This Friday, country duo Big & Rich's "Xtreme Muzik Tour" hits the Mystic Amphitheater (8PM, $25-49), with openers Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred.
Our confusion over Big & Rich doesn't start or end there. Two years ago when John Rich (sans Big) played Grand Casino with Cowboy Troy (sans Two Foot Fred), we reflected upon the duo's "Muzik Mafia" - its manifesto, its players, and its politics. Rich, who is the most recent winner of Celebrity Apprentice, has over the years come under fire for homophobic sentiments and conservative politics. (An aside: Rich arrived in town earlier this week as one of many celebrity guests and performers at the Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala in St. Paul, alongside Apprentice co-stars Marlee Matlin, Meat Loaf and Gary Busey, as well as Garth Brooks, Miley Cyrus, and others.)
This Friday at Mystic, however, Rich will be joined by his "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" counterpart "Big" Kenny Alphin, who might be considered the Colmes to Rich's Hannity. While Rich has come out against gay marriage, a glance at "Big Kenny's" recent Facebook posts show he's the kind of guy who quotes bell hooks - yes, we have here country singer who goes by the name Big Kenny, who sings a song inspired by a bumper sticker you're likely to see on the Silverado pickup truck of a bachelorette cowgirl living in Wyoming or Montana, and who quotes bell hooks - and he has been known to support more progressive causes.
Add appearances Friday by a rapping cowboy (Cowboy Troy) and a man who at three feet, two inches tall makes Little Jimmy Dickens look like a giant (Two Foot Fred), and the befuddlement lessens not at all.
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