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Trace Adkins jolly over holiday tour

Trace Adkins brings “The Christmas Show” tour Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre Thursday night. |  Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Trace Adkins brings “The Christmas Show” tour to Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre on Thursday night. | Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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TRACE ADKINS — The CHristmas Show Tour’

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan

Tickets: $37.50 - $97.50

Info: (847) 263-6300

Updated: December 4, 2013 9:47PM

Country music megastar Trace Adkins currently finds himself out on his very first Christmas show tour, putting on a production that elegantly combines the history and carols of the holiday season with some humor only the burly baritone can offer up.

“Yeah, I ended up having to take out a couple of the jokes I had written into the dialogue because they didn’t go over very well with some of our first audiences,” recalls Adkins during a recent interview. “They probably weren’t appropriate for a Christmas show.”

He laughs a hearty laugh, but only just for a moment. Because while Adkins might be best known for his slightly raunchy sounding hits like “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “Hillbilly Bone,” he is quite serious about this brand new holiday show.

“I had some of my own trepidations about not knowing if I could do it,” Adkins admits. “It’s very much a theatrical production, but here you have a bunch of honky-tonk guys trying to pull it off. Thankfully, we brought enough people that know what they are doing that it’s turning out better than I ever imagined.”

A family show filled with Celtic-infused carols, Adkins says that the idea of the show and the creation of the accompanying album, “The King’s Gift,” have been “banging around in my head for a long time.” Backed by a 12-piece Sarepta symphony and set within a warm and inviting living room, the show celebrates the true reason of the season and will most certainly feature his favorite song on the album, “Tannenbaum.”.

“This is not a preachy type of show, but obviously these songs are about the birth of Christ,” says Adkins, a proud Grand Ole Opry member and spokesman for the Wounded Warrior program and the American Red Cross. “The newest song we have in the show was written 72 years ago. I mean, there are the songs that were around long before all this political correctness stuff started happening. It’s a true historical and musical journey. These songs have stood the test of time and we want to treat them with the respect and reverence they deserve. Much of the narration has to do with anecdotal stories about how these songs came to be. The stories behind these songs are astounding.”

The album of Celtic-infused Christmas carols was released in October, and includes the talents of renowned Irish ensemble the Chieftains, multi-award winning family group, the Isaacs, and movie star Kevin Costner and his daughter, Lily.

“It’s definitely something different for me and yes, I’m probably taking a bit of a chance with it, but I’m not worried about it,” explains Adkins, who will go from the Waukegan show to Las Vegas to prepare to host the American Country Awards on FOX for the fourth consecutive year. “Musically, it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever had a chance to be a part of. I have always said that anytime you get outside your comfort zone and challenge you. That’s how you grow.”

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