Brad Paisley at Nationwide Arena

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From the October 4, 2012 edition

“This Is Country Music” is a loaded album title — one, because Brad Paisley ventures to sum up his genre; two, because maybe Paisley thinks the sum is him.

He wouldn’t be wrong. Paisley encapsulates today’s twang. His title track is tried-and-true bullheadedness, a defiant defense of hay bale music against coastal elites made of straw. He also reps the classics (“Old Alabama”), thanks God for his family (“One of Those Lives”) and invades Kenny Chesney’s tropics (“Working On a Tan”).

Even Paisley’s extracurriculars represent what’s all the rage in Nashville these days, from tabloid flings (his early career tryst with Chely Wright) to TV crossovers (he produced the failed CW pilot “Nashville” and guested on “South Park”). And while his “Paisley Party” tours are through, Paisley’s jaunt with The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery seems primed for 2012’s de rigueur down-home revelry.