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Little Big Town makes a return appearance at Penn's Peak

  • Little Big Town will be performing at 8 p.m. Thursday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
    Little Big Town will be performing at 8 p.m. Thursday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
Published November 03. 2010 05:00PM

The short career thus far of the band Little Big Town "has been the best we could ever imagine," said member Philip Sweet.

They were nominated for a Grammy, have charted 12 songs, and recently released their fourth album, "The Reason Why" on which is contained their top 10 hit "Little White Church" and their current single "Kiss Goodbye."

"The Reason Why" was number one on Billboard's country albums chart.

Tomorrow night, the four-member band makes a return appearance to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe in a concert set for 8 o'clock.

Tickets are $37 and $32.

Opening will be Nashville recording artist Walker Hayes.

Little Big Town has been touring with Sugarland, one of the top country bands in the nation. The two bands are planning a tour of the major venues again in 2011.

The quartet includes Sweet, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jim Westbrook. Fairchild and Westbrook are married to each other.

"We just finished with Sugarland," said Sweet in a phone interview from Red Lake, Minn., where they are performing at a casino. "We will be doing a handful of our dates for the rest of the year, then next year tour with Sugarland again."

He said they and Sugarland work very well together. "We love collaborating together," he said. Such collaboration was obvious in the song "Life in a Northern Town," which the two bands combined on for a video two years ago.

The first hit by Little Big Town was "Boondocks," which peaked at number nine in 2005. The following year, "Bring It On Home" reached number four on Billboard's country chart.

Like "Boondocks," "Little White Church" was written by members of Little Big Town.

"Little White Church was the idea of Karen," Sweet said. "She had the idea in the shower. She put the idea on an Iphone" and Westbrook put the music to it.

Sweet was born in Arkansas. Both girls are from Georgia and Westbrook is originally from Alabama.

Asked what was his most memorable event since joining the band, Sweet responded, "Being on 'CMT: Crossroads' with Lindsey Buckingham. (of Fleetwood Mack). That was a thrill, performing with her and doing Fleetwood Mack songs, as well as having her do our songs. I was just like a little kid."

He said Fleetwood Mack was always one of his favorite groups.

Influences to Sweet include Crosby, Stills & Nash, Alabama, and Restless Heart.

"I also love the Dixie Chicks," he said. "That paved the way for a lot of what's going on in country."

Asked about future plans, Sweet said, "We will put some time aside to record some more. We hope to get a record out in 2010."

"We have a lot of creativity and songs we are writing," Sweet noted. "We don't want to make our fans wait as long as they did since their last album."

Sweet said people seeing the show at Penn's Peak will see "a lot of passion and energy from the people on stage. They will see our camaraderie and fun. They will see that music comes first for us. They will see people on stage have a great time playing great music. Music is what it's about."

"I really love doing live shows," he said. "It allows us to focus on each vocalist."

Sweet said "Kiss Goodbye" is his favorite song on thee new album because "I get to play the piano. Also, I just love that song. It's a soaring, powerful ballad."

He reminded fans that Little Big Town is on twitter (LBT Music) and Facebook. Also, he said, "Tell the people to check out or Web site. Also, check out our new album."

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