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Back To Tennessee


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Audio CD, April 7, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Back To Tennessee is much more than just another album in one man's remarkable and enduring career. This is an extremely meaningful homecoming in that man's singular journey back to the musical roots that have long sustained him. "This album is everything I am at this second," says Cyrus. "It's everything that I've been through and every step along the way to this point -- Ironically, sometimes looking back, in my case BACK TO TENNESEE, is the best way to move forward."

Sitting in the slightly cluttered but welcoming music room that is his refuge of his Los Angeles home, with his trusty dog Tex by his side, Cyrus explains that the initial spark for Back To Tennessee was struck when Cyrus recorded "Real Gone" with Mark Bright, the Grammy-winning Nashville producer perhaps best known for his work with Rascal Flatts. Right from the start, it was clear that working with Bright brought out the very best in Cyrus. True to the song's title, "Real Gone" (written by Sheryl Crow and John Shanks) captured Cyrus at his most rocking and most real.

About the Artist

Even after experiencing the circus of celebrity for more than a decade and a half, Cyrus is ultimately a man who prizes nothing more than being authentic and true to where he comes from and who he is. "I'm the first guy to admit I'm not the best singer in the business," says Cyrus. "I don't write the best songs. But for better and worse, I am true to myself and my own instincts -- sometimes to a fault. Whatever else I may be, at least I'm real." For all that has changed around him, Cyrus remains, "As Country As Country Can Be," to borrow the title of another of Back To Tennessee's many highlights that he wrote with songwriters Casey Beathard and Mick Adkins. "I love country music," Cyrus explains. "I love all styles of music. I just love music period. But when you grow up in Eastern Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia, there's a lot of Southern gospel, a lot of blues and a lot of rock & roll, and it's still as country as country can be. Growing up I listened to Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. There's a lot of that influence in my music. But I also grew up with Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers. Those were my influences too." Cyrus paid his dues along the way. "It was the 12 years of persistence and dedication and being told no, the trials and errors and failures, everything I learned along that journey to making that first album, Some Gave All," Cyrus explains. "That was all built on a foundation of something very real." The success of that debut, including hits like "Could've Been Me," "Wher'm I Gonna Live?" "She's Not Cryin' Anymore," the title track and, of course, "Achy Breaky Heart" was massive and overwhelming. Yet here too Cyrus depended on his roots to keep him grounded. "You can see my dad's picture sitting there in front of us today," Cyrus says. "My dad passed away a couple of years ago -- he had a gospel quartet, and that's where I got my start as a little boy. There's a misperception that I was an overnight success. When I started Some Gave All, I was living in my car. I'd gotten thrown out of my house and sat writing some of those songs sitting on the curb. "Wher'm I Gonna Live,' "She's Not Crying Anymore" and "Some Gave All" I wrote all in one week. Everything that led up to that moment was very real. Yet as Cyrus recalls, "Fortunately, I had that man in the picture, my father, tell me" Don't worry son, just do what Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton did, branch out." Like Carl Perkins said, "Whatever you do, don't change a thing. Stay real and it will come around." When I was down because I felt like Nashville had thrown me out, Waylon Jennings said, "Son, take it as a compliment. You know the definition of "outlaw," don't you? It's someone who's been outlawed. Just be who you are - you're an original." Taking the advice of those he respected the most, Cyrus pushed forward, continuing to record fine country and inspirational recordings, touring regularly, and increasingly establishing himself as an actor. Remarkably, auditioning for the role as Gene the pool cleaner in David Lynch's acclaimed 2001 art film Mullholland Drive led to a second career that has been wildly successful, with Cyrus becoming a popular TV star. First, as the title character in the syndicated smash drama Doc, then as fictional country star Robbie Ray Stewart alongside his real life daughter Miley in the current smash, Emmy-nominated Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. "Like a lot of things in my life, it's all about amazing opposites," Cyrus explains with a laugh. "My entire career as an actor making family entertainment somehow started with auditioning for David Lynch. As always, I just followed my instincts." Soon, Cyrus can be seen in the action-comedy film The Spy Next Door alongside Jackie Chan. The film, which was produced by The Wedding Singer Producer Robert Simonds, will hit theatres in 2010.

Sensing it was now time to make another musical statement, Cyrus earlier this year carved out time in his busy schedule to go to Tennessee and dedicate himself one hundred percent to making a new album. As he recalls, "I lived in the studio, just like I used to, working with Mark and an amazing group of musicians." To the public, Cyrus has played many parts, yet on Back To Tennessee, he is only himself as he sings songs from the inspirational ("Somebody Said A Prayer") to the simply entertaining ("Thrillbilly"). It's an album that sums up Cyrus's entire path. Asked what he's most proud of in his career so far, Cyrus takes his guest today to a prized place in his West Coast home where he keeps a letter than means more to him than any other world possession. That letter came from Hendersonville, Tennessee and written on June 12, 1992. The letter came from the one and only Johnny Cash. As the Man In Black wrote Cyrus: "I was very impressed recently to hear you give God the credit for your success. It's good to be reminded where all goodness comes from. Thirty-six years ago today I was working with Elvis and saw him take the same flak you're taking now. Congratulations on the way you're handling it all. In your case, as in Elvis', the good outweighs the bad. Let `em have it. I'm in your corner."


1. Back To Tennessee
2. Thrillbilly
3. He's Mine
4. Somebody Said A Prayer
5. A Good Day
6. I Could Be The One
7. Like Nothing Else
8. Country As Country Can Be
9. Love Is The Lesson
10. Give It To Somebody
11. Real GoneBonus Track: Butterfly Fly Away feat Miley Cyrus

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lyric Street Records / Walt Disney Records
  • ASIN: B001EW3DFW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EP FAN 4 EVR on April 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have to say that I really like what I hear in Back To Tennessee.
The standouts on this one are:
Back To Tennesse, Somebody Said A Prayer, He's Mine, and A Good Day.

In my opinion, it is unfair to judge Billy Ray as just being the "One Hit Wonder" with Achy Breaky Heart, for those of you who may not be fans, check out some of GREATLY UNDERRATED work before he became a hit on Hannah Montanna again, there's some great stuff there that should have been heard!!!

If your a casual fan or a die hard, Back To Tennessee is for you!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Honesty on April 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I don't listen to country music but I thought I'd give this CD a try since I do like Miley and the songs he sings with her. This cd is very good. I don't hear a lot of "country" in there...no twang. To me it's just some really good music. I recommend this CD!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betty A. Pierson on September 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I guess I liked the preview of the movie "Hannah Montana" so much that I expected more of Billy Ray's new CD based on his "homecoming". I have been a fan of his since "Achy Breaky" came out, but find that on almost all of his CD's I only like several songs and the rest never catch on with me. I was disappointed in this new one as I do like Billy Ray so much but felt this work was very similar to all the others in that I found 3 songs on it I really cared for. Maybe this is more true to other people regarding all CD's. I guess I miss the old days of buying singles and picking and choosing. I wish him the best on this and hope I am just looking for something else,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Kent on April 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album on a whim, and I'm glad I did. With the exception of one song (a requisite "I'm so country it hurts" rouser), the album is a cut above the rest. The lyrics are real standouts, and the range of compositions is impressive. As a singer, Billy Ray moves easily between twangy country singing and smooth ballads. His lyrics can make you laugh in recognition or outright comic appeal, but then move to profound topics and gentle ballad. Overall, a solid album from an underappreciated songwriter and performer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle J. Kirk on October 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely adore this cd!!! I hope all country radio will give each and every song the attention this cd deserves. The lyrics are inspirational and truly shows what Billy Ray is all about. Some of the songs will bring tears to your eyes. It is not whiny at all. Great southern rock tunes- Keep it going Billy Ray- your voice is beautiful and filled with emotion. LOVE IT!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PAPER DOLL LADY on April 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is one of Billy Ray's best CDS to date. Great music, great choice of songs, and just an all around great album for all collectors. Best songs are Back to Tennessee, Butterfly, and actually all the rest. Get this album when you pick up the Hannah Montana Film CD too.

Great going BRC!

Dee
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Merrill on April 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Have to agree with EP, I'm really enjoying this CD with my favorite songs being Back to Tennessee, Somebody Said a Prayer, and the duet with Miley, Butterfly Fly Away.
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Format: Audio CD
I tend to like all of the Cyrus's music, but Miley would have to be my favorite. I was drawn to this cd for two reason's 1. Because of the duet with Miley Cyrus and that I am a big love of Country music too! I enjoy all of the songs on this cd and they keep getting better as they go on.

I enjoy hearing the more country-ish version of Butterfly Fly Away. The collorabtion between Daughter and Father is just so excellent that I always get powerful chills and love the way they always perform songs together. All of these songs make me want to do country dances, slow and fast and make me feel the emotions that are portrayed in the songs. That is when you know it's good music when it gets wrapped into you're heart and soul.

I recommend this cd to anyone else who likes Miley Cyrus and Country music.
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