Release Date: Mar 2, 2010
Record label: Warner Bros.
Hillbilly Bone feels like a stopgap between albums for Blake Shelton, but it's not. This “Six Pak” is a budget-priced, six-track EP featuring a smash single as the title track. Pal Trace Adkins helps out on both the cut and in the video. The format is Warner Bros' attempt to deal with growing customer dissatisfaction with the traditional full-length format; they will release a second part later in 2010.
You know you’re in trouble when your marketing strategy is the most interesting thing about your new album, but that’s precisely the conundrum facing country star Blake Shelton on Hillbilly Bone. Pitched to Shelton by the execs at his label, the gimmick here is that Hillbilly Bone is really just a six-song EP that has been billed as a proper studio album and not the stop-gap recording that an EP typically represents in an artist’s catalogue. Shelton, who almost single-handedly made Twitter relevant to the country music demographic with his sharp observations and quick wit, seems a logical choice for testing whether or not a micro-scale approach is a viable route to distributing albums in a singles-driven market.