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Total our focus falls on a duo that came together as a writing team in 1998, one of which was a founding member of the band Texassee and the other, a solo artist with the reputation of being one of the most "eclectic" performers in Nashville. Together they formed a writer's and performers "union" that has its tentacles across the country music horizon.

John Rich and "Big" Kenny Alphin were both solo artists when they came together in 2002. Rich was was one of the founding members of a band called Texassee, which later changed its name to Lonestar. Rich played bass for the group, split vocals with Richie McDonald, and was the main songwriter for the group. A dispute over the lead vocal duties led to Rich leaving the group after the release of their second album Crazy Nights. Rich would soon sign as a solo artist with BNA Records, but would not release a solo album with the label

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Kenny Alphin was signed to Hollywood Records in 1998 and would record the solo live album Live A Little in 1999. The release of the album was postponed repeatedly, before finally being cancelled. Hollywood Records would retain the rights to the music, and would finally release the album in 2005, after the success of Big & Rich's 2004 debut album Horse of a Different Color, and right before their rights to the music expired.

Alphin and Rich would come together as writing partners after meeting at a club in 1998, with the idea of forming a writer's "consortium". The first song they wrote together "I Pray For You", which Rich would record for his 2000 album Underneath The Same Moon. The song would chart, peaking at #53. Around this time the pair would found the MuzikMafia (short for Musically Artistic Friends In Alliance), consisting of Alphin, Rich James Otto, Gretchen Wilson, songwriter Shannon Lawson, Kris Kristofferson and hic-hop arist Cowboy Troy. The MuzikMafia would conduct writers nights in Nashville, while also performing en masse around Music City.

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Rich and Alphin's first success as songwriters would come when McBride & The Rode would record their song "Amarillo Sky" as the title track for their 2002 album; the song would later become a hit for Jason Aldean in 2007. Rich & Alphin would also write and sing back-up vocal on Matina McBride's song "Butterfly". It was during these sessions that Martina's manager Marc Oswald would suggest they record together as a duo. Rich was not sold on the idea, thinking labels would be turned off the pair by Alphin's alternative rock history. They began recording together during songwriting seminars put on by the MuzikMafia; when they recorded a demo version of "Holy Water", Rich became a believer. Not long after they signed with Warner Bros Nashville.

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Including their debut album, 2004's Horse of a Different Color, Big and Rich have released 5 albums as a group, with each of them releasing a solo album while the duo was on hiatus between 2009 and 2012. Surprisingly enough, the duo has had only 1 top-10 hit, 2007's #1 hit "Lost In This Moment", though they have had 8 top-20 hits, including their signature tune, 2004's "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy".

We have brand new music from John & Kenny in our spotlight today, with a little help from buddy Tim McGraw. The song is from the duo's new album, to be released in 2017, as well as McGraw's current album, Damn Country Music. Big & Rich, with Tim McGraw and "California" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.