The Internet Couldn't Kill Brad Paisley, and That's a Good Thing

Categories: Country

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Paisley, helpfully leaving room for you to Photshop in Cool J.
One of the many things off about "Accidental Racist" was its thudding bluntness. Savvy Brad Paisley, long the country star of choice of people who don't buy music at Wal-Mart, had always been more sly than that. On ace hits like "American Saturday Night" and "Welcome to the Future" he stormed radio with progressive truisms -- immigration is good! A black president is worth celebrating! -- that he cannily embedded in country-music themes. He was a master of inception, making his gently lefty beliefs feel like they had actually been part of Nashville thinking all along. In short, he brought listeners with him.

See also: Even Country Music Is Ready for Marijuana Legalization

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10 Country Artists You Should Be Listening To

Categories: Country

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Courtesy of ATO Records
Caitlin Rose
This blog recently ran down the "10 Biggest Douchebags in Country Music." That's all well and good, but it only tells half the story -- country is far from a moribund, cheesed-out genre.

In fact, there are countless up-and-coming country craftsmen and women who are worthy of your attention. So if you're wearing out your lone Johnny Cash record, you're doing it wrong. Here are 10 of 2014's top outlaws.

See also: The 10 Biggest Douchebags in Country Music

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Somehow, Brandy Clark Is Getting Even Better

Categories: Country

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Look, we called Brandy Clark's 12 Stories the best country music record of 2013, so of course we were lugging expectations with us Friday as we piled into one of those supper-club booths in the Highline Ballroom. 12 Stories lives up to its title so well that it could also rank on any list of its year's best short-form lit-fic: It's full of lives laid bare in just a line or two, stubbed-out folks in what's left of real America fumbling toward escape via prayer, pot, pills, drunken hook ups, and -- in its one triumphal moment -- getting lots of shit done while a drunk spouse sleeps one off.

See also: Even Country Music Is Ready for Marijuana Legalization

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