Last summer, country-rock musician Bryan Fox was looking for a way to boost his annual Halloween benefit party called “Fox Bash,” which benefits The Smile Train. Fox, who is also a Dentist by day, wanted to host one of the city’s biggest bands to play it. He then connected himself with Kentucky hip-hoppers, Nappy Roots, through his musician friends in Louisville. Initially, he thought it may be a bit of a long-shot for them to be available on the exact day he had the party scheduled for. But to his surprise, not only were Nappy Roots happy and able to play his Halloween benefit event, but they also started liking Fox’s music that he wrote. After working together to lay tracks down in May for “Countryfied State of Mind”, today they are releasing the song via iTunes, Amazon, and other digital music outlets.
Officially, those collaborating on this project have been Clutch, Big V, and B.Stille from Nappy Roots, along with Louisville musicians Bryan Fox on vocals/guitar, Ryan Murphy on Drums, Kevin McCreery on guitar, and Chip Adams on Bass.
“This song is just different,” Fox comments. “I am a writer that really generally tries to go for the deep meaningful lyrics a lot of times, but this song is pure fun. I would think its one of the most commercial songs I’ve written for sure though.”
From left: Chip Adams, Slick, B.Stile, Bryan Fox, Ryan Murphy, Kevin McCreery, & Clutch
As you probably have already anticipated, “Countryfied State of Mind” is a blend of hip-hop and alt-country rock with a modern chorus that aims to get stuck in your head. Fox leads on both vocals and guitar during the chorus, and then the Nappy Roots guys each crafted their own verses to the song. It has kind of a fun and festive feel to it, much like the way that DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” had to it, but with a redneck’ish Kentucky-inspired pop-country flair.
Fox & Nappy Roots are also in collaboration on more music, so “Countryfied State of Mind” isn’t a one-and-done release. “We are thinking of doing at least 5 songs together,” Fox states. “Countryfied State of Mind has gotten us all excited to create more music. There is a freshness and an energy to this collaboration that is hard to ignore.”
Speaking on the current release Fox says, “The song speaks for itself. It's a fun summer song that makes you want to drink a beer and party at the lake. Lets hope a lot of people like to do that!”
Interview with Clutch, B.Stille from Nappy Roots & Bryan Fox on 5-11-11
*Artwork by Jeral Tidwell. Photo by Jason Ashcraft
** Jason Ashcraft is a freelance music writer who focuses on Kentucky's original music scene. Visit his blog at LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com or you scan this QR code on your smart phone to view the mobile site: