After revealing that his U.S. Senate campaign was a joke, Kid Rock is back to music with his 11th studio album, Sweet Southern Sugar.
The 10-track set features the previously released songs "Greatest Show On Earth," "Po' Dunk" and "Tennessee Mountain Top," as well as a dark cover of the Four Tops' "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch." It's the first Rock album recorded primarily in Nashville and with a new label deal, and he tells us he approached the set in a different way than its predecessors:
"A lot of it was just being in a place I'm at now, which...is stepping away from the business a little bit. I don't get a real positive feeling from it. It doesn't make me a happy person to deal with it. When we went into it, the whole thing was...so much easier and enjoyable than pulling my hair out, what I've done to make records and going through the process of it...We just went into it, and I was like, 'Look, I don't have a deal and I asked (co-producer) Justin Niebank, who I think is one of the most talented people...I told him, 'Hey, would you like to get some guys together, I wrote some songs, and make a record?' I said 'I got no record label, got no budget, just really absolutely nothing tied to this at all except let's go have fun.'"
Rock plans to start his next tour Jan. 19 in Nashville, but don't expect to see him doing a lot of promotion for Sweet Southern Sugar between now and then:
"I'm sorry, s***'s changed...One of the things I hated was sitting there answering the same questions all day...Hate taking pictures. Nothing worse that I hate than taking pictures, and pretty much all this is taking pictures and talking to people, and oh then you have to show up to everything and play live, which I never liked playing live on TV, never, any of the scenarios...We've gotten away with it a few times, which I think we've done some great things, we've done some bad things. That's what happens when you play TV. But it's never been representative of what I do live."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.