George Strait, Blake Shelton, Julianne Hough | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

George Strait, Blake Shelton, Julianne Hough Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., May 23, 7:30 p.m. 2009

In the past three decades few artists have dominated any genre the way George Strait has owned country—he’s one of the best-selling acts in music, period, and he’s been amazingly consistent across his career. (Let’s see where bozos like Toby Keith stand in 20 years.) Strait isn’t much of an innovator—country music is built on convention and rarely rewards bold leaps forward—but over the years he’s stayed synonymous with mainstream modern honky-tonk, subtly tweaking his formula to keep from sounding dated. Like most of his albums, last year’s Troubadour (MCA) has a couple of clunkers—the hit “I Saw God Today” is lowest-common-denominator sentimental treacle—but Strait redeems himself with gems like the Patty Loveless duet “House of Cash” (a salute to the Man in Black) and the western swing number “West Texas Town,” sung with Dean Dillon. Blake Shelton and Julianne Hough open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $39.25-$79.25

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