METAIRIE, LA -- When John Rich walked into the room -- the Rouses on Power Boulevard in Metairie -- he didn't hand out hundred-dollar bills, as he so famously sings about in one of his hit songs. But he was there for something that means a lot to him. It's his new whiskey called Redneck Riviera.
"I basically invented this with our master distiller in 2017," Rich told WGNO. "We just brought it to market, and it's good!"
Workers at Rouses set up two tables for Rich. One was staffed by a group of workers who provided tastes of the whiskey for customers. Rich himself sat at the other table to sign bottles and pose for pictures with fans. A line of those fans stretched along a winding rope leading them to the first table and next to Rich.
Rich says he called his whiskey Redneck Riviera because it's high quality but at a price people can afford, alluding to the stretch of Gulf Coast beach in Florida and Alabama that is such a popular vacation spot.
"The food's good, the music's good, the people are good," Rich says of the beach destination.
"I get to determine the price point," he added, referring to his whiskey. "I put it down there where working class folks can get their hands on the good stuff."
Rouses was selling 750ml bottles for $22.99 during the meet-and-greet event.
Rich is part of the hit country music band Big and Rich, and he also won Season 11 of The Celebrity Apprentice. His Redneck Riviera brand also includes a line of cowboy boots and beef jerky.
"It's yuuuge," Rich joked, using his best Donald Trump voice. But in the next breath, he makes it clear that he wants to be accessible to fans who are willing to give the brand a try.
"I want to sell to the regular folks who make this country truly great," he said. "If you're going to bring something forward like Redneck Riviera Whiskey, show up, man, talk to them. Those are the people I want to sell to."
Rich also planned appearances for March 24 at the Rouses Market at 5818 West Main Street in Houma from 9:30 to 11:00 in the morning. Later the same day he'll be at the Rouses at 14630 Village Market Street in Baton Rouge from 1:00 to 2:30 in the afternoon.
To see more of our exclusive interview with John Rich, click on the video button at the top of this page.