Artist Spotlight: Danny Gokey

If you’re a Danny Gokey fan, opening day of the 2010 N.C. State Fair is sure to be one of the “best days” of your life. Why? Because the country singer will perform songs from his debut album My Best Days on the Dorton Arena stage. Gokey’s performance will mark the first of the 11-night concert series. My Best Days, released in March, debuted at No. 4 on U.S. Billboard charts. Full of hope and emotion, the album features hit singles such as “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” and “I Will Not Say Goodbye.” Gokey’s musical career gained…

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight: Honor Society

If you have yet to hear about the up-and-coming band Honor Society, you might as well go ahead and jump on the band’s wagon. With nearly 70,000 fans on Facebook and more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, Honor Society is well on their way to star status. The band released its debut album, “Fashionably Late” in 2009 and has since been named a breakout band to watch by Rolling Stone and a Buzzworthy Artist by MTV. The pop-rock band opened for the Jonas Brothers World Tour in 2009 and has performed on Radio Disney, Miss Teen USA and The Early…

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight: Jeffrey Osborne

In the summer of 1982, I got my driver’s license. It wasn’t long before I was spending a lot of time in my VW Beetle, driving around, listening to the radio and enjoying my newfound independence — as long as there was gas in the tank. One of the songs I heard over and over that year was Jeffrey Osborne‘s “On the Wings of Love.” That love song was everywhere on the radio dial. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me because I didn’t want to hear love songs; I wanted to hear upbeat tunes that I could…

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight: Chris Tomlin

Chances are, if you’ve been to a church recently that has a contemporary worship service, you’re probably familiar with at least one song written by Chris Tomlin. He’s one of the most prolific worship singer/songwriters of the new millenium, producing songs that have been a hit on contemporary Christian radio and in the sanctuary. Some of these songs include “How Great Is Our God,” “Jesus Messiah,” “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” and  “Our God.” As a matter of fact, according to Christian Copyright Licensing Inc., of the top 25 songs sung in churches, Tomlin has credit on six of…

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight: Justin Moore

Justin Moore will be the last artist to take to the stage in Dorton Arena this year. As matter of fact, he should be finishing up his show around the time the fireworks blast off to signal the end of the 2010 N.C. State Fair. During the show, concertgoers can expect to hear the four Top 40 hits from his self-titled debut that have propelled him into the country music limelight. Listen for “Back that Thing up,” “Small Town USA,” “Backwoods” and “How I Got to Be This Way.” Moore grew up on a farm in Arkansas surrounded by extended…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight: Easton Corbin

Looking at Easton Corbin’s cover art and listening to his first hit single, “I’m a Little More Country Than That,” you get the feeling that this Florida native has a firsthand knowledge of the slow pace of country living, rocking on the porch with your dog by your side. And sure enough, according to the biography on his website, he spent a lot of time growing up on his grandparents’ cattle farm in rural Florida. He was a member of 4-H and FFA and even showed cattle at a local fair before earning an agribusiness degree from the University of…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading