Cowboy Troy earned his reputation as a progenitor of the marriage between country music and hip-hop, a fusion he claims “dates back to when I was a kid and I heard the Charlie Daniels Band doing ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ which is really the first fusion of country, rock and rap, if you think about it.”
Raised in Texas, Troy has country music in his blood, but it might surprise some to learn of the man’s love for heavy metal in general, and revered British metal band Motorhead in particular.
“When I tour with my band, Nashvillain, we surprise people when they learn that we are all Motorhead freaks,” says Troy. “We’re metalheads who happen to play country music. We break out a Motorhead cover from time to time, and people are pretty much blown away by it!”
While working with local country band Ransomville, Troy surprised the guys with his seemingly limitless well of rock-based references. At one point during the sessions, Troy asked drummer Johnny Misso to play a groove with accents similar to those in ’80s metal band Ratt’s “Way Cool Junior.”
“The funny thing is, I knew exactly what he meant!” laughs Misso.
During our interview, Troy treated me to his apparently well-rehearsed imitation of the gargling-with-razorblades tenor of Motorhead’s legendary bassist/vocalist Lemmy. Watching the man take such joy in spitting out “Ace of Spades” is not a memory I’m likely to let vanish anytime soon.
While in Los Angeles on a Big & Rich tour a few years back, Troy convinced his bandmates to join him on a sojourn to the near-mythical Rainbow Bar & Grill, known to be a favored haunt of Lemmy’s when Motorhead is not on the road. Sure enough, they found the man perched on his favorite stool at the end of the bar.
“I told Lemmy how much he meant to me, and I name-dropped an obscure tune off of the band’s then-latest album, which really got his attention,” recalls Troy. “He turned and looked at me, and he wheezed in that famous voice, ‘I’ve actually heard of you – you’re pretty good!’ Man, I was walking on a cloud for weeks!”
– Jeff Miers