Little Big Town's 'Drinking' Song Is the 'Tip of the Iceberg' for New Album

Little Big Town performs at the CMA Music Festival
John Russell/CMA

Little Big Town performs at LP Field on Saturday, June 7 during the 2014 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.

Little Big Town has had a lot going on with the CMA Music Festival being this week in Nashville. On Wednesday, the award-winning vocal group debuted their new single "Day Drinking," on the CMT Music Awards, and also performed the song during their Saturday night LP Field performance. According to the group's Karen Fairchild, there was one element that set Saturday night's performance apart. "The drum line was incredible," she said during the Sunday evening press conference at LP Field. "It totally made it for me."

Fairchild feels the band has something special with the song, much the same way they did two years ago at this time with "Pontoon." However, she admits it wasn't an instant feeling. "We didn't know it really, but with 'Day Drinking,' we had a blast that day because we were drinking and writing songs. We left it alone, then a couple of weeks later, Barry Dean and Troy Verges sent us a souped up work tape of what we had done. Then, we thought this is very fun and very cool."

Phillip Sweet echoes Fairchild's statements. "I do remember being very intrigued by the song after we wrote it that day. There wasn't a lot of hype about it or anything like that. I couldn't wait to hear the demo. I was really anxious because we had a lot of fun that day."

In addition to launching a new single during the biggest week of the year for country music, the band is also doing double duty – serving as host for CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock,the ABC Television special being filmed at the event for the second straight year. Jimi Westbrook said that he's glad to have a year under his belt. "I definitely know what you're getting into. I feel like I was better prepared this time."

Fairchild says they can definitely understand the job that their journalist friends do a little better now. "I will say that we've learned what the media does for a living is very difficult. They asked us to interview some of our friends, and Kimberly and I interviewed Tim McGraw, and we turned into two ten-year old girls. It was like we had never spoken before," she said with a laugh.

For her part, Schlapman said that Fairchild was right on with her assessment. "That was one of our most embarrassing moments," she said with her charismatic smile. "It was awful. I felt like an idiot. We just giggled. I hope they have good editors."

Fans can see the finished product on ABC during the evening of Tuesday, August 5.

The Capitol Nashville recording artists have been participating in the event for a while. In fact, 2014 marks the fifteenth anniversary of their first performance there. "We sang back at the Fairgrounds back in 1999, and we only knew three songs back then," said Schlapman. "We got to sing in front of Wynonna, which we thought was huge. That was the big time. To remember that moment, and then to go to this week, it's amazing how country music has just taken over the world. It should, because it's great music – and great stories, and people being honest and real. I think think that's why."

Westbrook confessed that he was amazed at the changing perception of the format – both here and abroad. "It feels like it was taken on more of a world stage, and people from all over the world are interested in country music. It continuing to grow. We're meeting people from other countries. It's incredible."

With the single out, Little Big Town's attention remains on their follow-up to to the million-selling "Tornado." When asked how the full disc compares to the lead-off track, Fairchild said. "It's like the tip of the iceberg on the record. It's its own work. I don't know how to describe it. It went differently in the studio than the last record did. "Tornado" went really fast. It was very spontaneous."

Sweet believes the project is one the fans will be very pleased with. He knows he is. "I'm so excited for everyone to hear this record. It makes me happy in my soul musically. I think that's all you can ask for at the end of the day, to have gone in and give it your best shot, and chase the music and let it lead you wherever it's going to go. That's what happened."