The new recording of John Anderson’s 1981 hit, Chicken Truck, from Billy Droze, has got to be among the most hilarious and entertaining bluegrass cuts in recent years.
Normally known for performing his own original music, Droze reached back to give this classic a bluegrass spin, and once the ball got rolling, it just took off.
Billy spent some time fitting the song into a bluegrass setting, and took a chance contacting Anderson to see if he might be willing to join him in the studio. John was delighted to do so, so Droze and his label, RBR Entertainment, decided to bring in two of today’s top bluegrass singers, Ronnie Bowman and Shawn Camp, to take some of the lines and provide harmony vocals.
For those who may not remember the original, the story of the song – written by John Anderson, Monroe Fields, and James Parker – tells of being caught on the highway behind a big truck full of chickens. The lyrics describe the sights, smells, and… um, debris, coming off the truck and hitting the windshield. It’s cleverly composed in a not-at-all serious style, and Billy and crew give it the perfect, over-the-top presentation.
Droze acknowledges that this song is out of character for him, but that he isn’t bothered by it.
“Most of the times my songs are more profound. I say to myself, ‘If I can’t change your life with one of my songs, why bother?’ But I don’t care if it’s Mary Had A Little Lamb, getting to sing with John was a dream come true for me.
He has been such an inspiration. Where I grew up in Alabama, if you didn’t like John Anderson, you were out of the cool people club. Now that we’ve gotten to become friends, he’s just a really good guy, just the way you want your heroes to be. He is truly a humbled human with a big voice and heart to go with it.
Adding Ronnie Bowman and Shawn Camp, well that’s just the icing on the cake. This song selection and cast of artists just made sense.
In a world full of sadness and uncertainty, this tune will surely make you smile, laugh, sing along, and tap your toes remembering easier times when life didn’t have to be so dang serious.”
If you think about it, Billy’s singing owes a lot to Anderson’s distinctive delivery, and he amps it up to 11 on this new take on Chicken Truck.
Support comes from Jason Roller on guitar and fiddle, James Seliga on mandolin, Justin Moses on banjo, Greg Martin on bass, and Josh Swift on reso-guitar.
The music video is as much fun as the track itself, capturing the guys in the studio together, as well as Billy joining John on stage to sing Chicken Truck on Anderson’s live show. We dare you to keep a straight face.
The single for Chicken Truck from Billy Droze et al is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers can get the track at AirPlay Direct.