FREQUENT FRYER

T. Graham Brown is more than willing to go out of his way for spicy fried chicken

"I like fried chicken," declares T. Graham Brown, "and I like spicy." Stands to reason, then, that spicy fried chicken would be high on the soulful singer's list.

So when T. Graham gets that particular craving, he heads to Mr. Boo's Spicy Hot Chicken located near Nashville's airport. "It's a little out of the way," says T. Graham, who lives outside Nashville. "But it's worth it!"

As T. Graham arrives with wife Sheila, they're greeted by restaurant owners Diana Williams and her husband, Larry, "Mr. Boo" himself.

"Can we put this big boy to work?" teases Diana.

T. Graham is willing to oblige, grabbing an apron and an oversized hat. His job is to dip a quarter chicken that's been injected with the special Bouglea pepper into a scalding hot fryer.

"Nobody here but us chickens!"

T. Graham jokes, as he serenades the kitchen crew with "I Tell It Like It Used to Be," one of his biggest hits. He carefully lowers the chicken into the fryer, then quickly darts away as the oil starts popping like a firecracker.

"I thought I'd get burned for sure," says a relieved T. Graham. "I know one thing, though -- I'm sure working up an appetite."

T. Graham is also hungry for fans to feast on his new CD, The Next Right Thing. The album includes his hit "Wine Into Water" and the current single, "Which Way to Pray," a song that deals with the harsh subject of abuse.

The Next Right Thing marks his first new studio album in five years, but T. Graham hasn't exactly been idle. "I do concerts and festivals," he says, "and I've started to play the Grand Ole Opry a lot."

Meanwhile, lunch is served, and what a banquet -- chicken legs, wings, hot and spicy fries and crispy corn on a stick. "I always get the 'mild' chicken, which is plenty hot for me," says T. Graham. "They recommend that you work your way up to the extra hot."

And as he works his way around a chicken leg, T. Graham flashes a satisfied smile. "Perfect!" he declares. "Just like always."

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