From Germany to Dixie: The Journey of Toby Schuetgens, Country Rock Maverick

From Germany to Dixie: The Journey of Toby Schuetgens, Country Rock Maverick

Hey y'all, Toby Schuetgens here, your friendly neighborhood country rock troubadour. Settle in and let me spin you a yarn about how this journey all began.

So, picture this: 1986, Germany. That's where I popped into this world, but let me tell ya, I always had a hankerin' for the heart of America. Every little boy dreams of being a cowboy, but for me, it was more than just a dream – it was in my bones. I reckon I was the only fella in my tenth-grade class photo sportin' a cowboy hat and boots.

Now, let's talk tunes. I picked up the guitar when I was barely knee-high to a grasshopper. My folks signed me up for music lessons when I was four, and guitar was the name of the game. I reckon I wanted to bang on drums at first, but I was too pint-sized for that gig. So, guitar it was.

Started with classical guitar at a proper music school, then moved on to electric and acoustic with some private tutors. Sure, I jammed with a few bands along the way, but most of the time, I was flying solo.

Now, alongside my music, there was another passion burnin' bright: horses. After school, I found myself workin' on various ranches, training Quarter Horses and teachin' Western-style ridin'. It was in them dusty corrals that I first stumbled upon contemporary country music.

Now, let me tell you about the song that lit the fuse under my love for country: "The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks. I can still remember the exact moment I heard it like it was yesterday.

I reckon I was about 16 or 17, doin' a stint on a ranch for a Quarter Horse breeder. One evening, me and my boss rode out to check on the young 'uns in the pouring rain. As we made our way back in that ol' Chevy truck, the heater hummin' away, Garth's voice crackled over the radio with "The Thunder Rolls." I was hooked from the get-go.

Asked my boss if we could crank it up, and he obliged, spinnin' tales about the truck's fancy radio tech pickin' up American stations. Turned out, he was just pullin' my leg – no such thing back then. This was way before smartphones and internet radio. But he had me fooled, alright. He'd brought back some American radio recordings on CDs from his last trip to the States.

Straight after hearin' that song, I hightailed it to my guitar teacher, beggin' him to teach me how to play it. He gave it a shot but warned me: country music might sound simple, but it's one of the trickiest genres out there. I didn't quite get what he meant back then, but now? Well, let's just say, I'm singin' a different tune.

And that, my friends, is where it all began. Since that day, country music has been my bread and butter.

For the longest time, it was a toss-up between two passions: Western-ridin' Quarter Horses and country (rock) music. Sometimes one took the reins, sometimes the other, but come 2021, I started droppin' new tracks on all them streaming platforms.

Now, how exactly did that come about? Well, that's a tale for another time. Stay tuned, y'all.

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