Brad Paisley w/ Darius Rucker and Joel Crouse
Friday, June 27 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.
His infamously awkward 2013 duet with LL Cool J about black and white/Northern and Southern relations that lit up the Internet with a spectrum of opinions for a brief season was a seriously stumbling misstep in an otherwise largely exemplary, often witty career in mainstream country. That glaringly dubious move doesn’t by any stretch define one of the genre’s genuine good guys.
Paisley’s not only at least as fine a guitarist as poppier country star Keith Urban; his best funny songs comprise a significant percentage of his radio singles and read as heirs to the same sort of wry humor as the late Roger Miller. And like some of his brethren of sorts in the alt-country/Americana camp, he realizes that maintaining one’s cultural roots is a wonderful thing, but that there’s value in adopting a global perspective as well. That Paisley can manage all that without succumbing to dumbed-down hick-hop or bro-country mannerisms has made him a favorite across the political spectrum among listeners who enjoy twang without compromising sensitivity and intelligence.
Paisley’s last show at the Bradley Center delivered a sense of intimacy with the audience amid a show rife with production. It would be no, ahem, accident if he accomplishes the same feat at the Marcus Amphitheater.