Country singer and songwriter Charles Kelley has had quite a busy year.

Charles Kelley

We caught up with country singer and songwriter Charles Kelley last month, during CMA Music Festival in Nashville, who is in the midst of quite a busy year. Kelley released his debut solo album "The Driver", earlier this year and is also in the studio with his band Lady Antebellum working on music for their forthcoming album. Kelley and his wife, Cassie, also welcomed the first child earlier this year.

The video for Kelley's current single "Lonely Girl" was released earlier this month, and he made an appearance on ABC's The Bachelorette singing his song "The Only One Who Gets Me". After closing out the his "The Driver" tour, Kelley says the rest of his summer will be spent promoting his single project, and performing fair and festival shows with Lady Antebellum.

While he enjoys the individuality and spontaneity of being a solo artist on tour, Kelley notes that there are definite differences in a Charles Kelley tour and a Lady Antebellum tour. "Lady Antebellum tours have our own catering, nice hotels, and play in big arenas and amphitheaters. Charles Kelley tours are just two buses, trailers and small venues, but it's really fun, a little more off the cuff. I can fly by the seat of my pants a little bit more as a solo artist because I'm not tied down by a bunch of production. With Lady A, it's an hour and a half of hits and with the solo project it's more of a discovery, but musically I've gotten to explore a lot of sides myself artistically."

Kelley says that there has been some crossover of Lady Antebellum fans, but there are also new fans that are attracted to a different style of music. "I have been able to explore a lot of my influences. I grew up with Southern Rock, bands like the Eagles. From a live show perspective, I try to make it more musical. There are of course a lot of Lady Antebellum fans that are curious, but I have found some new fans from songs like The Driver. The material is a little more edgy than Lady Antebellum. I just wanted to make sure it separates itself from Lady A. I want to make sure I respect the sound of our band when I play."

We, of course, had to know Kelley's favorite Southern music spots to play. "For solo, we finished our tour at the Georgia Theatre and I went to school at UGA. It was one of the best shows of the tour. Georgia Theatre has a lot of history to it, and Lady Antebellum played there early on. And of course, The Ryman here in Nashville."

You can catch Charles Kelley, along with Lady Antebellum on "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" airing on Wednesday August 3rd at 8/7c on ABC.

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