Big Kenny

At the University of Creativity, as his Nashville home has been affectionately dubbed, “Big Kenny” Alphin acts much like a faculty chair. “Professor of Music Without Prejudice,” you might call him, as he gleefully fosters an atmosphere so thick with inspiration and imagination you could swim in it. The campus boasts a splendid residence housing the Pub of Love — a throwback to the MuzikMafia’s humble origins — a poolside set of bongos improvised by 15, 25, and 50 gallon drums, and a church, where Kenny has installed the state-of-the-art Last Dollar studio. “My wife told me I needed to go to church more often,” he says. “So I built one in the backyard. Then I put a studio inside it, so I’d want to go to church all the time.” Within this artist’s paradise, it is, ironically, the unassuming garage where Kenny spends most of his time and has set up the unofficial headquarters of Love Everybody, LLC. Among the accouterments are a fridge full of beer (“Isn’t it beautiful?” he marvels), a couple of tumbledown velvet sofas, a beach cruiser, and a chainsaw. It might, in fact, seem an unlikely habitat for a star who’s written five top 10 hits for artists such as Tim McGraw (“Last Dollar Fly Away”), Gretchen Wilson (“Here For The Party”), Jason Aldean (“Hicktown” and “Amarillo Sky”), and of course Big & Rich (“Lost In This Moment”), and been named BMI’s Songwriter of the Year. As half of the Grammy-nominated genre-bending super duo...

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