By Dan MacIntosh
Kellie Pickler is slated to open for Trace Adkins at the 2013 L.A. County Fair on August 31, and while the country singer/songwriter—who first came to fame as an American Idol season five contestant—further solidified her acclaim by winning Season 16 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars! Competition. Mr. Adkins is no slouch either, when it comes to dancing. Therefore, one has to wonder if these two talented rug cutters might be working up a few smooth moves for the local fair crowd.
“We have not talked about that,” Pickler admits. “We’ve definitely not planned anything, but who knows what’ll happen? But there’s never a dull moment with Trace.”
There may still be a few lingering questions about potential pre-planned choreography for this anticipated Fairplex Grandstand performance, but fans can be relatively sure this pretty blonde with Southern charm will be singing her country hits, including “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” “I’ve been throwing in a couple of new songs, as well” Pickler says, “and as we get closer we might have more new stuff worked up with the band.”
At the time of this interview, however, Pickler didn’t have too much concrete information about this upcoming fourth studio release. “The only thing I can tell you right now is that the release date is in November,” Pickler relates. “We’re in the middle of putting all the artwork together and just the packaging and all that.”
Chances are also good that Pickler will dip into material from her prior studio release, 100 Proof, which revealed just how much this country girl loves her traditional country music. “I’m a huge Dolly Parton fan,” she says. “I love Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. I just love that sound. I love their music; I love their songs. I guess I grew up on traditional sounds, so that’s what I gravitate to the most.”
Much like two of her musical heroes, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, Pickler is an accomplished songwriter. In fact, the second single from her self-titled second album, “Best Days of Your Life” was co-written with another famous country singer/songwriter—Taylor Swift.
“This was years ago,” Pickler recalls, “she was 16 or 17. We were out on tour with Brad Paisley. This was back in 2007, I think. It was just like writing with anybody else. You just sit down with your guitar and you write what you feel.
Swift and Pickler both take songwriting quite seriously. When describing the importance of songwriting, along with singing as well as possible, Pickler notes, “There’s no point in having a car if it doesn’t have any wheels. They kind of go together. You need both of them. I love to write. I love to write with my husband. He [Kyle Jacobs] is my favorite person to write with.”
“I’ve always loved music, and I’ve always loved the idea of writing a song,” Pickler continues. “I think anyone can write a song if they can write a journal. That’s really what a song is: It’s just three minutes, or however long, of whatever it is you’re going through. It’s really just writing down how you feel. You just put that into the form of a melody. I think everyone has a different approach to writing songs. I just write about what I’m going through.”
The Kellie Pickler that sings at this year’s L.A. County Fair will most certainly be a contented one. “I get to do what I love for a living,” she says. “I’ve been so blessed, I can’t complain.”
Kellie Pickler w/Trace Adkins at the Los Angeles County Fair, Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., (909) 623-3111; www.fairplex.com. Sat, Aug 31, 7:30PM. $25-$125.