Country music star Brad Paisley’s latest CD “5th Gear” features a cameo appearance by the Brentwood High School Marching Band. The album’s second single, “Online,” makes reference to playing tuba in the Rose Parade, so Paisley’s production staff had the idea to incorporate a marching band into the cut.
A week after the band received the sheet music, engineers came to Brentwood High School, located just outside Nashville, Tenn., for the recording session. The engineers had the band play the music nearly 20 times, sometimes having individual sections play alone. Although the 22 bars of music lasted about 40 seconds with repeat, the recording session took 65 minutes.
Brentwood High School band director Randal Box says the production staff hired a few professional musicians to sit in with the band, to make sure the students had a good model of what to do.
“It was a thrill for the students to get to play with some of the best session players in Nashville,” Box says. “I think those guys enjoyed re-living a few minutes of the marching band world they had all been a part of when they were younger as well.”
Paisley did not attend the recording session, but after the final mix was completed, he made a personal visit to play the song for the students. According to Box, Paisley was very complimentary of the students’ efforts, and he brought a shirt for every band member.
The students had also prepared a gift to give to Paisley: a Brentwood Band shirt autographed by the students.
Depending on the success of the CD and in particular the song “Online,” there may be more opportunities for the band to be involved. “We told Brad if he needed a band for the video, he knew where to find us,” Box says.
According to Box, Paisley mentioned the possibility of inviting the band to play the song with him on an awards show. “That would be an amazing experience if it materializes,” Box says.
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Photo by David McClister. All rights reserved.