With a career spanning over fifteen years, the multi-platinum duo of Big & Rich has garnered multiple CMA, CMT, and Grammy nominations. Big Kenny & John Rich are not one to follow current music trends. From their first hit ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy’ to their current single, titled ‘California,’ which is moving quickly up the charts, they have made an impact on their audience around the country.
The duo will be releasing their 6th studio album in September. Their albums and songs have changed as they have moved on from being single guys to being married with children. Each song on their albums come from a different place. Whatever song they had in their head at that time, either lyrically or story wise, they are tied into what is going in their lives at the time. They write in the moment as the story line changes and life goes on. Some of their longtime fans are often in the same place that they are. The duo finds connectivity with the audience at their shows because of it. “Music is not a game to follow trends. We are going to say and do what is on our minds and in our hearts at that time and that turns into music. It is what artists are supposed to do,” says John Rich.
Releasing ‘California’ as the first single from the album ‘Did It For The Party,’ was an easy choice for the duo. The song was first released by Tim McGraw on his ‘Damn Country Music’ album. Tim never released the song as a single so that left Big & Rich to re-record the song with an interesting new color and flavor. Fans of Big & Rich know that they cover many different genres of music from over the years. From hard rock country to serious songs, party songs and everything in between. John goes on to say, “We haven’t had this kind of vibe on a song. Sonically and lyrically we loved the way it felt the way it sounded.”
There are always songs on an album that the duo wishes could have been singles. Big & Rich try to create ‘bodies of work,’ a record as a standalone piece of work. “If fans are going to spend their hard-earned money on our music, we need to give them something as great as we can top to bottom,” John Rich explained. All the songs on the album mean something to the duo even if they are never released as singles.
Fans of Big & Rich span generations and at a Big & Rich show you will hear old and new hits. There is no separation between the artists and the audience and It is a back and forth from the stage to the fans. If you have been to a Big & Rich show you may have seen the duo pull people from the audience to have them join the band on stage for a beer. The duo usually finds those fans in the audience having an “Abundant Big & Rich time… Our show is something that fans continue to come back and come back year after year, because it’s an engagement,” John exclaimed.
Big Kenny and John Rich are as different as night and day, or as John said “salt and pepper.” Each balances the other out. John may look at something in one perspective that is different from the way Big Kenny may look at it. They both have the same work ethic and share the same load with the same strength. John went on to say, “When you look at part of a circumference, I’m on one side and Kenny is on the other, put us together and you get a 360-degree view of everything.”
Whatever the due is doing, it’s working. I wouldn’t change a thing.
The tour to promote their album, ‘Did It For The Party’ started in February and runs all the way through October.
Tickets for their shows are on sale here on their website.
Artist interview conducted by Lorraine Frigoletto, contributing writer for NECM. You can follow me on Twitter.