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Chris ledoux look at you girl poster

Those who value, above all else, the authenticity of music have in Chris LeDoux someone who would appear to be the perfect poster child for singing what you know. Here, after all, is a man singing rodeo songs who actually lived the rodeo life: a bare-back bronco-riding champion singing about life as a rodeo cowboy. The title of his first album, self-recorded in and sold out of his truck after rodeo events, says it all: Songs of Rodeo Life. The cover of his Life as a Rodeo Man album, released in the same way four years later, makes this even more explicit; it proclaims, "Chris LeDoux sings of his 'Life as a Rodeo Man'. LeDoux began rodeo riding as a year-old, after moving to Texas, from Mississippi and points in between. In Wyoming he became a state champion; in he went pro; in he became World Bareback Riding Champion.

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Chris LeDoux Look At You Girl Grey Heart Song Lyric Quote Print

Those who value, above all else, the authenticity of music have in Chris LeDoux someone who would appear to be the perfect poster child for singing what you know. Here, after all, is a man singing rodeo songs who actually lived the rodeo life: a bare-back bronco-riding champion singing about life as a rodeo cowboy. The title of his first album, self-recorded in and sold out of his truck after rodeo events, says it all: Songs of Rodeo Life. The cover of his Life as a Rodeo Man album, released in the same way four years later, makes this even more explicit; it proclaims, "Chris LeDoux sings of his 'Life as a Rodeo Man'.

LeDoux began rodeo riding as a year-old, after moving to Texas, from Mississippi and points in between. In Wyoming he became a state champion; in he went pro; in he became World Bareback Riding Champion. And through much of this time, and well after his retirement from riding, he recorded, performed and wrote rodeo songs. The first four of the 12 LeDoux albums reissued by Capitol Nashville in six two-disc sets possess an almost obsessive devotion to rodeo life as the ultimate subject of song.

Listening is another experience: complete immersion in the worldview of a rodeo cowboy. On LeDoux's albums -- these four in particular -- the rodeo is everything.

It's used literally, symbolically, metaphorically, nostalgically, and fantastically. Rodeo is sung about every which way. The rodeo is in a cowboy's blood. He loves it, he lives for it; it sets him free and holds him back. It's what makes the man and brings him down.

This, of course, is a larger cultural story, not just the story of one man. To take these albums as reality, as some kind of pure distillation of Chris LeDoux's life, is a mistake, and against the very nature of popular music -- no one sings in a vacuum. Ideas flow from singer to singer, listener to listener. Whether singing the songs of classic Country songwriters as he mostly did or his own originals as he sometimes did , he clearly was conjuring up something greater than his own life.

In his songs, along with the rodeo, and the complicated figure of the rodeo cowboy, are an assortment of Wild West characters, legends, and motifs. Billy the Kid. Custer's Last Stand. Will Rogers. Musically he turns on and off various Country tropes: from twinkling harmonica to dance-hall tempos. Vocally he accentuates the twang in his voice when he wants an aw-shucks, I'm just a down-home boy quality; he injects his voice with the glow of a late-night campfire when telling a tall tale.

He's a cipher, through which ideas of the Wild West freely flow. The album cover-images reinforce this: all variations of classic cowboy portraiture. See the cowboy by his horse, see him out on the range, see him drawn in pencil, standing in a classic tough-guy, Marlboro Man pose. Those first four albums present a vividly defined reality: an American West filled with hard-working, hard-living cowboys striving for success.

Along with them for the ride are the women they love but can never stay with, the broncos they respect but will never tame, and the battered old cowboys they look up to, even as they know that one day they'll end up just as heartbroken and body-broken as those old-timers. The next pair of reissued albums -- 's Cowboys Ain't Easy to Love and 's Paint Me Back Home in Wyoming -- make the loneliness of the cowboy life an even more central subject. The former album is filled with lonely women and beat-down elders.

One lingering image -- from Tony Bessire's "Bars Shouldn't Have Mirrors" and LeDoux's own "The Old Timer" -- is that of an old cowboy sitting in a bar, telling stories of the great old glory days that also end up as stories of regret, of denial, of pain. On Paint Me Back Home On the title track a cowboy in the city longs to return to his country home; by the album's end he's made his way back, welcomed by his mother's arms.

The struggle between freedom and home is another overarching story within LeDoux's music. His return at the end of Paint Me Back Home… signifies larger stories of maturation and domesticity: wild youngsters settling down and starting families, Baby Boomers buying houses in the suburbs.

He ends the album Western Tunesmith by singing, in Tom Kelly's words, "I don't want to be a cowboy anymore". On that album and 's He Rides the Wild Horses he starts singing about kids dreaming of being cowboys. His adult cowboys now do more dreaming and remembering than riding. Freedom and domesticity have a back-and-forth dialogue inside his songs.

But a handful of songs later he's decided freedom in mentality is more important than in actuality: "Freedom's Just a State of Mind". This is less the story of one cowboy settling down than that of a larger cultural shift. In this post-cowboy climate, LeDoux shifts among acclimation, rejection and dreaming of the past. He Rides the Wild Horses ends with a dream of the rodeo as the great uniter, bringing the whole community together. On the other hand, 's Used to Want to Be a Cowboy -- packaged here with 's Thirty Dollar Cowboy -- is mostly a work of resignation.

The title track views the cowboy life as a dream of children, transferred into family life and full-time work upon adulthood.

Later he sings of divorce, of Vietnam vets, of living in the suburbs but feeling trapped by it. He sings of "The Last Cowboy in Town". He sings another variation on the old-cowboy-telling-tales song, but this time it's set in a coffee shop instead of a bar, and the cowboy is on the defensive, defending his life as a cowboy to a biker gang!

He ends with "The Red Headed Stranger", and before that, Harlan Howard's "Busted" -- both seem in this context as one last defense of cowboy traditions. But he also sings the Eagles: "Desperado, you better come to your senses. Along with this changing state of cowboy-dom comes the changing state of country music. Through Ledoux's song choices and his dedication to Western themes, his earliest albums display an outright love for classic country music.

Yet as the popular country music of the day changed, and as his own music became more popular, his albums began to convey an inner conflict, or at least inner conversation, about commercial country music. On his early '80s albums LeDoux outright declares that Nashville isn't the place for him. Western Tunesmith 's "Country Star" does it playfully: he imagines life as a famous country star, parallels it to life as a rodeo star, and then rejects it, deciding celebrity doesn't have the same in-the-blood pull as rodeoing.

He sings of going to Nashville and then rejecting it as not the right place for a true cowboy. The same album, though, contains one LeDoux-written song, "Call of the Wild", with rock guitars more in tune with the times than his little old cowboy songs. Other parts of the album veer slightly towards sappy '80s pop balladry, without much of a country backbone.

The lightning bolt lurking behind these steps towards and away from though still mostly away from Nashville was country superstar Garth Brooks. It also began the greater success that LeDoux would reach after he signed to the Capitol Records subsidiary Liberty, even if his name would become inseparable, to many country fans, from Brooks. It's from the album of the same name, which is paired with 's Under This Old Hat on the final of the six reissue CDs.

LeDoux does still sing of staying out on the range, far from Nashville on "Western Skies" , though the song itself sounds more Bruce Hornsby than country.

But he also rocks up his style in a very new-country way. To replicate the rush of a rodeo ride he chooses pseudo-Bon Jovi guitar riffs "Hooked on an Eight-Second Ride" ; in similar style on another song he tells us that deep down inside his soul lies a rock n' roller.

Most interesting -- in light of his discography's trajectory of "progress" versus the Wild West -- is "Cadillac Ranch", another 'rocker', where an unprofitable farm is turned into a dance club. There's also earnest love ballads "Struggling Years", "Get Back on That Pony" that you can hear fitting right in on '90s country radio, their stories moving listeners to tears as they drive to work or drive their kids to soccer practice.

Here when LeDoux sings of the rodeo it's always with a "but" added. I love the rodeo, but last night I fall in love. I love the rodeo, but I'm a rock n' roller, too. I love the rodeo, but life just isn't the same anymore. Then again, cowboys weren't the same; the West wasn't the same. Ultimately his authenticity as a country star came from his mirror-like qualities: the way his music reflected changing ideas of "country", changing ideas of America.

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Chris LeDoux Look At You Girl Black Heart Song Lyric Print

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The Last Cowboy in Town: Chris LeDoux

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5, Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy. Featuring [Duet With] – Garth Brooks. 6, Hooked On An 8-Second Ride. 7, I'm Ready If You're Willing. 8, Look At You Girl. Rating: 5 - ‎1 vote.

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