The CMA Music Festival has always meant a lot to Big & Rich, and this year they celebrated the event headlining the first-ever Cracker Barrel Country Roads stage at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater.
The high-profile gig put Big & Rich in the middle of tens of thousands of fans who paced into downtown Nashville for the annual festival.
Big Kenny tells Rare Country, “They come from everywhere. Everybody you talk to, it seems like half the people you see are from outside the country, which I think is just a great hurrah to country music. They’re coming from all over the place right here in Music City, USA to help us celebrate this week of country music.”
Big & Rich first played CMA Music Festival shortly after their first hit, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” was released in 2004. At the time, the duo’s John Rich admits they had no clue how that over-the-top anthem would go over with country fans.
“There were a few fans that had heard it and they came up and said, ‘Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),'” John recalls. “We were like, ‘You like it?’ We couldn’t believe they liked it. We went, ‘That’s the craziest song of all time.’ They went, ‘Oh, we love it so much.'”
Some of those fans they met that first year have been with them ever since.
John adds, “I remember that’s when we met some of our most die-hard fans. They’re still our die-hard fans. They’re actually down here. Like, some of those ladies are here from Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. They’re still down here.”
Big Kenny chimes in, “The freak parade is showing up.”
Big & Rich’s set at CMA Music Festival featured their latest hit, “California.” Look for it on their upcoming album, “Did It for the Party,” due out soon.