Lady Antebellum / Thompson Square / Darius Rucker

This exhibition of corporate Nashville at its most commercially potent sports three acts that have mastered amiable hit-making. Not surprisingly, they've also racked up massive sales and a slew of awards, including the 2012 country album of the year Grammy for Lady Antebellum's Own the Night, making it two in a row (following 2011's Need You Now). Own the Night is dominated by MOR pop ballads in which Charles Kelley and Hilary Scott trade romantic utterings with modest hooks. A bit of spunk surfaces on "Friday Night," and there are brief appearances of dobro and fiddle as reminders that this is supposed to be country. Thompson Square—the married duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson—rock out more than Lady Antebellum, but creep only marginally closer to actual country on their eponymous debut, which hasn't discouraged nominations for a variety of country awards, mostly for the single "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not." Darius Rucker also was familiar with putting competently fashioned pop up the charts as lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, a strategy he's continued in his country-leaning solo career. His likable baritone addresses country standbys whiskey and the southern state of mind on his latest, 2010's Charleston, SC 1966, featuring more steel guitar on one track than his tourmates' entire albums. (Photo by Brantley Gutierrez)
Sun., March 11, 7 p.m., 2012

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600 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403-1400


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