Earlier this year, Brad Paisley did a tour of England and Ireland. During that trip, he brought along a carpenter friend of his to find a way to bring the charm of an Irish pub into his Nashville area farm house. That Irish Pub became the inspiration for Brad’s latest album, Moonshine In The Trunk. So when it came time to record our pre-CMA Country Countdown USA, the logical place to do it was in Brad’s Irish Pub. He & Carrie Underwood were celebrating 7 years as hosts of the TV show, and Lon Helton was celebrating his 7th win as CMA National Personality of the Year. The informal atmosphere provided the perfect location for a fun-filled show. Brad began by saying, “We’re at the bar, where Carrie’s getting hammered!” Carrie responded, “I’m drinkin’ for two, people! That’s not funny.” Brad offered, “They say a little bit of alcohol is OK when you’re pregnant.” To which Carrie said, “I’ve not tested that theory.” “We’ve got plenty here if you’re interested.” And Carrie said, “I’ve noticed.”
Lon pointed out, last time we were here, this was not done. And Brad said, “It’s still probably not, in the sense that signs will be added, shelves, it’ll start to get cluttered in a good way.”
The pub was built in what was originally the enclosed front porch of the farm house. So you step out of the living room into the pub. The outside walls of the house were done in Tennessee limestone. The pub itself occupies the right side of the porch, as you face the house. The other side is a comfortable seating area with four leather chairs. Brad said he and his friends wrote most of his latest album sitting in those chairs on this porch. There was a bag of pipe tobacco on the coffee table. Brad explained that he installed a special ventilation system in the porch to handle pipe and cigar smoke.
As you can see, Brad has accumulated quite a collection of whiskey in the last six months. Lon asked him about it: “Yeah I’ve got the best bourbon collection that I’ve seen. When I’m on the road, I’m always looking for things that are rare. Plus people are finding out I’m collecting, so Jimmy Kimmel sent me an expensive bottle after I did an event with him, and it’s really fun for me. I love it when people come in and see this wall and there was something they always wanted to try, and I can offer that. Like for your birthday, we were together for your birthday, and we went to an Irish pub, and I got you Middleton Irish Whiskey, which is a pretty great thing. I’ve got a few things you need to try before you go.”
What’s the most special thing on the wall? “I think the best thing is Pappy 20 and Pappy 23, Pappy Van Winkle, which is considered the holy grail. But I’ve got a couple other special things. There’s a company called Four Roses Bourbon, and they saw the bottles in a People magazine shoot I did, and the master distiller sent me their signature blend, it’s up there signed from him.”
When we finished the show, Brad poured Lon a Guinness from his tap, and proudly showed the shamrock he made in the foam.