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Bon Jovi takin' a country road 20 April 2008
Des Moines Register article

Source: Des Moines Register

Back in 2005, Bon Jovi was one of the first bands to play the new Wells Fargo Arena. The group played to a capacity crowd as part of its “Have a Nice Day” tour and, of course, it rocked.

Sunday’s show will still have the rock, but Bon Jovi also has a new sound.

This tour was originally planned as a greatest hits tour, but the crossover success of the country-tinged “Lost Highway,” which featured collaborations with Big & Rich and LeAnn Rimes, has the group playing a little bit country.

“We’ve gone to Nashville off and on a lot over the last 18 years, and it rubs off,” drummer Tico Torres said during a conference interview with the band. “We kind of did it as an experiment, and it turned into a real record. Everyone seemed to like it, but I don’t think it’s a direction we’re going to follow forever. We always want to try new things.”

Longtime fans probably couldn’t fault the band for taking the new sounds on the road. “Lost Highway” became the band’s first album to debut at No.1 on the Billboard charts. It was all kicked off by the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” a duet with Jennifer Nettles that landed the band a No.1 hit on the U.S. country chart in 2006. That success inspired “Lost Highway.”

“We’ve been around for almost three decades now, and there are kids who think we’re a new band,” guitarist Richie Sambora said. “We’re striving for evolution, and when you get an opportunity opening up like that it’s kind of hard to walk away from it. All of a sudden Moses opens the sea and country music becomes available.”

The interview with the band took place before Sambora’s recent arrest for drunken driving, but Sambora did reflect on recent hardships. In 2007, his father died, he had a stint in rehabilitation and his divorce from Heather Locklear was finalized.

“Just because you’re a rock ’n’ roll star doesn’t make you exempt from any of life’s tragedies,” Sambora said.


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