Sugarland, the country music duo soaring from one hit record to the next, bring their mesh of rowdy country hits and sweet, painful ballads to the Family Circle Magazine Stadium this Thursday.
The Grammy-winning act — vocal twang-mistress Jennifer Nettles and good-time guitar player Kristian Bush — first found success as a trio in 2004 with the debut album Twice the Speed of Life. Guitarist Kristen Hall, who co-wrote most of the music on the album, left the group in 2005. But any concern that Hall was taking the talent with her quickly evaporated with the successful sophomore release Enjoy the Ride in 2006 and the latest release last summer, Love on the Inside.
Support from country radio has been consistent since Sugarland’s first single, the prophetic barroom rags-to-country music riches hit “Baby Girl.” Another single off the first album, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” became a crossover sensation after Nettles rerecorded the song as a collaboration with Jon Bon Jovi.
Enjoy the Ride furthered the duo’s success, including a Grammy for Best Country Song for the solemn, painful “Stay,” and another trophy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group. Love on the Inside has continued the hit song parade with the summer-lovin’ “All I Wanna Do,” “Already Gone,” and “It Happens,” a cheeky play on words with Bush whispering “Shhh” before Nettles sings, “It happens.”
The duo’s playful stage show will likely offer up a healthy dose of toe tapping jams, including “Down in Mississippi,” “County Line,” “Operation: Working Vacation,” and “Settlin’.”
Deep-voiced opening act Billy Currington has been on the country dial since 2003 with his debut single “Walk a Little Straighter.” Currington then got a much-appreciated endorsement with “Party for Two,” a duet on Shania Twain’s 2004 greatest hits collection. “Doing Something Right,” the title track on his sophomore album, cemented Currington’s Nashville success, and the subsequent video got tongues wagging over his model good looks. Currington is touring in support of his third album, Little Bit of Everything, and his latest single, “People Are Crazy.” —Greg Hambrick