Chris LeDoux

Cowboy

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AllMusic Review by

After recording 22 albums and developing a cult following of rodeo and pure-country enthusiasts, Chris LeDoux re-recorded 11 of his early songs on this compilation to bring new listeners up to speed and to throw a thank you to the fans who have supported him. So many contemporary country singers try to come across like salt of the earth but end up sounding like the country & western version of Michael Bolton. LeDoux, on the other hand, is a former rodeo cowboy, and that experience shows in his choice of material and his emotive voice. He sings about raising crops, for crying out loud. How bold is that in the 21st century's plasticized country scene? That integrity is probably what's kept him from becoming a megastar but also what has gained him fiercely loyal fans. Literate, poetic, moving, and with a killer sense of humor, LeDoux has a wisdom in his voice that enables him to be the consummate storyteller he is. Additionally, it's nice that the songs on this album aren't all love songs; he sings about family, marriage, bar brawls, and, of course, riding the rodeo. He takes you on a journey in each, from the devastating kick in the pants of "Silence on the Line" to a tender, wistful ode to the Cowboy State, "Song of Wyoming." Cowboy is a solid collection that spotlights the strengths of one of the most underrated male country artists of the time.

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