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Taste of Country Staff

ToC Awards 2014
Taste of Country
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Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift + Blake Shelton Lead 2014 Taste of Country Awards

Time is running out to decide the 2014 Taste of Country Awards winners. With less than three weeks to go, none of the eight, fan-voted categories is turning into a blowout win for Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift or Blake Shelton. Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw are also making strong showings, but it's the newcomers that are really battling. Hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast, but this contest promises to go all the way to the February 11 deadline. 

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Wild Feathers
Frank Maddocks, Courtesy of Warner Brothers
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The Wild Feathers, ‘Got It Wrong’ [Listen]

Like loose change when you’re desperate for money for a pack of cigarettes, the Wild Feathers are a pleasant surprise found between the folds of the country and rock genres. Their new song ‘Got It Wrong’ is dirtier than music produced by the slick Nashville machine, but still familiar for those looking for just a little respite from the same old, same old.

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Miranda Lambert
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Why Country Women Will Win Big at the Grammys

Sorry, Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw. The big winners at the 2014 Grammys are going to be women. This may not bother the 'Doin' What She Likes' singer, as his wife Miranda Lambert scored multiple nominations and is always a favorite to take home the hardware. Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson are other country female nominees for the Jan. 26 ceremony.

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Trace Adkins
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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ToC Encore: Trace Adkins’ Rehab Trip Spotlights Country Music’s Drinking Problem

Earlier this week, Trace Adkins announced a second stint in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. He fell off the wagon during a cruise he was set to headline. It was his first taste of alcohol in over a decade -- since his last stay in rehab in 2002. While the singer seems to be taking full ownership of what happened on that boat, the incident shines a light on something not talked about very often. 

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Jennifer Nettles
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jennifer Nettles, ‘That Girl’

Jennifer Nettles' new solo album is a round peg too big for country music’s square hole. Actually, ‘That Girl’ is sort of a zig-zaggy shaped object that doesn’t fit neatly within any genre’s stingy requirements. Jazz, blues, country, big band, Broadway, classic rock … Nettles dabbles.

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Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw, ‘Lookin’ for That Girl’ [Listen]

Tim McGraw marries traditional country stylings to contemporary innovations in his new single ‘Lookin’ for That Girl.’ The scream of a pedal steel keeps the track safely on the country side of the radio, while his use of auto-tune points forward toward what could be the genre’s future.

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Scotty McCreery
Maddie Meyer, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Aims for Ninth Straight ToC Top 10 Video Countdown Number 1

Fans of Gary Allan's and Ronnie Dunn's new videos will need to double down to top Scotty McCreery's 'See You Tonight.' The singer and former 'American Idol' winner topped 'It Ain' the Whiskey' by five percentage points for an eighth straight win. This week he'll aim for No. 9.

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Joe Nichols
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Joe Nichols, ‘Yeah’ [Listen]

Joe Nichols’ new single ‘Yeah’ keeps the feel-good vibe of ‘Sunny and 75’ alive. On paper, the story comes across as a track that was all too popular in 2013, but the singer’s warm voice wraps the listener up like a good hug on chilly country night. His song is different because he’s not trying so hard.

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ToC Awards 2014
Taste of Country
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Best Album of the Year – 2014 Taste of Country Awards

2013 was a great year for country albums! Women may not have dominated the charts, but they produced some of the best LPs of the year. Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves and Kellie Pickler all recorded projects that made our list of the Top 10 of 2013. Now, it’s time for fans to decide who their choice for No. 1 is.

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ToC Awards 2014
Taste of Country
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New Artist of the Year – 2014 Taste of Country Awards

Eight new artists are competing for New Artist of the Year honors at the 2014 Taste of Country Awards. Three came from reality television, one came from scripted television, three made it the old-fashioned way and one came from out of nowhere to become one of the hottest concert tickets in country music. Who do you think should win the New Artist of the Year award?

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