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Country crooner

She has labeled herself a red-neck woman, but on Thursday country singer Gretchen Wilson will be greeted with a slightly different setting -- city lights and slot machines -- as she plays the Avalon Ballroom at the Niagara Fallsview Casino.

The change of scenery shouldn't throw off the singer, known for her independent, rough-edged attitude and her fierce dedication to her fans and music. Wilson recently released her third album, "One of the Boys," which pairs her party-hard philosophy with a softer side of the singer that fans rarely see.

Songs such as "There's a Place in the Whiskey" and "There Goes the Neighborhood" are sure to get the crowd stomping and singing along in typical Wilson style, while "Heaven Help Me" and "Girl I Am" showcase a slower, sweeter perspective of the usually tough-as-nails country crooner.

Regardless of the tunes she chooses to play, fans should feel at home with Wilson, who is known for her pledge to stay true to her roots and her intent to evolve as an artist.

Wilson's show in the Avalon Ballroom is at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. It is sold out.

-- Molly Hirschbeck

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