Tuesday, February 6, 2024

RIP Toby Keith

I'm saddened to hear of the passing of Toby Keith. Our paths crossed many times before his tenure of Fame. We both played fairly regularly at The Top Rail in Dallas amongst other places in Texas and Oklahoma. The band was called Easy Money. (not Toby Keith) If I was out on a free night, they often had me come up and sit in. They were definitely a good band. I was friendly with most of them including Toby. I recall when they were first signed to a deal. They were ecstatic. I went to a late night breakfast with them and they all had stars in their eyes. Deep down I knew they really just wanted Toby. Yes, changes came almost immediately. Toby came to one of our shows shortly after that. I talked to him briefly. He told me that they were either going to go with fiddle or steel guitar but not both. He asked if I would be interested in joining up if they went with fiddle. Well we all know that he didn't go with fiddle. He did steal the drummer in the band I was in at that time. (Singletree Band) Our paths crossed very little if at all the next few years. He did rise to stardom and had a few hits. We got to open for him in Hutchenson Kansas. I recall entering the building for soundcheck. There he was sitting in the entry hallway. He looked up and said. "Hey Sean" with a smile. He didn't know who the opening band was and was a bit surprised to see me. We had a good conversation like it was earlier times. I don't recall that I ever did see him after that. I left full time road work to focus on Family. I relocated to Central Texas so I was out of the loop with most of my colleagues. Eventually I was able to build a musical life here that in many ways contrasted to my old musical life. That last encounter with Toby has stuck with me. Despite a reputation of having a swaggering ego, the Toby I knew was down to earth who appreciated where he came from. RIP partner. We will play a few of your songs this weekend.

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