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Taste of Country Staff

Cole Swindell
Warner Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Cole Swindell, ‘Cole Swindell’

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.

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Category: Missoula Lifestyle
Kix Brooks
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images
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Win a Signed DVD Copy of Kix Brooks’ Movie ‘Ambush at Dark Canyon’

Kix Brooks made his acting debut earlier this year, and now fans have a chance to bring him home. Enter here to win one of 10 signed copies of both the DVD and CD soundtrack to ‘Ambush at Dark Canyon.’

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Taylor Swift, Laney Brown
Jason Merritt, Getty Images / Facebook
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2014 ToC Awards: Taylor Swift’s Phone Call to Dying Girl Was Most Heartwarming Moment of 2013

Odds were good Taylor Swift would take the 2014 Taste of Country Award for Most Heartwarming Moment of 2013. She had two of the five nominations, after all. The star won a record eighth ToC Award, including her second in this category.

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Gary Allan
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Gary Allan’s ‘Set You Free’ Named Best Album of 2013 at Taste of Country Awards

Gary Allan and Blake Shelton battled for most of the one-month voting period, but in the end, fans of the California-raised country singer would not be denied. Allan's 'Set You Free' was named the Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Taste of Country Awards.

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Lee Brice, ‘I Don’t Dance’ [Listen]

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.

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Category: Music News Tags:
Super Bowl
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Country Music Can’t Win at the Super Bowl

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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Category: Superbowl
Jennifer Nettles
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
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Jennifer Nettles, ‘Me Without You’ [Listen]

Jennifer Nettles delivers her purest vocal spotlight since ‘Stay’ on her new single ‘Me Without You.’ A few instruments loiter in the background, but for the most part, the ballad is just her over an acoustic guitar. Fans of her duo’s biggest hit will appreciate this performance.

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Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift
Jason Merritt / Michael Loccisano (2) / Dimitrios Kambouris / Joe Scarnici, Getty Images
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2014 Grammy Awards Winners – Full List

The first of the 2014 Grammy Awards winners was announced during the pre-show ceremony, but country fans had to wait until almost 7PM to celebrate.

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Trace Adkins
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Trace Adkins’ Rehab Trip Spotlights Country Music’s Drinking Problem

Earlier this week, Trace Adkins announced a second stint in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. He fell off the wagon during a cruise he was set to headline. It was his first taste of alcohol in over a decade -- since his last stay in rehab in 2002. While the singer seems to be taking full ownership of what happened on that boat, the incident shines a light on something not talked about very often. 

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Jennifer Nettles
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jennifer Nettles, ‘That Girl’

Jennifer Nettles' new solo album is a round peg too big for country music’s square hole. Actually, ‘That Girl’ is sort of a zig-zaggy shaped object that doesn’t fit neatly within any genre’s stingy requirements. Jazz, blues, country, big band, Broadway, classic rock … Nettles dabbles.

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Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw, ‘Lookin’ for That Girl’ [Listen]

Tim McGraw marries traditional country stylings to contemporary innovations in his new single ‘Lookin’ for That Girl.’ The scream of a pedal steel keeps the track safely on the country side of the radio, while his use of auto-tune points forward toward what could be the genre’s future.

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Category: Music News Tags:
Yeah
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Joe Nichols, ‘Yeah’ [Listen]

Joe Nichols’ new single ‘Yeah’ keeps the feel-good vibe of ‘Sunny and 75’ alive. On paper, the story comes across as a track that was all too popular in 2013, but the singer’s warm voice wraps the listener up like a good hug on chilly country night. His song is different because he’s not trying so hard.

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