Singer-Songwriter O’Toole on Inspiration, Debut of New Single ‘17 Wild Horses’

Pop Culture
Singer-Songwriter Rich O’Toole debuts on April 24 new single “17 Wild Horses.”

Rich O’Toole, a singer-songwriter who has been a fixture in the Texas music scene for more than a decade, recently debuted “17 Wild Horses,” a new single and video.

Wanting to include actual wild horses in the video, O’Toole took a concept to CK Reid, who provides bucking broncs and bulls to Billy Bob’s Texas, The World’s Largest Honky Tonk, for their live rodeos.

“He said, ‘I’ll round them up for you, but you have one shot to film, because once I let them go, they’re gone for a while,’” O’Toole laughed as he recounted. “So, we had to get all of our cameras ready to get the one shot.”

O’Toole said they led about 100 wild horses go on Reid’s ranch and followed them with a drone, trying to get 17 in a shot at a time.

“Seventeen is my favorite number,” he said. “I always try to put 17 in songs. It was my baseball number growing up.”

“17 Wild Horses” is the first song from his upcoming record, and it was inspired by the show “Yellowstone.”

“I am a giant fan of ‘Yellowstone,’ ” O’Toole said. “I wanted to write a song about a girl who is like the character Beth: a wild cowgirl who rides into town and breaks your heart.”

He’s had 25 songs crack the top 10 on the Texas Country Music Chart, and three songs have hit number one: “God & George Strait,” “In a Minute or 2” and “The Cricket Song” (big recommend).

The 37-year-old has forged a solid regional touring career with his high-energy shows. Earlier this month, he returned to the stage with a full band for the first time since the pandemic began.

“Oh my God, I’m ready to be back on stage,” he said. “Just like if you keep a racehorse in the barn for too long it gets sad. I like to run. I like to tour. I like to see people and talk to people.”

O’Toole grew up in Houston and spent time at Sam Houston Race Park for concerts and betting on horses. His mother is a former barrel racer. O’Toole graduated from Texas A&M with a communications degree.

An owner of a 2019 Arkansas Derby contender invited him to share the day, and now O’Toole aspires to attend the Kentucky Derby.

“I love to dress up. I love horses. I love to watch them run. They are athletes.”

He also loves the Houston Astros, tacos, tequila, Whataburger, wine, and cooking. Follow him on Twitter.

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