Trailer Choir Biography

Trailer Choir photo courtesy of Show Dog- Universal Music.

Once you see Trailer Choir in action, you’ll never forget the experience.

Lead singer Butter has the greeting, "Holla!" emblazoned in duct tape on his guitar. Crystal, the harmony vocalist is a fire-voiced, gorgeous blonde. And literally rounding out the group is Big Vinny, a 382-pound guy in overalls who not only sings, but dances, belly-first, down to the ground. The phrases, "high energy," "good time" and "party hard" don’t do this group justice. If you’re not having fun at a Trailer Choir show, check your pulse to see if you’re still alive.

Hearing Trailer Choir is just as memorable. Hearty, happy and highly catchy songs like "Rockin’ the Beer Gut," "Rollin’ Through the Sunshine" and "Off the Hillbilly Hook" have made this group instantly popular in the world of country music.

Those audience favorites are all included on Tailgate, the debut CD by Trailer Choir. The collection is characterized by infectious, sing-along anthems and lyrical slices of everyday life. For instance, "Homemade Mexico" contains a built-in vacation. "In My Next 5 Beers" is jaunty, tuneful and fun. The high-speed rocker "Girls Love to Go Dancin’" portrays weekend escapism. "Can’t Drink All Day" is a rousing romper. The breezy, lilting "Wal Mart Flowers" has an anti-materialistic message. "Last Man Standing" is about perseverance. "Shakin’ That Tailgate" is a party-time rocker.

Perhaps because of such catchy tunes, few stars are rising as fast. Discovered in 2007 by superstar Toby Keith, Trailer Choir has been performing on his mammoth national tours for the past three years. He featured the group in his 2008 film Beer for My Horses, so Trailer Choir’s "Off the Hillbilly Hook" video featured Toby and the movie’s co-star Willie Nelson. Toby also co-produced their debut CD. In 2009, Trailer Choir exploded on the airwaves with the merry, rollicking "Rockin’ the Beer Gut," a song that has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. "Last Man Standing" was used by ESPN and ABC in a national NASCAR promotion. In 2010, the filming of its jaunty "Rollin’ Through the Sunshine" video became a feature story in Country Weekly. Their secret?

"The show is always entertaining," says Crystal, the powerhouse vocalist. "That’s the whole thing about it – the music was always entertaining. When the three of us get together in front of an audience, it’s very natural for us to have a stage presence."

"We realized we were kindred spirits, as far as being entertainers," adds Big Vinny, the plus-sized singer-songwriter in the overalls. "I have always naturally been the kind of guy who says, ‘Hey, let’s have fun and smile.’"

"You spend all your time in Nashville waiting for that big break," says Butter, the man with "Holla!" on his guitar. "Then, all of a sudden, Toby Keith is there one night."

These three come from quite different backgrounds. Born Marc Fortney, Butter was raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, a faded industrial town east of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie. He became captivated by music as a teenager.

"At a high-school talent show, I played ‘Small Town’ by John Mellencamp. This crazy energy, this reaction, came up out of that auditorium. And that feeling has never left me." He moved to Middle Tennessee as a college student in 1993 and was soon playing fraternity parties in The Butter Band, which gave him his nickname.