Tailgate, Trailer Choir's Toby Keith-produced debut, was a long time coming. Its first single, "Off the Hillbilly Hook" (the album's final track) was issued way back in 2008. It was followed by "In My Next 5 Beers," "Rollin' Through the Sunshine," and the infamous "Rockin' the Beer Gut," that were issued as previews in 2009. Apparently Show Dog, the band's label, and its distribution company, Universal Music weren't taking any chances. Trailer Choir are Crystal, chief songwriter Butter, and Big Vinny. The band wrote or co-wrote most of the set's songs; all three members are vocalists who really can sing (think a more working class version of Rascal Flatts). The 10 songs are full of hooky, sing along choruses, and big bursting guitars in their brand of contemporary country and rock. The best cuts on the set are "In My Next 5 Beers," with its hints of old time mid-Texas songwriting (think Jerry Jeff Walker coming of age in the 21st century country music biz), "Rollin' Through the Sunshine (Summer Mix)," and the raucous "Last Man Standing," which was produced by Butter and Mills Logan. The album goes by in a blur at just over half an hour (and doesn't need to be a second longer), as one solidly placed party anthem after another. The trio is backed by a crack Nash-Vegas studio band and Keith's production, as-in-your face and slick as it is, also contains a live-sounding presence for a studio record. Look for this one to get lots of play in honky tonks and on the radio. Traditional country fans need not apply here, you'll find it downright offensive musically; this one's strictly for contemporary country audiences.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek