Big things are coming from Big & Rich in 2012. Big Kenny and John Rich are back in the studio and working on their first album in 5 years. Thanks to Jon Bon Jovi, they have a Star Wars inspired name for the album. The new album is called Hillbilly Jedis and from what John told me it will have “the biggest song we’ve ever recorded” on it. And no, it isn’t a song about lightsabers or Darth Vader.

Big Kenny told the Tennessean the name “came out in a writing session we were doing with Richie Sambora and Bon Jovi we were doing the other week. He explained that it is “a line in the song was hillbilly jedis with attitude. All of a sudden, Bon Jovi stops and says, ‘Hillbilly Jedis? That’s it. I’d buy that shirt.’ We were like, ‘Hey, that’s about a descriptive as you can get of what we are.’”

John called me to talk about an upcoming concert right here in Detroit! Big & Rich are playing on June 16 at Michigan International Speedway with special guests are Cowboy Troy and Bradley Gaskin. The concert takes places right after the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

I asked John about a song off of Hillbilly Jedis that struck a powerful cord with me.

John spoke about the “powerful songs in our career. We’ve had the great party songs, about coming to your city and save a horse. But then we’ve had the 8th of November, Lost in this Moment With You. I put out Shuttin’ Detroit Down and you know we’ve had some pretty serious songs.” He went on to say that “this song, ‘That’s Why I Pray,’ I think my gut tell me it may be the biggest song we’ve ever recorded.

That’s Why I Pray” will be officially out at the end of May. If catch a Big & Rich show before then, John said they’re “working it up with the band and putting it right into all of our shows.“ So you bet you’ll hear it when the guys play at MIS on June 16th!

You can get tickets to the show and race at or by phone at (800) 354-1010.


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