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Interview:
Big & Rich Make Room For Solo Work, Too
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

The country duo Big & Rich hasn’t released an album in a couple of years. But John Rich has no reservations about playing songs from “Son of a Preacher Man,” his second solo album, which came out earlier this year.

“People are coming there to see Big and Rich,” says Rich, 35, who began working with “Big” Kenny Alphin after leaving Lonestar in 1998. He had time to work on “Son of a Preacher Man” while Alphin dealt with the lingering effects of a neck injury he suffered when his car was struck by a drunk driver in 2001.

“You can’t have more fun than being part of Big & Rich,” Rich continues. “We’ve had songs like ‘Holy Water’ and ‘The Eighth of November’ that dealt with really serious subjects, but overall Big & Rich is more of a fun, party vibe, which I like. Trust me, you’ll be hard-pressed to come to Nashville ... and not run into me somewhere downtown, enjoying a Crown (whiskey) and some live music.”

“Son of a Preacher Man,” however, finds Rich in a more sober frame of mind, singing songs he acknowledges “would never be on a Big & Rich record because they’re too personal.” Those include songs about his father, who really is a preacher, and his grandfather, as well as the local favorite “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” which Rich wrote after hearing reports about financial executives using federal bail-out money for trips and office redecoration while Detroit auto manufacturers were made to squirm in congressional hearings over loan requests.

“I’ll play ‘Shuttin’ Detroit Down’ there (on Saturday night) for sure,” says Rich, who shot part of the song’s video in the Motor City. “It might prove to be the biggest song of my career.

“It was written as an outraged American, outraged at the government for giving massive sums of our money to people that misused it. As a tax-paying American, I take offense to it. As a country songwriter, I wrote a song about it ... and I used Detroit as the emblem for all hard-working Americans. And believe me, people get it, all over the world.”



Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy and Craig Morgan perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (July 25) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $43.50 and $21 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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