When Big & Rich went on hiatus in 2008, after three albums and four Top 20 country hits, there were rumblings that the split would be for good. But John Rich says that was never the country duo’s intent.
“It was a break from Big & Rich, not an ending of Big & Rich,” explains Rich, 37. “I think a lot of people spun it into, ‘Oh no, Big & Rich is over.’
We didn’t say that. There wasn’t, like, a Brooks & Dunn farewell tour. There never was a concern about whether we would want to come back and do it; our concern was whether the fans would still be there. And sure enough they are.”
Both Rich and Big Kenny Alphin were busy during the interim. Rich released a solo album (which included the hit “Shutting Detroit Down”) and a pair of EPs and won “Celebrity Apprentice.” Big Kenny, meanwhile, also released a solo album, and both men appeared on TV talent reality shows.
Big & Rich have been back together in May, and their first new recording in nearly three years is “Fake I.D.,” which also features Gretchen Wilson and will be used in this fall’s remake of “Footloose.” Rich says the duo recorded the song, which is already climbing the country charts, “about the same time” as the “Footloose” team was looking for material, and the timing was fortuitous.
“We had recorded this song but hadn’t decided to put it out yet,” Rich recalls. “The ‘Footloose’ people heard it and said, ‘We want this song in the movie. We want to play the whole song in the movie,” and it really is used that way, in this really cool bar scene.
“So we said, ‘What the hell. Let’s put it out,’ and now we kick off our shows with ‘Fake I.D.’ “
Big & Rich headline the Xtreme Muzik Tour with Gretchen Wilson, Dwight Yoakam, Bradley Gaskin, Tommy Steele, Josh Thompson and Cowboy Troy at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Pontiac Silverdome, 1200 Featherstone Road at Opdyke. Tickets are $25-$55. Call 248-338-2500 or visit www.silverdometickets.com.
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