If the title track of Toby Keith’s forthcoming album is any indication, the popular country singer-songwriter’s creative muse hasn’t dried up yet.
The song, “Drinks After Work,” is just the latest in a long series of tracks from the popular country artist about getting drunk, sobering up, falling off the wagon or some combination.
Keith, who performs 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, will be serving plenty more such ditties in his live set, based on his recent performances. Among the drinking tunes on his setlist are “Haven’t Had a Drink All Day,” “Tear in My Beer” and “Red Solo Cup” –– the latter his most successful song to date –– as well as a virtual duet with Willie Nelson on “Beer for My Horses.”
“If you drank a $6 beer every time country superstar Toby Keith sang one of his drinking songs ... you would probably be broke and near death. Which would make for a good Toby Keith song,” Indianapolis Star critic Joe Lawler writes of Keith’s performance last month at the Iowa State Fair.
Keith, who will release his new album on Oct. 29 with a duet of “Margaritaville” with Sammy Hagar on the deluxe edition, has proven to be one of Nashville’s most prolific artists. The recording will be his 17th studio album in 20 years, during which he has been twice named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, among other industry honors.
Besides his fondness for tunes about drinking, Keith also performs plenty of material devoted to his love of country and respect for the working man.
The latter figure in tracks such as “American Ride” and “Made in America,” while Keith wrapped his set at the Iowa State Fair by inviting two members of the military on stage for his renditions of “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”
“Never apologize for being patriotic,” Keith tells the audience.
The Oklahoma native also showed his devotion to his home state earlier this summer by headlining a benefit for the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund that brought in at least $2 million in donations, according to NewsOK.com.
The July 6 event at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium attracted an audience of 60,000, and featured such headliners as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson and Hagar.
“At the end of the day, Okies, all the way back to the Dust Bowl, are kind of used to picking themselves up and making sure each other’s taken care of. Pretty amazing, resilient bunch,” Keith says during a backstage interview with NewsOK.com. “Every time something happens (like this), music people get together. Music’s a good healing for emotions and stuff, so the emotional relief you can provide through music always works.”