Fans anxiously awaiting Toby Keith’s new album, American Ride, have something to be happy about, as the country singer’s forthcoming album is set to arrive one week earlier than previously planned. The title track to American Ride has already spawned Keith’s quickest-rising single since 2002’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” and is sure to yield more hits when it is released via Keith’s Show Dog Records label on October 6. Keith kicked off his America’s Toughest Tour in support of American Ride with Trace Adkins in tow and will be on the road for the next few months so check online for Toby Keith tickets to see him live!
After playing dates in the States, the country star will embark on his first-ever European tour with a gig across the pond in Scotland on November 9. Although he hasn’t performed in Europe yet, Keith didn’t appear phased when speaking with Billboard online last month saying, “The powers that be just came and said, ‘You’re selling product all over Europe, why don’t you do a tour?’ so we’re going over there. I’ve stayed in Dublin. I’ve stayed in Spain … Germany. I’ve been all over. They like beer. They like a good time. They like to kick back and do what they do, so there’s no difference. I think they’ll like what we do just fine.” Keith’s most recent album to date, That Don’t Make Me A Bad Guy, is a hit overseas, specifically in Norway, and he decided to bring his tour to Europe after being approached by a fan in an airport in Spain when on the way from a USO tour.
While Toby Keith’s country music may just be starting to catch fire in Europe, he scored a hit on his first try out with his eponymous debut album in 1993 thanks to the chart-topping single “Shouldn’t Been a Cowboy.” The Clinton, Oklahoma native followed the success of Toby Keith, which arrived on the Mercury Records label and went on to sell over two million copies, with the gold-selling sophomore album Boomtown. Boomtown garnered Keith his second Number One single, “Who’s That Man,” and then Keith released a holiday album titled Christmas to Christmas. After the platinum-selling 1996 album Blue Moon, Keith jumped labels to the Nashville division of DreamWorks for 1997’s Dream Walkin’. After releasing a batch of successful albums at his new label home, Keith started Show Dog and released his first album under his own label, 2006’s White Trash with Money.
In addition to being poised for success, Keith’s forthcoming American Ride features the singer co-writing the majority of the songs with his partner Bobby Pinson. Keith picked up a pen for the ballad “Tender As I Wanna Be” and “Drive It On Home,” which he previously described to Billboard.com as “a real modern hard-drivin’, truck drivin’ song,” among others. American Ride also includes a tribute to basketball-star-turned-jazz-bassist and fellow Oklahoma native Wayman Tisdale, who passed away due to cancer in May. The song, titled “Cryin’ For You” also features saxophonist Dave Koz and bassist Marcus Miller.
A generation is roughly defined as a period of about 30 years. 30 years ago in the early 80s – America was rolling with Ronald Reagan at the wheel and his conservative back to family values tenets. A similar traditionalism was also being adopted by several prominent up-and-coming jazz musicians. While most of the then-young flock was looking back, Marcus Miller was looking ahead. By the middle of that decade in 1986, Marcus – the musician, composer and producer – was at the helm of one of the most impactful modern jazz masterpieces of the era with some futuristic roots music he composed for the legendary Miles Davis entitled Tutu.
Now with Renaissance in 2012, Marcus Miller surveys the landscape of not just music but society as a whole. In the same profound way that anointed gospel-soul singer Sam Cooke prophesized 50 years before in 1963, Miller feels that a change is gonna come. And just as with Tutu, he is ahead of the storm with Renaissance, fortified by a team of hungry young players that includes trumpeters Sean Jones and Maurice Brown, alto saxophonist Alex Han, drummer Louis Cato, guitarists Adam Agati and Adam Rogers, and keyboardist Kris Bowers along with veteran keys wizards Federico Gonzalez Peña and Bobby Sparks, Miller is creating the soundtrack for this musical, cultural and spiritual revolution.
I feel like a page is turning, Miller muses. The last of our heroes are checking out and we are truly entering a new era. Politically, things have polarized and are coming to a head. Musically, we ve got all these cool ways to play and share music – MP3 files, internet radio and satellite radio – but the music is not as revolutionary as the media. It s time for a rebirth.
Renaissance finds Miller offering up an especially emotive 13-song collection that includes eight richly inspired original compositions that swing from a tip of the porkpie to the CTI Records sound of the `70s ( CEE-TEE-EYE ) to an introspective and ultimately hope-filled rumination about the island off the coast of Dakar in Africa known as Gorée (Go-ray). Renaissance also includes five cover songs that canvas works by soul-jazz culture band WAR, new wave-soul starlet Janelle Monáe, New York jazz dignitary Weldon Irvine, Brazilian musical ambassador Ivan Lins and Christian composer Luther Mano Hanes. Though the CD primarily features Miller s smokin new band, it also features special guest vocalists Dr. John, Rubén Blades and Gretchen Parlato.
Renaissance is a word that resonates on a lot of different levels for me, Miller explains. It s about getting back to the essential aspects of art. I m focusing less on production and more on composition, so this is a very clear album for me. People have often called me a Renaissance Man. I always understood that to mean someone who s got their creative hands in a lot of different things but not on a surface level. Like Leonardo da Vinci: he wasn t just dabbling in things, he was going deep. I would really like to be that kind of guy. Over the past three decades of my career, I ve been blessed to produce a wide variety of music that means something to people. I didn t just do some clichés in different genres, like a guy who says he can speak 20 languages but all he s saying is how are you and can I get something to eat. The real challenge is can you communicate something of substance to the people through these languages that you speak?