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Touring Keith puts America front, center

Thu., Aug. 18, 2011

Set to play Northern Quest tonight, country star displays patriotic side

Toby Keith is truly an all-American boy.

The country music superstar, who will release a new album Oct. 25, already had scored hits with his songs “American Ride,” “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).”

And “Made in America,” a new song he penned with frequent collaborator Bobby Pinson, is holding steady at No. 11 on Billboard magazine’s country singles chart.

You can hear it live when Keith brings his “Locked and Loaded” tour, also featuring Eric Church, to Northern Quest Casino tonight and The Gorge on Saturday.

“It’s not really a political statement, but it’s just about a couple that raised this boy who’s in the song, and it just talks about all of the ways they support their country and how patriotic they are with the way they live every day,” Keith said.

“There’s a plant at Shawnee (Okla.) – a clothing plant – and this guy’s wanting me to make jeans and T-shirts … that are actual made-in-America products,” he adds. “And it’ll reopen that plant at Shawnee if (the deal) comes through.

“And so that’s kind of where we got the idea to write a song about people that only buy American-made products to support the economy.”

The title track to the upcoming album is “Clancy’s Tavern,” a tribute to his grandmother’s nightclub, which he famously referenced in his biographical hit “Honky Tonk U.”

With its “Irish waltz” vibe, Keith is looking forward to playing it overseas when he embarks on the second European tour of his career on Oct. 30.

“We’ve only been there once, and we sold every show out, so they’re gonna expand it this time and get a few more venues on the board,” he said. “We were real excited. We didn’t know what to expect (in 2009).”

Keith isn’t the only person in his family preparing new music. His daughter Krystal Covel, who memorably performed the duet “Mockingbird” with him on the 2004 CMT Music Awards, is working on her first album.

The proud papa, who is producing his daughter’s debut, said the label is particularly enthusiastic about “Daddy Dance With Me,” a song she wrote for and surprised her famous father with at her wedding last October.

“It’s awesome, and it’s a tearjerker, and I just couldn’t believe how well written and how well she performed it,” Keith said. “She’s fearless.”

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