OFFSTAGE: Just How American Is Toby Keith?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

He has what The New York Times is calling a “healthy capacity for irony.” That’s one way to put it, I guess. That Toby Keith would have the guts to play his big ol’ US of A anthem “Made in America” on a Japanese guitar, even though the song is all about his father and his love for everything that is, like him, made in America. About a guy who won’t buy nothin’ he can’t fix with WD-40 and a Craftsman wrench, says the song. This editorial opinion goes on to paint a picture of Keith not as some kind of patriotic extremist, but more of a guy who takes “the best the world has to offer, from guitars to working families, and calls them American, too.” And he describes Keith as someone whose roots actually run through the country. So I think he is saying that Keith’s love of America is genuine. One thing we know for sure is that Keith parties like an American, with his “Red Solo Cup” badge of honor in his hand.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.