Bio

Little Big Town
NIGHTFALL

The night, with its curtain of darkness, contains many things. Hope, doubt, faith, need, resolution, joy, rage, dreams, exhaustion, romance. From that first dusky “Babe…” over a few vacillating guitar notes, Nightfall’s intimacy washes over listeners. Opening with a velvety song of desire, “Next To You” suggests a subtle look at how the world gets the best of us, how connection heals and ultimately, love is the answer.

Easily Little Big Town’s most nuanced project, upon inception, they didn’t realize they were on the verge of producing their ninth studio album. But with songs to capture, creative fires to stoke, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook went into the studio to develop what was there with no masterplan. It wasn’t long before the fiercely musical foursome realized they’d found a new creative horizon – and they just kept going until Nightfall emerged from 34 songs, myriad experiments and the inherent harmony singing that has defined the Grammy-winning group since they emerged with the steamy, stark “Boondocks.”

“From the first time we sat in the living room, it was amazing that we all gravitated to the harmonies we sing,” explains the sunny-voiced Schlapman. “In 20 years, we really have stayed with the harmonies we settle into organically. We’re all really strong and opinionated, and we’ve always been really involved, but over the years, we’ve become more comfortable with who each of us is. Our different personalities and strengths have become the thing that brings us together as us.”

Nightfall includes the Grammy-nominated consciousness tug “The Daughters,” debuted to universal acclaim on “The Academy of Country Music Awards,” the cascading loveliness of “River of Stars,” the Mexican horn stomping revelry of “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” the James Taylor-esque hope of “Bluebird” and the naked piano/gospel vocal chorus-tinged soul plea of Sweet’s raw vocal pledge on “Forever And A Night.” This is grown-up music, complex, wise, yet vulnerable.

“It’s so easy to keep layering guitars on top of each other,” Westbrook says of the sonics. “Every sound is intentional on this record. We’d empty tracks out to create more space. Those spaces let the energy come through. The space allows you to absorb what we’re saying.”

In the ache, there is surrender. In the conflict, solutions. Fairchild injects “Sugar Coat’s” whispery self-examination with a dose of awareness. Ruminating “Sometimes I wish I liked drinking, Sometimes I wish I liked pills/Wish I could sleep with a stranger, but someone like me never will,” her clear-eyed examination of societal expectations suggests the potential for a rejection of the good girl’s smile in the face of what’s handed her with a truth-reckoning “One of these nights I’ll meet you in the driveway, and tell you to go to Hell…” “How many of us are going through Hell in secret?” Schlapman asks. “For generations, women were taught not to complain, not to explain, while behind the scenes, it’s a total disaster. Secrets are so cancerous, and most of us have them. That’s the empowerment: she suffers for knowing…until…” Fairchild agrees, “Through her awakening she finds resolve and is willing to tell the truth. No more sugar coating.”

It’s followed by Westbrook’s searching “Problem Child,” which turns the rejoinder of “What’s your problem, child?” into a recognition and invitation to seek solace. As Fairchild, who Schlapman calls, “the Tom Brady of the project,” says of the song’s tenderness, “We had just written this song and instantly wanted to record it. That’s Jimi’s very first vulnerable vocal, where he said, ‘I don’t know if I know this enough to really sing it…’ That made this vocal, and everything this song is trying to communicate.”

Sweet sees the cinematic juxtaposition of it. “With those beautiful strings and that vocal, it speaks to everyone that has felt like a black sheep, like a problem child. We’ve all been that person, whether (it was when) we were a child or not, and it takes something sad and cloaks it in hope.” Not that Nightfall is a somber place. Yes, it opens the gates to reflection, but in that comes freedom and joy.

“Over Drinking,” which sounds like a throw down, celebrates moving through angst to lighter ground… “I’m Over Drinking, Over You.”
Real country, classic material with a metaphor that turns the tropes inside out. Pretty profound. “If I’m out at a bar and I’ve tied one on…I’m drunk ‘cause I’m happy not drunk ‘cause you’re gone.”

“When ‘Over Drinking’ got texted to my phone,” Fairchild marvels, “it was such a fun song, country and smart. We immediately knew it belonged on Nightfall, although the record was basically mastered and finished. We knew this was a song our fans would love. We didn’t waste a moment despite being on the road.”

Dispatching a runner to a local Bed, Bath + Beyond to buy all the baffling they could find, an “instant session” was born in an empty room backstage. “It was so spontaneous and creative!” Fairchild continues. “We carry a recording rig with us, and set it up. The drums, bass, and guitars sounded amazing. That ‘in the moment’ feeling is all over the track.”

In perfect 6/8 time, Little Big Town leaned into hard country with a slinky, celebratory earthiness. The Telecaster stings and the sticks on the rims usher in a triumph from tear-in-my-beer anguish. It juxtaposes the pluck of the teasing nag of the gently undulating “Throw Your Love Away,” which finds the ether-voiced Schlapman sparkling through a catalogue of indelible memories, or the acoustic smolder “Questions,” where the burgundy in Fairchild’s voice illuminates as she sifts through the post-breakup doubts she will never voice.

Obviously, there are layers of Fleetwood Mac’s intoxicating harmonies, the acoustic nature of Laurel Canyon, the sweeping sense of emotion that underlies Joni Mitchell and the great respect and love for the songwriters of Nashville, TN. “I’m a dreamer,” Sweet offers. “This music hopefully honors that as musicians in country music. If people can open their hearts and just connect with music in a way that feeds them, makes them feel what they need or want to, then we got it.”

Westbrook explains, “The atmosphere everyone’s living in right now had our heads in more adult places. You always want to have fun, but we’re adults with families – and needed to say something that mattered.” Still, as Schlapman boils it down, “This was a journey, and still is. Whether you’re going to the mountains, or the beach, even sitting in your living room with a glass of wine, this record is an experience. It will take you through so many places in life, hopefully sink in, and take you where you need to go, or give you what you’re looking to find.” Fairchild adds, “The sequence is deliberate to take you through the romance of Nightfall…the questions we have when we’re alone, the joy and the frolic of love and friendship, and the strength to overcome.”

As fingers find a gut string guitar, then a piano, that tranquility closes Nightfall with the reality tug of “Trouble with Forever.” Four voices caressing the breathlessness of how things start, showering the truth about how love and life fade like a benediction for the best of who we are.

Download bio

News

View all news on Little Big Town

LITTLE BIG TOWN RELEASES 10TH STUDIO ALBUM, MR. SUN.

Today, ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town – consisting of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook – release their new, 10th studio album Mr. Sun – listen here.

The band also unveiled the music video for “Three Whiskeys and the Truth,” which was directed by Running Bear Film’s Stephen & Alexa Kinigopoulos – watch here. Immediately following the video’s premiere today, the band went live exclusively on YouTube Premium for a livestreamed afterparty to answer fan questions about the new album.

“Three Whiskeys and the Truth” was written by Fairchild and Schlapman alongside their beloved Love Junkies (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose), ruminating on the feelings that hide in the dark but that always come to the surface somehow. “Lori had that title, and I just love how it tells the story of what we do to numb the pain we’re going through,” Fairchild says, recalling a long day of writing. “And the melody makes it feel like an old school country song like the ones we grew up with.”

The band kicked off the album’s release on Wednesday, September 14 with a stirring performance of “Rich Man” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – watch here – in addition to flexing their comedic chops in the show’s Cold Open – watch here.

On the eve of the record’s release last night, the band took to Twitter for an #AskLBT Album Q&A with the fans about the record, including the message they want to give fans from the album: “This record was written during the pandemic, so a spirit of gratefulness ties all these songs together. Even the painful songs lead us to better days ahead.”

Fans can engage in the album launch through multiple social media activations, including using the hashtag #MrSun on Twitter to reveal album’s official Twitter emoji and a custom Mr. Sun Instagram filter that went live with the album’s release, which can be found on the filter tab of LBT’s Instagram profile.

This morning, they took the stage at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza in front of hundreds of fans for the 2022 Citi Concert Series on TODAY, performing a mix of new songs – “All Summer” and “Rich Man,” both of which New York Magazine has praised as “exuberant” – and classic LBT hits (“Wine, Beer Whiskey” and “Little White Church”). Watch their performance of “All Summer” here and “Rich Man” here, and their interviews about the record here and here.

Additional praise for Mr. Sun includes The New York Times hailing it “a sweeping record” and American Songwriter observes that “inside the record, notes reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles ring out, but they’re all tailored to Little Big Town’s country expertise.” Rolling Stone calls it “smooth and sweet, with just the right undercurrent of sadness,” with production that feels “spacious and golden.”

Billboard singles out the album’s “swelling” closing track “Friends of Mine,” as a “benediction to finding the collective strength to persevere through tough times,” while Rolling Stone further ties it to the full record: “Like much of Mr. Sun, it feels like a warm embrace from a loved one.”

The album’s lead single Hell Yeah has amassed 49.8 million streams since its April release. The song was co-written by Sweet, Westbrook, Corey Crowder and Tyler Hubbard. Of its creation, Westbrook notes: “Corey dropped that hook idea on us, and we all gave a resounding hell yeah! At that point, you just don’t want to mess it up.”

Physical copies of Mr. Sun are available as CDs and a baby blue vinyl; a sky blue vinyl is available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.

The genesis of Mr. Sun was unlike any of their previous albums. Due to the pandemic, the band found themselves off the road and apart for the first time ever throughout their 20-year journey. The resilience and creativity born from those months unearthed a deep appreciation for both one another, and the privilege of making music – ultimately inspiring the self-produced Mr. Sun, which packs both the sparkle of storytelling and the heat of truth-telling in a way only Little Big Town can.

Mr. Sun is intentionally an emotional record that holds hands well with our last album Nightfall,” Fairchild has previously shared. “Mr. Sun is focused on better days ahead, the value of friendships and family; it touches on heartbreak and letting go, but it’s full of sunshine and joy.”

Little Big Town spent all summer bringing their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. This fall, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour in Duluth, GA (October 14) and Huntsville, AL (October 15). For more news, tour dates, and information, please visit www.LittleBigTown.com.

 

Mr. Sun Track List:

  1. All Summer (Karen Fairchild, Sara Buxton, Madi Diaz, Ashley Ray, Savana Santos, Alysa Vanderheym)
  2. Better Love (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Tofer Brown, Audra Mae)
  3. Hell Yeah (Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
  4. Mr. Sun (Sarah Buxton, Daniel Tashian)
  5. Three Whiskeys and the Truth (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
  6. One More Song (Tofer Brown, Sean McConnell)
  7. Heaven Had a Dance Floor (Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure)
  8. Gold (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Trent Dabbs, Luke Dick)
  9. Rich Man (Jimi Westbrook)
  10. God Fearing Gypsies (Karen Fairchild, Nicolette Hayford, Ashley Ray)
  11. Different Without You (Corey Crowder, Jared Mullins, Steven Lee Olsen, Jordan Schmidt)
  12. Whiskey Colored Eyes (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
  13. Song Back (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Todd Clark, Sara Haze, Jason Saenz)
  14. Something Strong (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
  15. Last Day On Earth (Karen Fairchild, Trent Dabbs, Tommy English)
  16. Friends of Mine (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Foy Vance)

 

Audio / Karen Fairchild of LBT talks about recording Mr. Sun during the global pandemic.

Download

LBT (pandemic recording) OC: …their worries. 1:54
Karen: “This record was made during the pandemic, and kinda the time where we were coming in and out of the pandemic., so, it was challenging. It was challenging to be away from each other as a band for almost five months. It was challenging to be writing songs by ourselves, writing songs on Zoom, and then finally getting the courage to get back in the studio and, that was a great joy just to be back together with our band guys and our engineers, very emotional that day. I think we started working on All Summer first and was just such a joyful tune., that it really just, I don’t know it lit our souls up just being back together making music again with the hope of getting it out to fans this record is really intended to share that joy that you know we’ve learned a lot of lessons in these last couple years. We learned that we can be very divisive as people, as a country, but we also can focus on the things that are the most important. We can look for better days ahead, we can celebrate the friends and family that we have. We can be grateful for the journey I think Godfearing Gypsies is one that really is like a mantra for this band. So, yeah, I’m really proud of the ways this, the beauty in our own personal lives, the way it weaves through this record. Even for songs like Gold, such a fun crazy little number that you know, it’s just like a ruckus, joyful song and it’s intended to make people dance and kind of forget their worries.”

Audio / LINER LBT (available now)

Download

Video /

View

LITTLE BIG TOWN READIES THE RELEASE OF THEIR BRAND NEW ALBUM, MR. SUN.

Little Big Town will release their highly anticipated 10th studio album Mr. Sun on Friday (September 16th). 

The genesis of Mr. Sun was unlike any of their previous albums. Due to the pandemic, the band found themselves off the road and apart for the first time ever throughout their 20-year journey. The resilience and creativity born from those months unearthed a deep appreciation for both one another, and the privilege of making music – ultimately inspiring the self-produced Mr. Sun, which packs both the sparkle of storytelling and the heat of truth-telling in a way only Little Big Town can.

“Any time we make a record, we hope that when the fans hear it, they identify with parts of their own lives or their past experiences and can make the song their own and their own story, and this record is no different,” says LBT’s Kimberly Schlapman. “I hope and pray that when fans hear this, they go, ‘Yes! I’ve been there’ or ‘Yes, I so badly want that,’ or ‘Yeah, I know I’m not the only one who’s been through that.’ It just means everything to us when fans come up and say that song got me through this moment in my life or that song means everything to me or we had that song at my wedding. I mean, just any of those things means that all that work and time and everything we put into making a record, it means that it’s also someone else’s story and it’s just the biggest compliment.”

New and old relationships are woven through the Mr. Sun, with a member of the band writing or co-writing 13 of the 16 tracks, and a grand total of 33 songwriters hailing from 3 countries and 20 different states. These songwriting relationships span from 20year friendships to first time connectionsresulting in an album beaming with color across the entire spectrum.

 

Mr. Sun Track List:

  1. All Summer (Karen Fairchild, Sara Buxton, Madi Diaz, Ashley Ray, Savana Santos, Alysa Vanderheym)
  2. Better Love (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Tofer Brown, Audra Mae)
  3. Hell Yeah (Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
  4. Mr. Sun (Sarah Buxton, Daniel Tashian)
  5. Three Whiskeys and the Truth (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
  6. One More Song (Tofer Brown, Sean McConnell)
  7. Heaven Had a Dance Floor (Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure)
  8. Gold (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Trent Dabbs, Luke Dick)
  9. Rich Man (Jimi Westbrook)
  10. God Fearing Gypsies (Karen Fairchild, Nicolette Hayford, Ashley Ray)
  11. Different Without You (Corey Crowder, Jared Mullins, Steven Lee Olsen, Jordan Schmidt)
  12. Whiskey Colored Eyes (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
  13. Song Back (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Todd Clark, Sara Haze, Jason Saenz)
  14. Something Strong (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
  15. Last Day On Earth (Karen Fairchild, Trent Dabbs, Tommy English)
  16. Friends of Mine (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Foy Vance)

 

To celebrate the album’s release, the band will perform on the 2022 Citi Concert Series on TODAY tomorrow from the TODAY Plaza at 30 Rock. They’re set to perform songs from their brand new album, such as “All Summer,” “Rich Man” and “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” and catch another performance during the 9am hour.

 

Audio / Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman says the band hopes that fans connect with the music on their new record, Mr. Sun.

Download

LBT (fan reaction) OC: …biggest compliment. :57
“Any time we make a record, we hope that when the fans hear it, they identify with parts of their own lives or their past experiences and can make the song their own and their own story, and this record is no different. I hope and pray that when fans hear this, they go, ‘Yes! I’ve been there’ or ‘Yes, I so badly want that,’ or ‘Yeah, I know I’m not the only one who’s been through that.’ It just means everything to us when fans come up and say that song got me through this moment in my life or that song means everything to me or we had that song at my wedding. I mean, just any of those things means that all that work and time and everything we put into making a record, it means that it’s also someone else’s story and it’s just the biggest compliment.”

Audio / LINER LBT (available this week)

Download

 

LITTLE BIG TOWN APPEARED ON THE TONIGHT SHOW AND PERFORMED A SONG FROM THEIR NEW ALBUM, MR. SUN.

Little Big Town performed the song “Rich Man” on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night (September 14th).

 

The group, whose new album Mr. Sun arrives on Friday (September 16th), also kicked off the show with the host with a play on their current single, “Hell Yeah.”

 

 

Not to mention, Little Big Town also did a song challenge for the show.

 

Social

Official Photos

Press Photos