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Carolina Rain loves to hit the road

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Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Since releasing their debut album, Weather the Storm, on Sept. 19, 2006, the country music trio known as Carolina Rain has been touring almost constantly, according to lead singer Rhean Boyer.

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So it's a good thing touring is something they love to do.

"We do love being on the road," said Boyer Monday, in a telephone interview from his home in Lebanon, Tenn. "We were all custom-made to do what we do ... I love being on stage. It's kind of like skydiving -- it's a thrill every time."

And while Boyer and his bandmates Jeremy Baxter and Marvin Evatt remain "really close" to family and friends, they have also enjoyed the opportunity to meet new friends on the road.

"Life is all about people and relationships -- the best part (of touring) is getting out there and touching people, physically and emotionally," Boyer said.

It's that interaction that provides the inspiration for the group's songs.

"Everyday life itself gives us plenty of inspiration (for songwriting)," he said. "Music is audio emotion -- emotion you can hear and express to someone else."

Emotion is a central theme of Weather the Storm,

When Boyer has finished writing a song, he enjoys playing it for the first time with his bandmates and "watching it take on new life when they add their parts (to the music). When we finally get out and share (the music) with our fans and see them experience the emotions we put into it ... there's nothing better."

Having just released their third single off Weather the Storm, "Dealin'," on Tuesday, the trio is enjoying the fruits of almost nine years of hard work and hard lessons.

In the early 1990s, the group "started getting some (record) label attention, and signed with a management company," Boyer recalled. "We finally got a record deal with one of the majors (labels) that we felt good about -- at first. So we entered into negotiations (for a record contract) ... 12 months later, we were still in contract negotiation mode."

And though they did finally reach agreement on terms for a contract, Boyer said, "We couldn't sign ... we ended up not taking the deal."

"They (the label executives) wanted to turn us into something we weren't -- something to chase the current market."

That experience provided the inspiration behind the group's latest single, 'Dealin'," which was co-written by Boyer and Rand Bishop.

"It was kind of a down time for us -- we really didn't know if it was a stupid choice, walking away (from the contract)," he said. "That's what inspired the song."

It was just six months later, however, that Boyer was introduced to Mike Kraski, president of an up-and-coming label known as Equity Records that was backed by country superstar Clint Black.

"He said, 'You guys are perfect for this new label,'" Boyer recalled. The more they heard about this label, the more excited the trio became, because of Black's vision to create "an artist-friendly label."

Equity Records, according to Boyer, is "for artists who know who they are, and just need to use their resources to help reach their goals. We felt right at home.

"Still, to this day, we love our label," Boyer said.

One of the biggest reasons for that, he added, is the label's commitment to letting its artists "do what we do best."

"It is a music business, after all," he emphasized. "Some folks -- some labels -- are in it just to make money. Whatever's popular (in music) at a given time, some labels will throw a group of guys together and fashion a group to fit that pop feel -- regardless of whether that's what they do best or not.

"That's why we were so excited by Equity."

And that excitement certainly wasn't diminished by the fact that the group's first two singles, "Get Outta My Way" and "I Ain't Scared," both reached the top 25 on the country charts.

Carolina Rain will be performing those songs, as well as others off the album, as the first music act to perform on the main stage at WE Fest this Thursday, Aug. 2, starting at 2:45 p.m.

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