Artist Spotlight: Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell was a big fan of gospel growing up in Georgia, but car rides with his older brother exposed him to country acts such as Randy Travis, Shenandoah, Mike Reid and Tracy Lawrence. That initial contact led to a love of country, a move to Nashville and eventually the popular single target=”_blank”>”Family Man.” Craig Campbell is one of several rising country stars performing at this year’s N.C. State Fair. Musically, he sounds less like his pop-country contemporaries and more like the traditional country artists he was first exposed to in his brother’s car. You can tell Campbell is a…

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Artist Spotlight: Darius Rucker

Seeing Darius Rucker on Saturday, Oct. 23, is going to be a like a homecoming. Growing up in South Carolina like I did, everyone knew Hootie and the Blowfish and its frontman. Everyone had a “Hootie” story – one of those stories that goes something like, “My cousin was roommates with the dogsitter of Hootie’s neighbor,” or “I bumped into Hootie in a mosh pit at a house party when I went to USC.” After meeting virtually everyone in South Carolina, except me, Darius Rucker dropped the “Hootie” name and transitioned to country music with 2008’s Learn to Live. Songs like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “History in the Making” and…

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Artist Spotlight: Carolina Chocolate Drops

When Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, there was no way of knowing the success their old-time string band would see in five short years. The trio began playing with fiddler Joe Thompson at his home in Mebane, and have since gone on to perform at huge music festivals like Bonnaroo and revered venues like the Grand Ole Opry (they will perform for a second time on Tuesday). CCD also has seen its latest album, Genuine Negro Jig, reach number one on the Billboard bluegrass chart and the band has even starred alongside Denzel Washington in 2007’s The Great Debaters.  Here’s a look at the…

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Artist Spotlight: Casting Crowns

I recently heard the name Casting Crowns for the first time. Obviously, there are many more people that have heard of the headlining act at Dorton Arena Friday, Oct. 15. After two weeks of advance sales, the concert for the Atlanta-based group has sold more than 1,800 tickets and is on its way to being our first sold-out show of 2010. I decided to see what all the excitement was about, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I might hear something similar to old gospel tunes from my grandparents’ radio, but after listening to the artist’s songs on our 2010 N.C. State Fair Pandora station, I understand…

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