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That's Why I Run

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Album Review

"I'm too country, and proud of it/if you don't like it, well, you can shove it," sang Nashville songsmith Billy Yates on his 2001 album, If I Could Go Back. Yates, forged in the same fire that produced hardcore country legends George Jones and Merle Haggard, wasn't being cute, he was being real. Country music, the traditional kind, is what Yates has always loved, written, and recorded; the six-string troubadour has never been afraid to wear his old-school colors for all the world to see. On his sixth studio album, That's Why I Run, Yates digs deep in the dirt for a batch of hardcore country diamonds. From the swirling organ and slinky steel guitar of "Like a Radio," a rollicking toe-tapper, to the soul-bleached vocals of "A Man Who Knows," an emotionally stinging spiritual number, Yates aims straight for the heart with every song on the 13-track collection. "I Don't Know How to Live," with its plaintive fiddle and lightly picked acoustic guitars, is a beautifully crafted love song, the kind that makes women melt and men think. Yates spins country gold as he ponders life without the one he loves. This is what country music is all about, real people singing about real things. Yates may be considered by some to be too country, but to his faithful fans, he's perfect just the way he is.


Born: 13 March 1963 in Doniphan, MO

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Country artist Billy Yates rolled the dice in 2001 when he walked away from Columbia Records Nashville to form his own company, M.O.D. (My Own Damn) Record Label. At the time it was unheard of in Music City for an artist to make such a move. Yates' decision to go independent was brazen considering the fact the singer/songwriter had yet to build much of a fan base while signed to a major label. During a meeting with (then) Columbia Nashville label chief Allen Butler, Yates voiced his desire to make...
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That's Why I Run, Billy Yates
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