Kimberly Roads Schlapman

Kimberly Roads Spreading their wings musically with this album, was a bold feat – and a successful one too. Winning Song Of The Year for Girl Crush and Vocal Group Of The Year at the Country Music Award’s 2015, the group could do nothing wrong right now. Speaking to them a week before the awards, the group weren’t sure what it was they were going to walk away with, if anything.

We’re excited, we’re nervous, we’re getting ready. It’s going to be a big, big week. Hopefully we end up with something to take home, says Jimi. Vocal Group Of The Year is the award they’ve now won three years running, and Jimi was very excited about the category. We’ve won it a few years in a row now and it is still such a thrill. It’s such an incredible category with so many talented artists and friends of ours… To come away with the win in that category I think is especially exciting for us because it is such a tough category.

Considering that they were nominated in five categories and came out with two wins, the band have had a fantastic year in terms of reception and awards. However, what category would have been their favourite to win ?

I think Best Album is probably the most exciting, just because it represents the whole body of work… Honestly, just being nominated in that was so thrilling. But it is being recognised by your peers as something that stood out and that’s something really exciting for us, says Jimi.

The Chance To Be Creative…

Away from the touring, recording and promoting madness for the band, both Kimberly and Karen have embarked on their individual persuits. Kimberly recently launched a range of home goods with Cracker Barrel, a resturant and gift shop chain in the United States. They asked me if I wanted to create some products with them, she says. I have an addiction to dishes and glasses and things like that, so now I told my husband recently

Little Big Town Timeline

1998 – Founded in Nashville, Tennessee.

2000 – First record deal with Mercury Nashville Records. The band were subsequently dropped without releasing a single or album.

2001 – Sang backing vocals on Collin Raye’s CAN’T BACK DOWN.

2002 – Second record deal with Monument Records in Nashville.

– LITTLE BIG TOWN the album was released. Singles Don’t Waste My Time and Everything Changes were released from the album.

– The group left Monument when the label’s Nashville branch was dissolved. Every member of the band worked day jobs to earn extra money as they continued to tour.

2005 – Signed to Equity Music Group, a label started and partially owned by Clint Black.

THE ROAD TO HERE, the band’s second album released. First single Boondocks was released from the album, peaking at number 9 in the country charts in Jan 2006.

Kimberly Roads loses husband, who dies from a heart attack. He was also the band’s lawyer.

2006 – Bring It On Home, the second single from THE ROAD TO HERE was released. Good As Gone and A Little More You followed.

THE ROAD TO HERE certified Platinum in the United States.

The band’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook married.

Supported on Keith Urban’s Still Alive In ’06 Tour

Kimberly Roads marries Stephen Schlapman.

2007 – The band sung backing vocals on John Mellencamp’s FREEDOM’S ROAD album.

– A PLACE TO LAND, the band’s third studio album was released with Equity Records. First single I’m With The Band was released.

– Kimberly Roads gives birth to daughter.

– Phillip Sweet married Rebecca Arthur and gives birth to their daughter the same year.

– now I can finally validate my addiction!

I think the things [Kimberly and Karen are doing] just naturally evolved out of their passions, Jimi comments. I think that’s really cool that they have the opportunity to do those things… [I’m] so very proud of them both, stepping out and following their passions in other areas. I think it’s amazing that we have the platform that they get the chance to do that – it’s incredible.

With the band coming to the UK in March for Country to Country, what’s changed for them since their first performance in London in 2013? That was our first introduction to the UK and the first time that we’d ever been there and what was also great [was that] it was such a huge audience. It gave us an opportunity to play for thousands more people than we would have had we just been on our own and since then we’ve been back over twice. We found that the UK fans are so loyal and once they come they tell all their friends and bring all their friends back and it multiplies time after time. When we come back in March we are expecting bigger things than ever! (Kimberly)

It was amazing and that’s been the most exciting thing about playing over there… the fans and how they respond to your music when you come and play, adds Jimi. It was an amazing kind of crowd that knows your music and they sing every song, every word. It is just so inspiring and that night was no different. It was such a fun night and the crowd was just amazing… You know the biggest difference will be us adding the PAIN KILLER material.

I am really, really excited to play Girl Crush.

I am so excited about that. I have a feeling that you are going to take that to another level, says Kimberly excitedly.

As our conversation comes to a close, their shared enthusiasm and ambition is just a taster of what we can expect from the band in March and Jimi leaves me with one confident conclusion.

You can expect big things!

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