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Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hillbilly Heart’ – Song Review

Hillbilly Heart
Blue Cadillac Music

Billy Ray Cyrus evokes sounds of the Mississippi Delta with his new single ‘Hillbilly Heart.’ The song leans against a big, bad, foot-stompin’ guitar lick before the singer reveals his best blues voice. The result is ugly … in a good way. 

Little from that region of the country should be described as polished or pretty, and Cyrus doesn’t attempt to put lipstick on the rough and rowdy cut. ‘Hillbilly Heart’ (also the title of his memoir, due in stores April 16, 2013) will wear the floorboard of your truck thin if you keep up with the thumping bass kick.

Woke up by the river / Down along the track / Always try to look ahead, but Lord I love looking back / Keeping it country / Keeping it country all the time / Well I’ve been this way from the start / I’ve got a hillbilly heart,” Cyrus sings.

The song — available on his recent ‘Change My Mind’ album — isn’t his most creative lyrically, but he stays true to his mission of fusing blues into his country-rock sound.

I love my truck / Love to drive it fast / If you don’t like the way I drive / You can kiss my a–,” he shouts before the nearly four-minute songs closes. A dobro emerges from the swamp to fill a few bars effectively between chorus and verse.

Several artists have borrowed from the Mississippi Delta, but few have achieved commercial success doing so (see Randy Houser‘s ‘They Call Me Cadillac’ album). Cyrus’s marriage of styles is authentic and passionate. Despite his bird shot approach to country music over the last decade, he’s yet to fall short of his mission. This song joins the previous single ‘Change My Mind‘ as a more than respectable original.

4 Stars

Listen to Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hillbilly Heart’

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Next: See a Pic of Billy Ray Back in '93

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