Although they've only released seven albums, there's enough memorable Confederate Railroad songs to justify a multi-disc greatest hits set or a lengthy online playlist.
Despite a commercial decline after charting four top 10 singles between 1992 and 1994, the Marietta, Georgia-based band remained a steady creative force all the way to its latest album, 2016's Lucky to Be Alive, and there's no reason to think the next set of new songs will be a dud.
Artistic stability came in part from maintaining pretty much the same lineup for long stretches of time. The original band featured singer and guitarist Danny Shirley, guitarist Michael Lamb, drummer Mark Dufresne, keyboardist Chris McDaniel, bassist Wayne Seacrest and the late steel guitarist Warren "Gates" Nichols. Although only Shirley and Dufresne remain with the band, changes came gradually. There was no breakup followed by a reunion supported by only a couple of members.
Like many of their peers, Confederate Railroad mixed fast-driving honky tonk tunes with more sentimental ballads. Those faster songs often showed glimpses at the band's sense of fun. In fact, a whole separate list could be made of light-hearted and memorable songs that don't crack the top 10, including "She Treats Her Body Like a Temple," "Black Label, White Lies" "Cowboy Cadillac," "Redneck Romeo," "Bill's Laundromat, Bar & Grill," "I Hate Rap" and a cover of David Allan Coe's "Cheap Thrills." It'd be quite the companion piece to the following rundown of the band's 10 greatest recordings.
10. "Elvis and Andy"
If she likes the King and Sheriff Taylor, you can't go wrong. That's the silly yet sweet sentiment shared by Danny and the gang.
9. "Jesus and Mama"
While a lot of these songs will make you smile, this one might make you cry. It's a reminder that hard living doesn't stop a decent mother from loving her wayward son.
8. "When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back"
The band did wonders with the occasional slow, reflective song, as exemplified by this heartbreaking tale about bad behavior and a wasted life.
7. "When and Where"
The title track off a fun album that also includes "Toss a Little Bone" and the Kenny Chesney co-write "When He Was My Age" is one of those rocking, honky tonking '90s gems that won over fans of Sammy Kershaw, fellow Georgia artist Travis Tritt and others.
6. "White Trash With Money"
The Unleashed album includes this self-parody about well-to-do country singers, bringing their uncouth ways to the same neighborhoods as doctors and lawyers.
Read More: 90s Country Artists You Forgot You Loved
5. "She Took It Like a Man"
The first track on the first Confederate Railroad album introduced fans to the band's talent for presenting Texas country and honky tonk influences to the masses.
4. "Queen of Memphis"
This is one of many great songs of the '90s that blends country artists' presumed raising on classic rock with a desire to revisit the glory days of boot-scooting honky tonk.
3. "She Never Cried"
You know that Danny Shirley's past love interest was bad news before you even get to her stances on God, country and the Duke. She didn't cry when Ole Yeller died, for crying out loud!
2. "Trashy Women"
Confederate Railroad went all in when it came to paying tribute to the band's Texas influence. They covered one of the greatest Jerry Jeff Walker compositions, introducing his wit to a new wave of country music fans. In 2016, the band released "Trashy Women (20th Anniversary)" featuring Willie Nelson, Colt Ford and John Anderson as part of its Lucky to Be Alive album.
1. "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind"
The opening track off 1994's Notorious packs all the sentimental feelings of home and family you'd expect more from someone like Randy Travis. You didn't have to be raised poor for this one to make you reminisce about your own dad. If you keep the album playing in order, "Summer in Dixie" will keep you away from your desk on an extended nostalgia trip.
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