THE man known around the world as Kid Rock has always defied easy labeling, and now, with the eagerly awaited follow-up to his 2001 smash, “COCKY,” Detroit’s Favorite Son has taken his genre-blurring musical mash to an all-new plane with his self-titled new album.
“KID ROCK” is Rock’s most emotionally naked collection to date, with songs like “Cold and Empty” and the album-opening “Rock n’ Roll Pain Train” finding him looking at his life thus far and acknowledging that even an American Bad Ass needs to stop and smell the roses: “On that rock n’ roll pain train/After the lights go down/I live out in the woods now/It helps me keep my feet on the ground/Life’s been good to me so far/Hope it’s been kind to you/Stand strong in the storms of life/The sun will always shine on you.”
The album’s stunning centerpiece is the epic “I Am,” an anthemic statement of purpose in which Rock affirms his freedom as an artist and as an American. Patriotism is invoked all too often in these troubled times, but Rock has long put his money where his mouth is, performing for the United States Armed Forces whenever and wherever he has been called to serve, in both peacetime and in war.
None of which is to say that the original Pimp of the Nation has gone soft – far from it, in fact. “KID ROCK” is packed with a wide load of Rock’s trademark good-time raucousness, from the swaggering cover of Bad Company’s ’70s classic, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (the album’s first single), to the self- explanatory “Rock n’ Roll,” to “Son Of Detroit,” Rock’s chest-thumping autobiographical adaptation of outlaw country legend David Allen Coe’s classic “Son Of The South” – “I’m a redneck rock and roll son of Detroit/I don’t like no new wave techno bands around/I’m a drink a couple dozen beers, go out and jam some gears/I’m a longhaired redneck rock and roll son of Detroit.”
Backed, as ever, by the amazing Twisted Brown Trucker – guitarists Kenny Olson and Jason Krause, keyboardist Jimmie Bones, and drummer Stefanie Eulinberg – Kid Rock also invited a few special guests to sit in. Blues guitar hero Kenny Wayne Shepherd and tenor man David McMurray kick out the jams on “Black Bob,” while ZZ Top’s one and only Billy Gibbons lends guest vocals (and beer!) to the rowdy “Hillbilly Stomp.”
Elsewhere on “KID ROCK” – recorded at the Allen Roadhouse (north of Detroit, south of Heaven) – Rock is visited by some of his dearest friends and fans, such as Hank Williams Jr., who shares vocals on the outrageously bawdy rave- up, “Cadillac Pussy.” Also joining in is Sheryl Crow, who collaborated with Rock on last year’s hugely successful single, “Picture.” The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter co-wrote and sings backing vocals on “Run Off To L.A.”
Another back-to-the-future highlight of “KID ROCK” is “Hard Night For Sarah,” penned by Motor City icon Bob Seger. The song – which was recorded for Seger’s 1979 classic “AGAINST THE WIND,” but ended up o on the cutting room floor – is Rock’s way of spreading the word to a new generation about one of his all-time favorite songwriters.
“KID ROCK” closes with a poignant bonus song, “Single Father,” co-written with David Allen Coe. The tender track – described by Rock as a “tearjerker” – is brutally honest and powerfully emotional, as Kid Rock expresses profound love for his son while lamenting the difficulties of being a one-man parent: “He says daddy explain/If it’s not too much bother/While it’s just you and me/Living here in this home/I don’t understand it/And either does he/Why there’s just two/When there should be three of us/Sharing this moment/Lord I feel so alone.”
With this sonic powerhouse of a record, the Son of Detroit has crafted his bravest, ballsiest collection thus far — a wide-ranging, far-reaching assortment of songs that truly warrant the name “KID ROCK.”
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In 1998, Kid Rock unleashed his major label debut, the classic “DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE.” The album – which includes the smash singles/videos “I Am The Bullgod,” “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” and “Only God Knows Why” – eventually went on to be Diamond Award certified by the RIAA for more than 10,000,000 sold.
2000 saw the release of “THE HISTORY OF ROCK,” a specially assembled compilation comprised of previously unreleased recordings such as the Grammy Award-nominated single, “American Bad Ass,” as well as remixed and reworked tracks from Kid Rock’s long-unavailable early works. The collection made its chart debut at #2 on the Billboard album chart, en route to triple platinum certification by the RIAA for sales in excess of 3,000,000.
Rock’s next magnum opus, the acclaimed “COCKY,” was released in November 2001. Recorded in Detroit at Kid Rock’s Clarkston Chophouse studio, the album includes such larger-than-life arena anthems as “Forever,” “What I Learned Out On The Road,” “Lonely Road of Faith,” and the sensational Top Ten duet with Sheryl Crow, “Picture.” At this writing, the RIAA 4x-platinum certified “COCKY” remains on the “Billboard 200” album chart more than 100 weeks after its release.
An inveterate road warrior, Kid Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker have earned a reputation as one of hardest working bands in rock n’ roll, blowing the roofs off of theatres, arenas, and enormodomes on countless cross-country tours, not to mention treks around the globe.
Since breaking out with “DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE,” Rock has been the recipient of a wide assortment of honors, including multiple Grammy Award nominations, and taking home such trophies as the Billboard Music Video Award and “Favorite Male Pop/Rock” honors from the American Music Awards
Kid Rock has been loud and proud in his support of the men and women of the United States Military. In January 2001, he donated proceeds from a Norfolk, Virginia concert to the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society, an effort undertaken to aid the families of those crewmembers killed in the terrorist attack on the USS Cole. The concert came about after Rock heard that “American Bad Ass” was played over the loudspeakers of the crippled naval ship just as it pulled out of port to head home. December of that year saw Rock and TBT visiting the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany to perform alongside J-Lo and Ja Rule for a massive U.S.O. show (later broadcast on MTV as For The Troops: An MTV/U.S.O. Special).
In June 2003, Rock ventured to Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq as part of a U.S.O. tour to brighten the spirits of troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A highlight of the journey occurred as Rock arrived at a military hangar in Baghdad expecting to just sign autographs. When the thousands of troops waiting to meet him started cheering, the Motor City superstar decided to put on an impromptu concert, using instruments on stage designated for a military band.