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Wariner Wowing 'Em
We may not see singer/songwriter great Steve Wariner's name in all the current award nomination lists, but we are hearing him much louder than we realize.

It's Wariner's impeccable, tenor-tingling vocals that we hear belting it out with newcomer Anita Cochran on the hit duet "What If I Said." It's also Wariner's ace penmanship behind both Garth Brook's No. 1 smash, "Longneck Bottle," and Bryan White's current hit, "One Small Miracle." Another Wariner-co-written number, "Nothin' But The Taillights," performed by Clint Black is also headed for country radio success.

While the Grammy/CMA award-winning entertainer continues to enter new career territory, he's also making a territorial departure. The artist recently asked for and was granted a release from his recording contract with Arista Records/Nashville. Hand picked as one of the label's flagship artists, Wariner recorded the gold-selling album, I Am Ready, for Arista in 1991, in addition to his No More Mr. Nice Guy instrumental disc which followed.

"I've loved working with Tim (Tim Dubois, Arista label chief) and all my friends at Arista," explains Wariner. "They've provided me tremendous encouragement and guidance. Better still, they gave me room to develop artistically. I'm delighted now with my new possibilities. This is a good time for a fresh start. It's simply a matter of timing."

Undeniably, timing has been everything for Wariner. Having already proven himself as a master singer/musician throughout his early teen years, the Noblesville, Indiana, native got his big break at the age of 17, when he was hired as the great Dottie West's bass player. It was West who was amazed at Wariner's extraordinary vocal talent.

Although Wariner didn't become a member of the Grand Ole Opry until 1996, he was a destined hit with country fans the moment he first either strummed a guitar, sang a note or wrote a lyric.

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