Signed to Capitol only in 2007, Nashvilles Lady Antebellum has already made hay by opening for Martina McBride on tour, landing a song on MTVs The Hills, and scoring a New Artist of the Year CMA. Yet for all of these heady moves, the two-year-old trio of Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, and Hilary Scott doesnt scan as any robo hat act off Music Row. If anything, their sound shows that they have engaged with the dark end of that street, drawing on the rich Southern soul tradition that has seen a slow but steady resurgence in mainstream country since the ascent of Travis Tritt in the 90s. Be grateful that the likes of Kelley & Co. are taking vintage r&b harmonies to the Opry, since black artists still have trouble cracking the country scene. Meanwhile, we classic country fans of dusky hue are glad enough to embrace this iteration of antebellum culture.
Wed., Jan. 7, 11:30 p.m., 2009