CD Toby Keith (CD 971705),
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1. Should've Been a Cowboy
2. He Ain't Worth Missing
3. Under the Fall
4. Some Kinda Good Kinda Hold on Me
5. Wish I Didn't Know Now
6. Ain't No Thang
8. Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action, A
9. Mama Come Quick
10. Close But No Guitar
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 514421
Harold Shedd; Nelson Larkin
Joe Sciafe; Jim Cotton; Joe Scaife
Personnel: Toby Keith (vocals); Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar, harmonica); Kenny Bell, Donald Potter (acoustic guitar); Michael Crossno, John Willis, Reggie Young, Jim Kimball (electric guitar); Sonny Garrish (steel guitar, dobro); Johnie Helms (steel guitar); Denis Solee (saxophone); Troy Turner, Clayton Ivey, Chris Trupe (keyboards); Carl "Chuck" Goff Jr., Gary Lunn (bass); Scott Marcha, Milton Sledge, Keith Mellington (drums); Dennis Wilson, Thomas Flora, Michael Black, Lon Wilson (background vocals).
Recorded at Music Mill Recording Studio, Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by Toby Keith.
Personnel: Toby Keith (vocals); Mark Casstevens (guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Don Potter (guitar, acoustic guitar); Michael Crossno (guitar, electric guitar); Ken Bell (guitar); Kenny Bell (acoustic guitar); Jim Kimball , John Willis, Reggie Young (electric guitar); Sonny Garrish (steel guitar, dobro); Johnny Helms (steel guitar); Denis Solee (saxophone); Clayton Ivey, Chris Trupe, Troy Turner (keyboards); Scott Marcha, Milton Sledge, Keith Mellington (drums); Thomas Flora, Dennis Wilson , Michael Black, Lonnie Wilson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Ron Reynolds.
Recording information: Music Mill Recording Studio, Nashville, TN.
On the cover of his eponymous 1993 debut, Toby Keith doesn't quite look like the big, swaggering dog that became a superstar roughly seven years later -- he's too thin, his shirt too crisp, his mullet too drastic, his smile too eager -- but image isn't everything. Underneath that cover, it sure is possible to hear the roots of modern Toby Keith on this appealing debut. It is given a production that's a bit too big, clean, glossy and cavernous for Keith's good -- it fits the outsized sound of early-'90s radio, but not his outsized talent -- but beneath that sheen the songs are very strong. He wrote all but two here -- the cheerfully swinging "Some Kinda Good Kinda Hold on Me" and the very good "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action," which winningly echoes the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," aren't his -- and he's already showing considerable range as a writer, already revealing his wry sense of humor on "Close But No Guitar" and expertly playing of Western mythology on "Should've Been a Cowboy" which was his deserved breakthrough. But if that song, combined with his latter macho stance, suggests that he was always all outlaw, most of Toby Keith is surprisingly within poppier territory, as "Ain't No Thang," "He Ain't Worth Missing" and "Wish I Didn't Know Now" all bear influences from Ronnie Milsap. He'd later develop this influence, blending it to a rowdier stance that became his signature, but looking back on this debut it's clear that Keith was a writer and singer of considerable skill even at the outset of his career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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