Brad Paisley’s good looks and squeaky-clean image, including his ever-present spotless white Stetson, might seem to contradict what works on the country-music charts, but Paisley is huge—and exceptionally clever, too. Paisley’s slick records avoid the glasslike sheen of so much modern country, and his songs toggle between punning critique and heartrending ripostes. He’s also an insanely good guitarist, which gives all of the moments between verses a little extra helpful volatility on his excellent 2009 album, American Saturday Night, and his most recent, This Is Country Music. Recently he tweeted that he has begun working on a new album. And just last month, he voiced himself on an episode of South Park, in which, of course, he sang.