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One of the freshest acts to come out of Nashville has been Trailer Choir. Discovered by Toby Keith, Keith wasted no time signing this talent to his label, Showdog Nashville and featured their hit song 'Off The Hillbilly Hook' on his movie, 'Beer For My Horses'. Their latest offering is a song called 'What Would You Say'. A heartfelt song that sprung out of tragedy. Let's spend some time in the Trailer Park!

How did you hook up with Toby Keith?

Big Vinny – One night we were playing in a bar called Billy Blocks Western Beat like we always did once a month and Billy came up to us and said that Toby Keith was in the back and wanted to meet us.  We all thought, yeah, right! But sure enough we walked back there and there he was.  We started talking to him and he had us hang out with him all night.  He then had us put on a couple more shows for his label and some of his friends.  Next thing you know, we’re out on the road with him! 

How did you guy’s get together and form?

Big Vinny – It’s kind of interesting.  It was not planned by any stretch of the imagination.  I was coming out of my office and there was Butter sitting there playing a guitar that was missing two strings and singing away.  We had become friends after that and then Crystal came in one night and jumped up on stage and bullied me off my microphone.  She then told us that she was in the group.  We listened to her and looked at each other and said, ok.  Actually, it went more like, yes ma’am. 

Off The Hillbilly Hook is quite the song with quite the cameo appearances in the video.  How did that all come about?

That video has really helped us out with everything that we are doing.  People recognize us now.  Every time we go somewhere we have people come up to us and say that they love our video.  On CMT, we have won 14 out of 16 Power Picks only losing to Taylor Swift once (and beat her once; so it’s a split) and to Sugarland once.  We have been very blessed with that video and it has helped us a ton. 

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Do you have any pre-show routines?

Well, Crystal usually sips on a glass of wine, Big Vinny usually is stretching and doing wind sprints and I (Butter) am walking around looking like a homeless guy talking to myself rehearsing what I’m going to say to the audience.

What was it like to work with The Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent on your Hillbilly Hook video?

We never really spoke too much but he did hang out with us some.  There is no doubt when you have Ted Nugent in the room.  He’s quite the engaging person.  You have watched this person most of your life, you’ve seen him on ‘behind the music’ and ‘Cribs’ and he’s been this iconic person most of your life in music.  And then all of a sudden he is standing in front of the stage that you are performing on holding up this jug of circus jolly, or moonshine that they call it in the movie, and he is just rocking out with us.  I guess that is a form of approval from him!

What is the favorite song that you have written?

Probably ‘What Would You Say”.  As much as we are about partying and having a good time, this song really touches home.  It’s a song about the Sago mine in West Virginia when 13 miners were trapped underground in the mine when it collapsed.  At the same time the media made a horrible mistake by saying that everyone was ok but they weren’t.  Of the thirteen miners, only one survived.  When the rescuers were able to reach the other trapped miners, they found that some of them left notes to their loved ones.  We started thinking about that and wondered what would you say if you knew your life was about to end?  Would you be sad or have regrets?  Would you talk about love?  It really encompasses what life really is and it tells us to enjoy life. 



That song has really taken off for you.  It is a great song. 

We are known for our cold beer and drinking good time songs but that song is a reminder to live our lives every moment that we can.  It has been really neat to watch people react to that song just like Beer Gut and Hillbilly Hook. 

What has been your favorite show?

I (Butter) have really enjoyed playing the ACM all star show in Las Vegas the past few years.  Not only because it is the ACM’s but also because it has Country Music’s greatest stars and you play before them and after them and it is quite an experience to be among them. 

Crystal, you have your ‘The Incredibly Amateur Trailer Choir Video Blog’ going on.  How is that going for you?

That name just isn’t short enough!  It has been really fun and we love to hear the responses from everyone that watches them and keeps up with them.  We get to see so much and have so many experiences on the road with each other that we wanted to share some of those things with everyone and anyone who would be willing to watch it.  We really like to see the responses that people feel like they are out on the road with us and that they are backstage hanging out with us.  That was kind of the idea to give the inside track of what it’s like for us to be out on the road. 

Big Vinny.  There is a story out there that you had to share a futon with Stephen Cochran… Set the story straight!

That is a true story.  We did have to share a futon on Music Row.  But I did put a pillow in between us.
      (Butter) That was your belly!
Stephen was my first roommate when we moved to Nashville about three years ago. 

I see that Trailer Choir made cameo appearance in Stephen Cochran’s video for ‘Friday Night Fireside”
Yes we did.  We wrote that song for Stephen and Butter wrote his song ‘Thinkin’ I’m Drinkin’ and we all wrote his latest song ‘Wal Mart Flowers’.  It’s been very cool.  He’s helping us make a little money down this road!  Friendships and money….. Can’t beat it.

Trailer Choir is playing the WYCD Detroit Downtown Hoedown on Sunday May 17th.  What antics can we expect to see this time around?

Well, Crystal is going to be wearing her new dress because she’s been shopping a lot lately,  Big Vinny is going to do some magic tricks from the stage.  He’s going to try to make me disappear but I don’t think he can do it.  You never know what you can expect at a Trailer Choir show.  It’s all going to be exciting. 

Who has been the most fun touring with?

Well, Toby Keith is the Big Dog Daddy and he discovered us and so the most appropriate thing to say would be Toby.  We come from playing fraternity parties and clubs and played rodeos and fairs.  Listening to his song ‘Honkeytonk U’ we can kind of see where he is coming from because we are along that same path.  We play as much as we can wherever we can.  Being out on Toby Keith’s tour has let us learn a lot and see a lot to learn from.  We get to spend time out in the parking lot ‘Trailer gating’ with the fans and drinking cold beers! 
(Crystal)  The cool thing about Toby is that it is like family.  We are all close to everybody on that tour as we could be.  And we get that respect from working with all the artists that are out on that tour at that level. 

Crystal, What has been your favorite ‘pick up line’ that you have heard on the tour?

Butter and Vinny give me grief about guys on the road all the time but it’s a matter of getting out there and having a good time and any flattery is appreciated!  My favorite line that I have heard so far is ‘I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go.’

What is the next big thing for Trailer Choir?

We have an album coming out on June 9th.  We are actually going to take a little different approach to the industry.  We are going to put out more albums, like two or three a year, with 6 to 8 songs each.  We write so much and we add so many new songs to our shows that our label said to us hey, new times, increased downloads and the business is always changing.  So let’s try it.  Our new album is called ‘Off the Hillbilly Hook” and hopefully we have another album out maybe by Christmas time.  We might have to make a Christmas album! 


Don’t miss Trailer Choir this Sunday May 17th at the 2009 99.5 WYCD Detroit Downtown Hoedown.  Approximate stage time of 4pm!





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