What exactly does it take to be deemed "America's most patriotic rock band?"
Do hopeful musicians need to tally up how many renditions of "the Star-Spangled Banner" they've belted out... or perhaps make a bid to play the White House?
Turns out all you really need to do is, well, just say you're the most patriotic band of all. That approach seemed to work out for Madison Rising, whose ambitious claim has caught the attention of other self-acclaimed patriots. The band has just been tapped to provide the theme song for former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's new TV show, "Amazing America With Sarah Palin."
Palin's show, which premieres on the Sportsman Channel April 3, purports to "highlight that freedom we get to experience in America," according to the politician herself — and Madison Rising's original tune for the show (also titled "Amazing America") mirrors that philosophy. The song's lyrics champion national pride, as well as some conservative-leaning references to guns, flags, and faith.
Of course, this particular brand of patriotism isn't every American's cup of tea, but it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the group. Madison Rising, which released its debut album in 2011 and a follow-up, "American Hero," last year, has its audience well mapped out. The band has opened for such acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Toby Keith, and is quite transparent about its political values. On Madison Rising's official website, the members state that their band "promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility" as well as "sends a message that American culture is alive and well."
Take that latter declaration with a grain of salt considering that the band's greatest notoriety to date comes from meddling with one of the U.S.'s top cultural treasures: the national anthem. When Madison Rising decided to perform a "nontraditional version" of the anthem at last month's NASCAR season opener, the reaction was so volatile that the band was forced to issue a statement explaining its interpretation. Lead singer Dave Bray urged critics to listen to the band's version on its YouTube channel, adding, "the vast majority have come out with goose bumps, tears in their eyes and our version downloaded onto their iPods to listen to every day."
Based on Palin's endorsement, all seems to be forgiven.