Hillbilly Bone (song)

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"Hillbilly Bone"
Single by Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
from the album Hillbilly Bone
Released October 24, 2009 (2009-10-24)
Format Music download
Genre Country
Length 3:44
Label Warner Bros. Nashville
Reprise Nashville
Songwriter(s) Luke Laird
Craig Wiseman
Producer(s) Scott Hendricks
Blake Shelton singles chronology
"I'll Just Hold On"
"Hillbilly Bone"
"All About Tonight"
"I'll Just Hold On"
"Hillbilly Bone"
"All About Tonight"
Trace Adkins singles chronology
"All I Ask For Anymore"
(2009) All I Ask For Anymore2009
"Hillbilly Bone"
(2009) Hillbilly Bone2009
(2010) Ala-Freakin-Bama2010
Music video
"Hillbilly Bone" at CMT.com

"Hillbilly Bone" is a song written by Luke Laird and Craig Wiseman, and recorded by American country artist Blake Shelton for his extended play Hillbilly Bone. The song features guest vocals from Trace Adkins, and its chart run overlapped with his singles "All I Ask For Anymore" and "Ala-Freakin-Bama."

The song won the 2010 Academy of Country Music award for "Vocal Event of the Year," giving Shelton his first Academy of Country Music award. Adkins included the song on the deluxe edition of his album, Cowboy's Back in Town, which was released on August 17, 2010.


"Hillbilly Bone" is an up-tempo country song, backed primarily by electric guitar. It has a theme of rural pride, in which the narrators state that one does not have to be from the South or Appalachia to enjoy the same pastimes as someone who is ("We all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside").[1] The song is in the key of G major with a main chord pattern of G-C7-E7-C-G. An eight-bar electric guitar solo precedes each verse and the final chorus.[2] Adkins sings vocal harmony on the entire song, and the last half of the second verse.

Craig Wiseman and Luke Laird wrote "Hillbilly Bone" during a songwriting session in which neither of them were able to come up with a song idea. Laird then began performing an improvised rap as a joke. After Laird wrote the opening couplet "Yeah, I got a friend in New York City / He's never heard of Conway Twitty," the two finished the song within two hours.[3]


Shelton said that he was listening to a demo disc in his car, and when he first heard the demo for "Hillbilly Bone," he did not think that it was suitable for him, so he skipped to the next song on the disc. Later on, when the disc restarted, Shelton said that the demo "hit [him] way better" the second time he heard it, and that he liked it more each subsequent time that he listened to it.[4] Shelton also thought that it sounded "like something Trace Adkins would cut," and asked producer Scott Hendricks to bring Adkins in to sing it as a duet.[4]


The song has been met with generally positive reception from music critics. Tara Seetharam of Country Universe gave the song a B rating, saying that it "is a novelty song through and through, but it's catchy and dynamic, and it laughs at itself." She also wrote that Shelton and Adkins were an "interesting combination of voices and attitude."[5] Country Weekly reviewer Chris Neal gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five, comparing it positively to other similarly themed songs about rural pride: "[A]t a moment when most of these 'I'm-so-country' songs take a sharply superior attitude toward urbanity, this song says we're all essentially alike[.]" He also thought that Shelton's and Adkins' voices contrasted well.[1] Bobby Peacock, writing for Roughstock, also said that it was "way more tolerable than almost any other in the recent deluge of like-themed songs" and described the "high-low harmony" of Adkins' and Shelton's voices favorably.[6] 411 Mania reviewer Mark Ingoldsby was less favorable, giving the song one star out of five, calling it "one more dopey collection of textbook southern culture icons and expressions that is completely predictable and painfully cliché."[7]

Music video[edit]

The video, which was directed by Roman White, premiered on CMT on October 31, 2009.[8] In the video, Shelton and Adkins enter a fine dining restaurant, appearing out-of-place in their cowboy hats and jeans. The other diners at first appear skeptic, but after Shelton and Adkins begin singing they become interested. Eventually, everyone in the restaurant is up and dancing, while Shelton and Adkins perform. The video was filmed at the Stockyard Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

"Hillbilly Bone" debuted at number 51 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, while Adkins' own single "All I Ask For Anymore" was still charting. The song also debuted at number 65 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for the chart week of January 9, 2010. It became Shelton's sixth Number One and Adkins' fourth Number One on the Hot Country Songs chart week of March 27, 2010. The song began a streak of seventeen consecutive number one hits for Shelton. This streak ended in 2016, when his single, "She's Got a Way with Words", peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Chart (2009–10) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[10] 84
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 40
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[12] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 31
Preceded by
"That's How Country Boys Roll"
by Billy Currington
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

March 27, 2010
Succeeded by
"A Little More Country Than That"
by Easton Corbin


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b Neal, Chris (2009-11-30). "Reviews — Singles". Country Weekly. 16 (42): 45. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  2. ^ "'Hillbilly Bone' sheet music". MusicNotes.com. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Conaway, Alanna (19 April 2010). "Story Behind the Song: Conway Twitty + New York City = "Hillbilly Bone"". Country Weekly. 17 (16): 16. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  4. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (8 March 2010). "Same as He Ever Was: Blake Shelton hasn't changed, but he has become more comfortable with who he is and where he's going". Country Weekly. 17 (10): 36–40. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  5. ^ Seetharam, Tara (2009-10-27). "Review: Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins — "Hillbilly Bone"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  6. ^ Peacock, Bobby (2009-11-30). "Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins — "Hillbilly Bone"". Roughstock. Archived from the original on 2 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  7. ^ Ingoldsby, Mark (23 March 2010). "Under the Scalpel 03.25.10: Lil Wayne & Eminem, Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, Julian Velard". 411 Mania. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  8. ^ CMT Videos: Music Binge - 10.31.09 : Hillbilly Bone
  9. ^ "SongFacts". 
  10. ^ "Blake Shelton Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  11. ^ "Blake Shelton Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  12. ^ "Blake Shelton Chart History (Hot Country Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  13. ^ "Best of 2010: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ "American single certifications – Blake Shelton – Hillbilly Bone". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 21, 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]