Country fans who crave a little bit of Nashville can get their fill during a new concert series planned by Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.
"Nashville Backstage Series: A Country Cabaret" will kick off Friday, July 13, and will continue with three more dates through June 2013, said Richard Kuranda, Raue's executive director. It will feature artists who have written songs performed by country stars like Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and more.
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The program's predecessor was a one-night "Nashville Cabaret" performance, part of a 10-day festival that took place four years ago, Kuranda said. Since then, Raue has received bout 1,000 request to see more performances from country music songwriters, he said. "That's why we resurrected it. People were really enamored with it," Kuranda said.
The shows will have a "round robin" format, with each artist performing a song on rotation, for a total of eight or nine songs each. The shows will have an informal and intimate feel, much like what patrons of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry experience, Kuranda said.
"It's really about giving a little bit of the behind-the-scenes type of magic that happens in Nashville," he said.
Singer-songwriters Gary Burr, Georgia Middleman and Jim Photoglo will play at the July 13 show. Burr and Middleman just got married in April.
The series continues on Oct. 5 with Maia Sharp, Randy Sharp and Craig Carothers, and next year on March 1 and June 28. Single tickets start at $24; a series pass is also available. Visit rauecenter.org or the box office at 26 N. Williams Street, Crystal Lake, or call (815) 356-9212.