‘What’s it like, playing the same songs on stage every night?’


Possibly the most common question that pops into your mind when you first start interviewing musicians is: How do you play the same songs on stage every night, week after week, year after year?

So I never ask that question, because I asked it a few times in the first year of my career. I usually received variations of the same answer.

The other day, I was talking with Kellie Pickler, and I didn’t have to ask the question, because she brought it up.

And her answer sounded familiar to what other musicians have told me over the years. I thought I’d let you hear it. It went like this.

“We’re just out working the new music. The new single, “Closer to Nowhere,” is on country radio,” she said.

I asked her how she feels playing new tunes from her latest album, “The Woman I Am.”

“It’s awesome. It’s good for us, because we’re out there touring the same songs over and over and over,” she said.

“Fans who are coming to the show are singing (Pickler songs) for the first time, and it’s the thousandth time for us. Anytime we’re able to add new songs to the show and freshen up the set list, that’s always fun for us.”

Then we talked about the repetitive nature of being a concert musician, sometimes doing the same songs live for 35 years.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Pickler said. “But at the same time, with songs, they’re so personal, especially if you write them. It kind of freezes that moment in your life.

“When you sing a song like ‘I Wonder,’ which was a personal song I wrote at that particular time in my life as a teenager, that’s where I was.

“So that song froze that time in my life, but I still sing about it every night in my life, even though that’s not where I am in my life anymore.

“But there are people out there that, it’s where they are in their life, and they want to hear that song.

“Every song that lives on only lives on because people are living that song. A great song tells a story. If people relate to that story, they gravitate toward that song, and it keeps it relevant and freezes time.”

Pickler played Thursday at Red Rock Resort in a KWNR-FM 95.5 fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She’ll sing Monday at the MGM Grand for “ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops” along with Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and other stars who came to Vegas for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand.

 

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