Calaveras gets a Toby three-pete at Ironstone

Toby Keith returns to the Ironstone Amphitheatre outside Murphys on Aug. 24.

Country music fans will get another dose of Toby Keith this summer as the singer-songwriter returns to Calaveras County with a big show in store. Keith brings his “That’s Country Bro!” tour to the Ironstone Amphitheatre outside Murphys at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 24. Ned LeDoux opens the show.

The 2019 appearance marks the third time the popular musician and actor has come to Calaveras. In 2018, he appeared on an episode of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” on AXS TV that was filmed in the Alhambra Music Room at the winery. Rather introduced Keith to an energetic audience after the show was filmed.

“We love Toby!” said Billy Cohen, who does publicity for the Richter Entertainment Group (REG), which books the shows at the winery. “We are psyched to have him back for a third year in a row!”

Toward the end of 2018, Keith celebrated the 25th anniversary of his No. 1 single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”; he rereleased that debut album and added three tracks that were pulled from the “vault.”

Keith also released “Don’t Let the Old Man In” in 2018, inspired by a conversation he had with Clint Eastwood. The song was then featured in Eastwood’s movie “The Mule.”

Keith erupted on the country music charts in the early 1990s, when he released four Gold records, including the huge hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” The song was the most-played country tune of the 1990s. His song “How Do You Like Me Now?!” released in 1999, was the No. 1 country hit of 2000. He has recorded 19 studio albums, sold more than 40 million records, and his live shows have attracted more than a million fans each year for more than a decade.

Opening the night is Ned LeDoux, whose last name casts a storied but slightly bittersweet shadow, “but it’s one Ned LeDoux doesn’t mind standing in one bit,” says ironstoneamphitheatre.net.

Drumming for his father Chris’ band Western Underground since 1998, Ned knew from an early age that he had “no plan b” but to play music.

“Once I got the taste of the road and being in front of a crowd and just the sound of it, it was … freedom,” he said.

When his dad died in 2005, Ned continued to tour with Western Underground to keep the spirit of Chris LeDoux alive. This drove him to pick up the guitar and try playing some of his dad’s songs, beginning with “Rodeo Man.” Ned soon had many of his dad’s early hits ready for performances.

When the other band members heard Ned’s voice, he was front and center, singing at the shows. “Stepping out from behind the drums stirred something inside of Ned that he hadn’t felt before,” the site said.

“It’s a different kind of rush, getting up with a guitar and standing behind a microphone …” Ned LeDoux said.

“This is an amazing show and a great time!” Cohen said. “You might want to get your tickets early; (Keith) has sold out the past two years.”

The amphitheater is at 1894 Six Mile Road, outside Murphys. Tickets for the show are $58 to $403 at ironstoneamphitheatre.net or 800-745-3000.

The summer series of 11 shows at the amphitheater begins on Saturday, when former Eagles frontman Don Felder appears with the Little River Band, Ambrosia and Firefall at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for that show are $48-$278.

The musical style shifts for the next show at 6:30 p.m., June 28, when Ziggy Marley – son of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley – performs with Michael Franti and Spearhead and the English Beat. Tickets for that show range in price from $53 to $253.

Contact Mike Taylor at mtaylor@calaverasenterprise.com

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