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Billy Currington Keeps ‘Em Guessing

Billy Currington's 2010 CD, Enjoy Yourself. Photo by Kate Powers, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Billy Currington's 2010 CD, Enjoy Yourself. Photo by Kate Powers, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

If there’s one word that applies to Billy Currington’s recording career, it might well be unpredictable.

He’s done blue-eyed soul with “Don’t,” kickin’ country with “That’s How Country Boys Roll” and lazy little grooves with “People Are Crazy” and “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer.” The thing is, Billy’s made it a point to shift stylistic gears within each of his albums. It’s why he titled his last project Little Bit Of Everything, and he’s keeping the same approach with his next release, Enjoy Yourself.

“Havin’ many different styles of songs, it may be weird to some people,” he concedes. “I’ve been told for three or four albums by many people — especially in [Nashville] — that ‘no one knows who you are. They don’t get what you’re going for. It’s not country, or it’s not pop or it’s not this. You keep mixin’ it up.’ And I feel like that’s who I am.”

It’s pretty natural for Billy, too, since he considers Kenny Rogers one of his personal heroes. Kenny went through a ton of styles during his peak years, including story songs with “Lucille” and “The Gambler,” big ballads with “Lady” and “She Believes In Me,” and pop-crossover material such as his Dolly Parton duet “Islands In The Stream.”

“He always did that,” Billy says of Kenny’s versatility, “and it worked for him. It ain’t like I’m tryin’. It’s just my influence of music. It’s like all over the place, and then when I write ‘em, sometimes it’s really lovey and sometimes it’s really cornbread-country. It depends upon the mood, and how well I feel like I can sell the song to other people, and how it feels to [me], too.”

How many styles did Billy run through on his new album? You’ll find out soon enough — Enjoy Yourself is set for release Sept. 21.

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