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Gone country

Local country radio station WYRK-FM's periodic acoustic concerts are meant to highlight the side of country that is often overlooked these days -- the stripped-down, laid-back, acoustic core of the music, the very aspect that reveals country's folk heritage.

The vast majority of successful modern country performers have firmly embraced the contemporary rock show ethic, whereby massive stage sets, plenty of flash and bombast, and a tendency toward busy, slick arrangements are brought to bear on a form of music that is simple and straigtforward in orgin. The WYRK acoustic showcases have, over the past several years, served to highlight up-and-coming country musicians in a much more intimate setting.

On Wednesday evening, UB's Center for the Arts will host this year's WYRK acoustic show. Three relative newcomers will convene inside the Mainstage Theater to ply their wares. Jack Ingram is the veteran of the lot, but although he's been a working musician for some 15 years, it was the 2005 breakthrough "Wherever You Are" that introduced him to the mainstream. Jason Michael Carroll broke out of Nashville with "Alyssa Lies" in 2006, and has been no stranger to the country charts ever since, having succesfully introduced four singles from his debut effort, "Waitin' in the Country." Randy Houser is perhaps the least known of the three; he released his debut album, "Anything Goes," late last year, but had already struck gold as a songwriter by that point, having co-written the Trace Adkins hit "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk."

The concert kicks off inside the Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

-- Jeff Miers

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