Trace Adkins at the Orpheum 

Country singer Trace Adkins is a burly 6'6" Louisianan whose jeans-and-boots look is topped by goatee, ponytail, and ever-present black cowboy hat. If the singing thing hadn't worked out, you get the sense he would have made a good professional wrestler, and he made a believable badass biker in last year's film The Lincoln Lawyer. In short, Adkins looks like the kind of good ole boy less macho types would hate to bump into at the bar. And he looks like the last guy who would inflict the shake-joint pop-country anthem "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" on an unprepared world. Perhaps even less likely, but more fruitful, who would have guessed Adkins would find his truest comfort zone as a big softie? Mega-hit weepies like "You're Gonna Miss This" and especially the father/daughter "Just Fishin'" are the kind of manipulative, cornball-country creations that make sophisticates dismiss the genre — and the kind of bull's-eyes that hit you in the heart even as you try to resist them. Adkins brings his "Songs & Stories" tour to the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, May 12th. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $39.50 to $75.

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