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Chris Mills 

Friday, January 13; Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street)

"Chris Mills Is Living the Dream." Or is it: Chris Mills is living the dream? The former, a cut from the stellar Wall to Wall Sessions, crackles with Mills' characteristic blend of self-deprecation, unabashed romanticism and wicked wit. But from where we sit, the latter — no air quotes, no ironic capitalization — just might be closer to the truth. The Collinsville native was barely of drinking age when his sweet, gin-soaked voice caught critics' attention, and in the intervening decade he's grown to be a respected country-rock troubadour. You won't often see his handsome mug on music magazines, but Mills' enthusiasm for his music outshines that of many higher-profile artists. He puts few barriers between himself and his fans (witness his new-ish tour diary,, and this week Mills comes home to Fred's, one of his favorite places to play.

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