The country quartet Little Big Town did not have a straight shot to stardom. It took years of touring, scraping and working side jobs to get to the place they are now. Where they are now is headlining fairs and festivals with opening act Julianne Hough.
The country quartet Little Big Town did not have a straight shot to stardom.
It took years of touring, scraping and working side jobs to get to the place they are now. Where they are now is headlining fairs and festivals with opening act Julianne Hough.
“We’re very blessed to be where we are in our career,” said Jimi Westbrook, one of the group’s four singers. “We started off driving ourselves around in a van, the four of us, playing for gas money.”
Shortly after forming in 1998, the group had a deal with Mercury Nashville Records, but it didn’t lead to any albums or singles.
A self-titled debut in 2002 on Monument Records produced two singles, but the real breakthrough was the 2005 album “The Road to Here,” released on yet another label (the independent Equity Music Group).
The album would eventually be certified platinum — meaning it sold 1,000,000 copies — and yield the hit singles “Boondocks” (2005) and “Bring It On Home” (2006).
A new album is due Aug. 24. Titled “The Reason Why,” it’ll be Little Big Town’s first album in nearly three years. The first single, “Little White Church,” reached No. 15 on this week’s Billboard charts.
With four lead singers, Little Big Town often experiments with new material to decide which singer or combination of singers is best suited for lead on a given cut.
“There’s not a lot of ego involved with the four of us,” Westbrook said.
The band’s guiding principle seems to be “all for one, one for all.”
Westbrook said the group has been like a family since its founding in 1998. He and bandmate Karen Fairchild seemed to take that idea literally in 2006, when they got married after years working together. The other band members, Kimberly (Roads) Schlapman and Phillip Sweet, are also married (though not to each other).
Now the members of the group tour with their spouses and kids. In March, Westbrook and Fairchild added to Little Big Town’s entourage with the birth of Elijah Dylan Westbrook. The other band members already had children, so Westbrook said it didn’t change the band’s routine much.
“It’s like anybody else — people who work 9 to 5 jobs and have more of a regular schedule — there’s compromises you have to make,” he said.
Westbrook acknowledged that while it might seem to outsiders like a crazy way to raise children, it feels normal to them.
“We were in Vegas a couple of days ago,” Westbrook said. “My son is five months old, and that’s his third trip to Vegas already.”
The State Journal-Register