How Little Big Town Became Country Music’s Most Unconventional Band

In a genre dominated by forgettable hits by young male stars, a mixed-gender vocal group of fortysomethings are writing and recording new classics

Karen Fairchild’s son has a question for his mom: “Is soundcheck finished?”

“Not yet babe, I wish,” says Fairchild, standing onstage at Carnegie Hall, where her band Little Big Town have been running through vocal arrangements and stage directions for a performance that evening. “It’s almost done,” she reassures her child, who’s been patiently waiting in the otherwise eerily empty esteemed theater. The quartet has been soundchecking for over an hour.