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Blake Shelton comes to First Niagara Center

Blake Shelton is all over the news these days, though most of the “reporting” has little to do with music, and much to do with gossip. It’s all “Blake and Gwen yadda yadda yadda,” as pop pundits trip over each other to garb a fistful of dirt on Shelton and his relationship with pop princess Gwen Stefani. It’s tedious stuff for us, and probably more so for Shelton and Stefani.

There’s another Blake Shelton, of course, one who has a 15-year career as a writer and performer of sturdy country songs with one boot-heel firmly stuck in the rich, loamy soil of tradition and the other stomping across the stage with the unbridled enthusiasm of a rock star.

All of this is to suggest that Shelton is not some flash-in-the-pan country star, but rather, is a seasoned writer and record-maker who in many ways represents an anomaly among the present-day Nashville set – he’s a deeply talented guy who also seems to be down to earth and able to control the direction of his own recorded output with the help of a few close friends who have been part of his production team from the beginning.

The five-time CMA-winning Shelton and his band perform at 7:30 p.m. March 17 in First Niagara Center. Tickets are $39.50-$125 (box office,

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