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Chris LeDoux

Horsepower – 2003 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Chris LeDoux

Chris LeDoux offers something that's hard to find in today's countrymusic scene - authenticity. When he sings about riding bulls and ropingsteers he's not daydreaming, he's singing from experience. Let the drugstorecowboys brag about how tough they are; meanwhile Chris LeDoux is sending his36th album out of the chute. Even a little thing like a recent livertransplant surgery can't slow him down.

The great thing about LeDoux is not just that he's a cowboy but he's acowboy poet. And there's poetry aplenty here. "Buffalo Grass" is aprofound meditation on the passage of time. On the story song "The Ride," acarnie gives a kid advice that applies equally well to riding a pony as toliving one's life. "Rodeo Moon" (co-written by Toby Keith) is a love song tothe traveling lifestyle. LeDoux has a softer side as well; on "All Wound up"a man marvels at his physiological reactions to falling in love. LeDouxshows his versatility on "Pass My Hat" a zydeco duet with the King of Cajun,Jo-El Sonnier. A cowboy, a poet, a philosopher, a singer. Chris LeDoux is a modern dayRenaissance Man. And that is no bull.