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."
A back-to-the-future highlight of the album 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 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
* * * * *
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
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 a 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.