With a long history of working with Warner Bros. Records & country hitmakers Big & Rich, and we were thrilled to get the chance to work on another project with them. On Hillbilly Jedi, they step things up a notch or three with a diverse array of songs, including the first track, “Born Again” which features Bon Jovi in a key role, both in co-writing and performing on the song. Word on the street is that Jon Bon Jovi himself suggested calling the album “Hillbilly Jedi,” and when everyone at the label (and us!) suggested that would be a legal problem, Jon personally called George Lucas to get clearance on using the word “Jedi.”
The creative process revolved around the attitude and contradiction in the title, and the result is cowboys-in-space with shades of steampunk. With some heavy-handed photo manipulation, film-credits-inspired type treatments, and a healthy dose of caffeine, we assembled the key images from the shoot combined with images from several other sources (including NASA) and developed the brand for the album, along with the physical packaging and digital album elements, to create what we think is the only country album of its type for some time to come.