Toby Keith says his new album, “That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy,” will feature some “very different” kinds of songs when it’s released on Oct. 28.
With the first single, “She Never Cried in Front of Me,” already in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, Keith points to songs such as “Missin’ Me Some You,” a “really slow” blues song inspired by an encounter during one of his visits to troops in Iraq, and a “Southern rock” track called “Cry of the Creole Woman” about “a guy stopping in a bar in Louisiana and getting taken up to a girl’s room … and she puts the mojo on him and curses him.”
Keith says there’s also “a couple of real steamy love songs that are kind of out of character for us.” But “…Bad Guy” is hardly a wholesale change for the multi-platinum country artist.
“I’ve always wanted my music to sound like a good band,” Keith explains. “I never wanted it to sound like it was intricately produced. I never put a lot of time into my songs; I think there’s a beauty in the first blush of the rose, sometimes. It was a fun album to make.”
Keith credits Bobby Pinson, who co-wrote “She Never Cried…” and several other songs on the album, with some of the new stylistic directions “He just talks differently and he’s real inspiring for me to write with,” Keith says. “He just says things differently, his choices of words and everything, and he sees the world through a different set of eyes. He came out here on the road and we hit it off right off the bat. He really inspires me to want to write more.”
“…Bad Guy” will be Keith’s fifth release for his own Show Dog Nashville label, and the second in a row he’s produced on his own.
The album also comes in the wake of Keith’s feature film adaptation of his 2003 hit “Beer For My Horses,” which opened in limited release in August. It’s due out on DVD in November, and Keith says the package will feature “all kinds of stuff,” including outtakes and interviews and possibly copies of the soundtrack album bundled in. Keith is also considering the possibility of turning it into a franchise.
“It was No. 1 in a lot of markets, so I expect it to be a big video seller,” he notes. “If it is, it would be a very good business call to go forward and try to do a sequel to it.”