With Independence Day this weekend, Massachusetts-born singer-songwriter Jamie Kent salutes the diversity of the U.S. with his new single "All American Mutt." The song is the title track of his upcoming album, produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard.
Kent, who met Brainard while opening for Brandy Clark, says the song is a metaphor for both his own family and the country.
"At a time in the world where there is so much hate and things pulling us apart, I wanted to put something out there that unites us," says Kent. "My family is from all around the world. I'm an eighth of a bunch of things: Scottish, Jewish, English, French, Native American — I'm a mutt. So I've always identified with a bunch of different cultures."
For the video to "All American Mutt," Kent solicited his growing fan base (along with recent shows at CMA Music Festival, he's touring this summer with Huey Lewis and the News) to film themselves dancing. The result is a feel-good clip that showcases Kent, his band and everyday folks busting a move.
"What makes our country great is the fact that we're all so different and that we are a melting pot. But I got to thinking, 'What do we all do the same regardless of our color, our shape, our gender, our preferences: We all dance.' And we all dance awkwardly and crazy. We've been holding awkward dance competitions at our shows for a few years," he says. "There are some people who dance good, and that's awesome for them, but the rest of us all dance weird and awkwardly."
The video even includes two of Nashville's most famous eccentrics: the gyrating Bang This Twins of Lower Broadway.
"I walked up to them and said, 'Do you guys want to dance with me?'" laughs Kent. "They were like, 'Hell, yeah. Follow us!' I just tried to keep up."
Kent's All American Mutt will be released October 19th, with the title track available here. He'll perform on July 4th as part of Nashville's holiday celebration.