By Kurt Wolff
Sunny day? Check. Inner tubes and motorboats? Check. Good-looking men and woman in swimwear? Check, check and check. Water-skiing squirrel?
That’s right, the star of Brad Paisley’s music video for his new single “River Bank” is not just an everyday agency model, or even Paisley himself — it’s a squirrel. On water skis. Wearing a life vest and being towed behind a miniature motorboat.
The squirrel in question is actually a trained animal known as Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel. The first Twiggy began performing in the late 1970s, and since then there have been several squirrels who’ve used the name. Twiggy has since appeared on various TV shows and in films such as Anchorman.
Oh Paisley’s there, too, alongside his band, all of them picking and grinning while half-submerged (drums and steel guitar, too) in murky river water. And joining them are plenty of attractive folks splashing about on tubes, jumping off boats and sunning themselves on the dock. When Paisley sings in the song that he and his friends are “laughing all the way to the river bank,” he obviously takes that lyric seriously. This is one nutty riverside party.
See for yourself below.
As for the song, “River Bank” was written by Paisley and his longtime cowriter Kelley Lovelace. “I’ve called myself, for years, a river rat,” Paisley told the Nashville Tennessean about the song. “My best memories with my grandfather are on that body of water, and my dad and learning to ski.”
Paisley called it “kind of like a back-to-basics song, which is really an inner tube and a boat and you’ve got a theme park.”
“River Bank” is the first single from Paisley’s next studio album, Moonshine in the Trunk, which is set to drop Aug. 25 (note: the release date for the album has been updated). For this album, Paisley is veering away from the more serious (and at times controversial) material of his previous album and aiming for fun.
“I was trying to figure out where to go from here, what to write and what felt like what I wanted to do,” Paisley said of the new album’s musical direction. “There’s a groove that feels like that and I think we grabbed that groove when we made [‘River Bank’] and, more than that, there’s a mindset that I am completely ready for after this winter.”
Paisley kicked off his Country Nation World Tour earlier this month — see all cities and dates.