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Meet Cowboy Troy
By Gary Voorhies - CMA Close Up News Service
Photographer:
Clay Patrick McBride

As a boy, Troy Coleman (Cowboy Troy) didn't realize he was listening to Country Music. "I just knew it was what my parents listened to before they went to work in the morning," he said.

That was back in Fort Worth, Texas where his dad took him to rodeos and stock shows and exposed him to musical favorites including Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, Jerry Reed and Kenny Rogers.

Then Cowboy Troy's teen years arrived, and with them a new influence: the rap and hip hop music he heard on MTV.

"That's where Run-DMC came in," he said. Then, as a freshman psychology major at the University of Texas in Austin, came another shift when a friend lent him a George Strait CD. "I was blown away," he recalled. "I remember telling myself that this is what I need to be listening to."

So he listened to all of it - "the Country, the hip hop, the rap, even heavy metal" - and assimilated it all into his own style. He worked up a few stock raps to do at Country dance clubs, where patrons began to ask club DJs about the 6-foot-5-inch rhymer in the cowboy hat and western shirt everyone quickly came to know as "Cowboy Troy."

Cowboy Troy began making trips to Nashville and bringing music to friend John Rich of Big & Rich, whom he first met in a Dallas club in 1993. He became a regular at gatherings of Rich's newly formed group of like-minded friends, "MuzikMafia," and performed on Horse of a Different Color, the now double-Platinum 2004 debut album by Big & Rich. Cowboy Troy ended up going on tour with them and Tim McGraw and a record deal of his own soon followed.

The result is Loco Motive, the first release from MuzikMafia's Raybaw Records, an imprint of Warner Bros. Records Nashville. The album, featuring singles "I Play Chicken With The Train," and "If You Don't Wanna Love Me," hit streets May 17 and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Cowboy Troy's interest in cultural and musical diversity is reflected on the album with raps in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin Chinese.

Cowboy Troy is currently on the "Dueces Wild Tour" through Oct. 30 with CMA Awards Host Brooks & Dunn, plus Big & Rich and the Warren Brothers.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Who are your musical heroes?
 "Charlie Daniels, Jerry Reed and Metallica."
 
Which song would you like to cover?
 "'Enter Sandman' by Metallica."
 
What CD is on your stereo?
 "Dwight Yoakam's Blame the Vain."
 
What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
 "Will Smith."
 
What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
 "Fifth grade spelling bee ... I misspelled 'mackerel.'"
 
What song do you wish you had written?
 "'In America,' written and performed by Charlie Daniels."
 
Who is your dream duet partner?
 "Gretchen Wilson or Gwen Stefani."
 
If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
"The Life & Times of a Native Texan."
 
When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
"Wow!"

On the Web: www.cowboytroy.com

2005 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.

Photographer: Clay Patrick McBride

Courtesy of Raybaw Records.

 

 

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