Two dates this fall opening for Toby Keith
Confirmed for the 2017 NFR in Las Vegas (National Finals Rodeo)
Ned LeDoux has grown steeped in deep western roots and a strong sense of family that was fostered and engrained in him by his Mom Peggy and his Dad, the late country music icon, Chris LeDoux. He is proud to carry on the LeDoux tradition and stay true to his western roots.
LeDoux is doing his part with his first full-length album, Sagebrush, due out Nov. 3. All 12 tracks on the Powder River Records/Thirty Tigers release paint pictures of a rancher’s life, play songs from taking the show on the road, and tell stories of growing up out west in the Western Underground family.
Growing up as the son of rodeo and country music legend, LeDoux is always going to tip his weathered hat to his dad Chris. It’s just that now, with Sagebrush, he is doing country music his way.
He’s crafted a collection of songs that came from his own pen, with a little inspiration from an old boot box that was stashed away in his dad’s office for a decade. It was full of his father’s notes, thoughts, and lines. And the music sounds like father and son were on the exact same page, even after Chris died in 2005. Four of the songs on Sagebrush are father-son co-writes–“Never Change,” “Cowboy Life,” “We Ain’t Got It All,” and “Forever a Cowboy”–and they prove that there is no right or wrong way to collaborate. Even posthumously.
That box was LeDoux’ go-to when he needed an extra line or a new way to think about a theme. But he was insistent that the song ideas come from somewhere outside the box. “I didn’t want to lean on my dad too much, so it was a way for me to just fill in some blanks with dad’s unfinished thoughts,” LeDoux said.
Even his vocals are all LeDoux. It’s the kind of unmistakable resemblance that makes you wonder where Chris stops and Ned begins. “People always tell me I sound just like my dad,” he says, “and that is the best compliment I could ever get.”
LeDoux was raised on his family’s working ranch in Wyoming, and that authentic country lifestyle is woven into that way he sings and the way he writes. When the ranch chores were done, that’s when LeDoux would turn his attention to the music. “I’ve been playing drums in bands since I was 14, then I joined my dad’s band Western Underground when I was 21. But I’d only ever played in dive bars and at street dances, and then I was suddenly in front of 18,000 people,” he recalled. But going from the backing drummer to front man didn’t happen overnight for LeDoux. “At first, I’d just get up and sing one song. Then I’d do a few more. Eventually, I stared doing solo shows. But my shows have always had the rock and roll rodeo spirit of the Western Underground,” he says.
Being on stage since the late 90s has earned LeDoux his own loyal following, and this year, it also earned him three nominations in the 2017 Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards. He took home the award for Best Male Vocalist during the show that honors the best in country music from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. The way LeDoux makes his music in the studio is just another way he’s keeping it genuine. “I always have real live musicians playing when we record, because I want to keep my music as pure as possible. And to stay true to the western themes.” And he did it all with the immensely talented singer/songwriter/musician/producer Mac McAnally by his side. McAnally has won the CMA Awards’ prestigious musician of the year eight times. The two collaborated on every aspect of Sagebrush, from the songwriting to the studio.
LeDoux also made sure that there was a place on Sagebrush for a couple covers of his father’s songs. One is his signature “This Cowboy’s Hat,” which LeDoux sings with fellow Nashville newcomer Chase Rice. And the other is “Johnson County War,” which LeDoux says he chose because it was one his dad wrote by himself, and because it’s one that people might not know. “I think I’ll always try to include at least one of my dad’s songs on all my albums,” he says. “To introduce new fans to some of the songs they may have missed.”
The album’s title came easy for LeDoux. “There’s only a certain place where sagebrush grows…out west. That’s where I was born and raised. I wanted the title to be something that was a symbol of the west. Whenever I see sagebrush, or smell it after a good rain,” he said, “I know I’m home.”
1. Never Change
2. Cowboy Life
3. We Ain’t Got It All
4. Some People Do
5. Brother Highway
6. Better Part of Living
7. Forever A Cowboy
8. By My Side
9. Another Horse To Ride
10. Johnson County War
11. The Hawk
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