Cowboy Troy - Black In The
Review By: George
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
the winter, December of 89, I picked up my pen started makin’ my
rhymes/ And I appreciate the listener for takin’ the time/ Cos
I’m pouring out my soul in every lyric and line/And I remember
what it’s like to be the focus of every punch line…Take your
best shot now, cos I’m flyin’ so high/ You’ll run out of
ammo before you touch the sky” Cowboy Troy – “Take Your
Best Shot Now”.
At six foot five inches, Muzik
Mafia member Cowboy Troy casts a big shadow. He also has a voice
that grabs attention with its beefy hold on his brand of music. He
calls it “hick hop”. Throw in a wide hat, a fat belt buckle
and a handle of “the real yawlternative”, Cowboy Troy almost
passes as the real deal. Black In The Saddle is the second
release from this popular host of Nashville Star.
It’s an impressive profile of
the lanky Texan. Add mafia mogul John Rich to the mix, (J.Money
(Rich) side saddles as Cowboy’s co-producer) and you’d think
you have the definitive country album. Right? Wrong!
There’s no doubting the
country sentiments and lyrical similarities of what Cowboy Troy
does on his collaborative efforts across these 12 tracks (two of
the cuts are dance remixes). But the hat and buckle fashion thing
won’t be enough for what the modern CMT devotee will consider
twang. The simple truth is Cowboy’s music ain’t what many
But while the “new country”
debate lingers, Cowboy Troy (Troy Coleman) has a unique take on
the music he’s marketed at. He’s boundary hopping and genre
bouncing – but that’s the problem. Just who is the intended
audience? And while he raps passionately about causes of
social inequality, unfairness and inappropriate labeling of
persons, all fired with the speed of a rattling gun, it doesn’t
sit with the image of denim, boots and Stetson hats.
The drums pound, the guitar
riffs are explosive and the vocal layering is something for
Saturday night, but it won’t fire on the jukebox at the Dew Drop
Inn. Buried deep into the heavy production are sprinklings of
fiddles and banjos, causing the album (to my ears at least) to be
nothing more than a token grab for a country tag.
Look, what Troy the cowboy does
is probably ya thang, if you’re into slick production and
clipped messages that shadow the struggle for acceptance and
tolerance, all shot at you in staccato, but it won’t grab if
you’re a hurtin’ soul in need of music played out with steel,
fiddle and Dobro.
Some of this will certainly grab
your ear, engaging your heart will be a stretch.
The album is out now on Warner