Known as “America’s technicolor cowboys,” country duo Big & Rich closes out Ironstone Vineyards’ four-show summer concert season in Murphys on Saturday.
“Country sells here,” Ironstone general manager Bruce Rohrer said. “It’s classic rock and country. When we were looking to fill that niche for country, it was Big & Rich.”
The “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” singers will appear with Cowboy Troy and Whiskey Dawn as part of their “Party Like Cowboyz” tour.
What made the appearance special is that this is Big & Rich’s only Northern California appearance, Rohrer said.
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“They’re literally flying into Northern California and leaving,” he said.
Fans know that Big & Rich puts on an entertaining show. “They’re very upbeat,” Rohrer said. “They’ll get the crowd on their feet. Anybody here who doesn’t do a little dancing and cheering, there’s something wrong with them.”
Big Kenny and John Rich gained national attention for their 2004 triple-platinum album “Horse of a Different Color.” Their most recent release is their fourth studio album – 2012’s “Hillbilly Jedi.” Songs include “Party Like Cowboyz,” “That’s Why I Pray” and “Rock the Boat” and “Get Your Game On,” with raps by Cowboy Troy.
Big Kenny and John Rich are both guitarists and songwriters who have written or co-written with many other stars, including Gretchen Wilson, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride and Jon Bon Jovi.
The album title “Hillbilly Jedi” was the suggestion of Bon Jovi, who liked one of the duo’s songs that has the lyric “Hillbilly Jedis with attitude.” Big & Rich’s label didn’t think the duo would get permission to use the term as their album title because George Lucas owns the word “jedi.”
But Bon Jovi took care of the problem right away. According to Billboard.com, Bon Jovi picked up his cellphone and called the Modesto native and “Star Wars” creator and asked permission for the duo to call their album “Hillbilly Jedis.”
“Lucas agreed but with one caveat,” Rich told Billboard.com. “He said, ‘I have no problem if they want to use the word, but it’s not Jedis. There’s no ‘s’ in Jedi, ever. Jedi is singular and plural, like deer,’” Rich said. “And we’re like, ‘Fine.’ Sure enough, the next day we got paper from New York saying ‘You guys can use it.’”