AOL: You worked with Keith Stegall, who produces Alan as well, on this album. What's your relationship with him like?
BROWN: Keith has been a big believer since beginning, since we had to tell the Lost Trailers they couldn't have 'Chicken Fried' because we never intended for that to be released as a single by anyone other than us. Keith heard about how that whole thing went down and he's like, "I had to come meet the guy that told Nashville to ?F off'." And that's how we got to know each other and are still working together.
AOL: Do you have any dream collaborators you haven't worked with yet?
BROWN: Cee-Lo. Cee-Lo is one of my favorite artists, period. He's an unbelievable singer, rapper, writer, producer. My next album is an urban collaboration CD, and he doesn't know it yet, but I'm gonna ask him to produce it with me. He's in Atlanta too, and I think that I can pair a different musician with a different urban artist on every tune. It would be something that nobody would really see coming.
AOL: So you're serious about this?
BROWN: I didn't like hip-hop until Atlanta hip-hop. I didn't understand it. The Dungeon Family, Outkast, Ludacris, Cee-Lo ... all those people I started listening to. We just got off tour with Robert Randolph. They just came on to kill it, and I know that he wants to work with [some] of those guys, too. So we're gonna lay it down. We're gonna put together a super band [on] a hip-hop CD, which will be fun.
AOL: Another project on your horizon is starting a summer camp for kids with developmental needs. How did that come about?
BROWN: I worked with kids when I was younger. I was on staff at camps. [You] see the impact in one week that you can make with a child that will forever be with them. There's nothing more worthwhile to me than helping out a whole bunch of kids. We're building a big project close to where we live to lodge them all and to make sure everybody's able to rehabilitate themselves in a beautiful outdoor setting. This is the year to get it started. [It's called] Camp Southern Ground.
-- Melinda Newman