Muzik Mafia rides again
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Muzik Mafia rides again

Friday, April 1, 2011 – Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson will hit the road for "Xtreme Muzik The Tour." The tour, which will include special guests Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred, will visit over 30 cities beginning June 18 in Springfield, Mo.

Sharing one eight-piece band on a custom stage that includes a fully-operational bar as the centerpiece, the co-headliners will rarely leave the stage. The music will not stop, as Big & Rich and Wilson will perform and often join in on each other's songs.

The duo and Wilson were part of their self-named Muzik Mafia conglomerate in Nashville, where they were considered left of center.

"We've been talking about this for quite a while, and we really put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into putting together a show we feel the fans will walk away and say, 'wow, I've never seen anything like that'," said Wilson. "You're going to see me come out and sing on Big & Rich songs, you're going to see John and Kenny sing on my songs, and there's no telling where Two-Foot and Cowboy Troy will be."

"They'll be up at the bar," Rich joked. "You know, this crew started out with a bunch of us hanging out in little clubs playing all kinds of music," he added, paying homage to the MuzikMafia movement they started years ago in Nashville. "We want to give our fans not just a great night of music but an experience they'll talk about for a long time."

"We've been friends for so long," said Big Kenny, "writing, recording, touring and even watching our kids grow up together. John and I have both done solo projects, which were fun, but we're ready to get out and make some Big & Rich noise. This set is custom-designed to deliver all the hits that everybody wants to hear."

Big & Rich set country music on its ear when their Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) single and video hit the airwaves in 2004. In 2008, the award-winning duo announced they would go on hiatus while Big Kenny recovered from a pre-existing neck injury. In the years that followed, with mutual blessings, each released solo albums.

Big Kenny followed his "Love Everybody" heart across the globe, where he worked tirelessly in the Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, helped deliver medical supplies and entertain aid workers in Haiti following the devastating earthquake and more. He was the sole writer on Tim McGraw's number one hit Last Dollar (Fly Away).

Rich hosted three seasons of CMT's "Gone Country" show, scored a solo hit with Shuttin' Detroit Down, produced records on Jewel, Randy Owen, the JaneDear girls and published Jason Aldean's smash duet with Kelly Clarkson Don't You Wanna Stay. He is now a contender on the top-rated "Celebrity Apprentice" working feverishly for his favorite charity, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Wilson's most recent disc is "I Got Your Country Right Here," and I'd Love To Be Your Last is her current single. She was nominated for two Grammy Awards this year.

Cowboy Troy is a rapper from Texas who gained play with I Play Chicken With The Train.

Rich met Two Foot Fred Gill in a bar in 1998 in Nashville. They kept in touch over the next several years and in December 2004, Fred received a message John Rich asking him to be in the upcoming Big & Rich video. Fred agreed, and the rest is history.

Current tour dates are:

June 25 - Walker, Minn

July 2 - Denver

July 16 - Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada

July 22 - Pittsburgh

July 30 - Riverside, Ia.

Aug. 10 - Sikeston, Mo.

Sept. 2- Whites Creek, Tenn.

Sept. 3 - Pontiac, Mich.

Sept. 4 - Naperville Ill.

Sept. 11 - Pomona, Cal.

Sept. 19 - Puyallup, Wash.

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CD reviews for Big & Rich

CD review - Gravity Was it all their fault? It's been 10 years since Big & Rich injected a modern twist on the country sound on to the charts. The monster hit from their debut record, "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)", never did reach number 1, but it sure seemed inescapable in 2004. Since then all of the duo's antics that seemed daring then -- from hip hop experimentation to raucous rock shows celebrating a never ending party ethic - these things don't just feel like the fringes of ...
CD review - Hillbilly Jedi Big & Rich, last heard from with 2009's "Greatest Hits," is a duo that vacillates between musical extremes. Either they're partying like there's no tomorrow, as happens during Cowboyz, or they are the preacher's pets, exemplified by That's Why I Pray. But can these lustful 'Cause I Play Guitar guys, be the same ones that singer tender ballads like Last Words? Apparently so. It's the whole Saturday night vs. Sunday morning paradox, one supposes. ...
CD review - Greatest Hits Thoroughly unafraid to lead the freak parade for the better part of this decade, Big Kenny and John Rich have repeatedly demonstrated their range in each of their three studio albums, giving voice to tender ballads alongside their over-the-top party hits. That range is well-showcased here. As is often the case with hits collections, the way you feel about this album will be directly related to how you feel about Big and Rich, a duo that has served to divide the country community between those ...

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