NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 07: Singer Kellie Pickler performs at The Stage on June 7, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Since emerging as a fiery, vibrant presence on the fifth season of “American Idol,” Kellie Pickler has stuck to her artistic guns, channeling the work of her primary musical influences – Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline – into a form of contemporary country music that is unafraid to show its roots.

“When I auditioned for ‘American Idol,’ I was not an artist,” Pickler says in the offical bio accompanying her recent album, “100 Proof.” “So from ‘Idol’ to the first record to this record, I really tried to find myself because there’s a difference between a singer and an artist.” Pickler has managed to complete the journey from singer to artist by this point, primarily due to the fact that her work boasts the courage of her convictions, and those convictions are rooted in the belief that, for country music to have a future, it must be familiar with its past.

Pickler performs in the Labatt Canal Concert Series (Ulrich City Center, Lockport) at 6 p.m. Friday with the Tommy Brunett Band, Ransomville and Good Ol Boys. Visit

– Jeff Miers

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