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Little Big Town Profile: Kimberly Roads Schlapman (2007)

Kimberly talks about singing with family and learning from a master.

To commemorate the recent release of Little Big Town’s new A Place to Land album, Country Weekly has been focusing on one member of the platinum group in each of four consecutive issues. The Dec. 3, 2007 issue features our profile of Kimberly Roads Schlapman.

Here are a few exclusive online-only excerpts from our talk with Kimberly, the Georgia native who gave birth to her first daughter, Daisy Pearl, in August.

On Learning to Sing

“I loved to sing as a child. The first time I probably ever sang in public was with my daddy, in church. It was a small church, so it wasn’t very public! But I didn’t think about being able to sing, or that I was any good. I just enjoyed it.

“I was always very, very insecure about singing in public, even up until a few years ago. I’m lots better now because we’ve done so many shows, but I always had a little trepidation and a little fear and anxiety about singing in public. When I was in high school I started doing talent shows a lot, and I did well, so I guess maybe then I realized that I could try to do it for a living.

“Of course back then I didn’t know exactly what that meant, and the hard road to get there. But I’ve always loved to sing. My family is very musical. I’ve sung harmony with my family and sister all my life. The four of us [in the group] all grew up singing harmony with our family. I think that’s why it feels so good for us. It feels like home when we’re sitting around singing together.”

On Baby Presents From Fans

“I’ve gotten some really adorable things—for instance, I got this cute onesie that says ‘I’m With the Band.’ I love that. People are very generous.”

On Touring and Recording With John Mellencamp

“It was amazing. We grew up being in love to his songs. They bring back such great memories of high school for me. He makes brilliant music, with a lot of integrity.

“So when we first heard we were going to be on tour with him, it was just like, ‘Oh my God, he’s an icon, and we’re going to be out with him!’ We didn’t even know if he liked us at all when we were on tour with him, but he called to have us sing on his record [Freedom’s Road]. I remember that day we freaked out: ‘He likes us, he likes us!’ He actually wanted us to be a part of his music.

“When we went up to his studio in Indiana and spent some time with him and his musicians, we learned that it’s no wonder he’s an icon. In the making of that record, they didn’t just get into the studio and start cutting things—they rehearsed and rehearsed and changed and modified. What’s interesting is how long they would work on things, and yet the songs would still have a realness.

“We learned a lot from that. When it’s right, it’s right, and don’t keep going until you make it stale.”

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