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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tim McGraw performs at the Usana Amphitheater in August.
Fans like somethin’ ’bout country singer/songwriter Kip Moore

Music » Up-and-comer opens for Tim McGraw.

By David burger

Special to The Tribune

First Published Jul 23 2014 01:53 pm • Last Updated Jul 28 2014 10:58 am

The 2014 country music season at the USANA Amphitheatre begins Friday, July 25, with superstar Tim McGraw headlining a show that also features Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope.

Keith Urban follows on Aug. 30. Then it’s Alabama on Sept. 13 and Blake Shelton with The Band Perry on Sept. 26.

At a glance

Tim McGraw with Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope

When » Friday, July 25, at 7 p.m.

Where » Usana Amphitheatre, 5125 S. 6400 West, West Valley City

Tickets » $29.75-$69.75 at SmithsTix

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If you’re a country music fan, it’s a wealth of down-home riches.

McGraw is a regular at the West Valley venue — he performed last summer in Utah and numerous times during his 20-year-career.

Pope is trying to shed her Warped Tour past by using her win on "The Voice" to propel herself to Nashville stardom.

That means the most exciting part of McGraw’s tour is undeniably Kip Moore.

His deceptively simple songs "Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck," "Beer Money" and "Hey Pretty Girl" off his debut album make him one of the most promising songwriters and performers in country.

An in-demand songwriter for performers such as Thompson Square — performing in Layton on Aug. 21 — Moore was recently profiled in Rolling Stone’s first-ever "Country Issue." A feature on the 34-year-old Georgia native was nestled between profiles of more well-known stars such as Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Florida Georgia Line.

In the issue, Moore was proclaimed a "scholar" of music.

"I always study the greats," Moore told The Salt Lake Tribune in a recent phone interview. "I’m 100 percent a scholar."

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This summer, he is studying McGraw, whose stage presence and charisma make him a draw despite making music lately that is uninspiring.

"I’m a maniac," Moore said. "I watch [his] show from start to finish every night. Tim is a master."

Moore is finishing up his second album, and if it is anything like his debut, he will co-write every single track — a rarity.

"I’m trying to do my own thing," he said. "I want to push myself a little further — I didn’t want to make the same record twice. I had a little more to say on this record."

Despite an affection for rock that makes his music unique, he isn’t surprised by Utah’s desire for country music. Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley already have performed in Utah this month.

"People have latched on because we’re singing about their lives," he said. "I was always drawn to the storytelling aspect."


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