Controls for Radio phone call.
GEORGE STRAIT’S TWANG DEBUTS AT #1 ON THE BILLBOARD 200 AND TOP COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART -- August 19, 2009
Nashville, TN (July 7, 2009) – George Strait’s “Living For The Night,” the first single from his upcoming album TWANG, hit the Top 15 mark in just three weeks making it one of the fastest rising singles of his career. The song, written by Strait, his son Bubba Strait and legendary songwriter Dean Dillon sits at #15 this week on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and #13 on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart. With the debut single racing up the charts, the street date of TWANG has been moved up to August 11, 2009.
'It makes a papa proud to have my son contributing to the creation of this record,” Strait admits. “We had a great time writing with each other and then Dean adding his magic made it even more special. I hope the people that buy this record have as much fun listening to it as I had making it.'
“Living For The Night” marks the first time Strait has penned a song since “I Can’t See Texas From Here” from his 1982 debut – Strait Country. Strait co-wrote two additional songs on TWANG - “He's Got That Something Special” and “Out Of Sight Out Of Mind.” Bubba Strait also wrote the track “Arkansas Dave.”
Co-producing this thirteen-track disc with legendary producer Tony Brown, Strait proves again why he has sold over 67 million albums throughout his record-breaking career. TWANG, Strait’s 38th album, was recorded at Shrimpboat Sound Studio in Key West, FL. It is the same studio where they recorded Strait’s last two award-winning albums.
2009 has already been a year of accolades for Strait. His platinum-selling Troubadour was named “Best Country Album” at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in February. In April, Strait was the fifth artist ever to receive the Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade honor. Most recently, he headlined the kick-off event at the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium, selling out the venue is less than an hour. The concert was hailed by the Dallas Morning News as “an extravaganza” that “showcased Strait at the pinnacle of his musical game.”
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Strait has 57 #1 singles to his credit, which is the record for more Number One hits than any artist in history including Elvis. His 33 different platinum or multi-platinum albums have earned him the most RIAA platinum certifications in country music and third in all genres behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Strait was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, making him one of a few artists to receive such an honor while still actively recording and producing music.
Track Listing for TWANG:
1. Twang - Jim Lauderdale, Kendell Marvel and Jimmy Ritchey 2. Where Have I Been All My Life - Sherrie Austin, Will Nance and Steve Williams 3. I Gotta Get To You - Jim Lauderdale, Jimmy Ritchey and Blaine Larsen 4. Easy As You Go - Steve Bogard and Rick Giles 5. Living For The Night - George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon 6. Same Kind Of Crazy - Delbert McClinton and Gary Nicholson 7. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind - George Strait and Bubba Strait 8. Arkansas Dave - Bubba Strait 9. The Breath You Take - Dean Dillon, Jessie Jo Dillon and Casey Beathard 10. He’s Got That Something Special - George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon 11. Hot Grease And Zydeco - Gordon Bradberry and Tony Ramey 12. Beautiful Day For Goodbye - Doug Johnson and Pat Bunch 13. El Rey - Jose Alfredo Jimenez --- George recorded this song in spanish. George Strait Brings Sexy Back on Twang Cover CMT.com, July 9th By: Alison Bonaguro
No, I haven’t heard George Strait’s new album yet, so you can save all your don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover lectures. The only thing I’m going to comment on today is the cover. And what a cover it is. The album art for Twang, due Aug. 11, is sexy, sexy, sexy. And did I mention sexy? Strait’s always been a wholesome kind of sexy. But this cover shows a whole new side to Strait: His bad-boy-country-cowboy-roughneck sexy side.
Let’s analyze the details:
1. He’s holding a mini-guitar, which feels naughty somehow because you’re just so used to seeing Strait with his arms wrapped around a big ol’ acoustic. 2. His tongue is out, not in a childish way, but in a way that makes him look very serious about what he’s doing. Like he’s concentrating. 3. His bedroom eyes look a little less twinkly and a lot more smoldering than usual. And he’s not smiling, which either means he was mad or he’s just got his game face on. 4. He’s sitting in a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. Any man that digs rare cars is all right in my book. 5. The typeface has a worn out, distressed and homespun look. Like he’s kind of rough around the edges, so he wouldn’t dare have a font that’s all slick and polished. 6. He borrowed Gary LeVox’s shirt. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. But after years of seeing Strait in a yellow button-down, this striped and embroidered thing he has going on is very on-trend. And it is not tucked in. He is way too cool for that now.
That’s just the stuff I can see in the picture. Who knows what the rest of the album holds? Musically, I know it has some songs Strait wrote with his son Bubba, like the first single, “Living for the Night.” I also know that seeing is believing, so there may be a different kind of George Strait on this album.
Nashville Music Row The stars are blindingly bright this week. If you’re looking for a gorgeous ballad, George Strait is your man. "Living for the Night" ~ Produced by; Tony Brown & George Strait; Publisher: George Strait/Bubba Strait/Sony ATV/Unwound, BMI; MCA Nashville (CDX) -Strait with strings! This lustrous ballad is cushioned in an exquisite arrangement that draws out every sad, wistful, broken-hearted note. George’s perfectly shaded, blue-tinted vocal does the rest of the work. You’ll get lost in its beauty. I sure did.
TWANG On the cover of George Strait’s new album, TWANG , he sits in the driver’s seat of a classic American Cadillac, strumming a toy guitar and mugging for the camera. It’s an unexpectedly playful photo for the Texas superstar, yet it perfectly captures the animated energy he’s recently infused into his never-out-of-style brand of country music.
“When I got into that old Caddy, there was a little guitar lying in the front seat,” Strait says of the photo shoot. “I picked it up and started clowning around with it, and the photographer kept shooting. It’s not a staged shot, by any means. When I started going through the pictures, I saw this shot and thought it fit the feel of TWANG I was looking for.”
In other words, Strait remains in the driver seat—not just on the album cover, but as the person gunning the engine behind his on-the-move career. With a fresh string of No. 1 hits, his first Grammy Award for Best Country Album and two consecutive CMA Awards for Album of the Year plus honors for Song and Single of the Year, Strait is as hot as ever—and, as always, he seems to know just what will work best for him and for his time.
On TWANG, he slips off into rocking country, Cajun and even a mariachi tune sung in Spanish, mixing it up with the wise ballads and dance-floor boot scooters that are as much a part of him as his comes-to-it-naturally Western look. As always, Strait epitomizes what makes modern country music so relevant and so entertaining. And, as always, he makes it look so easy.
The most important development on TWANG can be found in the songwriting credits. Strait co-wrote three songs for his new album including the debut single, “Living for the Night,” which shot up the radio charts so quickly that MCA Nashville had to move the street date of the album. Strait’s first songwriting contributions since his debut album were a direct result of writing with his son Bubba Strait.
“My son’s desire to write really inspired me,” Strait says. “After writing a few songs with Bubba, I had the idea to call and see if Dean Dillon wanted to come to my ranch and write with us. He did, we had a great time, and we were able to come up with a few songs.”
"It makes a papa proud to have my son contributing to the creation of this record,” Strait admits. “We had a great time writing with each other and then Dean adding his magic made it even more special. I hope the people who buy this record have as much fun listening to it as I had making it."
Strait always knew TWANG would be something different—and special. “When I was putting this album together I knew that I wanted to put some original material on it,” Strait says. “That’s something I hadn't done in a good while.”
Producer Tony Brown sensed this spark, too. Coming off of back-to-back award-winning albums, Strait returned to Shrimpboat Sound Studio in Key West, Florida—owned by Strait’s friend Jimmy Buffett—determined to take chances and stretch himself. “The thing I love about George is he never gets stagnant,” says Brown, one of country music’s most legendary producers. “He knows just how far he can push the envelope without breaking it. He likes to try new things, but he always stays within what he can do best, too.”
“Living for the Night” exemplifies Strait’s forward-looking attitude. A moody, thoroughly modern arrangement, Strait brings a subtly nuanced vocal performance to the song that both grounds it in Texas country yet embraces fresh, contemporary sounds.
“I actually think his voice keeps getting better,” Brown says. “George is so subtle, and so focused on expressing a song, that people don’t always realize just what an incredible singer he really is because he’s not showy. The tone he has, the way he phrases lines, the emotion he puts into them—there’s really no one as good as he is at all that. He doesn’t think of himself as a celebrity. He thinks of himself as an artist and a vocalist. He pays attention to every note.”
Strait and Brown credit the ocean air, with its cool breezes and lack of allergens, for bringing out the best in Strait’s vocal tone, purity and power. “I feel like my voice is as good as it's ever been, and the air in Key West suits it,” the singer says. “It also suits the players. It's a laid-back atmosphere, as anyone who's ever been to Key West knows, and that definitely filters right into the studio.”
As for stepping out, Strait takes on Texas bluesman Delbert McClinton’s “Same Kind of Crazy,” which McClinton co-wrote with Gary Nicholson. Brown credits the idea to record the song to Strait. “It was a fun song to do and we did it in one take,” Strait says, citing how great the studio band sounds on the cut. “That says a lot for just how much everybody was into it. I'm a Delbert fan, and I hope he likes it. He's one of our Texas treasures.”
Then there’s the album’s biggest surprise: Strait singing the Spanish lyrics of “El Rey,” a mariachi standard heard nightly across Mexico and in Border States. “I've loved mariachi music for years, and although I’m not fluent in Spanish, I’ve been trying to get better,” Strait says. “‘El Rey’ has been a favorite song of mine for years, and I request it every chance I get. So I decided to give it a shot. What a blast that was. I had a version by the great Vicente Fernandez. I played it for the guys, and we worked it out. I think it turned out great, and I hope the real mariachis like it. That will be the real test.”
Strait tackles other unexpected ideas, too, as in the let-the-good-times-roll blast of Louisiana roadhouse rock, “Hot Grease and Zydeco.” “Arkansas Dave,” the self-penned song by Bubba Strait, also presents a departure. “That one sounds like a Johnny Cash song to me,” Brown says. “I had George’s harmony singer, Marty Slayton, listen to how June Carter would harmonize with Cash to get more of that flavor. She nailed it, and it helps make the song sound unlike anything George has ever cut.”
TWANG includes plenty of songs that hardcore Strait fans expect, too. “Out of Sight Out of Mind”—another song written by the father and son team—is a steel-guitar Texas country ballad that ranks with Strait’s most moving old-school performances, as is the beautiful “Easy As You Go.” The sage wisdom in “The Breath You Take” offers a mature take on life that Strait has served up regularly and with great impact.
The romantic “I Gotta Get to You” is a mid-tempo tune that would have fit, and stood out, on any of Strait’s classic albums. “That one reminds me of ‘Amarillo by Morning’ in how great George sounds when singing it,” Brown notes. It was co-written by Jim Lauderdale, a longtime Strait favorite, with Jimmy Ritchey and Blaine Larsen. Lauderdale and Ritchey, along with co-writer Kendell Marvel, also contributed the title song, “TWANG,” an adrenalized honky-tonker Strait fills with mischievous joy.
In other words, TWANG doesn’t rest on any laurels, even though Strait stands as one of the most honored and record-setting artists in country music history. His 38th album comes during a year when the accolades continue to pile up for the legendary Texan. He won a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Country Album for Troubadour, and in April, he became only the fifth artist ever named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music. He also headlined the kick-off event at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium, selling out the venue is less than an hour. The concert was hailed by the Dallas Morning News as “an extravaganza” that “showcased Strait at the pinnacle of his musical game.”
Overall, Strait has sold more than 67 million albums and has achieved 57 No. 1 singles, the record for the most chart-topping hits by any artist in history. His 33 platinum and multi-platinum albums have earned him the most RIAA platinum certifications in country music and third in all genres behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Strait was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, making him one of a few artists to receive such an honor while still actively producing top radio hits and selling out arenas and stadiums.
“George is having as much fun as ever making records,” Brown says of his longtime recording collaborator. “You can hear it, too. I think this album shows more range than usual, yet everything he does comes so natural to him. I do think this is going to be one of those albums people hold up as one of his high-water moments.”
97.3 - A Universal Moment, Two Minutes with George on writing "Living for the Night."
1.Twang (2:55) 2.Where Have I Been All My Life (3:07) 3.I Gotta Get To You (3:10) 4.Easy As You Go (3:21) 5.Living For The Night (3:42) 6.Same Kind Of Crazy (3:33) 7.Out Of Sight Out Of Mind (3:07) 8.Arkansas Dave (3:19) 9.The Breath You Take (3:36) 10.He’s Got That Something Special (3:23) 11.Hot Grease And Zydeco (3:17) 12.Beautiful Day For Goodbye (3:09) 13.El Rey (2:25)
1. Twang Written by Jim Lauderdale, Kendell Marvel and Jimmy Ritchey
When I get off of work on Friday after working like a dog all week I go to meet the boys for a cold one at a little joint up the street They got a jukebox in the corner full of old country tunes Feed it five dollars worth of quarters is the first thing I always do
Chorus: ‘Cause I need a little twang A little hillbilly bending on some guitar strings Some peddle steel whining like a whistle of an old freight train To get that foot stomping honkey tonkin’ feeling going through my veins I need a little twang, twang, twang
Well, I like a lot of kinds of music I try to keep an open mind Depending on the mood to strike me If I’m gonna stay till closing time So when I wanna lift my spirits to get me feeling worth a dang I know I’m gonna have to hear it ‘Cause I gotta have some Hank to hang
Repeat Chorus Two Times
I need a little twang, twang, twang
© 2009 Wudang Mountain Songs, admin. by Bug (SESAC); Marvel Man Music/Bug Music-Songs of Windswept Pacific, admin. by Bug Music-Songs of Windswept Pacific; Vibe Room Music/Jimbalaya Music, admin. by BPJ Administration (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
2. Where Have I Been All My Life Written by Sherrie Austin, Will Nance and Steve Williams
Been down the road to work and back Been in what I thought was love a few times But every once in a while I stop and ask Where have I been all my life
These days broccoli don’t taste so bad And neither does swallowing my pride And I’m agreeing more and more with my old man Where have I been all my life
Chorus: Some years are clear and some a little blurry Man how they fly by Mom and dad sure got old in a hurry Where have I been all my life
Been learning that forgiveness is as much for myself As it is for the other guy And I read the good book these days and believe it Where have I been all my life
I heard “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong It brought a tear to my eye After all these years I finally get that song Where have I been all my life
© 2009 Magic Mustang Music Inc.; Lil Geezer Music/Bilangray Music/Smokin’ Grapes Music Publishing, Inc., admin. by Smokin’ Grapes Music Publishing, Inc. (BMI); Songs of Green Hills/Songs of Oak Hill/Pier Three Music, c/o Green Hills Music Group LLC, admin. by Big Loud Bucks (SESAC). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
3. I Gotta Get To You Written by Jim Lauderdale, Jimmy Ritchey and Blaine Larsen
Chorus: I gotta get to you ‘cause you sure been gettin’ to me Gotta find a way to get to your heart to sweep you off your feet I’ll wrap you up in my love Cover you with kisses so sweet I gotta get to you ‘cause you sure been gettin’ to me
I’ll win you over Over and over again I’m getting closer Closer than I’ve ever been
I’ll keep on trying Trying and I’ll never give up I would be lying If I said, we were close enough
Gotta get to you ‘cause you sure been gettin’ Gotta get to you ‘cause you sure been gettin’ to me
© 2009 Wudang Mountain Songs, admin. by Bug (SESAC); Vibe Room Music/Jimbalaya Music, admin. by BPJ Administration (BMI); FSMGI/Slay The Giant/Blaine Larsen Music, admin. by State One Copyrights America (IMRO/SESAC). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
4. Easy As You Go Written by Steve Bogard and Rick Giles
He saw her after school sippin’ on a coke Acted like a fool, crackin’ crazy jokes She turned his motor on, man his heart was gone Fire down below Easy as you go
Chorus: Easy as you go, steady as you fly Keep it in the road, keep an eagle eye Turn it on a dime, man you never know Take a little time, whoo, whoo, oo Easy as you go
Graduation night out behind the stands In the fading light he became a man She discovered love better be enough ‘Cause baby’s gonna grow Easy as you go
Judgmental frowns, teachers looking down Parents all ashamed passing out the blame They got a little room, service station view The rent’s too high, the pay’s too low, whoo Easy as you go
Ain’t nothing like a daughter or a son To make a mama old and keep a daddy young Make a body dream and give a life a theme Take the highs and lows, whoo Easy as you go Easy as you go
© 2009 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Rancho Papa Music, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; 1808 Music/Music of Green Hills, c/o Green Hills Music Group, LLC, admin. by Big Loud Bucks (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
5. Living For The Night Written by George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon
Everyday’s a lifetime without you Hard to get through Since you’ve gone So I do the only thing I know how to To get by I’m living for the night
I’ve drawn all the curtains in this old house To keep the sun out And off of my face Friends stop by to check in ‘cause I checked out I tell ‘em I’m fine I’m just living for the night
Chorus: Daylight can’t hide the tears I cry The pain that came with your goodbye The memories that keep me out of sight Every night I venture out into those neon arms that hold me tight I’m living for the night
I’m a whole lot easier to talk to When I’ve had a few I settle down The whiskey kills the man you turned me into And I come alive I’m living for the night
I’m living for the night Everyday’s a lifetime without you
© 2009 Day Money Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. (ASCAP); Living For The Night Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc.; Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Unwound Music, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
6. Same Kind Of Crazy Written by Delbert McClinton and Gary Nicholson
Did you ever meet somebody That likes all the same things you do Somebody who can make you Or break you anytime they want to I met her at a red light love at first sight Can this be true She’s good for me and she told me I was good for her too Now I don’t wanna jump into anything I’ve been trying to use some self restraint Man its amazing she’s the same kind of crazy as me
It’s getting hard to use a ladder ‘Cause I keep climbing down just to kiss her And if she’s out of my sight for a minute or two I start to miss her We stay all tangled up in each other’s arms And it’s so nice She talks in her sleep but she always gets my name right If there’s anything at all that’s wrong with her It’s something I just can’t see Ain’t no doubt about it She’s the same kind of crazy as me
Chorus: Wild, wild nights chasing each other through the moonlight My, my, my I finally got something right ‘Cause every little off beat move she makes Just suits me to a tee Ain’t no doubt about it She’s the same kind of crazy as me
You know what I’m sayin’ She’s the same kind of crazy as me
Uh, huh Tear it up boys
© 2002 Nasty Cat Music, admin. by Carol Vincent and Associates, LLC (BMI); Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Gary Nicholson Music LLC, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
7. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind Written by George Strait and Bubba Strait
I always heard people say it But I guess I never fully understood it I thought that they meant You’d be easy to forget But it’s driving me crazy
Chorus: Outta sight outta mind You opened my eyes And now I can see What you mean to me I was so blind Outta sight outta mind
You know it hurt when you left me But I thought life would go on without you That was easier said Can’t get you out of my head I don’t know if I’ll make it
I was so blind Outta sight outta mind
© 2009 Day Money Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. (ASCAP); Living For The Night Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
8. Arkansas Dave Written by Bubba Strait
He rode up on a winter day Steam rising off a streak-faced bay He said, “You probably know my name.” If you don’t, it’s Arkansas Dave He talked of fifteen years ago And how he got the bay he rode Said, he killed a man in Ohio First man he killed, first horse he stole
It was a long road for Arkansas Dave He shot and left him where he lay Said, he’d never forget that winter day He rode off on a streak-faced bay
I stood up and I shook his hand Told no one that I knew this man Started thinking up a plan ‘Bout how I’d deal him his last hand Didn’t take him long to come unwound He jumped up and gunned two men down Ran outside to leave the town But ‘ol bay was nowhere to be found I hid out with my .44 And when he walked back through the door I shot till I could shoot no more And Dave Rudabaugh fell to the floor
It was the end of the road for Arkansas Dave I shot and left him where he lay I’ll never forget that winter day I rode off on the streak-faced bay No, I’ll never forget that winter day I rode home on daddy’s streak-faced bay
© 2009 Living For The Night Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
9. The Breath You Take Written by Dean Dillon, Jessie Jo Dillon and Casey Beathard
He looks up from second base Dad’s up in the stands He saw the hit, the run, the slide There ain’t no bigger fan In the parking lot after the game He said, “Dad I thought you had a plane to catch?” He smiled and said, “Yeah, son I did,
Chorus: But life’s not the breath you take The breathing in and out That gets you through the day Ain’t what it’s all about You just might miss the point Trying to win the race Life’s not the breaths you take But the moments that take your breath away.”
Fast-forward fifteen years And a thousand miles away Boy’s built a life, he’s got a wife And a baby due today
He hears a voice saying, “I’ve made it son.” Says, “I told you dad You didn’t have to come.” He smiles and says, “Yeah, I know you did.”
Just like it took my breath when she was born Just like it took my breath away When dad took his last that morn’
© 2009 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Unwound Music, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; Immokalee Music/Bluebird In My Heart Music, admin. by Immokalee Music; Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Six Ring Circus, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
10. He’s Got That Something Special Written by George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon
I used to be the one who She was always holding onto Like a fool I told her way too tight He was glad to see me let go He’s all I see now in her eyes He’s got that something special But that something special used to be mine
Chorus: She sees More in him than she ever saw in me She thinks He’s got everything she’ll ever need He’s got that something special But that something special used to be mine
Never knew how good I had it Never do till you don’t have it I’d give anything to have her back It hurts me to admit that He’s got what I never knew I had He’s got that something special But that something special used to be mine
He’s got that something special But that something special used to be mine
© 2009 Day Money Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc. (ASCAP); Living For The Night Music, admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc.; Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Unwound Music, admin by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
11. Hot Grease And Zydeco Written by Gordon Bradberry and Tony Ramey
I hear the music, Big Daddy’s place Smell that gumbo coming through that old screen door Fans are blowing, flies are buzzing People jitterbugging on that hardwood floor Work my fingers down to the bone Make the money and spend it on
Chorus: Hot grease and zydeco Feed my belly, feed my hungry soul It’s Friday night, let the good times roll Hot grease and zydeco My baby’s loving, it’s deep fried Golden brown legs and then long black hair We start cooking when we kiss No time at all, Lord she takes me there Down on the Bayou they’re stirring it up Tastes so good I can’t get enough
Repeat Chorus Twice
Feed my belly, feed my hungry soul Turn it up, burn it up, say sure Hot grease, hot grease and zydeco Hot grease and zydeco
© 2009 O-Tex Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
12. Beautiful Day For Goodbye Written by Doug Johnson and Pat Bunch
Isn’t it like her to look so pretty Like everything is all right Like nobody cried all last night Look at the sun, oh how it’s shinin’ Almost a picture perfect day Like nobody’s going away
Chorus: If it were just a little colder She might need me to hold her But wouldn’t you know it the weather is perfect There’s not a cloud in the sky It ain’t rainin’ or snowin’, there’s no cold wind blowin’ It’s a beautiful day for goodbye
Isn’t it like me to wait ‘til she’s leaving To know how I feel I love her and I always will In a second or a moment, forever can change So I’m standing here praying for rain
Wouldn’t you know it the weather is perfect There’s not a cloud in the sky It’s a beautiful day for goodbye
© 2009 Mike Curb Music/Sweet Radical Music, admin. by Mike Curb Music; Pat Price Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
13. El Rey Written by Jose Alfredo Jimenez
Yo se bien que estoy afuera Pero el dia que yo me muera Se que tendras que llorar Llorar y lloyar, lloyar y lloyar
Diras que no me quisiste Pero vas a estar muy triste Y asi te vas a quedar
Coro: Con dinero y sin dinero Hago siempre lo quiero Y mi palabra es la ley No tengo trono ni reina Ni madie que me comprenda Pero sigo siendo el rey
Una piedra en el camino Me enseno que mi destino Era rodar y rodar Rodar y rodar, rodar y rodar
Despues me dijo un arriero Que no hay que llegar primero Pero hay que saber le llegar
Translation: The King
I know well that I'm out But the day I will die I know you are going to cry (To cry and to cry, to cry and to cry) I will say you didn't love me But you are going to be so sad And that's the way you are going to remain
Chorus: With or without money I do whatever I want And my word is law I don't have throne or queen or anybody understanding me But I'm still the king
A simple stone on the road Taught me that my fate was to roll and to roll (To roll and to roll, to roll and to roll) Also a cowboy told me You don't have to arrive first but to know how to arrive
Chorus... but I'm still the King.
© (r) 1971 BMG Music Publ. Mexico, S.A. De C.V (SACM), admin. by Universal Music-Careers (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. International copyright secured.
Produced by Tony Brown for TBE and George Strait for George Strait Productions
Recorded by Chuck Ainlay at Shrimpboat Sound Studio (Key West, FL) Assistant Engineer: Jim Cooley Mixed by Chuck Ainlay at Backstage at Sound Stage (Nashville, TN) Additional Assistant Engineers: Todd Tidwell and Joe Martino and Jim Cooley
Strings Recorded by Kyle Lehning at Starstruck Studios (Nashville, TN) Assistant Engineers: Casey Wood and Todd Tidwell and at Oceanway Studio (Nashville, TN) Assistant Engineers: Casey Wood and Rob Clark
Production Coordinator: Erin McAnally
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios (Portland, ME)
Musicians: •Eddie Bayers – Drums •Glenn Worf – Bass and Upright Bass •John Jarvis – Piano, Wurlitzer and B-3 •Steve Nathan – Synthesizer, Piano, Wurlitzer and B-3 •Randy Scruggs – Acoustic Guitar •Steve Gibson – Acoustic, Electric and Gut String Guitars •Brent Mason – Electric and Gut String Guitars •Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar •Stuart Duncan – Fiddle and Mandolin •Eric Darken – Percussion •Mike Haynes – Trumpet •Background Vocals – Tom Flora and Marty Slayton •Background Vocals on “El Rey” – Eddie Perez, Chris Rodriguez and George Strait •Strings – The Nashville String Machine Management: Erv Woolsey, The Erv Woolsey Co., 1000 18th Avenue S., Nashville TN, 37212 Booking: Danny O’Brian, The Erv Woolsey Co., 1000 18th Avenue S., Nashville TN, 37212
George Strait Fan Club: P.O. Box 2119, Hendersonville, TN 37075, (615) 824-7176, www.georgestrait.com www.umgnashville.com
» Billboard CD reviews: George Strait Reuters July 25, 2009, 8:27 am ARTIST: GEORGE STRAIT ALBUM: TWANG (MCA Nashville)
NEW YORK (Billboard) - George Strait put out his first album, "Strait Country," in 1981. After 28 years, you'd think it would be tough coming up with new twists to captivate audiences. But apparently not for King George, whose latest album, "Twang," is among the finest collections of songs he's released. Recorded at Jimmy Buffett's Shrimp Boat Studios in Key West, Fla., the new set has a few surprises, including a track recorded entirely in Spanish. Vicente Fernandez's mariachi hit "El Rey" includes horns, which is a first on a Strait record for co-producer Tony Brown, who has worked with the country artist since 1992. Other rare moments on "Twang" include three songs co-written by Strait, who hasn't released a song he's penned since his debut. The first single, "Living for the Night," was co-written by Strait; his son, Bubba; and longtime contributor Dean Dillon. Strait and his son also collaborated on "Out of Sight Out of Mind." The song "Arkansas Dave" -- written solely by Bubba -- has a "Tennessee Flat Top Box" groove that would make Johnny Cash proud.
NASHVILLE SKYLINE: George Strait’s Still Got the Twang.
His 38th Studio Album Shows the Troubadour in F ine Form. There is no musical border between Texas and Mexico. And George Strait graphically proves this on his new CD, Twang, with his expressive version of a well-known song written by a Mexican musical icon. And he sings it in Spanish. As he should, to present the song in its true form. “El Rey” (the king) was written by the Mexican singer and songwriter Jose Alfredo Jimenez, who is widely regarded as one of Mexico’s pre-eminent songwriters. Jimenez’s “El Rey” is a boasting song about a strutting macho man whose word is law and who regards himself as the king. And Strait gets a bit of a vocal workout within the parameters of “El Rey,” but he gets there and sounds very natural.
Strait also visits the Texas rowdy R&B roadhouse tradition -- as opposed to the down-and-dirty honky-tonk country roadhouse -- with Delbert McClinton’s “Some Kind of Crazy” (co-written with McClinton’s longtime collaborator Gary Nicholson). You can hear the urgent feel of Delbert’s get-loose-and-goosey phrasing in Strait’s singing here. George is letting his hair down a bit. Good for him. As a further reminder that he’s not always the crisp and starched buttoned-down singer, Strait kicks it a bit looser yet with “Hot Grease and Zydeco.”
Throughout his decades of pre-eminence in country music, Strait has proved to be the canniest song picker around. He’s always been the man with the best song ears around. Especially because he didn’t write songs. Now he does. Or rather, he co-writes three cuts here, with his son Bubba and with familiar song partner Dean Dillon. And he does well. George’s son, Bubba, himself is coming into his own as a writer. I especially like his “Arkansas Dave,” which he wrote by himself. It’s a rousing, old-timey, fiddle and guitar saga about killings and horse theft and all the juicy things that country songs used to be about. And it’s even got a shaggy dog ending, the way many of those songs used to end. And George clearly has fun singing it.
There is that same sort of energized spirit about George Strait throughout Twang, which I really love hearing from him at this stage in his career. After 38 studio albums, most artists would begin to sound burnt-out. But Strait is obviously still enjoying what he’s doing and is ready for more.
At age 57, as the standard-bearer of country music, Strait seems to be feeling adventuresome. He probably has boots and saddles that are older than Taylor Swift. But that doesn’t mean he’s stuck in a time warp, as some artists do -- far too often. Twang feels in many ways to be one of his most satisfying ventures yet. May many more follow.
I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that George Strait may be the Uncle Walter Cronkite of country music. But he is a reassuring presence for the music and is its beacon of stability.
What If Twang Is George Strait's Legacy? Posted: August 11th, 2009 at 5:21 pm | By: Alison Bonaguro George Strait's latest album, Twang, came out today (Aug. 11). I mean, who didn't know that, right? But there's also this rare interview with him circulating the Internet, and it's just about as good as the album itself.
In it, he says, "I have no idea what my legacy will be. I'll just have to let somebody else decide that." Well, I've decided. What George Strait should leave behind is just twang. Not just the album, but the very sound that represents the kind of country music he's been making for three decades. Because like he says, "If twang is not what I do, then I don't know what is."
This album has all kinds of music, according to Strait. Zydeco, mariachi, up-tempo. And I have to agree there's some kind of song for everyone on here. He sounds like himself on slow-groove ballad tunes like "The Breath You Take," "Where Have I Been All My Life" and "Living for the Night." Vocally and instrumentally. But here's some sass here, too, like on the title track and on "Hot Grease and Zydeco," which could easily become a club mix song if he allowed it. Which I doubt he would, but still.
He recorded the album down in Key West, Fla., and thinks maybe the ocean air is good for his voice. That could be. Or maybe his voice was just born to twang like this to give us that feeling that a little hillbilly's bending on some guitar strings, some pedal steel's whining like a whistle of an old freight train and that foot stomping honky-tonkin' feeling's going through my veins. That's a legacy George Strait would be happy to leave behind.
NEWSOK The Oklahoman CD Review: George Strait "Twang” August 14, 2009
George Strait "Twang” (MCA Records) George Strait would be forgiven if he showed up at the studio, sang 10 traditional country songs and turned in a finished, if uninspired, album to RCA Records. But on Strait’s new album "Twang,” the Texas legend takes chances that pay huge dividends.
The biggest? Singing in Spanish! Strait summons his inner-gringo on "El Rey,” the album’s capper sung entirely in a foreign tongue.
Strait then pulls influences from several genres that include Cajun music, bluesy rock and folk. And all the chances and risks are done with Strait’s timeless grace and impeccable taste.
Usually an artist who relies on the pen of other writers, Strait co-wrote two tracks ("Out of Sight Out of Mind” and "He’s Got That Something Special”) with his son, Bubba.
King George still has the vocal clout to deliver rip-roaring tunes such as the title track and thoughtful reflections in "Where Have I Been All My Life.” The three-chord country tunes are there. But a talented vocalist such as Strait can interpret other genres, rein in those influences and turn regular songs into evolved country music. Strait won a Grammy for 2008’s "Troubadour.” But instead of sticking with that winning formula, the 57-year-old pushed his artistic limits and made one of the best records of his career.
— Ben Scott
George Strait's 'Twang' shows off country Troubadour's budding writing chops by Chuck Yarborough/Plain Dealer Reporter Cleveland, Thursday August 13, 2009, 3:38 PM
You have to wonder: Does George Strait ever get tired of debuting albums at No. 1?
In a career that began with the 1981 release of "Strait Country," George and his Ace in the Hole Band have teamed up for 26 studio albums, including "Twang," which hit stores on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Three times in his celebrated career, a Strait album has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard's Top 200 charts, and 12 times, an album has entered the world at No. 1 on the country album charts. Of more than 400 songs that have spent time beautifying the radio airwaves, a record-shattering (no pun intended) 57 have spent time in the top slot. Expect that same kind of performance from "Twang."
All of that speaks volumes for country music fans. Strait has a classic country voice, as pure as Jim Reeves, as emotive as Hank Williams Sr. and as honest as Bob Wills. Strait doesn't need concert histrionics to connect with his fans. The closest he's ever come to scandal might be accidentally leaving his shirt untucked. There are some singers out there now who couldn't exist without the voice-manipulation software Pro Tools; George Strait's only pro tools are his vocal cords and his ability to interpret a song.
Interpret, not write. With the exception of "I Can't See Texas from Here," off that debut album, Strait hasn't written a single tune.
Until now. And dang it, turns out the guy can write, too! He's the co-author, with his son Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon, of "Living for the Night," which just happens to be the first single off "Twang." It's "only" at No. 7 on the charts, a hit for anybody else, but a clunker by Strait standards.
Now honestly, you do have to wonder how much influence Dillon had in the writing. After all, he's the pen behind George Jones' "Tennessee Whiskey" and such Strait classics as "Oceanfront Property," "The Chair," "I've Come to Expect It of You" and "Nobody in His Right Mind Would Have Left Her."
But we can discount that because of another tune off "Twang" called "Arkansas Dave." It's a true Western ballad you could picture Marty Robbins or Johnny Cash singing. It's the story-with-a-twist of the outlaw who gets what's a-comin' to him in the end. The song was written by Bubba Strait, all by his lonesome, and it's a flat-out winner.
George and Bubba also collaborated on "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," and teamed with Dillon again for "He's Got That Something Special," which I predict will be No. 1 No. 58.
But the Strait boys' tunes aren't the only good ones. "Hot Grease and Zydeco" really is such a great lesson in laissez le bons temps rouler that you can almost smell the gumbo and jambalaya. The biggest surprise, though, is "El Rey," a mariachi ballad tune by Jose Alfredo Jimenez that Strait sings in perfectly accented, tongue-rolling Spanish.
Bueno. Es muy bueno.
Strait headed for big chart debuts Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:07pm EDT
By Keith Caulfield LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The King of Country is poised to dethrone the King of Pop, as George Strait's new release, "Twang," is expected to be the top-selling album in the U.S. during the week ending Sunday (August 16).
Industry prognosticators think "Twang" will sell at least 140,000 copies in its first week. That would place the set atop both the Top Comprehensive Albums and the Billboard 200 charts. Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" has been No. 1 on the former tally for six of the past seven weeks. In the most recent tracking week, "Number Ones" sold 98,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Twang" will give Strait his fifth No. 1 album, after 1997's "Carrying Your Love With Me," 2004's "50 Number Ones," 2005's "Somewhere Down in Texas" and 2008's "Troubadour."
» Two-time bull riding champion Justin McBride will perform at the Grand Ole Opry tonight and he says it’s kind of scary.
On the Opry, McBride plans to sing the title track from his album and then do “Cadillac Cowboy,” a song popularized by another singing cowboy, the late Chris LeDoux.
“Part of the reason I did the record is that with the passing of Chris LeDoux, I don’t feel there’s much of a representation of cowboys in country music,” McBride said. “King George (Strait) is there, but after him there’s not much. I always used to say that I wasn’t a bull rider, I was a cowboy who rode bulls. Now, I want to be a cowboy that’s out playing country music.”
GEORGE STRAIT IS EL REY and enough of Summer Already.. By Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville
It's August ... How does any performer get out on some stage with heat over 100 and have a good time? George Strait was on stage with a heat index in Houston way over 100 Saturday evening. Let me clear that up, inside it was a cool 70 with little humidity. George never broke a sweat.
Reliant Stadium was a joyful place for that George Strait show. $30 bucks to park seemed a bit high ( YOU THINK??????? ), but George's music live make you even forget about those bandits in the parking lot.
The "El Rey" song ... George did it about like the original. Wonder what the real Spanish singer of the song thinks? Get those two together ... That would be fun for Univision.
They taped the Strait show in Houston for something ... TBA.
Hey check the sales ... George 150,000 first week beats Michael Jackson. He is still the King.
From the RIAA:
Strait's 38 hit albums (13 multi platinum, 32 platinum and 35 gold) rank him behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. The RIAA has certified his albums at 68× platinum, denoting shipments of 58.5 million in the United States. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million (6× Multi-platinum) . His highest certified album is Strait Out of the Box (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Multi-Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the tenth best-selling recording artist in the United States overall.
When you add international sales, Strait has sold more than 73 million recordings. His overall certification numbers are third of all musicians, behind Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
The Celebrity Cafe.com George Strait - Twang
- After 28 years in the national music business, more than 67 million albums sold and 57 No. 1 singles (more than any other artist in any other genre), George Strait hasn’t showed a single sign of slowing down or becoming any less than he’s been for almost three decades, and his latest album, “Twang,” more than proves it.
Time has only been good to the “King of Country.” At 57, his baritone vocals are stronger, deeper and smoother than they were when he was 30. Though he offers twists and turns in his music, he doesn’t divert too far away from his trademark sound. He continues to sing traditional honky-tonk songs with a modern flare. His consistency, dedication and insistency on being himself show why he’s lasted in the country music business so long.
Strait co-wrote three tracks for this CD, which marks the first time he’s recorded a song he wrote for an album since his “Strait from the Heart,” release in 1982. Strait’s wife of 37 years, Norma, gave their 28-year-old son, George Jr., an idea for a song, and it wasn’t long before dad joined in to help, Strait told the radio show “GAC Nights: Live from Nashville.” The father and son co-wrote two more songs, including the powerful and painful “Living for the Night,” for the project with Dean Dillon, who has penned many of Strait’s hits.
Charting new territory on this album, Strait recorded his first ever Spanish song, “El Rey.” For a man claiming not to know much of the language, Strait goes through the song like a classic Latin singer, possessing that Spanish flare with his rich voice and a dramatic tone.
Strait revs it up with the fun “Hot Grease and Zydeco,” which will get you thinking of Friday nights and dancing across a hardwood floor, and “Same Kind of Crazy,” a wild and carefree tune. He sticks to his deep and heartfelt lyrics with the serious and hopeful “Easy as You Go” about a young expecting couple who are the object of scrutiny in their town and “The Breath You Take” about savoring life.
Whether he’s singing a honky-tonk tune or a slow, serious song about the ups and downs of life, on this record, Strait continues to make you feel the music through his vocals, tone and words. He continues to do what he does best and what makes his songs still hit the top of the charts after all these years: twang, true lyrics, and most of all, just plain being himself.
Reviewer: Katelyn Latawiec
TWANG ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
Tempting as it may be, Twang cannot be classified as a thematic counterpart to 2008's Troubadour, an album that followed through on its rugged journeyman title. Once the opening title track twangs out of view, the album quickly veers toward the comfortably weathered balladeering that Strait has made his stock in trade for the better part of three decades now, quick enough to suggest that Twang might be little more than another reliably steady Strait record. To be sure, this is recognizably within his comfort zone -- as always, when you do it as well as he does, there's no need to change -- but beneath that supple exterior there are a few surprises, chief among them the re-emergence of Strait the songwriter. George hasn't penned many songs since the early '80s, when his son George "Bubba" Strait, Jr. was just a baby, but now that he's a grown man Bubba has turned into a songwriter in his own right, coaxing his dad into composing three songs with him, including the terrific tear-in-my-beer single "Living for the Night" and the breezy lament "He's Got That Something Special" (Bubba also pens the excellent Johnny Cash homage "Arkansas Dave" on his own). These are change-ups, not curveballs; Strait saved his twists for the end, when he slides into some "Hot Grease and Zydeco" or goes full-on Mariachi for the closer "El Rey." It's these little twists -- the stylistic stretches and original tunes -- that give Twang some serious character and make it more than just another sturdy Strait record.
George Strait – ‘Twang’ – Album Review Music Reviews By Patrick Luce Aug 17, 2009, 16:42 GMT
George Strait’s new studio album ‘Twang’ is another treat for fans of the country music icon, and another example of what makes him one of the genre’s greatest performers.
“Twang’ is the follow-up to his platinum-certified studio album ‘Troubadour’ – which went on to be named “Best Country Album” at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The album kicks off with the title track (which was co-written by Strait). The song is the perfect way to start the album, and is an example of the classic country music sound –which is a welcome change to some of the studio polish that is attached to many country singers today.
Strait gets reflective with “Where Have I Been All My Life.” Like “Twang,” the song is a perfect for the singer – who has managed to accomplish so much success with his musical career. His voice on the album is as solid as it has ever been, and every track is a winner for fans.
‘Twang’ is a blend of country ballads (such as “Living for the Night”); honky tonk songs (such as “Hot Grease and Zydeco”); and the classic Strait sound (as heard on “I Gotta Get to You”). The singer doesn’t stray too far from his established formula, but if you are a fan of classic country music this is not a bad thing.
The album might not win the music legend any new fans, but it clearly demonstrates his love for his genre. It is well worth taking the time to give it a listen. I enjoyed ‘Troubadour’ a tad better than ‘Twang’, but the album makes it clear that Strait is still an important cornerstone of country music.
GEORGE STRAIT - TWANG, (MCA NASHVILLE)
It makes sense that George Strait is wearing his black cowboy hat on the cover of his new CD Twang. With country music currently represented by a girly singer/songwriter, Hannah Montana and the artist-formerly-known-as-Hootie, Strait, black hat and all, is back to bring a little gravity to the situation.
The debut single, “Living For The Night,” is emblematic of his subtle magic. Like a seasoned character actor, Strait fully-embodies a desperate single guy, whose only solace comes from the “neon arms,” of a honkytonk. The tune, co-written by the singer, traffics in pop chord changes, but its sentiments are purely country. Toss in the lowdown title track, a fireball from loose cannon Delbert McClinton (“Same Kind Of Crazy”), and you have the makings of one hell of a party album. Until you get to the incandescent “Where Have I Been All My Life?” Balancing appreciation for existence, with sorrow at how fast it goes, (“My folks sure got old in a hurry”), this weeper will have you reeling in recognition.
Genres be damned. This is another stone-cold classic from King George. Now, if only his courtiers would pay attention. Then the whole darn kingdom of country music would be in much better shape.
George Strait Is King of the Charts
THE KING OF COUNTRY HAS THE TOP SELLING ALBUM IN THE COUNTRY GEORGE STRAIT’S TWANG DEBUTS AT #1 ON THE BILLBOARD 200 AND TOP COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART Nashville, TN (August 19, 2009) George Strait’s new release is the top selling album in the U.S. this week proving that music fans everywhere need a little TWANG from the “King of Country.”
TWANG debuted at #1 today on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart selling over 155,000 units. This is the fourth time in Strait’s career that a new release has debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and the 13th time debuting at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart.
The most important development on TWANG can be found in the songwriting credits. Strait’s contributions were a direct result of writing with his son Bubba Strait. “My son’s desire to write really inspired me,” Strait says. “So when I was putting this album together, I knew that I wanted to put some original material on it. That’s something I hadn't done since my second album. I hope the people who buy this record have as much fun listening to it as I had making it.”
Strait co-wrote three songs on TWANG including the debut single, “Living for the Night,” which currently sits at # 7 on Billboard and # 6 on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart.
TWANG has already become a critically acclaimed album. It has received rave reviews in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, People, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Globe, Billboard and many more.
George Strait Dethrones Michael Jackson, Tops Billboard 200
By Monica Herrera, N.Y. and Keith Caulfield, L.A. August 21, 2009
As expected, the King of Pop steps aside for the King of Country as George Strait's 'Twang' replaces Michael Jackson's enduring 'Number Ones' as the best selling album in the country.
Strait's new set sold 155,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, earning the country legend his fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 . ' Twang' follows in the footsteps of Strait's 1997 album 'Carrying Your Love With Me,' 2004's '50 Number Ones,' 2005's 'Somewhere Down In Texas' and 2008's 'Troubadour.'
The last time one of Strait's studio albums opened with less than 100,000 was in 1994, when 'Lead On' started with 56,000. It's also his 23rd No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart -- extending his lead as the act with the most toppers on the list.
Strait also tops the all-encompassing Top Comprehensive Albums chart, where Jackson had reigned for six non-consecutive weeks. The King of Pop's 'Number Ones' falls to No. 2, shifting 80,000 copies (down 19%).
George Strait Twang
(MCA Nashville) US release date: 11 August 2009 UK release date: 11 August 2009 By Dave Heaton PopMatters Associate Music Editor
AMAZON LALA George Strait’s new album sports a one-word title that could be read as a statement of definition: Twang. It’s somewhat like his last album title, Troubadour. In both cases, the title song begins the proceedings, setting the tone. “Twang” the song does have twang to it. His singing piles it on, while the song rolls by quickly. But mostly the song is a tribute to “twang”, to real country country music. To beer-drinking music, foot-stomping music, and the sound a guitar makes when it’s crying. “Twang” is one of the twangiest-song on Twang, and one of the most rambunctious. The rest of the album is heavier on ballads, as is Strait’s wont. But overtly twangy or not, the whole of Twang has a classic country feeling. These could be the songs that “Twang”’s fictional barflies are listening to on the jukebox, spending their five dollars of quarters on.
I like the economy of the title Twang; it gets right to the point. The same can be said for most of the album’s songs. The songwriting, like many of the arrangements, is efficient, even minimalist. In a song like “Hot Grease and Zydeco”, a Cajun-flavored stomper clearly meant as a “look what else I can do?” showcase of diversity, that simplicity can be, well, simple. But on the best songs, mostly ballads, that lean approach leads to elegance, to delivering many feelings and stories with a small number of words.
“Easy As You Go” tells a fairly standard teen pregnancy story, with a life-keeps-rolling-on morale, but the ease and matter-of-fact-ness of the song make it feel less trite. “Where Have I Been All My Life” is even better at using comfort and terseness to strongly outline the emotions of the song. It helps that the lyrics are specific enough to make the protagonist’s look back at his life resemble concrete observations, not empty sawhorses. The last verse stands out in that regard:
I heard “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong It brought a tear to my eye After all these years I finally get that song Where have I been all my life?
The best song on the album may be its first single, “Living for the Night”, an impeccable example of how to make a textbook country-music subject—heartbreak—feel fresh and alive, and to do so quietly, without excessive decoration. A languid pace and Strait’s calmly expressive singing provide both a melancholy air and the night-time setting of the title. The lyrics handily portray a heartbroken man escaping into darkness, and into the comforts of nightlife. “Every night I venture out into those neon arms that hold me tight” is a memorable way to put it. The song has a wealth of day-night/life-death oppositions, meeting a head within one man’s mind. At night, “whiskey kills the man you turned me into / and I come alive”, Straits sings, evoking a monster-movie scene. But the monster is a man of deep sorrow, hurt and loneliness. The neon lights are his transformation, his door to feeling like himself again. That song was written by Strait himself, his son Bubba, and veteran songwriter Dean Dillon, a fixture in Strait’s career. Bubba Strait was the sole writer of the outlaw tale “Arkansas Dave”, another fine example of the album’s less-is-more approach. A classical cowboy revenge story, it’s told in two verses and two variations on a chorus. This is the sort of song that many a songwriter would be tempted to stretch out into an epic. Its compact scope is complementary.
Dillon was one of three writers behind “The Breath You Take”, possibly the album’s best example of minimalist storytelling. Built around the sentiment “life’s not the breaths you take / but the moments that take your breath away”, it tells two father-son anecdotes, spanning 15 years’ time, and then at the end throws in a third one that completes the story in just seven words. In one fell swoop those words surprise (an attempt to take the listener’s own breath away, perhaps), justify the dramatic tone of the song, and give the chorus more meaning.
“The Breath You Take” is built around a play on words, and so are several of the other songs and lyrics, from “I gotta get to you ‘cause you sure been getting’ to me” to “he’s got that something special / but that something special used to be mine”. That’s a hallmark of country-music songwriting: taking daily life sentiments and ways of speaking and turning them around. In that regard, Twang is a showcase for the songwriting talent that still thrives in Nashville.
For all the ways it is typical of both Nashville and Strait, Twang takes bigger steps towards variety than most of Strait’s other albums. That variety – especially when taken along with the jukebox tribute of “Twang”, the Louis Armstrong reference in “Where Have I Been All My Life”, and the honeytonk tone of “Same Kind of Crazy”—makes Twangseem like a tribute to music itself, to its power. Besides “Hot Grease and Zydeco” and a few numbers touched lightly by jazz, there’s the surprising closing number, “El Rey”. It’s a Mexican folk song by Jose Alfredo Jimenez that Strait, singing in Spanish, performs as such: straight-ahead. It’s an admirable move and a solid if not show-stopping performance that brings the album to an end on a lively note. Jimenez, a legend, is said to have composed 1,000 songs. It sure seems like Strait has recorded, though certainly not written, almost as many. Twang adds 13 more songs to his legacy, without detracting from it in any way. Some of these songs are as good as anything he’s done, which is saying something.
Twang by George Strait Country Weekly Review August, 2009 A lot of adjectives have been applied to George Strait albums over the years, but “surprising” isn’t usually one of them. And yet here is Twang, which finds the legendary singer taking several chances with his tried-and-true formula and seeing his bets pay off handsomely.
First we have the fact that George has, for the first time since 1982, contributed to the writing of several songs. The best compliment that can be paid to all three is that they blend in perfectly with the usual gems from superlative outside writers. Another unexpected development is the debut of George’s son, Bubba, as a songwriter: His solo composition “Arkansas Dave” is the head-and-shoulders standout here, a taut narrative in the style of Johnny Cash’s 1960s cowboy parables. Closing out the album is a version of José Alfredo Jiménez’ “El Rey,” sung entirely in Spanish with a spirit of freewheeling derring-do that one rarely hears from such a reserved artist. It’s an apt finish to one of the most diverse and satisfying albums of George Strait’s career.
» Bill Little commentary: Big hat Country music singer George Strait honorary captain on Saturday Sept. 25, 2009 Bill Little, Texas Media Relations It was a night practice in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, and to be honest, I don’t remember whether it was in the spring or pre-season practice in the fall – and it doesn’t really matter. Darrell Royal had walked in with a friend and had joined Mack Brown as the team went through their scrimmage In the press box, folks wondered who the trim young guy in the jeans and baseball cap was. “Oh,” I remember saying, “he’s probably one of Darrell’s friends. You know how he loves country music – he’s probably a singer.” As the scrimmage ended and we went to the field for the team huddle, I looked again at Coach and his friend. Coach Royal caught my eye and motioned me over. “Bill,” he said, “I’d like you to meet George Strait.” That was the night Mack Brown first met the country music legend who will join the Longhorns as an honorary captain Saturday afternoon prior to the game with UTEP. In the years that have followed, a mutual friendship with Joe Jamail and Coach Royal and his wife, Edith, have drawn Mack and George close together. Brown, an avowed lover of music, and Strait, who grew up in a small town near San Antonio where Friday Night Lights meant football in Texas, have shared stories and golf games, and when Mack learned that Strait was performing in Cedar Park on Friday night, he asked him if he would be an honorary captain at the game. The bond continues a link with country music that Royal started years ago, and the irony of the odyssey of Strait, Brown, Royal and Jamail to Saturday’s appearance is pretty powerful. In the early 1970s, Darrell Royal was blending his role as one of the nation’s premier football coaches with his love for country music. He formed a friendship with a honky-tonk singer named Willie Nelson. Royal’s belief in him and his encouragement were instrumental in turning Nelson from a Saturday nightclub singer into one of the most recognized performers in the world. Jamail was already one of the best-known plaintiff lawyers in the country, and when he won the Pennzoil-Texaco suit, he became the richest. George Strait’s dad was a junior high math teacher, and he grew up in the mid-1960s with roots in the cattle ranch they called home and a love of the rock music of The Beatles. Meanwhile, Mack Brown was learning to pick a guitar back home in Cookeville, Tenn., and was actually part of a band. So the ESPN commercial where he plays and sings isn’t really much of a stretch for him. After he graduated from high school, George eloped to Mexico with his high school sweetheart, Norma, and then he joined the army. While stationed in Hawaii in 1973, he auditioned with a country band. When Brown was getting his first full-time coaching job, George was getting his first exposure as the voice of country music. When George returned to Texas in 1975, he enrolled at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State University), and answered a bulletin board ad for a singer in a band. The rest, as they say, is history. With his trademark hat, a satin voice and a keen eye for the potential of great lyrics, Strait has gone on to become the most successful recording artist in country music. He has sold more than 67 million albums and has achieved 57 No. 1 singles, the most ever by any artist. He has had 33 platinum and multi-platinum albums – more than anyone in the history of recorded music except the Beatles and Elvis Presley. “I know I’ve got 20 of ‘em,” said Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy, who along with roommate Jordan Shipley are a huge Strait fans. Brown’s choice of his friend reflects the direction he has often taken the “honorary captain” honor. The first was Lance Armstrong, who had just won the Tour de France for the first time when he joined the ‘Horns on the field in 1999. “George has meant so much to the state of Texas,” Brown said. “He comes to a lot of games, but we wanted him to have a special recognition as a part of our tradition. Throughout his career, he has stood for all of the right things. We teach our players that, ‘You have to be consistently good to be great,’ and nobody personifies that more than George Strait. The crowds he draws and the records he sells make that really clear.”Edith Royal remembers that while Nelson was really popular in the mid-1970s, somebody asked Darrell to come over to San Marcos to listen to this young singer at a local club. Later, he and Edith traveled to Gruene Hall to hear the same young man. Once, after Royal quit coaching Edith says, he had Nelson and Strait as guests at a Cotton Bowl game. The three had been on the field together. “As they walked through the stands to the press box elevator,” Edith recalls, “people would say, ‘Hi Darrell,’ and ‘Hi Willie,’ and ignore George. Finally he said, ‘I’ll tell you one thing…if I ever go anywhere with you two again, I am going to wear my hat!’ He was kidding, of course. Of all of the stars who have in some way touched the Texas football program, from Royal to Mack Brown, there is not one who is more humble and down-to-earth than George Strait. He was kidding, and here’s why: When George Strait puts on his hat, he becomes recognized as one of the greatest entertainers in history. That is WHAT he is. It is not WHO he is. Those who know him will tell you he is a rare talent, and an even rarer person. And for one brief moment Saturday, he gets to be a small-town kid right in the middle of big-time football. The bonds of friendship and respect have brought him to that space, and earned him the right to be there. And so it is with all of them, these men who have bonded as friends beyond their natural space. Jamail is recognized as the most feared opponent ever in the courtroom, and yet has one of the biggest hearts known to man. Brown and Royal and Nelson and Strait are the best at what they do, and even better at who they are. George Strait, as he stands on Joe Jamail Field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to represent the Longhorns, is a perfect choice to represent the values Brown seeks. Because the lesson this team is trying to learn is the message he reflects – consistency and excellence. Good, to become great. It is about being who you are. It never was about the hat.
GEORGE STRAIT HAS 30 CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF TOP 10 BILLBOARD HITS “I Gotta Get to You” Makes 82nd Billboard Top 10 Hit for the “King of Country” Nashville, Tenn. (April 13, 2010) – Billboard announced today that superstar George Strait has accomplished what no other artist in the history of Billboard charts has – 30 years of consecutive Top 10 hits. With his current single “I Gotta Get to You” jumping from No. 12 to No. 9 on Billboard’s radio airplay list, Strait’s number of Top 10 hits totals 82 and marks 2010 as the historic 30th year milestone.
Billboard writes, “30 years into his unparalleled career, the 'King of Country' shows no signs of abdicating the throne.”
“It just continues to be one heck of a ride that I'm enjoying every minute of,” responds Strait. “Time does fly when you’re having fun. Thanks to all of my fans for their support. Long live country music!”
Strait landed his first Top 10 in 1981 with his first charting single, 'Unwound.'
With a career spanning more than 30 years, George Strait has the most number one singles of any artist in history including Elvis (57 To Date). He has sold more than 68.5 million records and with 33 different platinum or multi-platinum albums has the most RIAA platinum certifications in country music and the third in all genres, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Strait’s CD Twang debuted at #1 on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart. This is the fourth time in Strait's career that a new release has debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and the 13th time debuting at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart.
2011 TWANG TOUR CONCERT SET LIST
Deep In The Heart Of Texas Twang Ocean Front Property Honk If You Honky Tonk I Can Still Make Cheyenne Wrapped Run Seashores Of Old Mexico Check Yes or No The Fireman Same Kind Of Crazy Texas A Fire I Can't Put Out Arkansas Dave Where Have I Been All My Life How 'Bout Them Cowgirls The Breath You Take River of Love The Chair I Gotta Get to You I Cross My Heart I Saw God Today Amarillo by Morning Living For The Night Give It Away Troubadour Unwound
Encore selection, two closing songs are decided by George at each concert.
High Tone Woman All My Ex's Live in Texas Folsom Prison Blues The Cowboy Rides Away George released four singles from this album;
Living For The Night
I Gotta Get To You
The Breath You Take