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Tailgate

Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 6, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With 'Rollin' Through The Sunshine' it shouldn't take long to figure out the Nashville-based trio Trailer Choir sing of good times, better whiskey, and the best American nightlife has to offer. With members Crystal, Butter, and Vinny -- the 400 pound man who is known to dance the worm in the middle of their shows -- Trailer Choir started out as a cover band, playing everything from the barroom standard 'Friends in Low Places' to the disco favorite 'I Will Survive' As they began adding original songs to the mix, their audience grew. One night, impressed by their whimsical tunes and energetic stage show, country music superstar Toby Keith introduced himself to the band. A showcase for Keith and his label Show Dog Nashville in the spring of 2007 found Trailer Choir leaving with a signed contract. Then, the band -- who listed their influences as Garth Brooks, Tammy Wynette, Oprah, Elvis, and the Sonic chain of fast food restaurants -- began recording their debut album with Keith as producer.

About the Artist

Once you see Trailer Choir in action, you'll never forget the experience.

Lead singer Butter has the greeting, "Holla!" emblazoned in duct tape on his guitar. Crystal, the harmony vocalist is a fire-voiced, gorgeous blonde. And literally rounding out the group is Big Vinny, a 382-pound guy in overalls who not only sings, but dances, belly-first, down to the ground. The phrases, "high energy," "good time" and "party hard" don't do this group justice. If you're not having fun at a Trailer Choir show, check your pulse to see if you're still alive.

Hearing Trailer Choir is just as memorable. Hearty, happy and highly catchy songs like "Rockin' the Beer Gut," "Rollin' Through the Sunshine" and "Off the Hillbilly Hook" have made this group instantly popular in the world of country music.

Those audience favorites are all included on Tailgate, the debut CD by Trailer Choir. The collection is characterized by infectious, sing-along anthems and lyrical slices of everyday life. For instance, "Homemade Mexico" contains a built-in vacation. "In My Next 5 Beers" is jaunty, tuneful and fun. The high-speed rocker "Girls Love to Go Dancin'" portrays weekend escapism. "Can't Drink All Day" is a rousing romper. The breezy, lilting "Wal Mart Flowers" has an anti-materialistic message. "Last Man Standing" is about perseverance. "Shakin' That Tailgate" is a party-time rocker. Perhaps because of such catchy tunes, few stars are rising as fast. Discovered in 2007 by superstar Toby Keith, Trailer Choir has been performing on his mammoth national tours for the past three years. He featured the group in his 2008 film Beer for My Horses, so Trailer Choir's "Off the Hillbilly Hook" video featured Toby and the movie's co-star Willie Nelson. Toby also co-produced their debut CD. In 2009, Trailer Choir exploded on the airwaves with the merry, rollicking "Rockin' the Beer Gut," a song that has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. "Last Man Standing" was used by ESPN and ABC in a national NASCAR promotion. In 2010, the filming of its jaunty "Rollin' Through the Sunshine" video became a feature story in Country Weekly. Their secret?

"The show is always entertaining," says Crystal, the powerhouse vocalist. "That's the whole thing about it - the music was always entertaining. When the three of us get together in front of an audience, it's very natural for us to have a stage presence."

"We realized we were kindred spirits, as far as being entertainers," adds Big Vinny, the plus-sized singer-songwriter in the overalls. "I have always naturally been the kind of guy who says, `Hey, let's have fun and smile.'"

"You spend all your time in Nashville waiting for that big break," says Butter, the man with "Holla!" on his guitar. "Then, all of a sudden, Toby Keith is there one night."

These three come from quite different backgrounds. Born Marc Fortney, Butter was raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, a faded industrial town east of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie. He became captivated by music as a teenager.

"At a high-school talent show, I played `Small Town' by John Mellencamp. This crazy energy, this reaction, came up out of that auditorium. And that feeling has never left me." He moved to Middle Tennessee as a college student in 1993 and was soon playing fraternity parties in The Butter Band, which gave him his nickname.

Big Vinny was raised Vencent VanZant Hickerson in the middle-Tennessee town of Linden. Unlike Butter and Crystal, he comes from a highly musical family. His late father was once a professional guitarist, and he passed his passion for music along to his children.

Big Vinny learned to play guitar in January 2002, and by that March he was writing his first songs. At the time, he was manager of a Sonic in McEwen, TN.

"I worked there 10 to 12 hours a day, usually 8 AM to 8 PM, then came to Nashville every single night. For about a year, I drove an hour and a half each way, every day. I did whatever it took."

Big Vinny decided to make the big move to Nashville in 2006. Fatefully, he rented an apartment next door to Butter. The two began swapping songs, and a friendship was born. Big Vinny started doing frat-house shows with Butter's band. Butter dubbed the loose-knit group Trailer Choir. Among the group's most enthusiastic Nashville fans was singer-songwriter Crystal.

Crystal Hoyt was raised on a 2,000-acre farm in Cheneyville, a hamlet of 900 people in central Louisiana, south of Alexandria. From an early age, she was enrolled in singing, dancing, acting and piano lessons.

As a teen, she convinced her parents to let her move to Nashville in 1997. She began haunting Nashville's music clubs. She particularly enjoyed Trailer Choir's casual spontaneity and was frequently in the front of the crowd at its club performances. So Crystal was a familiar face to Butter and Big Vinny when she jumped up on their stage and started singing with them in early 2007.

"I just kind of bombarded them on stage. Within about a week, I got a phone call saying, `Hey, we have a show. Do you want to come and join us?' That was the first real show I did with them."

The three had only done four shows together before Toby Keith turned up at another Trailer Choir gig. He signed them to his record label in June 2007. Two days later, they were on tour with him, winning over fans night after night. But the members of Trailer Choir don't actually use the word "fan."

"You don't become a `fan,' you become a friend," says Big Vinny. "That's what we always say. We feel like everybody we meet, we're friends with, always."

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Product details

  • Audio CD (July 6, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Show Dog-Universal Music
  • ASIN: B003N5VOO0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,846 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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