Since giving up his corporate day job two years ago, Max Stalling has hit the road hard and built a loyal following well outside the narrow confines of Pat & Cory World. His style owes more to Hank Williams and James Taylor than Jerry Jeff's redneck mothers or Robert Earl Keen, and judging from new release Topaz City's rapid ascent up the Texas music charts, he seems to have struck up a rapport with maverick Nashville producer R.S. Field. Supporting Stalling is another new jewel of the Dallas scene, blacktopGYPSY. The duo — tear-ass fiddler (and Stalling's fiancée) Heather Woodruff and writer-vocalist Andie Kay Joiner — were winners of the 2006 B.W. Stephenson songwriting sweepstakes, and runners-up in Shiner Bock's 2006 Rising Stars contest. They can smolder, smoke and drop your jaw, and they ain't bad-lookin' either.
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