Like Carrie Underwood before her, Kellie Pickler came into her own after appearing on American Idol but went on to carve out a country music niche that soon blew her reality TV roots out of the water. Though she only made it to sixth place on Idol, after she was kicked off Pickler was soon picked up for a record deal from BNA and released her debut Small Town Girl in late 2006. Since then she’s released three more albums, including this year’s The Woman I Am, which continues her foray into independent pop country songs that pair easy Southern charm with an unrelenting independent streak. Expect pop country hooks that stick in your craw—no gimmicks but plenty of bubblegum.
Sat., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., 2013