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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Eric Church vs. Brantley Gilbert – The Showdown

Two of country music’s outlaws square off on today’s Taste of Country Showdown. The battle will end with an assault of phone call voting on Taste of Country Nights radio on Thursday night. You can vote now for either returning champion Eric Church and his song ‘Creepin’,’ or challenger Brantley Gilbert‘s new single ‘Kick It in the Sticks.’ 

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Valory Music Co.
Valory Music Co.
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Brantley Gilbert, ‘Kick It in the Sticks’ – Song Review

It’s difficult to overstate how important ‘Kick It in the Sticks’ is to Brantley Gilbert‘s career and the direction of country music. It’s a line drawn in the red Georgia clay — after two releases that held back — to allow those not previously familiar with the Jefferson-born singer to get acquainted with his pacing and style. This is his ‘Free Bird,’ in that it’s the first song fans and critics will mention in association with this talented artist. 

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Category: Fort Collins News
Michael Loccisano / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Michael Loccisano / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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New Country Music Releases – August 2012

The summer heatwave comes a with a splash of country music before the days grow shorter and the kids return to school. The new country music releases for August 2012 are no exception. While July had so many country superstars with new country music releases that it was difficult to decide where to spend your money, August has just four that look promising. 

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Category: Fort Collins News
Ethan Miller / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw vs. Kip Moore – The Showdown

Tim McGraw‘s ‘Truck Yeah’ made short work of ‘Corn Star’ by Craig Morgan last Friday. The two Showdown songs battled it out online and on Taste of Country Nights radio, with the debut single from McGraw’s upcoming new album taking 70 percent of the vote. Fans of the song will have to step up again today if the song is going to best another one of the party songs of the summer.

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Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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The Mavericks, ‘Born to Be Blue’ – Song Review

The Mavericks couldn’t have timed their reunion more perfectly. The ’90s hitmakers bring their familiar sound back to country radio with ‘Born to Be Blue,’ a track from their new ‘Suited Up and Ready’ EP. Too often, getting the old band back together produces tired rewrites of a classic sound. The Mavericks have managed to keep their signature style without alienating younger fans.

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Category: Fort Collins News
Rick Diamond / Dimitrios Kambouris / Scott Barbour, Getty Images
Rick Diamond / Dimitrios Kambouris / Scott Barbour, Getty Images
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Which Country Star Should Replace Steven Tyler on ‘American Idol’? – Readers Poll

For 11 seasons, ‘American Idol’ has ignored country music when it comes to the judges panel. But with Steven Tyler announcing his ‘Idol’ departure on Thursday, it’s time to make things right. Stars like Blake Shelton and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland have proven that Nashville has artists capable of shining on a nationally-televised stage. Which country artist do you think would be the perfect fit to replace Tyler on ‘American Idol?’

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Category: Fort Collins News
Jamie Squire, Getty Images
Jamie Squire, Getty Images
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Kellie Pickler on Luke Bryan National Anthem Controversy: ‘So What!’

Kellie Pickler was in the stands watching Luke Bryan sing the National Anthem on Tuesday night, but she wasn’t aware of the ‘Drunk on You’ singer’s use of “key words” which helped him get through the song. She says she understands what Bryan was going through at the All-Star Game, and the anxiety that comes with singing in front of millions of television viewers, and can’t understand the criticism. 

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Category: Fort Collins News
Atlantic/Home Grown/Bigger PIcture
Atlantic/Home Grown/Bigger PIcture
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Zac Brown Band, ‘Uncaged’ – Album Review

Atlantic/Home Grown/Bigger PIcture

On paper, ‘Uncaged’ should not work as an album, let alone a country music album. The new release from Zac Brown Band redefines “something for everybody.” Country, reggae, bedroom R&B… Brown and his ever-growing motley crew stretch the Nashville sound further than any other artist. If they weren’t so talented, this project would fall apart long before the title-track.

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Graham Denholm / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Graham Denholm / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Carrie Underwood vs. Hunter Hayes – The Showdown

Friday night’s Showdown between Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town was the most voted on yet, with ‘Blown Away’ edging ‘Pontoon’ by 13 percentage points. That’s two wins in a row for the title-track on Underwood’s new album. The dark and stormy cut is clearing a path to the Showdown Hall of Fame, but future tourmate Hunter Hayes‘ ‘Wanted’ is threatening to contain her fury today and tonight on Taste of Country Nights

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Favorite Toby Keith Song – Readers Poll

Toby Keith is celebrating his 51st birthday today. The singer shows no signs of slowing down, however, having just released his best album in years and embarked on another summer tour that promises to be amongst the most successful of 2012. It was one of his early hits that made the Top 100 Country Songs list, but which is your personal favorite?

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Category: Fort Collins News

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