Brad Paisley has been courted for TV talent competitions before, but “Rising Star” was one he couldn’t resist. “I just can’t believe the concept. It’s an idea whose time has come,” he says. “People are used to instant gratification, they’re used to short attention span theater…Being able to influence the outcome of a show like this while someone’s still singing their song will be unbelievable.”
He will be joined by fellow “experts,” Kesha and Ludacris on the show, as well as host Josh Groban. On “Rising Star,” viewers vote to allow a contestant to proceed to the next round as the singer is performing. Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris will mentor the singers and will also control 7% of the vote.
Paisley will juggle the 10-week summer series, which debuts on ABC on Sunday (22), with his tour, writing songs for Pixar’s “Planes” sequel, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” and wrapping up his new album, “Moonshine in the Trunk,” out Aug. 26.
“Planes: Fire & Rescue” marks the third Pixar movie for which Paisley has provided songs. “When [Pixar head] John [Lasseter] showed me the movie, he said, ‘this is a chance for you to pay tribute to your dad, your brother-in-law and the people in your family.’ I come from a family of firefighters. It was one of the easier most heartfelt song easiest songs I’ve had to write in years,” Paisley says. He also recorded another tune that plays during a scene at a country bar.
Speaking of bars, one played prominently in the recording of “Moonshine,” an album which Paisley says, appropriately enough, “is soaked in alcohol. I built a bar in the studio, an actual working Irish pub-like saloon, that’s got four taps and every sort of whiskey and scotch on the shelf. And if you build it they will cut, your band will come down and cut songs for you. We just made it a big party.”