Rocker Bret Michaels is getting back to his roots with his first country album.
Former Poison frontman Bret Michaels is preparing to release his first full country album, True Grit.
His first single from the album, "Girls on Bars", was written by Nashville songwriter Luke Laird. Laird has written hits for stars like Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, and Michaels knew he was the perfect guy to help him write a fun, country-style party song.
"I was touring in the dead of winter and I said, 'Luke, I need a Bret Michaels fun summer party song and I have an idea,'" Michaels told Billboard. "He's a fellow Pennsylvanian, so we completely related. No matter where you're from or who you are, we all want to have a great time."
"Girls on Bars" isn't his first foray into the country music scene. "All I Ever Needed," a duet with Jessica Andrews that was released in 2004 was his first solo release ever to rank on the Billboard charts. Michaels says he's staying realistic about the difficulties of breaking into the country industry.
"I'm going up against a big wall. But this has been my life story." Michaels says. Country music played a big role in his life during his younger years.
"The first music I listened to growing up was my dad playing country music," Michaels explains. "He played pedal steel guitar and I played harmonica. The harmonica was the first instrument I ever learned to play. Then I gravitated towards the guitar and the piano. I just really loved great songs and country music has great songs."
His new album has brand new material, but also puts a spin on some old favorites from his 1980's glam rock days as the frontman of Poison.
"True Grit is an entire history of where I've been. It's my past, my present, and my future," Michaels says. "We've got Loretta Lynn singing on 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn.' We recorded it on her ranch outside of Nashville and she nailed it."
How will his new sound go over with country fans? Only time will tell. Until then, you can catch Michaels out on the road this summer in support of his new album.