Though Big & Rich might be best known for such party anthems as “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and “Comin’ To Your City,” John Rich and Big Kenny are getting a little more introspective these days, and family is the inspiration.
“My Son” is a poignant track on their new album, “Did It For the Party,” which drops Sept. 15. “It’s a pretty powerful song,” John says. “It’s written like a Johnny Cash lyric, so it’s a very stripped down recording, bare bones minimal lyric, but every word counts. It’s basically — if you could leave behind words that you would want your sons to hear your perspective, what would you tell them? That’s what that song is about. One line says, ‘My son, remember as you grow into a man and let me go, I’ll remain your cornerstone.’ ”
After years of relentless recording and touring, the duo took a hiatus several years back to pursue solo endeavors. “The main thing that both of us did is we both had two sons each in that downtime,” John says.
“When ‘Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy’ hit, it’s like the gas pedal slammed to the floor and there were rockets attached to it. It was a relentless pace that we were on for many, many years,” he continues. “It was time to come off the road, get our heads straightened out and get something more to life than just that, so that’s what we both did in that time off. When we got back together and turned the engine back on, here come the songs.”
Big Kenny’s wife, Christiev, provided inspiration for a couple of romantic tunes on the new set. “There’s quite of a few songs on here that come out of this sweet season in life,” Big Kenny says. “There are a couple on here that are written about my relationship, what my woman means to me. ‘Turns Me On’ [talks about] clothes being on the floor, the [a] brush in the sink. There’s a mess everywhere. The stereo is up loud and you would think that that would bother me, but no, no, no, that turns me on. It’s the woman behind that I know is the reason for it, so it’s kind of a flip on that. ‘The Long Way Home’ says we’ve always got time enough to take the long way home, to take a little ride and be together versus rushing through your life and not remembering the real moments that make a difference.”
Lest anyone think the guys have gone too soft with songs about fatherhood and marital bliss, one look at the track listing for the new album should assuage those fears. With songs like “Funk in the Country,” “We Came Here to Rawk” and “Did It For the Party,” Big & Rich are still delivering everything their freak parade expects and more.