Despite a few heartbreaking stories and one or two emotional country artists, Taste of Country readers learned that the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a happy place during Day 1 of the 2014 ToC/St. Jude webathon. That was message from no fewer than five country stars, plus the families of two former patients.
Lee Brice is a longtime supporter of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The ‘I Don’t Dance’ singer lit up when asked to talk about what the Memphis-based medical campus means to him. He admits it means something different now that he has two little boys at home.
Turning a personal tragedy into a hit record is tricky, and not just for all the normal reasons that it's difficult to make a song into a hit. Artists who write a great personal song may be hesitant to record it for months or years. Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes considers three powerful songs and three artists who dealt with the personal tragedies that inspired them in very different ways.
Cole Swindell set out to make a well-rounded album that tells his story, and he succeeded. The 12 tracks on ‘Cole Swindell’ tread along familiar country themes, but don’t run ruts into any one in particular. It’s surprisingly easy to find yourself halfway through the album a second time without noticing.
Sincere love songs fit Kellie Pickler like a tailored red carpet gown. ‘Closer to Nowhere’ is a big, stirring ballad from the ‘The Woman I Am’ album. Her romantic story talks of getting lost with a lover at the edge of town.
Nearly a dozen others refused, but Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson and Kid Rock have taken the stage to play SeaWorld's Bands, Brews & BBQ concert series, despite heavy protest from a controversy started after a documentary called 'Blackfish' aired. Should those who play be demonized?
A trio of country superstars was just too much for nine other nominees to overcome. Tim McGraw's 'Highway Don't Care,' a chart-topping collaboration with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, was voted the best song of 2013 at the recent Taste of Country Awards.
Lee Brice’s new single ‘I Don’t Dance’ feels like a natural progression of this singer-songwriter’s career. It’s personal, like almost every song on the ‘Hard 2 Love’ album, but also powerful and experimental like Brice's early recordings. The power is provided in production, however -- a key difference between this ballad and others that relied solely on his vocal abilities.
Maggie Rose’s new single ‘Looking Back Now’ is the reason her debut album ‘Cut to Impress’ ended up on a number of Top Albums of 2013 lists. For some, there is a special place for women who commit acts of violence in the name jealousy or safety. Never has a country song told a revenge story in such vivid detail, however.
Why isn't a country superstar performing during halftime of the Super Bowl? It's a fair question, and one country fans have asked every year since Shania Twain took the stage in 2003. Surely there are stars big enough to draw the nation's interest, right? Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes argues that fans of Nashville's biggest names should actually be grateful for this missed opportunity.
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