Album: Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy
Artist: Chris LeDoux
1. Call of the Wild
2. You Just Can’t See Him from the Road
3. Little Long-Haired Outlaw
4. Making Ends Meet
5. Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy (w/ Garth Brooks)
6. Hooked on an 8 Second Ride
7. I’m Ready If You’re Willing
8. Look at You Girl
9. Cadillac Ranch
10. Western Skies
There are at least a dozen county stars, if not more, that I like more than Chris LeDoux that don’t have an album on this countdown. In fact, Chris released 31 studio albums, and I like about 13 of his songs. It just so happens that ten of them were on this album.
A national rodeo champ, he eschewed Nashville and wrote and recorded songs on his own label. He received occasional airplay, but he was only a hit amongst his rabid fans who enjoyed his songs about bull-riding and tobacco. Yes, he has more than one song that is an ode to Copenhagen.
He became a little more famous after Garth Brooks dropped his name in one of his songs, and LeDoux eventually relented and signed with Liberty Records. This is his second album and easily his most successful. While four of the songs here were on previous albums, they’re polished up a bit to make them more palatable for my ears. And there’s only one rodeo and zero tobacco songs, so that helps, too.
His two greatest hits, the duet with Garth and Cadillac Ranch, still hold up today. My favorite, though, is about a lonely old rancher, still going at it in You Just Can’t See Him from the Road. Look at You Girl is a pretty sweet ballad as well.
LeDoux died from an autoimmune disease in 2005 at the age of 56, so we won’t be hearing any more from him, though his musical peak seemed to have faded long before then.