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What You Don't Know About Toby Keith

by Jim Allen

What You Don't Know About Toby Keith

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Just about everybody thinks they know all about Toby Keith; after all, he has one of the more outsized personas of any country artist of his generation, and he certainly hasn't lacked hits on the country and pop charts. Even people who don't consider themselves country fans often have some strongly fixed notions about who Keith is and what he does. Granted, some of those ideas are based on empirical evidence -- nobody's saying Keith didn't leap into jingoism with both boots on the notorious "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" or posit himself as the poster boy for drunken shenanigans on "Red Solo Cup." But beneath the beer swilling and flag waving, there beats the heart of a straight-up killer country singer/songwriter. That fact's been borne out on plenty of his hit singles, but the almost intimidatingly prolific Keith has been churning out albums at a dizzying rate for years, and all of them include some hidden gems that never came near the radio, let alone were selected as singles. These tracks tune us in to what he's really all about, beneath the bluster and bravado -- so allow us to introduce you to a Toby Keith you may not have met yet.

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