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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Reba McEntire and Rascal Flatts Lead All-Star Lineup for ‘The Country Christmas Collection’ CD

Christmas is a time that reminds us of home and family traditions — two things that have always been celebrated in country music — so it’s only natural that so many country artists have contributed classic songs to the holiday season.

This year, Colonial Candle is extending that tradition with the help of Big Machine Records and an all-star roster of artists that includes Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, and Rascal Flatts, not to mention a candle that will keep your house smelling like the holidays, all yuletide long.

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Courtesy of BareTrack Records
Courtesy of BareTrack Records
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Terri Clark Gets ‘Personal’ with Her New Album, ‘Roots and Wings’

Her recording career spans 15 years and eight albums, but Terri Clark might just now be hitting her stride.

Clark’s latest album ‘Roots and Wings’ finds her tapping into her own experiences for a largely self-written batch of original tunes — and earning some of the best reviews of her career along the way. According to Clark, who enjoyed a string of platinum success in the 90s, recent turmoil in her personal life required a new, more honest approach to her music.

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Category: Music News Tags: ,
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, and More Featured on New Album Honoring Mark Twain

It’s arriving a year too late to commemorate the true anniversary of the occasion, but a new double-disc collection has brought together some of country and rock’s biggest names to honor Mark Twain 100 years after his death.

The set, titled ‘Mark Twain: Words & Music,’ features contributions from Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie, Clint Eastwood, and Jimmy Buffett, among many others.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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David Nail Releases ‘The Sound of a Million Dreams’ in November

David Nail’s career took plenty of twists and turns before he finally found his audience — including a busted deal at Mercury Nashville and a stint as a baseball coach. But when he finally released his debut album in 2009, its title ‘I’m About to Come Alive,’ proved prophetic.

Now, Nail is one of country’s hottest freshman acts, and he’s looking to build on that success with the release of his second album ‘The Sound of a Million Dreams,’ in November.

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Image courtesy of Warner Music Nashville
Image courtesy of Warner Music Nashville
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Gloriana Describes the ‘Evolving Process’ Behind Their New Album, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind’

Losing a band member is almost always difficult and it’s got to be particularly tough to learn your bandmate is leaving via Twitter, as the members of Gloriana discovered a couple of months ago, when vocalist and mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball announced she was quitting.

They took the news in stride, however, and regrouped as a trio, getting down to work on their upcoming sophomore release, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind.’ In the process, they discovered the whole ordeal might have been a blessing in disguise.

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Category: Music News Tags: ,
Brantley-Gilbert3
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Brantley Gilbert Is Proud to Be a Mama’s Boy

 

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

For most country artists, moving to Nashville is a matter of course because it simply makes sense to be right there in the middle of Music Row.

But for Brantley Gilbert, there were other factors to consider when it came time to decide whether he’d be picking up stakes and leaving his Georgia home. Like, for instance, his mama.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Tops Forbes List of Country Music’s Highest-Paid Stars

Toby Keith has recently gone on record as saying that America’s wealthiest citizens should expect to shoulder their fair share of the country’s tax burden — and he knows a thing or two about what it’s like to write the IRS a check after having a successful year.

He might have to get set to write another one, too: According to Forbes’ latest list, he’s the highest-paid entertainer in country music.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Weighs In on Taxes: ‘I Expect the Wealthy to Write a Check’

The fight over taxes and the public debt is never far from the headlines lately, and Toby Keith has never been shy about speaking his mind on political matters, so it’s only natural that he offered his thoughts about taxes when speaking with the Boston Herald.

What might be surprising — at least for folks who consider Keith just another red state-residing good ol’ boy — is the way he responded to the question.

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Category: Music News, Political Tags: ,
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean Has Roughly ’20, 25 Songs’ in the Works for Next Album

Jason Aldean‘s latest album, the double-platinum ‘My Kinda Party,’ isn’t even a year old yet, but he isn’t wasting any time getting started on his next release. In fact, he’s planning on heading into the studio next month to start laying down tracks.

When Aldean’s crew convenes for the sessions for his fifth album, they’ll have no shortage of songs to choose from. In fact, it sounds like it’ll be a struggle to get the list of candidates down to a manageable length.

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Scotty
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Scotty McCreery Tells the Stories Behind the Songs on ‘Clear as Day’

 

19 Entertainment

Scotty McCreery has just two weeks to go until he releases his debut album, ‘Clear as Day,’ so you can hardly blame the reigning ‘American Idol’ champ if he’s excited to talk about it.

Taste of Country caught up with McCreery to do just that recently, and he shared the inside scoop on the stories behind the album’s 12 tracks, which he promises will give listeners an honest picture of who he is. “I’m 17, and that’s me,” he insists. “This album’s gonna relate to that, and hopefully people like it. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished these last couple months.”

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Jeff Gross/Rick Diamond/Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
Jeff Gross/Rick Diamond/Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Taylor Swift to Perform at 2011 CMAs

You already know Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are going to return for another round as hosts when the 45th annual CMA Awards roll around this year. But with the gala ceremony looming on the calendar, we still don’t know which performers will be joining them on stage.

Well, the night’s full lineup is still a closely guarded secret, but the first few names have been announced and it looks like viewers are in for another year of top-notch entertainment.

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Roger Kisby, Getty Images
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
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How Did Lady Antebellum Get Through Their ‘Really Hard’ Early Years?

Lady Antebellum struck platinum with their first album and they haven’t looked back, sending each of their first nine singles to the top 20 and selling more than five million albums in the U.S. since 2008. It’s a success story that plenty of bands would love to duplicate, to say the least.

But no matter how quickly they found their audience, or how tightly the trio might harmonize at the mic, things haven’t always been easy for Lady Antebellum behind the scenes. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that they had to call in a third party to help them communicate.

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