Country music artist Blake Shelton is knows for playing the hits at his concerts, but sometimes audiences get a special treat when he decides to play a deeper cut.
With more than 20 years worth of radio hits to his name, Shelton can draw from a pretty massive catalogue. During a recent stop on his Back to the Honky Tonk tour, the Voice host dug deep into his bag of tricks and dazzled fans with a lesser-known single from his 2003 album, The Dreamer.
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In concert footage Shelton shared to Instagram, he and his acoustic guitar revisit the adventures of John Roy and Romeo in the song, “Playboys of the Southwestern World.”
“Never know when we might break out some of the old stuff on the #BackToTheHonkyTonk Tour.. who remembers this one?!” the singer wrote on Instagram.
Shelton prefaced the performance by saying, “It’s a song about best friends,” before performing the song with just a stool and an acoustic guitar. Die-hard fans may remember that Shelton released the song as the third single off of his sophomore album. It’s a song about two rowdy young men with a dream of heading down to Mexico and living the high life. The story takes a turn when their plans unravel and they become “temporary cell mates.”
The upbeat, fun story of John Roy and Romeo brought the fans to their feet, even though Shelton decided to play the song acoustically. Other songs from Shelton’s early era like “Austin” and “Ol’ Red” made him a bona fide superstar. So it makes sense that “Playboys” gets cut from set lists, especially considering how many hits Shelton had later in his career and continuing today.
Blake Shelton won CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 2012, the same year he became a Voice coach on the first season
But if Shelton’s teaser is any indication, future audiences may also get to hear more ‘throwback’ tunes on the tour. Shelton’s Back to the Honky Tonk tour began Feb. 16 in Lincoln, Neb., and will conclude on March 25 in Buffalo, N.Y.
And since Shelton will reportedly leave The Voice soon, fans may have a lot more opportunities to see him live.
“He’s been doing it a long time, and I think it’s a really cool way that we all know he’s leaving so we get the time to, like—I mean, I can’t stand him, but I also love him,” Voice co-star and American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson continued. “So we get the time to actually, like, lift him up and say how great he is. He is the ultimate Coach on this show. Everybody knows that.”
Shelton said he’s “wrestled” with the decision to leave for a while now.
“This show has changed my life in every way for the better,” Blake shared last fall. “And it will always feel like home to me. It’s been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at The Voice.”