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Op-Ed: Digital Journal's Top 10 country music interviews of 2016

This writer was once again fortunate enough to speak to many of country music's top names over the past 12 months, as well as a few 'new kids on the block'. Here is a selection of some of the most memorable.

'The Songwriter' Bobby Tomberlin steps out as a solo artist Special

Nashville - The Grammy, CMA and ACM nominee was given his first publishing contract by Mel Tillis and is currently a staff songwriter for CURB Music Publishing in Nashville. He filled Digital Journal in on his current flurry of activity.

Let it rain traditional country with Hoyt Hughes Special

In early October, this emerging country singer, songwriter and guitarist released "Let It Rain," the lead-off single from his 16-track debut album, 'Cowboy'. Digital Journal spoke to him.

Interview: Country singer Wade Bowen set to tour the U.K. Special

Waco-born Wade Bowen has been very busy of late and now this accomplished artist, known primarily for his energetic live shows, will make the trip across the pond for his first ever U.K. dates. He spoke to Digital Journal.

Review: Mark Collie soars on Alive At Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary Special

Nashville's Mark Collie soars on "Alive At Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary," which was released on October 14 via Eagle Rock.

Review: Nashville band Paper Route release their third album

Nashville - The alt-rock trio put out the 16-track 'Real Emotion' on September 23 on Kemosabe Records/Sony Music Ent. Digital Journal listened to it.

Interview: Nashville's Mark Collie discusses new country album Special

Singer-songwriter Mark Collie, also known from the show "Nashville," chatted with Digital Journal about his new album, "Alive at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary."

Musician and actor Charles Esten joins fight against blood cancer

Nashville - "Nashville" actor and musician Charles Esten has joined the fight against blood cancer. He made the announcement on his Facebook page.

Chatting with Charles Esten: Music star, Deacon from 'Nashville' Special

Huntington - On Aug. 28, actor and country singer Charles Esten sat down and chatted with me prior to his concert at The Paramount in Huntington on Long Island.

Review: Nashville's Charles Esten fantastic at The Paramount in New York Special

Huntington - On Aug. 28, musician and actor Charles Esten (best known as Deacon in "Nashville"), performed at The Paramount in Huntington on Long Island, for an intimate group of fans.

Review: Florida Georgia Line revisit their roots on album number three

One of bro-country's hottest double acts, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are about to enter the fray once again with 'Dig Your Roots,' released worldwide on August 26. How does this record compare to its predecessors? Digital Journal found out.

Singer Mark Chesnutt keeps things traditional on his latest album Special

Released earlier this month, some critics are already hailing the country star's first album in six years as one of his best. He talked to Digital Journal about the project and shared his thoughts on the music he loves.

Jon Pardi: Basking in the glory of his first number one album Special

That album is 'California Sunrise,' given a glowing review by Digital Journal upon its release back in June. We spoke to the 31-year-old Californian about the record and about what he's up to for the rest of 2016.

Singer/songwriter Josh Kelley keeps on keeping it country Special

The southern boy "went country" in 2009 when he signed with MCA Nashville, after having begun his career playing rock and blues. His latest album is the follow-up to his country debut, 2011's 'Georgia Clay.'

Interview: Country Hall of Famer Bill Anderson is as busy as ever Special

With a second autobiography, an audio book and a new album due out soon, the next few months look set to be a very hectic time for "Whisperin' Bill." Digital Journal spoke to him.

Review: Mark Chesnutt returns with new album 'Tradition Lives'

It's been a while since the Texan country star released an album (it was 2010's 'Outlaw', in case you're wondering), but now's he back with a new effort celebrating his honky tonk roots.

Review: Jon Pardi's new album invites us to enjoy the California Sunrise

The 31-year-old Californian deservedly received plaudits for his outstanding debut, 'Write You a Song,' in 2014. Now he's back with 'California Sunrise,' the much-anticipated follow-up. Digital Journal gave it a listen.

Levi Hummon to host country EP release show in Nashville

Country singer Levi Hummon will be hosting an EP release show in Nashville on April 20, to support his eponymous new EP.

A catch up session with Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys Special

An integral part of the long-standing country outfit since 1973, Joe Bonsall discusses the quartet's current activities and looks ahead to the rest of 2016.

Interview: Brennin talks eponymous country EP, 'Nashville' Special

Rising country singer Brennin chatted with Digital Journal about his new self-titled EP and being on the show "Nashville."

Lorrie Morgan: 'Letting Go... Slow' Special

One of country music's feistiest females, who has sold over eight million records in a 40-year career, is back with a new solo album, her first since 2010's 'I Walk Alone.' She answered some questions put to her by Digital Journal.

A chat with country legend Leroy Van Dyke Special

Not many people have been in the game as long as this Missouri-born 86 year old, recently honoured by his home state in recognition of all he has achieved. He filled Digital Journal in on his present activities.

Wheeler Walker Jr.: Bringing raw emotion back into country music Special

His lyrics may come as a shock to some, but look beyond that and you'll find a dedicated and deeply passionate artist. Mr. Walker is essentially carrying on the work of Hank, Waylon and others like them and he spoke at length to Digital Journal.

Interview: Vince Gill is 'down to his last bad habit' Special

One of country's finest crooners, given his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012, is to release his first solo album since 2011's 'Guitar Slinger' next month. He spoke to Digital Journal.

Op-Ed: Digital Journal's Top 10 country music interviews of 2015

This writer was fortunate enough to speak to many of country music's most famous names - and some not quite so famous - in 2015. Here is a selection of the most memorable.

Country legend John Anderson struck gold in 2015 Special

This year, one of the finest vocalists of the last 40 years - in any genre - put out his first studio album in nearly a decade and, as one would hope, it's a worthy addition to his impressive back catalogue. He filled Digital Journal in on the details.

Australian country singer Tori Darke returns Special

The 25-year-old singer/songwriter is back with a critically acclaimed new album, the follow-up to her 2011 debut, 'Dreams and Chances.' Digital Journal got the lowdown on 'Silver Lining,' the title of her latest effort.

Songwriter Fiona Kernaghan marks 20 years since her first album Special

To celebrate the above-mentioned milestone, the sassy Australian singer/songwriter is re-releasing her very first album. She's also been working on a new one and collaborating with other artists. Digital Journal was on hand to find out more.

Review: George Strait back with 'Cold Beer Conversation'

"King" George has released his first new studio album since 2013's "Love Is Everything," proving that despite giving up touring, his recorded output remains as prolific as ever.

Onwards and upwards: Christian Lopez of the Christian Lopez Band Special

Responsible for "Leaving It Out," a current staple on CMT Pure, Christian Lopez, who describes his music as "folk-rock," is undoubtedly a name to watch out for. He talked to Digital Journal while on a well-earned break from touring.
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Bourbon Street Blues Bar in Printers Alley.
Bourbon Street Blues Bar in Printers Alley.
Jon Pardi
Jon Pardi
Jim Wright
Donated toys are organized in gift boxes for children as part of the Nashville Police Department s C...
Donated toys are organized in gift boxes for children as part of the Nashville Police Department's Christmas basket program.
Set of railroad tracks in the Gulch area of Downtown Nashville.
Set of railroad tracks in the Gulch area of Downtown Nashville.
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Brian  a 26 year-old homeless man in Nashville.
Brian, a 26 year-old homeless man in Nashville.
Joe Bonsall
Joe Bonsall
Webster PR
Flood waters submerge parts of the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) bus depot in Nashville.
Flood waters submerge parts of the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) bus depot in Nashville.
Food baskets are prepared for needy families in Nashville.
Food baskets are prepared for needy families in Nashville.
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A light snowfall rests softly on evergreen trees.
Lighting strike from Dec. 17  2912 thunderstorm in Nashville  TN.
Lighting strike from Dec. 17, 2912 thunderstorm in Nashville, TN.
Sunset after a thunderstorm.
Sunset after a thunderstorm.
Storm clouds rolling into Nashville  TN on Dec. 17  2012
Storm clouds rolling into Nashville, TN on Dec. 17, 2012
Volunteers load food baskets into vehicle to distribute as part of the Christmas basket program.
Volunteers load food baskets into vehicle to distribute as part of the Christmas basket program.
Chuck kneels down to straighten his blankets before curling up to take a late afternoon nap.
Chuck kneels down to straighten his blankets before curling up to take a late afternoon nap.
Homes in south Nashville are heavily flooded.
Homes in south Nashville are heavily flooded.
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