Los Angeles – Kid Rock took fans on a wild ride through the history of rock ‘n’ roll by jamming with guitarists from Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers Band during a Hollywood club show on Thursday designed to raise money for music education in schools.
Grammy nominee Gretchen Wilson and former sidekick Uncle Kracker also joined Kid Rock on stage at the House of Blues, while music industry denizens such as Ahmet Ertegun and Rick Rubin bobbed their heads to the beat from the balcony.
“It’s hillbilly night in Hollywood tonight,” Kid Rock said midway through the two-and-a-quarter hour show.
In between playing originals like “American Bad Ass” and “Cowboy,” and country covers of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker Band ventured into unfamiliar territory with help from their guests.
The all-star element got off to a wobbly start as three-sevenths of Lynyrd Skynyrd – singer Johnny Van Zant and guitarists Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke – played on Skynyrd nuggets “Gimme Three Steps” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“Close enough,” Kid Rock said as the southern anthem careened to a halt with Dave Matthews Band fiddle player Boyd Tinsley contributing to the carnage.
Uncle Kracker was marginally more steady as he sang with Kid Rock on the former’s chart-topping cover of the Mentor Williams gem “Drift Away.”
Wilson filled in for Sheryl Crow/Allison Moorer to duet with Kid Rock on the hit single “Picture,” which they had previously performed in Detroit when Wilson was an unknown. They followed up with a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden,” which they admitted they had not played before.
Dickey Betts, fired from the Allman Brothers Band in 2000, was described by Kid Rock as “an old friend” despite the fact that they had not met until the day of the show. They traded verses on “Ramblin’ Man,” the Betts-written Allmans hit, and Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say.” The latter came with a curious guest-turn from Jeremy Piven on drums.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top restored things to an even keel, leading the way on covers of the Texas trio’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “Tush.” The workout inspired Kid Rock to proclaim that today’s artists need to stop acting like they invented rock ‘n’ roll and show some respect to their seniors.
The concert was part of a multi-night “Jam Sessions” series at the West Hollywood venue. Kanye West headlined the night before, Alanis Morissette was scheduled to play on Friday, followed by Black Eyed Peas on Saturday.
Tickets were available exclusively to American Express card members, with unspecified net proceeds from sales being donated to music cable network VH1’s Save the Music Foundation.