When Dallas musician Troy Coleman, aka Cowboy Troy, began to combine party rap and country music, his friends thought he was crazy.
"Nobody really thought that it was going to work," Coleman says. "But I stayed at it and stayed persistent. It's just one of those things — you stay persistent and show up enough times, people will assume you belong there."
Who: Cowboy Troy
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 28
Where: The Rocky-Tonk Saloon & Grill, 333 E. Main St., Medford
Call: 541-973-2887 or see www.brownpapertickets.com/event/684617
After the self-released EP "Hick-Hop Hysteria" and LP "Beginner's Luck," in 2001 and 2002, respectively, Coleman was introduced to the mainstream as a guest artist on 2004's "Horse of a Different Color" by longtime friends, and frequent collaborators, Big & Rich.
"People heard it and said 'Wow, that's fresh, that's new,' " Coleman says. "It opened up a lot of things for me as an artist."
Now, 10 years later, Cowboy Troy has released his fifth full-length album, "King of Clubs," and will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at The Rocky-Tonk Saloon & Grill, 333 E Main St., Medford. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at The Rocky-Tonk or online a www.brownpapertickets.com/event/684617.
Coleman took a break from his morning workout to discuss fans, his live show and his new album during a telephone interview.
What was the process of writing and recording "King of Clubs?"
"If you've ever been to any country bar in North America, the DJ or the band will play the traditional top-40 country songs for the first 45 minutes of the hour. That last 15 minutes, the DJ will jump in and play rock, rap, electronic dance music, what have you, just to serve as a buffer between traditional country music. The way we recorded this record was to satisfy that quarter of the hour, where they're playing the dance music, the booty shaking music. It's geared toward that country dance club. It gives you all that music the DJ is trying to provide to the fan who wants to listen to that music, but it does it from a country music fan's perspective."
Do you have much fan crossover between the various genres you're associated with?
"To some degree, yeah. Some fans come up to me who have come to the show for the first time or happen to be with a friend who was there and they weren't expecting to be there but the friend had an extra ticket or something like that, and they'll say 'Hey, I'm not really a fan of country music, but your style of country music provides enough of a bridge that I can listen to it.' The music that I make is not meant to replace what is there in terms of traditional country music. It's there to be a bridge to extend the country-music fan base. That's, basically, what I've been doing all these years is trying to open the door for people who like other kinds of music to say 'Hey, I like this kind of country music, maybe I'll go a little further.' That's how I got started into it. I started listening to George Strait, Garth Brooks and Charlie Daniels, and all that stuff. When I heard some of their music, it got me listening to other artists and digging deeper. That's how it worked out for me."
What can people expect from your live show?
"It's a high-energy show. It's loud, it's rowdy and it's a lot of fun. It's something, if you've never seen one of my solo shows before, it's going to be something that is pretty surprising. Most people, after the first time they come, they're like 'Man, this was really fun and exciting and I can't wait for you guys to come back to town.' I think people who haven't been to one of my shows will be pleasantly surprised."