Album of the Month (October 2015): Toby Keith, ’35 MPH Town’
When Toby Keith releases his new album, 35 MPH Town, on Oct. 9, it will be nearly a year since the country star first revealed his plans for the project. In the 12 months since his announcement, fans' anticipation has built -- so much so that The Boot's readers have voted Keith's new record Album of the Month for October 2015.
Earning nearly 41 percent of the votes in The Boot's Album of the Month poll, 35 MPH Town beat out hot new upcoming releases from, among others, Carrie Underwood, Josh Thompson and Blake Shelton. Clearly, Keith's fans can't wait to get their hands on his new disc.
Keith first announced his plans for 35 MPH Town, his 18th record, in October of 2014, around when he dropped its first single, "Drunk Americans." The track was penned by Brandy Clark, Bob DiPiero and Shane McAnally, and Keith describes it as "retro."
"It sounds like "I Love This Bar" and "American Ride" had a child,” he says of the tune, which was the most-added song on country radio when it debuted, “and "Beers Ago" is their drunk uncle.”
In an interesting twist, Keith actually passed on recording "Drunk Americans" a few years ago, when it was first finished.
“When we finished the song, we said, ‘This would we be so great for Toby Keith.’ And then he passed on it,” Clark explains. “Then he came back around to make another record, and the guy at my publishing company pitched it again — after the record was done — and they heard it and said, ‘Oh, he’s got to go in and do this.’”
Keith released 35 MPH Town's title track as the album's second single in April. He penned the song — a no-holds-barred message about the singer’s take on the current state of affairs in much of the country — with Bobby Pinson.
In September, Keith revealed “Rum Is the Reason” during a performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The tropical-sounding tune features lyrics like, “I ain’t gettin’ much done, but I’m havin’ fun / Sailing on the deep blue sea / My whole body goes numb from a bottle of dark rum / And the sun sinkin’ down on me / Yeah, my catch of the day is tall Cuba libra … Rum is the reason pirates never ruled the world.”
The singer notes that, although country music -- and the music industry in general -- is evolving, he is going to continue doing things the way he always has.
“I mean, on the skeleton part of the business side, you may have to do it different, the more digital it gets,” Keith says. “But it’s not gonna change anything about the way we get to the product or getting it out. They may deliver it differently, but as far as manufacturing and getting it to an album, nothing will change there.”
A majority of the album’s 10 cuts were written by Keith himself; several were penned in collaboration with Pinson, Scotty Emerick and Rivers Rutherford. A complete track listing is available below. Keith also co-produced the record, along with Pinson.
Toby Keith, 35 MPH Town Track Listing:
1. "Drunk Americans"
2. "Good Gets Here"
3. "35 MPH Town"
4. "Rum Is the Reason"
5. "What She Left Behind"
6. "10 Foot Pole"
7. "Haggard, Hank & Her"
8. "Sailboat for Sale"
9. "Every Time I Drink I Fall in Love"
10. "Beautiful Stranger"
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