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It was a box that they had meant to open for a long time. It was a box that had sat in Chris LeDoux’s office, gathering dust and tears since his death in 2005. It was a box filled to the brim with random writings, words, phrases and ideas that Chris had every intention to turn into songs.

But as all country music fans know, that day never came.

Instead, the job of finishing these songs was ultimately left up to his son, Ned.

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“They were all handwritten notes, long before cell phones,” Chris’ son and rising country star Ned LeDoux tells Rare Country as he drives to his next show in Missouri. “It was kind of neat to read through the ideas he had, and when I decided to make some of the ideas into songs, I just wanted to make sure to stay on the same path. I’d like to think my dad was very proud.”

One of those songs, which turned into one of the first songs Ned was able to finish with the help of Mark Sissell and Mac McAnally, was “We Ain’t Got It All.” In a Rare Country exclusive, Ned performed the song in his late granddad’s store in Kaycee, Wyoming.

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“It’s a song about not having it all, but having everything you need,” says Ned. “It’s about having meat in the freezer and credit at the store. (Laughs.) I remember playing it first for a number of ranchers and farmers and people from small communities, and it instantly got an amazing reaction.”

Right now, the song is just one of many that is getting Ned some much-deserved attention these days. His current single, “Brother Highway,” received much acclaim when he first performed it in his Grand Ole Opry debut at the Ryman Auditorium in January.

And all the while, he has felt his dad – right there by his side.

“I feel his presence,” Ned says quietly. “He is always on my mind.”

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