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Taste of Country Staff

Dierks Bentley
UMG Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Dierks Bentley, ‘Riser’

The sonic differences between ‘Riser’ and Dierks Bentley’s five previous studio albums (excluding ‘Up on the Ridge’) are subtle, but important. The Arizona-raised singer drops the rumbling, rambling, Bakersfield-inspired licks that made up many of his biggest hits and adds great lyrical depth.

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Category: celebrity news Tags:
Cole Swindell, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan
Michael Loccisano / Jason Davis / Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Turning Personal Tragedy Into Hit Records

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. 

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JJ Lawhorn
Average Joe's Entertainment
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JJ Lawhorn – ‘Good Ol’ Boys Like Us’ [Listen]

Fans of Justin Moore will really dig JJ Lawhorn and his new song 'Good Ol' Boys Like Us.' The two singers share a producer (Jeremy Stover discovered Lawhorn on YouTube) and -- at least on this song -- share a talent for revealing a country boy's soft side.

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Category: celebrity news Tags:
Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw’s ‘Highway Don’t Care’ Named Song of the Year at 2014 ToC Awards

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. 

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Category: celebrity news Tags:
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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Category: celebrity 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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Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
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Country’s Top 5 Moments at the 2014 Grammys

Country music shined at the 2014 Grammys, with nine of Nashville's top singers taking the stage to sing and play guitar. Collaborations and solo performances from artists like Keith Urban, Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes were among the night's best, but what was the best moment?

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