Warner Music Nashville
Listen to Blake Shelton's 'Footloose'
"It's like a lot of stuff from that era -- it was rock at the time, but is pretty much what we hear on country radio today. So I knew that we didn't have to stray that far away from the original," Blake tells The Boot. "When I open my mouth, what comes out is country. It was going to sound country no matter what, but I didn't want it to be too different. There are two ways to bring back a song: one is to try to make it your own, and in this instance, you have to remove yourself from it and step into the role of what's best for the movie and that particular scene. There's really only one way to approach it when you think of it that way: a fun, uptempo, catchy version just like Kenny Loggins did."
Blake admits he wasn't the producers' original first choice to cut a new version of 'Footloose.' He was approached to record another song on the soundtrack, right around the same time he was putting the finishing touches on his own new album, 'Red River Blue,' along with taping live episodes of 'The Voice.' Given his whirlwind schedule, the singer was at first hesitant, but then said he'd do it if he could score the title track.
"[The producers] had envisioned a female cutting ['Footloose'] this time around," Blake explains. "So they threw out ideas for some other songs for me, but I finally just campaigned enough and whined about it enough that they said, 'Why don't you cut it, and just let them hear your version?' So I cut it, gave it to them and they wanted to go with mine. I really lucked out."
Accompanying Blake on the 'Footloose' soundtrack are several of his country colleagues, including Zac Brown, Jana Kramer, Whitney Duncan, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, Hunter Hayes and Lissie, among others. Blake believes the artist selection was wise, considering both the song choices and movie plot.
"It's music that was rock back then but is country now. That's where those songs would fit in today in the music industry -- they sound like the country format," insists the Oklahoma native. "I think they did the right thing by finding the artists who fit that movie, too -- and not just country artists, Cee Lo is on there, too. To do those songs justice, you have to find the right artist for the movie. That's probably why they went with a lot of country artists. The movie is based in a small town full of country people."
The movie, a remake of the 1984 cult classic, is about a big city teen who moves to a small town that has outlawed dancing and loud music. It is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide October 14.
Hollywood newcomer Kenny Wormald plays the lead role originated by Kevin Bacon. We put Blake on the spot to see if he knows his own 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' -- the popular game that guarantees any celebrity is connected to the popular actor by six or less associations.
"I have no idea," he answers us with a laugh, "but I'm sure it's not hard ... "
OK, we'll help him out: Blake recorded 'Hillbilly Bone' with Trace Adkins, who was in 'The Lincoln Lawyer' with Matthew McConaughey, who starred in 'EDtv' alongside Woody Harrelson, who co-starred with Kiefer Sutherland in 'The Cowboy Way,' and Kiefer joined Kevin Bacon in the 1990 big-screen thriller, 'Flatliners.'
But Blake has us beat ... and feeling a little stupid, as he responds, "Or you could just say I'm on the new Footloose soundtrack ... [laughs]"