Charles Kelley had always wanted to record Tom Petty's song "Southern Accents" with his band, Lady Antebellum, but the timing was never right. Now, Kelley is getting the chance to record the song with a new collaborator — legendary singer Stevie Nicks.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Kelley opened up about the incredible opportunity and what it was like to work with such an iconic figure in music.
Kelley shared that he had originally planned to record the song to go on his solo album, The Driver, but he never heard it as a duet — until Nicks heard his version and asked if she could be a part of it. So the pair recorded their vocals at the Village Studios in Los Angeles, in the very same room Petty originally captured the track.
"It was pretty spooky," Kelley said of the experience. "It was one of those moments where it's like, 'Alright, we've gotta do this thing right and do him proud.' "
The singer shared that he and Nicks worked from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., although Nicks only needed an hour and a half to knock out her vocals. The rest of the time, the two were deep in conversation.
"She was like, 'We had all these animal tusks around and animal prints covering the studio, and this is where we would throw down the coke,' " Kelley shared. "And as I'm drinking my Starbucks coffee, I'm thinking, 'The times sure have changed.' But just to hear those stories was so funny.
"She's really sweet, and she's a very wise person," he added. "She's very mystical. Conversations always drift into spiritual, mystical worlds when she's talking about music and how it moves you and the colors of it," he said.
"It's very much what you would think Stevie Nicks would talk about, but on the flip side, we'll have a 30-minute conversation about how much she loves her dog and how she was watching something like The Voice and talking about Adam [Levine] and Blake [Shelton], very normal things. But man, she's still Stevie Nicks."
Kelley also shared that the song was just the thing to tie The Driver together, and that his wife's seal of approval was all he needed to hear.
"I was in the [Driver] project for so long and was very self-conscious about it," he said, "so to have my wife be like, 'This is really special,' I was really proud."