Toby Keith likes to have a little fun, and if he can get a rise out of you while he's at it -- even better. With a cast of characters including a mischievous Jesus, a few stoned roadies and a disillusioned music critic, Keith's fourth DreamWorks Records effort, "Shock'n Y'All," takes satirical aim in various directions.
To record the 12 tracks on the album, Keith and his band packed up and headed for the Key West, Fla., studio of one of his favorite performers, Jimmy Buffett. Contributing to the informal vibe of "Shock'n Y'All" is the inclusion of two of his "bus" songs, usually reserved for his live-show audiences. "Weed for Willie" and "The Taliban Song" are part of a repertoire of tongue-in-cheek amusements that Keith writes during downtime on tour.
"I've just had so many people ask me about them and say they'd love to have a copy that I had to record them," Keith says. The album delivers more than just comedy, though, with the standout collaboration with Brooks & Dunn's Ronnie Dunn, "Don't Leave, I Think I Love You," and the introspective "American Soldier."
"I'm not for every war, and I'm not against every war, and obviously I don't consider myself smart enough to say whether we should be [in Iraq] or not," Keith says. "This is just my way of letting everybody know exactly what a soldier is: just another American that gets up and goes to work."