Stanley Cup champion Duncan Keith may have grown up in a small town in Ontario, but he's well-versed in the music of Nashville. And he loves it all -- the old stuff, the new stuff and even the deep cuts.
When the Chicago Blackhawks' defenseman was hosting a concert in Chicago on Monday (Jan. 20) night -- a sold-out benefit affair for his Keith Relief charity and the Ronald McDonald House Charities -- I had the chance to ask him about his personal country playlist.
"I've always been a country music fan. I grew up in Canada, but I loved Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney," Keith told me, adding that the night's headliner, Lee Brice, was one of the best of the newer crop of singers. "I still like those older guys, but it seems like there are so many new country artists who have come out over the past five or six years that've been unbelievable. Like Lee (Brice) and Jerrod (Niemann). Just amazing singers."
As for Keith's favorite country song right now, that would be a cut from Justin Moore's 2011 album Outlaws Like Me.
"I love his song 'Flyin' Down a Back Road,'" he said. "It's just so mellow."
I have to think that for anyone who's had a taste of fame -- like both Keith and Moore -- this song must hit very close to home. For Moore, who wrote it with Jamie Paulin and Jeremy Stover, it's about how playing the Grand Ole Opry, shooting the bull with Bocephus and playing South Florida with Alan Jackson were cool, but how none of that compares to flyin' down a back road with some buddies from back home.
And I'd imagine for Keith, winning the Stanley Cup twice would be a dream come true, but that just like the song says, nothing probably gets him as high as flyin' down a back road.
Maybe Moore can write a new verse just for the Blackhawks. Think of all the things that rhyme with Stanley Cup.