As with all forms of music, country music can at times be a bit schizophrenic. The Kid Rock song "All Summer Long," which topped the country charts in 2008, borrowed elements from Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" (with kinda disastrous sampled-guitar results, I cringe). When Jewel and Darius Rucker (of Hootie & the Blowfish) became relevant only to those VH-1 "Hey guys, remember the 90s?" specials, they both crossed over to country. And what do Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg have in common? I mean, other than that.
Willie collaborated with Snoop on his country crossover (is it really a crossover if it never gets played on country radio? No matter...) "My Medicine."
But this is all small potatoes. For the ultimate country mindfuck, check out the MuzikMafia, two artists from which will be performing at Grand Casino Hinckley this Saturday: John Rich and Cowboy Troy (8:00PM, tickets from $25).
What is the MuzikMafia? Well, a glance at their home page highlights new music from overtly conservative artists like Gretchen Wilson and Hank Williams Jr., and a banner proclaiming "Save Darfur: Stop the Genocide." A link to join the revolution by becoming a "Mafia Soldier" and news about an upcoming charity concert, "Nashville 4 Africa."
You can read their manifesto of sorts, which consistently makes reference to great muzik, playing muzik, making muzik and country muzik but in short, according to John Rich collaborator Big Kenny (of Big and Rich), "Our mission is simple: Share our love of muzik, without prejudice."
Uh...Prejudice against what?
According to the manifesto, the Mafia started with the idea of bringing a group of artists together, "regardless of race, religion, background or muzikal genre, to make muzik."
Allow the befuddlement to continue. Here are are just a few of the bigger (or just more interesting) names heading up the MuzikMafia.
The Family Members
A collective of whatever the fuck they want. Okay.
Check out Saturday's show at Grand Casino, and see if you can make some sense of it.
John Rich and Cowboy Troy, Grand Casino Hinckley, Saturday November 21, 8:00, tickets $25 and up.