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Billy Dukes

Billy Dukes' music background includes jobs as music director and night DJ at WQDR 94.7 in Raleigh, N.C.; writer for Recoil Magazine, a monthly out of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and writer for the Kalamazoo Gazette in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Western Michigan University graduate followed a girl to Raleigh in 2006 and wisely married her one year later. They live in northeast Wake County with their two dogs, Daisy and Clementine, and their son. In his free time, Billy enjoys playing and watching baseball, cycling and exploring nature.
Brandy Clark
Slate Creek Records
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Brandy Clark, ‘Stripes’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Brandy Clark’s ‘Stripes’ is country music’s formal introduction to the woman behind many of the edgiest songs of the last two years. Those who like their country women to sound rooted in tradition and a little (OK, a lot) unpredictable will love this woman’s anthem.

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Eric Church
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Eric Church ‘The Outsiders’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

There may not be another 'Springsteen' on Eric Church's new album 'The Outsiders,' but one of the best tracks from the eclectic, aggressive, 12-song project shares a title with the something the Boss is known for.

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Pflederers, Carrie Underwood
YouTube
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Bride Sings Carrie Underwood’s ‘Look at Me’ Down the Aisle, Song Sales Spike [Watch]

The bride always steals the show at a wedding, but a woman named Arianna Pflederer really took the spotlight as she walked down the aisle singing Carrie Underwood's 'Look at Me' to her man at the altar.

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Meghan Linsey
MeghanLinsey.com
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Meghan Linsey, ‘Counting Stars’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

As a solo artist, Meghan Linsey is difficult to label. Her countrified version of OneRepublic’s ‘Counting Stars’ is country like duo the Civil Wars is country. Technically, it’s true. But the song -- and yes, this is an overused phrase -- is like nothing else on country radio.

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Reckless Kelly
Facebook
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Reckless Kelly Announce Lineup for 2014 Celebrity Softball Jam

The sixth Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam is aimed to grow the $150,000 already raised for youth baseball in Austin, Texas. Roger Creager, Turnpike Troubadours, Cody Canada and the Departed and more have all signed on to play a concert that follows the May 11 game.

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Kimberly Paisley Williams
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images
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Kimberly Williams-Paisley Recalls Her Struggle With Mother’s Dementia

From the early signs to the diagnosis, to the needed longterm care and all the emotions in between, Brad Paisley’s wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley is sharing her story of learning to love again after her mother Linda was diagnosed with a form of dementia.

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Natalie Stovall
HitShop Records
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Natalie Stovall and the Drive, ‘Baby Come on With It’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Move over, boys! Make some space for Natalie Stovall in that clearing that marks the dirt road's end. 'Baby Come on With It' by Stovall and the Drive cooks at a temperature the so-called Bro-Country bands of 2013 may be afraid to experiment with. 

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Josh Abbott Band
Josh Abbott Band
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Josh Abbott Shares Struggles With Alcohol Abuse, Infidelity During Twitter Confession

In a stunningly honest series of tweets, Josh Abbot Band frontman Josh Abbott revealed he’s cheated on his wife, struggled with alcohol abuse and "lost myself as an accountable human being." Stunned fans responded with words of support and disappointment.

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Gretchen Wilson
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Gretchen Wilson, Bill Engvall to Headline SeaWorld Concert Series

One week after Alan Jackson and Kid Rock kicked off SeaWorld's 2014 Bands, Brews and BBQ concert series, another country act has been announced to headline week No. 2. Gretchen Wilson will perform on Saturday (Feb. 8), while comedian Bill Engvall will take the stage on Sunday.

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