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Point Counterpoint
Taste of Country
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Counterpoint: It’s Time to Kill the Encore

Like “God bless you!” after a stranger’s sneeze or tipping 18 percent, the concert encore script has become so engrained in the country culture that we’ve forgotten what it means.

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steve moakler steel town interview
Courtesy of Creative Nation
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Steve Moakler Gets Personal With New Album ‘Steel Town’

Steve Moakler can trace the origins of his new album, Steel Town, back to a very specific moment in time.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Josh Turner Explores New Depths on ‘Deep South’

For Josh Turner, his new album, Deep South, is a true labor of love. His first album release since 2012's Punching Bag, Turner admits he had some doubts about whether or not the new project would actually come to fruition.

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Point Counterpoint
Taste of Country
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Point: Reality Show Tryouts? The Risk Is Greater Than the Reward

A strong showing on The Voice or other singing reality television competitions can be a metaphorical steroid shot for an artist’s career, but like real-life performance enhancers, the cost eventually supersedes the gain.

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Kim Paige Photo
Dusty Barker
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#LetTheGirlsPlay: Kim Paige Is Country’s Most Unfiltered Newcomer

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but if Kim Paige's book came with a list of her songs on it, you'd get pretty close. There's "I Love Beer" and "Go Home L.A.," which are self-explanatory. "Overthinker" is her deepest offering. "We Need a Wife" is not so much tongue-in-cheek as it is a gum-bumping referendum on housework.

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tim-mcgraw-faith-hill
Larry Busacca, Getty Images
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Forever and Ever, Amen: How Country Music’s Happiest Couples Make Love Last

As we've seen in the headlines over and over, it isn't always easy for couples in the music business to work out their problems while living in the glare of the spotlight. But while several prominent couples have gone their separate ways, some of country's happiest unions are still going strong, thanks to true love ... and a lot of hard work.

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Point Counterpoint
Taste of Country
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Counterpoint: Kelsea Ballerini Is Our Grammy Girl

A debate between Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris for the Best New Artist trophy at the 2017 Grammys could be cast as a debate between "Peter Pan" and "My Church," but it's not that simple. Both artists will admit that without those singles they wouldn't be included in the conversation. This Point/Counterpoint is also framed by how one views what the award represents.

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Ty-Herndon-Chely-Wright--Shane-McAnally-Brandy-Clark-Billy-Gilman
Mike Coppola / D Dipasupi / Rick Diamond / Jason Merritt / Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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Who Says You Can’t Be Gay in Country Music?

When Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman both came out on the same day in November of 2014, it marked what seemed like a turning point for equality in country music.

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Lacy Cavalier Photo
Dusty Barker
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#LetTheGirlsPlay: Lacy Cavalier Learning How to Boss

Put yourself in Lacy Cavalier's shoes. You're 19 and talented, and on tour with Chase Rice. Your band is older, more experienced and full of men. They're respectful, talented and hard-working, but how many teenagers can push that group forward when it's needed?

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Nice Guy Revolution
Gustavo Caballero, Getty Images
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Thomas Rhett, Brett Young and the Sound That Replaced Bro-Country

If bro-country has an arch-enemy, it’s Brett Young. The “In Case You Didn’t Know” singer is the antithesis of everything the polarizing sub-genre of country music stood for before Maddie & Tae drove a stake through its heart two years ago. He's a giver in what was once a taker’s world.

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