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Story Behind the Song: Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins, ‘Hillbilly Bone’

Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins recorded “Hillbilly Bone,” written by Luke Laird and Craig Wiseman, for Shelton’s 2010 EP of the same name, though Adkins later included it on the deluxe edition of his Cowboy’s Back in Town album. The song was released as a single in October of 2009, and in March of 2010, it became Shelton’s sixth No. 1 and Adkins’ fourth; it also reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 and won an ACM Award — Shelton’s first — for Vocal Event of the Year. Below, Laird tells The Boot how the song came about.

I give Craig complete credit for “Hillbilly Bone” because he wanted to try something else. We started messing around on the guitars. I was playing around and started rapping. I have this alter-ego, “Snowflake” … It’s just a fun, creative outlet for me. I started rapping this thing, joking around [as “Snowflake”].

Craig said something like, “What about a song called “Hillbilly Bone”?” I rolled over laughing! He is so good with those kind of lyrics. He started off with the Conway Twitty line, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is great!” When we finished it, we [said], “I don’t know who’s going to like it, but it feels pretty good and fun! There’s something to it!”

I was blown away when we got the phone call that Blake was going to record it. I thought, “Are you serious?” I’d always wanted a Blake Shelton cut. I thought, “I can actually hear him sing it!” A lot of people know me as writing a lot of Carrie Underwood songs, so this is a completely different song.

I’ve known Craig for [many] years now. He was always so supportive. We’ve always written together over the years, so it was really cool to get a song recorded with him.

This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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