Country Throwdown Tour tonight (5/27/2010)

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Country Throwdown Tour Contemporary country music's relationship with quote "traditional" country music has always been an unpredictable one. George Strait has minted a platinum-plated career out of playing unassuming, solid-as-furniture chestnuts, while folk like Loretta Lynn and George Jones haven't so much as sniffed the radio in a decade or more. And then there's Jamey Johnson, the so-called "outlaw" whose outlaw stance arose primarily because he dared to defy record company expectations. (When a label sniffs green around such a talent, it markets the artist as "edgy" and "traditional country" to explain why they missed the boat in the first place.) Johnson isn't Highwaymen material, per se, but he is worth a drive for people wondering how music can keep a connection to its roots without being held down by them. With Montgomery Gentry, Little Big Town, Jack Ingram, Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Emily West, Heidi Newfield and more. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Timothy C. Davis)

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