Music » Critics' Picks

Brad Paisley

7:30 p.m. Friday, August 15. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights

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Brad Paisley is the classic "triple threat" recording artist (singer, songwriter and lead guitarist) that has become rare in Nashville over the past ten years. It's this connection to country music's latter-day saints that earned Paisley membership in the Grand Ole Opry early in his career and plenty of support from the country music's old guard (Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Alan Jackson are fans). But Paisley's success has hinged on his ability to include clever pop-culture references in his songs, which makes his tried-and-true country-music formula sound fresh to a whole new generation of fans. Whether he's romanticizing the plateaus and pitfalls of time spent boozing it up ("Alcohol") or tactfully reminding men (and their women) that it's still OK to be a "man's man" without coming off like a chauvinist ("I'm Still a Guy"), Paisley always knows how to deliver hits that are both nostalgic and relevant.

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