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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

LeAnn Rimes

Wednesday, July 3 @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 20 years since the 1996 release of LeAnn Rimes’ debut album, Blue. That record’s title track established Rimes, at the tender age of 13, as the heir apparent to the legacy of country superstar Patsy Cline. And while Rimes’ next record, 1997’s You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, found the singer venturing more into pop territory, she has since returned to her country roots. 2005’s stellar This Woman and a recent collection of country music covers (2011’s Lady & Gentleman) highlight a performer embracing the lineage that originally inspired her so many years ago, with the latter finding Rimes more than up to the task of tackling Merle Haggard’s classic “The Bottle Let Me Down.”

One can speculate that Rimes’ recent public dramas inspired her to find solace in the voices of country music history. Yet she is not content to live in the past; Rimes is set to release her 11th studio album, Spitfire, in early June 2013. Standout tracks such as “Borrowed” suggest that Rimes will remain a player in the country music world for years to come.