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Word on the Street – Jan. 19

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Phil Vassar helped Chicago kick the year off right.

Even without a full band, Phil Vassar made the first “live country” concert of the year a hit. Accompanied by a zebra striped piano and two members of his band, Vassar pleased the ecstatic crowed with a semi-acoustic mix of his countless hits.

Vassar never left the piano keys through his entire set, which was randomly crafted with help from the crowd. Of course, he shared a few recording from his newest album “Traveling Circus”, which was released in late December. Missed it? Don’t fret, Vassar will return to the North Side venue, for a two-night say in April. Tickets are available through the venue box office and ticketmaster.com.

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Katie Quick

Local artist Katie Quick is packing it up and movin’ to Nashville. In a recent announcement through her website, the Chicago native cited that she’s ready for the next step in her country music career and is trading-in the Windy City for the Music City. “I’ve got the city of Chicago behind me so I know this decision to move is the right one,” Quick said. While reassuring me that she’ll do her best keep us all up-to-date with her progress, we’re a little sad to see her go but happy to see her career progress. Good luck Katie, we can’t wait to “hear” your success! Catch Katie at her last Chicago show this Friday at Goose Island in Wrigleyville, 3535 North Clark Street, Chicago.

– Listen to Katie Quick on CMC Radio

Speaking of Radio Talk, country music news has finally started to pick-up now that January is in full swing.

On Wednesday, country music star Trace Adkins made an unanticipated record label switch. Adkins will join Toby Keith’s Show-Dog Nashville Label which recently retooled with Universal South. Adkins, a 15 year resident at Capitol Nashville, cited the move as an irresistible offer.

Alan Jackson hit the airways with his latest single “It’s Just That Way” … The word is that A.J. will have a new album for us in late March.

On Tuesday, Lady Antebellum released their third single, “Ready To Love Again,” in the Countdown to I Run To You series on iTunes. The trio will release one final single, “Our Kind of Love” on Tuesday before the full-album release on Jan. 26.

Trent Tomlinson (“Drunker Than Me”/“Just Might Have Her Radio On”) is startin’ the year off with a new EP available on iTunes. “A Guy Like Me – EP” features his future hits “That’s How It Still Ought To Be” and “Angles Like Her” (with acoustic version and video).

Clay Walker: As a follow-up to his album “Fall”, Clay Walker released “She Won’t Be Lonely Long”, his first single release off his forthcoming album set to hit sometime this spring.

Concert Beat:

The Chicagoland Country Calendar is filling in quite nicely in the new year. Carrie Underwood’s Play On tour is booked for downstate Peoria (4/7) and Rockford (4/10). Craig Morgan and Sons of Silvia will accompany Underwood.

Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson just announced a special performance at the Rosemont Theatre on Feb. 21. A typically rare appearance, the artists will share the stage for this Sunday night performance. Willie Nelson just announced he’ll be bringing the family to the Genesee (Waukegan) on March 21 and the Rialto (Joliet) on March 24.

Tickets for the Haggard/Kristofferson and Nelson shows are available through ticketmaster.com.

Joe’s Bar recently announced the addition of Eric Church, Jack Ingram (acoustic show) and Luke Bryan to their Winter/Spring concert lineup. Tickets are available through the venue’s box office and ticketmaster.com.

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