By Kurt Wolff
It’s no secret that many contemporary country fans (and artists) have a soft spot for rock ‘n roll. And that’s exactly the driving force behind Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe, a new collection that features country artists performing songs by one of the biggest rock groups of the past few decades.
Set for release August 19, Nashville Outlaws features such artists as Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, LeAnn Rimes, Justin Moore, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Darius Rucker performing 15 different Mötley Crüe classics including “Home Sweet Home,” “Live Wire” and “Kickstart My Heart.” See the full track list below.
“The Big Machine guys [and label president] Scott Borchetta said, ‘Hey we want to do a country tribute album to Mötley Crüe,'” lead singer Vince Neil told Radio.com about the project during a chat on the ACM Awards red carpet this spring. “It seemed like a crazy idea to me, but hey, it actually is working out!”
“I just heard the Mavericks‘ version of ‘Dr. Feelgood’ the other day,” Neil continued. “There’s just some really cool artists doing Mötley Crüe stuff, and even Mötley Crüe tracks that I forgot we even did! So they’re digging deep in our repertoire and doing some cool stuff with it. So it’s really, really exciting.”
Neil said that until recently he wasn’t too familiar with the contemporary country scene, though he did listen to some classic artists when he was younger.
“My dad’s from Paris, Texas, and he’s an old country boy,” Neil said. “The only country I was exposed to was my dad’s, it was Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. I don’t remember specific songs, but all good classic stuff.”
We had to wonder, then: were country artists like those two ever in the back of his head when he was recording with Mötley Crüe? “You grow up with stuff, it’s always there,” Neil said with a smile.
As for today’s country sound, Neil likes what he hears. “Now I”m getting into the new stuff and going, ‘that’s rock and roll stuff.’ Rock and roll today is now young country guys. It’s cool.”
The tribute album was initially unveiled earlier this year, around the same time that Mötley Crüe announced they’d be embarking on their final tour.
“We did not make this record for Mötley Crüe fans, but for country fans who are also rock fans,” bassist Nikki Sixx said in a press statement. “I believe that there’s going to be a lot of synergy and excitement for Mötley Crüe fans hearing different artists covering their favorite songs. People will be surprised how these artists made these songs their own and we couldn’t be happier with how the album turned out. It’s been an amazing, positive experience and, as a lot of things we’ve done, a first in our career.”
“It has been a blast becoming friends with the Mötley guys and learning how much they appreciate the history of country music,” said Justin Moore in a statement. “They are truly one of the most disruptive bands of their generation and I am honored to be able to cover one of my favorite Crüe songs of all time, ‘Home Sweet Home.’ It has been pretty unreal singing with Vince Neil.”
Track list for Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe:
Rascal Flatts – “Kickstart My Heart”
Florida Georgia Line – “If I Die Tomorrow”
LeAnn Rimes – “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”
Justin Moore – “Home Sweet Home”
Cassadee Pope with Robin Zander – “The Animal In Me”
Aaron Lewis – “Afraid”
Big & Rich – “SOS”
Sam Palladio and Claire Bowen – “Without You”
Eli Young Band – “Don’t Go Away Mad”
Lauren Jenkins – “Looks That Kill”
The Cadillac Three – “Live Wire”
The Mavericks – “Dr. Feelgood”
Brantley Gilbert – “Girls Girls Girls”
Gretchen Wilson – “Wild Side”
Darius Rucker – “Time For Change