First published on http://abcnews.go.com/
This time, when Paisley does take on progressive ideas, he does so in a way designed not to offend in any way. He calls it “a sort of bright sides at all costs thing.”
Chris DuBois, Paisley’s close friend and business partner for two decades, said the sudden furor over “Accidental Racist” left its mark on Paisley. The song was meant to be an exploration of the state of race relations, with Paisley and LL Cool J offering different perspectives. Each managed to anger critics with lyrics that were dissected in the blogosphere.
“It was disappointing because of how badly the song was misinterpreted,” DuBois said. “It came from a real honest place where he was wanting to address the reality of racial tension in America and especially in respect to the South. … What we were not expecting is that the song would be misinterpreted and Brad would be cast as a racist in the blog world and the mainstream press.”
Reaction to the song gut-punched the album upon release: Though “Wheelhouse” debuted at number one on Billboard’s country chart, it sold just over 100,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. And the 41-year-old singer says he still felt some pushback as he rolled out “Moonshine,” starting with lead single “River Bank.” The song recently peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.