Kid Rock + Detroit Symphony: It'll Be 'Big'
Kid Rock, Church Giving Holiday Gifts in Hometown

Bach-witdaba, anybody?

That might be the case on May 12, when Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band performs a special concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the city's 5,000-set Fox Theatre that's designed to raise $1 million for the institution.

Rock tells Billboard.com he's never attended a DSO concert but that "as a musician, a cultural institution like that in Detroit is important, and I thought I could do it. I thought it would be something different to play with an orchestra and do something great."

Rock says he and the DSO are "in the early stages" of determining the concert's repertoire. He hopes to bring in Rob Mathes, musical director of the annual Kennedy Center Honors, to handle the orchestral arrangements, and he says everything in his repertoire is up for grabs. "I hear a big symphonic opening to 'Born Free,' where I'm singing behind this big orchestration that builds up to the payoff of the song," explains Rock who doesn't anticipate having any guests be part of the show. "I did 'Picture' once at Carnegie Hall with Marvin Hamlisch conduction (an orchestra), so that works. I hear 'Bawitdaba' being kind of insane. 'Cowboy' seems to be a little tricky, but maybe...we don't call them violins; we call them fiddles for that song.

"I want to do stuff that does fit and I want to do stuff that absolutely doesn't fit and...just do stuff that's different. It's not going to be a show people have seen before at all, in any regard. All I can guarantee is it'll be interesting."

Tickets for Rock's symphonic concert go on sale, prices $100-$1,500, with special VIP amenities from $750. Rock says he'll consider adding another date if the first show sells out quickly.

The benefit will be part of a busy spring for Rock, which includes the recent debut of his PBS "Live From the Artists Den" episode, which was filmed Nov. 28 at Elvis Presley's Graceland home in Memphis, as well as his annual Chillin' the Most Cruise April 26-30. He also plays RodeoHouston on Feb. 29.

Come March, meanwhile, Rock plans to start recording his follow-up to 2010's "Born Free." He's already worked up "16 what I think are very powerful ideas" from which he hopes to draw an album of 10-12 songs for release this fall. "It's kind of a greatest hits type of thing -- with new songs," Rock says. "There's poignant songs like 'Born Free,' some very fun stuff like 'Devil Without a Cause,' there's a few heavy things, there's a very, very dark ballad...We're going to set up and try to pound these songs out live and try to do it very organic like ('Born Free') -- actually even more organic. I'm really excited."

Rock says "Born Free" producer Rick Rubin is somewhat involved with the new material, but not as extensively as with that album. "We've been meaning to get together just for me to play him new songs and stuff," Rock says. "He's heard a couple things, and the stuff he's heard he was excited about." Rock is planning a light touring schedule for the rest of the year -- including the BamaJam during June in Alabama and July performances at the Moondance Jam in Minnesota and the North Dakota State Fair. Rock is planning "a full assault" in 2013 to support the new album.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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