All-American Kid

Album: Man Against Machine (2014)
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Songfacts®:

  • Brooks calls this Craig Campbell, Brice Long and Terry McBride penned tune the "perfect Garth Brooks song." He explained: "We're lucky enough to travel around the world playing music, but the first thing I'll tell anybody [is] … 'Hey dude, I'm American.' I'm not gonna to change to fit your format. We're not going to lose the steels, we're not going to lose the fiddles. We're going to do what we do. And that's country music with muscle in it. And I gotta tell ya, 'All-American Kid' is exactly that, just Garth Brooks country music with a hell of a lot of muscle."
  • This is the first time that another artist has recorded one of Craig Campbell's tunes. "I write for myself, of course, but I've never had an outside cut," he told Country Weekly. "For the first one to be Garth, well, that's pretty amazing. He probably listens to thousands of songs."
  • The performance of this song at the 2015 ACM Awards was introduced by Taya Kyle, the widow of the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame. As Brooks sung the tune, a number of US servicemen and servicewomen filed in through the audience while fireworks blasted off on the video screens.
  • Craig Campbell told The Boot the story of the song. "When I wrote it, it was just an idea that I had, and I thought it was the greatest comeback story of all time," he recalled. "I heard about this guy coming back from the war, so we wrote the song, and I was going to put it on my new record through Bigger Picture, but then they closed."

    "And then we heard that Garth wanted to record it. I'm not going to tell Garth 'no,'" Campbell continued. "I didn't really believe it until I got a call that they wanted me to come hear the album. The first time I heard 'All-American Kid' with Garth singing it, Garth was standing right over my shoulder while I listened. It was one of those 'This is not real. Someone wake me up' moments."

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