John Rich has been keeping busy during the Big & Rich break -- hosting reality shows, campaigning for John McCain, producing, writing, and even running his own nightclub. The country music mogul is also busy making a solo album, set for release in early 2009.

"Kenny wanted to take a year or a year and a half off to spend more time with his son and his wife, which is understandable because we've been working like maniacs for five years straight," Rich explains to The Boot of his Big & Rich partner, 'Big' Kenny Alphin. "So I wanted to make a record of songs that I knew Big & Rich would never cut. There are certain things that I wanted to say that I can't say with Big & Rich, because they're personal to me. So I made a record that I think is the best thing I've ever recorded in my life ... I think the fans are gonna love this record and are gonna see a whole different side of me."

Rich insists this is a side project that people shouldn't read into -- Big & Rich are not breaking up.

"I would only do this with Kenny's blessing," Rich explains. "So you can expect a solo record from me, but Big & Rich will be back in 2009!"