Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

by Griff Stevens

Kid Rock continues to explore music that speaks to him, Sweet Southern Sugar is the first album Kid Rock has cut in Nashville and his first release on his new label deal with BMG/Broken Bow Records.  One of the perks of aging and growing up in music, is the explorations are limitless.

From southern rock, hip-hop and soul, in addition to the hard rock found throughout his catalog, Sweet Southern Sugar seems to be a natural evolution of exploration for the Kid.  It was even rumored that Rock might run for the Senate.  In a recent interview with Howard Stern Rock stated ““F—k no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me?” Kid Rock told Howard Stern. “Who couldn’t figure that out? I’m releasing a new album on Nov. 3rd. I’m going on tour too. Are you f—king s—tting me?”  Kid Rock also told Stern that he remains a supporter of Donald Trump, calling the 45th president “the f—king s—t.” “[Trump’s] messaging is not the best,” Rock added. “And if I get to talk to him again, play golf or whatever, I’d be like, ‘Dude, we got to talk about this.’ I think the things he’s doing is good.”

But let’s get to the music, “Greatest Show On Earth” opens the album with big drums that lay down the back beat for the rockin’ guitar riffs. The verse is structured so that the first phrase is done with vocal harmony and the second phrase has Rock singing by himself. This makes for a nice call and response effect and adds to the interest of the tune. There is a building interlude between the verse and the chorus’ that builds the energy and anticipation for the chorus.  Rock has a catchy chorus on this one! At the end of the second verse, Rock skips the first interlude and instead builds on a rhythmic figure at the end of the verse to make use to the choruses. It is little variations like this that makes Rock’s music so interesting and a joy to listen to.

“Tennessee Mountain Top” finds Rock singing over a southern rock feel that brings all the things that we loved about the 60s and 70s southern rock into focus for his strong raspy vocals to ascend over. The female backing vocals, the organ and the tasty southern style guitar playing is spot on.  Rock’s dialed into the soul of great Southern Rock and it is good to hear. This is music that anyone can relate to! Kid Rock’s signature blend of Southern rock, rap and country, layered with vocal harmonies and punchy guitars, evoke old Glory and redneck patriotism.  Or something like that.


Track to sample first: “Po-Dunk.” The tracks to take a chance on are “Tennessee Mountain Top.” and “Greatest Show on Earth.”

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