It was about the midway point of his Friday night concert at the Saddledome and Brad Paisley was engaging in that now-obligatory tradition of mainstream country shows: the slow trudge through the audience to get to a mini-stage for a tender acoustic ballad or two.

The song he was playing for the journey was Crushin’ It, the stomping opener of his 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk. As he trudged, the jumbtron played a loop of America’s Funniest Videos-type footage of stunts gone awry. Right after making it to the platform, Paisley offered a final, exhilarating squall on his telecaster.

It seemed to offer a nice summation of the concert as a whole on Friday, an evening that mixed the mundane with frequent flashes of brilliance.

Country singer Brad Paisley performs at the Saddledome on Friday.

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Country singer Brad Paisley performs at the Saddledome during the Calgary Stampede in Calgary on Friday, July 13, 2018. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Much of the latter came from Paisley’s astonishing fretwork, which was in fine form at the ‘Dome. For the uninitiated, the sheer power of the 45-year-old’s six-string shredding may come as a surprise. Like British guitar whiz Richard Thompson, Paisley is a dazzling player who mixes measured skill and tone with supercharged storms of noise. His stinging guitar lines rip deep into his songs and carry them along. Unlike Thompson, however, the songs themselves rarely measure up to the inventiveness of the guitar playing that carries them.

But, hey, you can’t have everything. And even if you don’t quite buy into Paisley’s often tongue-in-cheek, good-ole-boy material about crushin’, drinkin’ and fishin’, there was plenty to marvel at when it came to his playing. It was there right out …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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