Catching up with Kellie Pickler before Tiffin gigWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kellie Pickler can’t stand still.
“I just love being on the road. There’s a comfort that I have on my bus and that I find being on the road, just moving. I love being mobile,” the country star said and laughed.
It’s probably not a coincidence that her new single from “The Woman I Am,” which released in November, is “Little Bit Gypsy.” Consider the chorus of the fun, catchy song:
“I’m a traveling circus train/ Spinning weathervane/ Going where the wind blows/ I was born to chase the sun/ Some horses gotta run/ Yeah, I’m always gonna be/ A little bit gypsy.”
“For me, a gypsy is a feeling and is a free spirit and is kind of a wanderer. You know, there’s this curiosity about the world and experiencing as much of the world as you can experience,” she said. “I think there’s a difference in being alive and living, and while I’m alive, I want to live.”
During a call from Nashville, Tenn., Pickler exuded Southern charm.
“I ran into an elderly woman the other day, and she said that she loved ‘Little Bit Gypsy,’ that it made her feel like a teenager. And that’s really cool; songs are supposed to take you places, and I love that it made her go back to that teenage place, that childlike place. I think that it’s important that we carry that childlikeness around with us everywhere.”
Maybe that’s why Pickler seems so genuine. That honesty comes through on the song “The Woman I Am,” which she co-wrote with her husband, Kyle Jacobs.
“Sometimes I cry at night/ I fall to pieces with Patsy Cline/ Man, how many songs sound like that?” Pickler sings. “I like my coffee black/ Three ice cubes in my Jack/ Daddy taught me how to drink like a man/ But that’s just the woman I am.”
“It was just really interesting to write that and to especially do it with my husband because no one knows me better than him,” she said. “It’s really an opportunity to do a lot of self-reflecting and just kind of stand back and look at myself from an outsider’s perspective and see who exactly I am, what are the things that kind of molded me this way.”
Her great-grandmother helped shape the singer-songwriter, who pays tribute to her with “Selma Drye.”
“She kept a .38 Special and a can of snuff/ In the pocket of her apron in case somethin’ came up/ She grew up ragged, she grew up rough/ The way she had to be,” Pickler sings.
“Whenever the school bus would drop me off, I would go visit her on the way. We had a long dirt road — I would first stop at my great-grandma Drye’s, Selma, and I’d visit with her. So Iremember her very well. She was a pistol, for sure. Most of the grandkids were scared of her,” Pickler said and laughed. “But I was so intrigued by her, so I spent a lot of time with her growing up.”
The North Carolina native ambled into the spotlight during the fifth season of “American Idol,” finishing in sixth place.
In 2006, her debut, “Small Town Girl,” yielded three hits: “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” Her 2008 self-titled follow-up featured “Best Days of Your Life,” which Pickler co-wrote with Taylor Swift, “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” and “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again.”
“100 Proof,” her third disc, was named one of the country albums of 2012 by Rolling Stone and was listed on “Best of 2012” lists by The Washington Post and Rhapsody.
Last spring, Pickler was paired with Derek Hough in another reality TV competition; the energetic couple turned in performances as sparkling as their attire and won the mirrorball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Hough encouraged her to shoot for Broadway.
“I’ve never been asked to do anything. If the opportunity comes along and it’s the right part, then I’d love to do it,” she said.
Pickler will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 in The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin. Tickets range from $45 to $75.
Tags: "Little Bit Gypsy", American Idol, Best of 2012, Broadway, country star, Derek Hough, Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, North Carolina, reality TV, Rhapsody, Rolling Stone, The Ritz, The Washington Post, Tiffin