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Cowboy Troy bringing 'hick-hop' to the Boro
Cowboy Troy will play Retriever's on Thursday. - photo by Special
         Get ready to get your hick-hop on, because Muzik Mafia member Cowboy Troy will be in da house at Retriever's Thursday, Jan. 15. He told Connect Statesboro he is excited about coming to Georgia because "Georgia has always been real cool for us."
         It's been a wild ride for Cowboy Troy, who describes his latest album "Black in the Saddle" as rather like "Motorhead on horseback."  
         Hick-hop? It's just what it sounds like - a smooth blend of country  and hip hop. Cowboy Troy, aka Troy Coleman from Dallas, TX, coined the phrase to describe his unique music style.
          On his web site,  the 6'5"  muscular black man who likes wearing cowboy hats and big western belt buckles said " I grew up listening to a mix of country music, rap and rock, with a little bit of funk and pop."
         So when he began doing his own thing, it came out as a unique mixture, with lots of influence from " The Charlie Daniels Band,  Van Halen,  Run-D.M.C.,  ZZ Top, Ray Charles,  Jerry Reed,  and Sir Mix-A-Lot," according to
         Troy also enjoyed listening to Kiss and the Oak Ridge Boys,  and the eclectic mix helped spawn Troy's 'hick-hop" style music that has led him to the country music charts.
         In 2006, Cowboy Troy's album "Loco Motion" ranked # 2 on the Billboard Country Album charts, and single " I Play Chicken with the Train"  was once the top song being downloaded and made it to #48 on the charts.  The album has sold over 342,000 copies.
         Now Troy is on his " Black in  the Saddle" tour.  Being a black man in the country music world is unusual, and when Troy took the stage with friends Big & Rich ( "Big Kenny" Alphin and John Rich)  in 2004, performing with them on their song "Rollin' ( The Ballad of Big & Rich),  it was the second time ever a black man took the stage during the Country Music Association Awards. Charlie Pride was the first, 38 years earlier.
         Big & Rich asked Troy to write a rap insertion for their song, featured on their album "Horse of a Different Color. The rap is multilingual, a feature you will find on may of Troy's songs as he intersperses some Spanish throughout the songs.
         Being a black man in the country world hasn't always been easy. Cowboy Troy has encountered some meanness along the way from some who felt he didn't belong where he was going.
         As anyone would, along his ride to the country charts Troy "Googled" his name and found it on a " white supremacist web site," he said. "They said on there ... perhaps I need to be dragged behind a pickup truck."
         The comment frightened his wife Laura (the couple has three triplet boys,   Reece Jacob, John Reagan and Riley Joseph) and angered Troy. But the comments have pretty much faded away, he said. "People have pretty much left me alone on that regard."
         But songs from "Black in the Saddle"  reflect his anger at the ignorance, he said. One song in particular, " How Can You Hate  Me?"  says it all, but "You just kind of let it go" and move forward, he said.
         Cowboy Troy has been featured in People, Rolling Stone, and Time magazines, as well as having appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America and Larry King Live.
         And he will be in Statesboro next week.
         Nathan Queen of Retrievers said there will be two bands performing before Cowboy Troy Jan. 15 - first, a local band called Southbound will perform, followed by Coltrane. Then, Cowboy Troy will hit the stage with his unique blend of genres that created a new genre - hick-hop.
         His performance and music blend more than music styles. Troy can be funny in one song, but the next will carry a serious  message. Either way, your feet won't be still.
         Tickets are $10 in advance, and Queen said he expects a sell-out. However, should there be tickets available at the door, cover charge will be announced later, he said.

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