04 September 2009
TOBY KEITH'S "AMERICAN RIDE" SECOND ONLY TO "COURTESY"
<(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) When superstar performer and songwriter Toby Keith
started playing a previously unheard song called "American Ride" in
concert 10 weeks ago, he got an audience reaction he hadn"t seen since
2001. One week later, the song was released to radio as the first
single from an upcoming album by the same name. Nine weeks after that,
"American Ride" is a top 10 hit, the album release date has been
advanced and media types are once again buzzing about Keith"s ability
to tap the psyche of a nation.>
Like 2001's "Courtesy of the Red, White And Blue (The Angry American),"
Keith's latest finds a nation in crisis and provides in response what
seems to be a cathartic release of pent up emotion through his music.
At least, that appears to be the consensus of the journalistic
firestorm the song and its take-no-prisoners animated video has created.
In a piece for CMT.com, noted journalist Chet Flippo writes, "The video
itself seems, on the surface especially on a first viewing, to be
deeply political. Viewers have ultimately realized that the video was
neither liberal nor conservative. It is, in fact, an equal-opportunity
attack on all aspects of the political and financial establishments."
The parallels with "Courtesy" are striking. Despite the explosive
political controversy that swirled around "Courtesy" and Keith, that
song was never intended as a political statement. It was simply a raw,
emotional response to the 9-11 tragedy written for the soldiers who
were headed to war. Likewise, "American Ride" takes the economic
crisis, celebrity absurdity, political dysfunction and information
overload of the country's current climate and stands it on its ear.
After nine weeks, "American Ride" stands at No. 6 on the Billboard
Country Singles chart, with "Courtesy" having debuted at No. 1* in the
same time period. The rapid ascension of the latest single forced
Keith's label Show Dog Nashville to move up the release of the American
Ride album to Oct. 6. Meanwhile, Keith continues to perform the new
song during his "America's Toughest Tour," drawing the kind of response
after just a few short weeks that is normally reserved for his biggest,