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Friday, December 9, 2022

Country Kings and the Queen

If country music legend Reba McEntire wasn’t enough for Evansvillians last November when the Ford Center opened, then the younger legend-in-the-making Lady Antebellum might be. The country music trio (Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood) has won six Grammy Awards, and their voices — a harmonious blend — are major factors for their success. Their last album, Need You Now, was a mega hit. It was the second best-selling album of 2010. The title track off that effort was a “masterstroke that captured the desperation of the lonely,” writes Los Angeles Times music reviewer Randy Lewis. The band captured two Grammy Awards for their work: Song and Record of the Year.

This tour is about the band’s newest work, We Owned the Night. When Lady Antebellum stops in Evansville on Feb. 26, that music is the focus. The album feels like prom, argues Chris Richards of The Washington Post. “The country trio’s warmest songs hold you close like a doe-eyed dance partner while the achy-breakies grab an even tighter hold, not unlike an ill-fitting cummerbund,” he writes. “And every night is prom night on the band’s third album.”

It works, Richards says: “Lady Antebellum’s real triumph is its willingness to resuscitate a pop archetype that died during the Reagan administration: the romantic power ballad duet.” That’s no easy task, says Mikael Wood of Entertainment Weekly. Lady Antebellum’s “songs describe raw emotions,” he writes, “in musical language that’s anything but.”

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