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Brad Paisley and Brian Setzer Perform Two Songs on ‘CMA Country Christmas’ Special

Brad Paisley Brian Setzer
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Viewers in the audience and at home could only watch in amazement as two of the finest guitarists around traded licks during Thursday night’s ‘CMA Country Christmas’ special on ABC. Brian Setzer sang while Brad Paisley took lead on ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.’

Between songs, host Jennifer Nettles asked Paisley what playing with Setzer is like. “It’s like if I was expecting a Luke Skywalker action figure and got the Millennium Falcon,” he responded in typical dry Paisley fashion. For those not familiar with the ‘Star Wars’ movies, the Millennium Falcon is way, way cooler than a little ol’ action figure.

Paisley wore a poinsettia red jacket and his white cowboy hat as he pulled and bent the strings on his paisley covered Telecaster. The swing legend’s hair was set to show Nike how a swoosh is done as he worked his way through both Christmas standards. The lyrics of both songs were really just side dishes to the guitar warfare going on between the two talented players. A horn section dressed in leopard print jackets did their best to keep up.

Earlier in the night, Nettles tweeted, “My plan is to dress like a Christmas tree ornament as much as possible on this show.” We’ve never seen an ornament wearing a split to the naval, mirror ball dress. They must have been sold out.

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