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.
Country newcomers Dan + Shay had their St. Jude baptism in January during the 25th annual Country Cares seminar. Hundreds of radio and country music industry personnel join a few dozen artists and label representatives each year to learn about the latest in care and research at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Then, they get to meet some of the patients.
Jay, Joe Don and Gary of Rascal Flatts have stepped up to help the kids at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During a two-day Taste of Country webathon, fans can bid on this autographed electric guitar, with all proceeds going to St. Jude.
The first-ever Taste of Country Tropical Nights concert in the Riviera Maya included four top-notch country singers, a lot of sunshine, ample amounts of food and drink and a ton of gorgeous photo opps. Dierks Bentley, Jana Kramer, Billy Currington and Brantley Gilbert each headlined one night of the Feb. 23-27 party at the new Hard Rock Hotel, and it's clear the experience is one that will have fans buying return trips to Mexico next winter.
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.
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.
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?
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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