News Segment


January 7, 2005

PITTSBORO, N.C. – Bret Michaels, the former leader of the hard-rock band Poison, is working with a different kind of music these days, reinventing himself as a country singer.

When Michaels needed a place to shoot a video for country music up-and-comers Forty5 South, he ended up in Chatham County, about nine miles west of Pittsboro.

That’s because Michaels is friends with Christie Cook, whose family owns the property where the video was shot. And Cook, along with her husband, James, runs Media One Studios, a company that specializes in videography work.

The scenery fit the words for a song called “We’re Country So We Can.”

On Wednesday, Michaels directed a Chapel Hill-based film crew and the band through a series of scenes – of the band lip-syncing in a horse ring, of them lip-syncing in front of a truck filled with hay bales and pretty ladies and Thor, the redbone coonhound.

Made up of five guys in their 20s, Forty5 South hails from Jackson, Tenn. Their first album, “Too Much, Too Fast,” made a dent on Texas radio and sold about 10,000 copies, said the band’s manager, Tim Barham.

“We’re Country So We Can” is set to be the first single from a new album to be released in April. Michaels produced the album, sings a few lines of “We’re Country So We Can” and appears in the video.

For Michaels, the project is another step in the effort to reposition himself as a player on the country scene. He hopes to release a country album, “Freedom of Sound,” this fall.

Michaels, who took Poison to No. 1 in 1988 with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” isn’t worried about being accepted by Nashville and its fans. He’s been influenced by KISS and Aerosmith, but likes Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band and George Strait, too.

“The reason I don’t fear it is that I’m comfortable in my skin. I’m not trying to trick anybody,” he said.

Courtesy of