Doug Briney on being a ‘Super Country Cowboy,’ his faith & ‘Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson: Exclusive

Doug Briney

Doug Briney is not your typical country music singer. Having originated in the chilly air of Alaska, he only made the move to Nashville last summer–charging full steam into his budding career. When you take a listen to his second studio set, the appropriately-titled Super Country Cowboy, you can observe his uniqe perspective on contemporary country sounds (like album opener and title track), while maintaining his tight grasp on tradition.

"I’ve sung my entire life. I used to sing in churches. My first solo was in church when I was two years old," he shares with NashvilleGab recently in an exclusive interview. "I’ve led music in churches for the past 25 or 26 years. Those early influences were also country rooted."

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Ticket Giveaway: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 2014 with Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton & more!

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 2014

Have you ever wanted to spend your Labor Day Weekend with some of country music's biggest and brightest stars? Well, here's your chance! To close out the summer, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is making a splashy (but scorching) return to Panama City Beach, Fla., and NashvilleGab is exclusively giving away two three-day general admission tickets for pleasure!

Details on how to enter below!

But why would you wanna go? Well, the lineup is quite alluring: Big & Rich, Randy Houser, Love and Theft, Cassadee Pope, Lonestar, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Dierks BentleyJon Pardi, John Michael Montgomery, Casey James, Laura Bell Bundy, Trick Pony, Neal McCoy, BlackJack Billy, the 2013 Pepsi Southern Original winner Andrew Salgado and Kirstie Lovelady.

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Erin Sax on ‘Mercy,’ her love of Nashville & Judd Hirsch’s ‘Red Robin’: Exclusive

Erin Sax

Erin Sax is a product of the ’70s. Through her 2013-released Mercy disc, the singer-songwriter blends country, blues and rock into a uniquely vibrant concoction. Helmed by industry tastemaker and producer Clay Holley (Adele, Amy Winehouse, John Legend), the seven tracks take the listener on a wild journey, going from the rowdy opener “Ridin'” to the sinister closer “Happy,” which, by all accounts, is far from bestowing joy.

“[The story on ‘Mercy’] is no different than the story of my life right now,” she tells NashvilleGab, exclusively, “which is about showing up. It’s who you are and doing the best you can along the way.”

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Listen: Sweetwater Rain head into a ‘Tailspin’ with their new single!

SWR - Tailspin

Sweetwater Rain are head-over-heels in love–"caught up in a whirlwind, coming in fast again and it's love that I'm in, never felt so high," goes their brand new single "Tailspin." Officially hitting radio and iTunes on Tuesday (May 20), the rockin' tune samples Rascal Flatts and a little bit of that Hunter Hayescharm, but is neatly wrapped in the trio's own groovy style.

Signed to Curb Records, Danny Rivera, Fred Stallcup and Thomas Hewlett have branded themselves as the next superstar group. This new radio-friendly pop-leaning tune is sure to get Music Row's undivided attention; it follows the success of previous charting Top 50 Billboard hit "Starshine." Of course, there's plenty of buzz elsewhere for the group, too. They've already been out on the road with Rascal Flatts (on the 2013 Loud Tour), The Band Perry, Little Big Town and Kenny Chesney!

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Dolly Parton on ‘Blue Smoke,’ LGBT fans & her Willie Nelson & Kenny Rogers friendships

Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke Album Cover Art

Dolly Parton is rollin' down the track with her newly released Blue Smoke record, a healthy 12-track set that has the living legend sharing her legacy's body of work in cool, new ways. Whether it is the feisty gospel spin of Bon Jovi's "Lay Your Hands On Me" or the tender "You Can't Make Old Friends," a duet with long-time friend and collaborator Kenny Rogers, Parton is as sharp-shooting as she ever was.

"I usually don't get played on the radio that much anymore. I don't try taylor-make things just for radio," she told reporters at a press event last month of the album. As a whole, Parton wanted Blue Smoke to be a project her fans "would want to hear, something that means something to me."

"I thought, 'well, here at this age, I've been around this long. I've had the chance to do some of everything.' I just wanted to put together a record–I wrote a little liner note in the album where I talked about that I felt like this was just a whole assortment of all the different things I'd done through the years," she described. "I'm a girl of many colors. It was an album of many colors. I think it touched on the bluegrass, the gospel, the mountain and the more pop and rock things."

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Parmalee’s Josh McSwain talks touring must-haves & Jake Owen: Exclusive

Parmalee 1

With nostalgic themes surging at radio lately, Parmalee certainly knows what it's like to be homesick and long for the past, especially as life gets faster and faster. "Home is where my heart is still beating," lead singer Matt Thomas sweetly sings in the group's first No. 1 country radio hit "Carolina," a syrup mid-tempo about a former love and (not so) ironically their hometown in North Carolina. It's a mix of both bold passion and hope. So, it's really no wonder that the song ultimately spent two weeks at the summit on the Mediabase radio tally in December and has since been certified gold, not an easy feat in the days of streaming and pirating.

"It feels great to know that something that we wrote and performed resonated with enough people to be considered a hit," lead guitarist Josh McSwain tells NashvilleGab exclusively. "I think everyone takes us more seriously now."

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Dolly Parton launches Stella’s Red Tent conference with power and poise

Red Tent Conference

"It's all takin' and no giving" became a central theme at the recent Red Tent Women's Conference in downtown Nashville. Helmed by Stella Parton, the three-day event focused its attention on female empowerment. Through the use of humor and, of course, music, the conference served as an avenue of celebration, and rightfully so. Some of the most groundbreaking and pioneering women were also present, including the incomparable Dolly Parton, to talk and share stories about strength and relentless drive.

"I really encourage you to dream more and dream big and certainly to care more," Dolly told the gathering crowd, NashvilleGab included, during her keynote address.

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Dustin Lynch on living with songs, creative freedom & Little Big Town influence–EXCLUSIVE

DL Brown Shirt - Justin Nolan Key final

Dustin Lynch finds himself refreshed as he begins a new musical chapter of his career. With a No. 1 hit "Cowboys & Angels" (and a few other Top 30 singles) under his belt, the singer is ready to look forward to what his forthcoming sophomore record could bring. As evidenced by his currently single and album lead-in "Where It's At," Lynch is embarking in a far more radio-ready direction, amping up his charm and creativity.

"It's like a renewal. I needed it," he shares exclusively to NashvilleGab of the new record. He quickly notes where he found inspiration to move forward. "The Fuse Tour with Little Big Town and Keith Urban affected this record a whole lot, just because I was around such a high-energy show for eight months when I was writing. I think that rubbed off on this album."

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Cowboy Troy on setting the hick-hop curve, being a family guy & ‘The King Of Clubs’–EXCLUSIVE

Cowboy Troy

Cowboy Troy was hick-hop country when hick-hop country wasn’t cool. With his debut album Loco Motive in 2005, he set the curve years before there was Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. His music dared to bridge the gap between tradition and the new wave, and it still does. At the time, he landed on the tail end of the pop-country vibrance of the ’90s, headed by Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, and this particular brand of country music wasn’t as accepted as it is in 2014.

On his brand new record, appropriately titled The Kind Of Clubs, he reaffirms all the things he already knew about himself and the world, but sheds light on where country could go in the future. “I like to make music that is dance-oriented but from a country music fan’s perspective. That’s how see the process for making this record,” he shares exclusively to NashvilleGab.

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Kelly Lang discusses ‘Iconic Duets,’ Hall of Fame induction & growing up around Conway Twitty–EXCLUSIVE

Kelly Lang

One of the finest (and rather underappreciated) vocalists of our time is the ethereal Kelly Lang. As the offspring of Conway Twitty's influence and road manager, Velton Lang, the songbird first got her start at the tender age of 15 with the release of her first Billboard single "Lady, Lady," which catapulted the ingenue into the limelight. She went on to star on such TV features as Music City Tonight, with Crook & Chase, and Ralph Emery's Nashville Now (on TNN) as well as become a finalist on Ed McMahon's Star Search.

From there, she's released four studio albums, including the searing collection Iconic duets, alongside her husband and living legend TG Sheppard. With 21 No. 1 hits to his name, including "Last Cheaters Waltz," "I Love 'Em Everyone" and "Do You Wanna Go To Heaven," his markmanship and passion fueled a creative rennaissance for both artists–something that is rare these days. "TG and I are finally in a place in our lives that we have nothing to prove," Lang shares, quite frankly, with NashvilleGab, exclusively.

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JJ Lawhorn opens up on his best friend’s death and how he uses music to inspire–EXCLUSIVE

JJ Lawhorn

JJ Lawhorn isn't your typical easy-going country boy. Underneath his tough exterior, there lies a compelling singer-songwriter with a story to tell. Last fall, he experienced unimaginable tragedy when his best friend passed away following a truck accident. While many would focus on the bad, he has turned this incident into a positive experience, channeling his talent into his music. While his new single "Good Ol' Boys Like Us" was inspired by a separate occurrence, the sweeping ballad reminds him of his dear friend and how truly delicate life really is.

"It’s definitely a different kind of song that most people don’t release as a single. It’s a song that I feel affects people in a certain way that they need. It’s like a glass half full sort of song even though it’s doomy and gloomy," he shares in an exclusive interview with NashvilleGab.

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Kevin Fowler on killing record labels, what makes Texas so special & chicken wings–EXCLUSIVE

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Kevin Fowler delivered a brand new album called How Country Are Ya earlier this month, a collection that has the singer coming full circle. On his own Kevin Fowler Records, the set was produced by Ken Tondre and recorded from his home in Austin, Texas. Boasting 15 all-original tracks, the album taps into a creative energy he simply wasn't able to uncover through his previous record deals. Free from the constraints of mainstream radio and corporate executives, Fowler delivers one of the year's finest sets.

The album's title track and lead single recently went No. 1 on the Texas music chart, his 11th song to do so. Following this achievement, NashvilleGab caught up with the singer-songwriter to chat about this new chapter in his life, what it means to be a Texan and what fans can find on the record.

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