Kid Rock Details Sweet Southern Sugar

New Album Arrives Nov. 3 and Launches 2018 Tour in Nashville

For more than 20 years, Kid Rock, 46, has built a career creating music that transcends genre. Three songs into a private preview for his new album Sweet Southern Sugar (out Nov. 3), he jokingly described his sound as “creatively confused.”

“It’s just what I do,” the Grammy-nominated hitmaker said.

The listening event was held at the log cabin saloon that neighbors his Whites Creek property where his primary residence is a camouflaged doublewide with a stunning view of downtown Nashville. In case his guests forgot they were at the home of an American bad ass, little American flags were strategically worked into the décor.

In one corner of the saloon, an antique stuffed Kodiak bear stood holding two flags in its massive claws. On the walls were headshots of Gene Autry and a Time magazine cover of the late Johnny Cash addressed to Bobby Ritchie (short for Rock’s birth name, Robert James Ritchie). Stuck to a keyboard onstage in another corner was a sticker that read, “Kid Rock for U.S. Senate.”

Sweet Southern Sugar is Rock’s first album made in Nashville and it’s his first release under his new label deal with BMG/Broken Bow Records, which is home to Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Lindsay Ell, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch, Joe Nichols and others. Like most of Rock’s catalogue, the songs on Sweet Southern Sugar touch on a little bit of everything. It opens with an anthemic rocker “Greatest Show on Earth.” Then it eases into “Po-Dunk,” a bluesy homage to hillbilly living. “I Wonder” started as a Memphis blues, but turned into an infectious number that could easily fit on any ZZ Top album. Following in that same sonic vein is, “American Rock ’n’ Roll,” co-written by Joey Hyde, Aaron Eshius and Neil Medley.

Featuring a chorus originally written by New Zealand’s Breaks Co-Op, “Back to the Otherside” is a soul-baring rap about suicide. “Raining Whiskey” is a stunning original by the blue-eyed soul singer Frankie Miller. Everyone will recognize Rock’s version of the Motown classic “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” by the Four Tops. The closer is “Grandpa’s Jam,” an anthemic rap-rock jam that rocks harder than your memaw’s chair.

The groove in the lead single “Tennessee Mountain Top” recalls the swampy Southern soul that made Muscle Shoals famous. And its chorus doesn’t shy away from controversial lyrics like, “Preacher man praying for peace but still packin’ a gun.”

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