Joe Diffie is no stranger to success. During his 1990s heyday, the Tulsa native sold records by the millions and hit the country Top Ten many times over with songs such as “Bigger Than the Beatles,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Honky Tonk Attitude,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)” and “John Deere Green.”

Diffie’s music may not be as well-known today as it was a couple decades back (“Leroy the Red Neck Reindeer,” anyone?), but his name did re-enter the public arena this year, thanks to Jason Aldean and his hit single “1994.” Written by Thomas Rhett, Luke Laird and Barry Dean, the song appears on Aldean’s album Night Train and includes the now-infamous ‘Joe Diffie chorus’ (“Hey Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie”).

Hearing one’s name chanted by thousands of fans in arenas and stadiums must be a nice shot of confidence for any artist. And so it’s little surprise to hear that Diffie is himself getting back in the game. He just released a new single, and he has a new album in the works as well.

Diffie’s single is called “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun,” and it features Diffie alongside D-Thrash of the Jawga Boyz. The video for the song features an impressive number of cameos, too.

Musically, the song shares more in common with the Southern-fried country/hip-hop sound of Colt Ford than it does with the bulk of Diffie’s best-known singles. Which is a good thing, and shows Diffie is looking to mine new territory and not simply rehash his previous success.

“My manager called me and said ‘There’s a group in from Georgia called the Jawga Boyz, and they do hick-hop. Would you be interested in writing with them?’,” Diffie explained to Billboard. “I said ‘Sure, why not.’ So, we got together, and wrote this song called ‘Girl Ridin’ Shotgun,’ and everybody else started getting excited about it.”

Diffie’s most recent single was a collaboration with Aaron Tippin and Sammy Kershaw called “All in the Same Boat,” released earlier this year. “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” is his first single as a solo artist in almost a decade.

“It’s been pretty interesting,” Diffie continued. “People think if you don’t have a single on the radio, that you’ve died. We never stopped touring — or writing songs, for that matter. We put out a Greatest Hits CD a while back, and then we did Homecoming (a bluegrass record) in 2010. We’ve just been having a lot of fun.”

 – Kurt Wolff,

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