'Absolutely' country

Frederick Fair features one of country music's rising stars

Frederick Fair features one of country music's rising stars

September 11, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hillary Scott was heartbroken when she learned she'd been passed over for a record deal as a solo artist in the spring of 2006.

But two years later she was standing onstage during the Academy of Country Music Awards with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood as the three of them -- performing as a trio known as Lady Antebellum -- accepted the award for top new duo or vocal group.

On Wednesday, Lady Antebellum received Country Music Association Awards nominations for vocal group of the year and new artist of the year.

"If I was to get really honest," "I was never 100 percent confident being onstage by myself with a band behind me. It was because I was young and I just wasn't comfortable. I needed someone or a couple of people to interact with, to sing with," says Scott, 22, during a recent phone interview from Arkansas where Lady Antebellum was scheduled to perform.


The first night the threesome was onstage together, Scott says she didn't feel like all the pressure was on her. No thoughts of running off stage and throwing up. Instead, she thought, this was how it's supposed to be onstage.

Lady Antebellum will perform at The Great Frederick Fair on Thursday, Sept. 18. The band opens for Kellie Pickler. Scott says the trio has not performed onstage with Pickler before, but "absolutely" likes that idea.

Positive answers from Scott often result in an "absolutely."

As in, "absolutely" things have happened quickly for Scott, Kelley and Haywood.

It was just two months after Scott was rejected for that solo record deal that she met Kelley while out one night. She recognized him from his MySpace page, where she had listened to his music.

"I've heard your music on MySpace. I think you're really down with it," she recalls telling Kelley. He suggested she get together with him and his friend, Dave Haywood, to write some songs.

On their first day of writing, they created "All We'd Ever Need." The song is on their self-titled debut album, as is "Love Don't Live Here," which reached No. 3 on Billboard's hot country songs chart, and "Lookin' For A Good Time," which was No. 24 as of Wednesday. Scott sings lead with Kelley.

"We ended up writing duets, just naturally, which was really fun," says Scott.

The trio's music is a mix of country with some rockin' rhythms. But before they had a record deal, Scott and Kelley posted the group's songs on their MySpace pages. (Lady Antebellum's MySpace page is Every other week they'd perform at 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill in Nashville.

"It's a listening room. (It's) not like a ton of people standing up in a bar drinking. They're there to watch a show," Scott says.

Slowly their audience grew and soon they had record offers.

"Honestly, the speed of this whole thing has humbled me more than anything," Scott says. "I was born and raised in Nashville so I've seen so many people move into that town and out of that town because the music industry has turned them away so many times."

Scott was born into the world of music. Her mother, Linda Davis, is a country artist, and her father, Lang Scott, is a singer, songwriter and guitar player. As a girl, Scott stayed with her grandparents when her parents toured with Reba McEntire.

Scott sang with a church youth group, and, when she was in high school, she performed in her mom's Christmas show at Opryland Hotel.

"That was the first time I was on the stage night after night. ... That's when I really got bit by the bug," Scott says. "I could do this night after night."

That's also when the show's co-producer, singer-singwriter Victoria Shaw, approached Scott to work with her and try a solo career. Shaw would later co-produce Lady Antebellum's debut album.

The solo gig didn't work out, but Scott didn't give up on music.

"Sometimes you have to think of a different approach, or let the wounds heal a little bit before you kick back into gear," she says.

if you go ...

WHAT: Kellie Pickler and Lady Antebellum

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18

WHERE: The Great Frederick Fair, Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md.

COST: Tickets are $30 for reserved grandstand seating. $1 handling fee per ticket for phone orders. For tickets, call 301-695-3928 or stop by the box office at the fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today or from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the fair. Entertainment tickets include admission to the fair.

Admission to the fair itself is $5 for ages 11 and older; free for ages 10 and younger. On Friday, Sept. 19, admission is free for ages 18 and younger until 5 p.m. On Monday, Sept. 15, through Wednesday, Sept. 17, admission is free for ages 65 and older until 3 p.m. Parking is $5.

CONTACT: For more information about the fair, call 301-663-5895 or go to

MORE: The Great Frederick Fair is from Friday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 20. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. other days. Agricultural exhibits and displays, carnival rides, country music shows, motor sports events and food.

Other entertainment highlights:

o 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13: Trace Adkins (sold out)

o 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14: Mel Tillis and Ray Price, $30 to $35

o 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15: Tractor and truck pull, $20

o 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16: Demolition derby, $20

o 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17: U.S. Freestyle Motocross Championship Series with jumps and maneuvers, $20

o 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19: Jason Aldean, $30

o 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20: Dierks Bentley, $45

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