Last month John Rich hosted a one year anniversary party at his Nashville mansion to celebrate the extremely successful first year of his “work hard, play harder” Redneck Riviera Whiskey. At the invite-only party he shared how the liquor line had by far surpassed all expectations for it’s first year; already being sold in 43 states. He also announced plans for the release of a “little more aged and refined” line.
The Granny Rich reserve blend was named after Rich’s grandmother who helped him sample the trial batches of the Redneck Riviera Whiskey line in his pursuit to create the perfect American Blend. The new reserve moved from 80 to 86 proof yet tastes just as smooth, if not smoother than the original.
Valentine’s Day is a special day for JR as it is the day his precious Granny celebrates her birthday. Thursday night she blew out 87 candles at a party that dually celebrated her birth and the release of the new whiskey line named in her honor. At a VIP party held on the second level of Rich’s Redneck Riviera bar in downtown Nashville, Rich arrived with Granny on his arm in matching sequined blazers. Granny who also wore a “Redneck Royalty” sashay and a crown was seated on stage in a royal thrown while JR gushed about his love for his Granny and how she inspired and encouraged his latest venture. The deep bond between the two was obvious as both were grinning ear to ear throughout the entire event.
During an introduction to the media Granny enjoyed a cigarette and sipping on a lowball of Granny Rich Reserve while TV screens ran through adorable photos of JR serving the whiskey to her. She was also presented a royalty check for the use of her name and likeness for the new whiskey line in the sum of $10,000. The press release wrapped with Granny enjoying a front row seat in her thrown to performances by JR, Gretchen Wilson, Wade Hayes and Jason Michael Carroll.
Rich was full of patriotism, adorned in red, white and blue USA flag patterned leather crafted boots, “American” inlayed in the neck of his guitar and graciously speaking of the splendors of living in our great country; thanking veterans, proudly recounting how his grand-dad enlisted in the army at 17 and performing a song written about him. As with Redneck Riviera Whiskey, 10% of the profits from the Granny Rich Reserve will also go to one of Rich’s cherished charities, Folds of Honor; of which last year’s sales have already paid for over 40 college scholarships for family members of fallen soldiers.
Following the media event Rich and some friends headed downstairs to surprise the bar’s clientele on the ground level with a pop-up show. The “JR is in the house” neon sign lit up the window of his lower Broadway bar while fans crowded in to watch the surprise performance. Meanwhile media & Country Radio Seminar attendees enjoyed flowing whiskey, pub grub and cake upstairs before Uncle Kracker hit the stage.
Eventually Rich too returned to the second level and was joined by the other half of his popular duo Big & Rich, Big Kenny for a private, packed, and as always, energetic performance. Cowboy Troy soon joined them and the 3 kept the crowd engaged and on their feet while they ran through the band’s hits, numerous well-known covers and Big & Rich’s newest single “Brand New Buzz.” Big & Rich will hit the road to celebrate the single beginning in April on their “Peace, Love & Happy Hour” Tour.
Written by Josie Bisto for Country Music Pride