Tickets available at Sudbury Arena box office, open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, or by calling 705-671-3000 to charge by phone. They can be purchased online at www.greatersudbury.ca
Paisley has had 21 No. 1 country music singles, three awards from ASCAP as Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year, 14 Country Music Association awards (including a win as Entertainer of the Year) and 14 Academy of Country Music awards.
According to his website, however, his new record represents “a flying leap off a creative cliff” for the American singer.
“Every song was meant to incorporate something new for me, and to take some sort of twist you don't expect,” Paisley is quoted as saying on his website. “Whether that be the lyric or the loop or the guest, or a different format like rap, or getting a comedian like Eric Idle, it needed to spin your head around somewhere.
"It's like my dog when you say his name followed by a command he doesn't understand. He's like, 'Huh?' And he turns his head a little sideways. That's what I wanted every song to do, in one way or another.
"I wrote a bunch of songs that aren't comfortable. And that was the point, really – for them to be vocally, musically, lyrically, thematically uncomfortable – or at least new enough to me that I think I had to stretch.”
Paisley used his road band in the studio, a rare move in mainstream country, and they typically worked after dark on the project, sometimes finishing a session at 4:30 or 5 a.m., just in time to catch the tour bus for a ride to a concert date.
Paisley challenged himself in one other important way. The sampled sound of a human heartbeat is introduced in "Tin Can," the 11th of the 17 tracks, and it continues pulsing underneath the remainder of Wheelhouse through the end of the finale, "Officially Alive," which Paisley wrote on his own as a summation.
As he experienced a creative rebirth on "Wheelhouse," he began to ponder: When does one truly start living? He realized one experiences life most in the midst of personal challenge.
"You're alive when that girl you thought you'd marry is driving away in the limousine with someone else," he says. "And you're alive when you're standing in Paris looking at the Eiffel Tower, and you know when you go back to Nashville, you'll never be the same. And you're alive when you stand up for something you believe in and aren't afraid to do that. And you're alive when your first child is born, and that love you feel is so much larger than you ever imagined possible. That's why I wrote that. That song was meant to be the exclamation point."
Doors open for Paisley's Sudbury show at 6:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 7:30.