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Tobacco Rd Band Says Toby Keith Has the Best Cowboy Hat

Front man Eric Durrance from the Tallhassee-bred band Tobacco Rd Band has an impressive rap sheet (or in this case, country sheet). Durrance has played music for 20 years, cowrote a hit single for Jake Owen, and opened for big names like Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum on the 2008 CMT tour.

Tonight, Durrance and the rest of the crew bring their country flair to none other than Davie's boot-clickin' saloon, Cowboys. To get the lowdown on this country act, we got together with Durrace who explained why cowboys wear big hats.

New Times: How do you feel about performing in South Florida?

Eric Durrance:We love it, we played a few shows here and got a really good response from people. Good country crowd, good fan base.

What do you think about the country scene here?

We used to play at Rumors. Thursday was country night. We are a rockin' country band, not a regular country band. We are not traditional. We have a diverse fan base, ages 16 to 66.

Rock is in a weird place, and country and pop-rock cross all over the markets. You got Nelly with Florida Georgia Line. Different pop-rock artists are merging with the country genre. It's popular music instead of just one scene. Lots of record labels are going out of business, and this is why artists are doing stuff with different genres.

You cowrote "8 Second Ride" with Jake Owen. How was that?

I met him at a karaoke bar. I had a music studio -- I was in the music business -- and it was the first single we did. It became a hit many years later. We wrote it in 2004, and Owen had it on his first album Yeehaw and again on his second album [Easy Does It].

What other songs did you cowrite?

In 2003, I wrote and performed the songs "Rainy Day" and "The Reason I Live" for the Passion of the Chirst movies. in 2004, it won the Christian rock single of the year. I write for all of Tobacco Rd Band. We actually got signed last week to an independent label in Nashville, Silvercreek Records!

Congrats! What country artist do you want to write songs for?

Kenny Chesney and George Strait. George Strait is the all time ultimate. Any song he writes goes to number one. I wouldn't mind writing for Chesney either, all his songs go to number one, too.

Why do cowboys need a big cowboy hat?

Cuz they have small heads? [laughs] I think its just a larger than life persona. George Strait is just a persona.

Which country celebrity has the best hat?

Jason Aldean and Toby Keith. [Keith] has more of a Brett Michaels style, not ten gallon, [typical] cowboy hat. I look stupid in those. I like baseball caps too.

Tobacco Rd Band, Thursday, June 20, at Cowboys, 1805 S. University Dr., Davie. The show is free. Visit cowboysdavie.com.

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