This Is the Kid Rock I Love

So far, so damn good. And I say that about tonight’s (Nov. 21) American Music Awards because of the roughly four minutes Kid Rock just spent on stage. I may be biased because I was born and raised in the Motor City and have General Motors oil in my blood, but the song Rock performed gave me goose bumps the size of a hood ornament. He may not have meant for “Times Like These” to come off like a full-on country song. But to me, here’s why it felt country. It was moving, there was only one guitar and one harmony singer backing him, and his voice was honest and pure and deeply emotional. (In a sexy way, though, if you can make the recession sexy.) And after about an hour of super glitzy choreographed numbers from other stars, this performance made a definite impact. The song’s about how he heard them say they’re shutting Detroit down, but he won’t leave ’cause this is his hometown, and how, “Times like these we can’t replace/It’s times like these we must embrace/And even though it’s bittersweet and brings us to our knees/It makes us who we are in times like these.” The actual recording on his Born Free album is good, but a little slicker than what I just heard. So if you want to hear this acoustic one, go rewind your DVR. Or go see him in concert. Like on Jan. 15, in Detroit with Jamey Johnson. It’ll do you — and Detroit — a lot of good.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.