Mess with Brad Paisley, and you might end up in the trunk.
The country superstar with the notoriously clever (and lately, rambunctious) sense of humor loosely references a real-life lawsuit against him on his upcoming Moonshine in the Trunk album. On the sardonic “High Life,” Paisley sings about a family of money-hungry freeloaders — “a bunch of low-lifes living the high life.” In the first verse, his musical characters go on a spending spree with inheritance from their recently deceased grandfather. In the second verse, the culprits sue Chick-fil-A when Mama slips on a patch of ice outside the restaurant, and they get even more frivolously litigious by verse three:
“I heard a song a couple months ago/It was Carrie Underwood on the radio,” Paisley sings. “Reminded me of a poem my brother wrote/Back in the second grade/Now I know she didn’t steal it, but so what?/We lawyered up and we sued her butt/These days we figure we’d pretty much/Get paid to go away.”
Underwood, who sings harmony on the track, was also involved in the real-life legal drama that likely inspired “High Life.” Back in May of 2013, singer-songwriter Lizza Connor (real name: Amy Elizabeth Connor Bowen) filed a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit concerning the chart-topping, 2011 Paisley-Underwood duet, “Remind Me.” She claimed Paisley’s co-writers on the tune, Kelley Lovelace and Chris DuBois, stole parts of the song from her at a 2007 songwriters’ workshop, at which she performed a song she’d written called “Remind Me.” DuBois countersued, arguing that Bowen had signed a consent agreement at the workshop that would make any such lawsuit illegitimate. While the two songs’ lyrical similarities are quite different, a judge ruled earlier this year that Bowen has just cause to proceed with her case.
“High Life” was written by all three “Remind Me” co-writers, along with Brent Anderson. Listen to a clip of the song below. It’s one of many examples that Paisley says reflects a bit more envelope-pushing on his 10th studio album.
“I think my format will be like, ‘Oh, great! Good, yes, somebody’s singing that.’ Because right now it’s not hard to stretch from what’s on our airwaves because it’s a very limited sort of thing,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “There’s a lot of people complaining about that. So I try to look at it from that perspective and I see that as opportunity. That’s like, ‘Well, you won’t expect this, let’s sing this, this will be fun.’ And also something that my fans will be like, ‘You know what, I’m so glad to hear that topic.'”
Brad Paisley’s Moonshine in the Trunk will be out August 26th.