Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss and Union Station and Charley Pride are performing this evening as the second in the White House’s Music Series.
Earlier, Krauss and Paisley spoke with about 120 middle and high school students at a ceremony in the White House State Dining room, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan among those in attendance. According to a pool report, Krauss performed “Angelina Baker” and “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,” and Paisley sang “Born On Christmas Day” and “Letter To Me.”
“Music is like being up at bat,” Paisley told the students. “It’s really very much like stepping up to the plate. And you can have all the support in the world but it’s up to you guys to really get where you want to go.”
Among other things, the kids asked the singers about the price of fame. “Boy, you can’t go out without a shower anymore,” Krauss said. “I had to go get my license renewed, and the lady did my new driver’s license and she said, ‘I can’t believe you go out looking like that.’”
But it will get you a ticket to the White House.
Country music seems to be as “safe” an entertainment staple as any type of music, but it’s probably the one sector of show biz that has at least a greater tilt toward Republicans, reflected in the fare at the conventions last summer. Obama said as much in his opening remarks at the White House event.
“Now, I know folks think I’m a city boy, but I do enjoy listening to country music because like all Americans I appreciate the broad and indelible impact that country has had on our nation,” he said with a hint of a country drawl.
“It’s helped make the American people more hopeful. It’s captured our restlessness and resilience, and told so much of our story in the process.”
“After all, that’s what country music is all about — storytelling.”
“It’s about folks telling their life story the best way they know how, stories of love and longing, hope and heartbreak.”
Then, he quoted Dierks Bentley, “It’s the best shrink $15 can buy.” (Note to RIAA on his allusion to a CD purchase.)
Among those in the crowd were John Lasseter, Bob Schieffer, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Vilsack, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kathleen Sebelius, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
The evening event in the East Room is being streamed on the White House website here.
Above: AP photo.