketmaster.com.