Big & Rich exhibition lands at Country Music Hall of Fame
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Big & Rich exhibition lands at Country Music Hall of Fame

Thursday, May 17, 2007 – Love Everybody: Big & Rich, a spotlight exhibit focusing on the careers of one of country music's most irreverent and innovative duos, will open on June 6 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

When Big Kenny Alphin met John Rich in 1998, both were already music industry veterans with Rich part of Lonestar and Alphin a member of a rock band. They clicked as collaborators and became friends and writing partners, often jamming at each other's shows and those of their friends.

These informal sessions evolved into a weekly Tuesday night gig for a loose aggregation known as the MuzikMafia, whose other members included Cowboy Troy, James Otto and Gretchen Wilson, as well as visual and spoken-word artists. Alphin and Rich caught the attention of Warner Nashville, who signed the duo in 2003. Their good-time blend of country, rock, rap and pop was very much in evidence on their triple-platinum debut CD, "Horse of a Different Color," which spawned the singles "Wild West Show" and "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)."

Big & Rich released their platinum follow-up album, Comin' to Your City, in 2005 and scored hits with the title cut and their tribute to Vietnam veterans, "8th of November." While racking up CD sales, Alphin and Rich have continued to write chart-topping songs for other artists, including Jason Aldean, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Gretchen Wilson. The duo's third CD, "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, "will be out June 5.

Exhibit highlights include:

Rich's custom-made Epiphone Hummingbird guitar, inscribed with a hand-written 30th birthday message from Big Kenny.

A pair of Rich's Wrangler jeans, customized with rhinestone embroidery done by his grandmother, Ann Rich ("Granny Rich").

Big Kenny's 2000 Guild F-50R guitar, personalized with his motto, 'Love Everybody,' and used in the video for the duo's single "Holy Water" and on the nation-wide, sell-out 2004 stadium tour they shared with Tim McGraw and Martina McBride that year.

Big Kenny's top hat, a reproduction of the one given to him by Niles Harris, the Vietnam veteran who inspired the duo's 2006 single "8th of November."

Love Everybody: Big & Rich, which is included with regular Museum admission, will remain open through December.


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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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