The "unplugged" movement never caught on in country music like it did in rock, so Lonestar's acoustic concert — they call it "Pickin' on the Porch" — tonight at the Moore...

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The “unplugged” movement never caught on in country music like it did in rock, so Lonestar’s acoustic concert — they call it “Pickin’ on the Porch” — tonight at the Moore is something of an anomaly, and a welcome one.

The pop/country quartet, headed by lead singer/lyricist/heartthrob Richie McDonald, emphasizes harmonies, which will be even more prominent in an acoustic setting. And with the recordings’ sometimes overdone, sticky-sweet arrangements stripped away, the songs — the ads say the group will be “performing all their hits” — will be pared down to their essence.

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Concert preview



Lonestar “Pickin’ on the Porch” acoustic concert, opened by Memphis Radio Kings, 8 tonight, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $29.50-$49.50 (206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com or www.hob.com; information, 206-467-5510, www.themoore.com or www.lonestar.mu).

While many of the show’s songs will surely come from the million-selling “From There to Here: Greatest Hits” album, which has been on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for 78 weeks, also expect a big helping from Lonestar’s latest CD, “Let’s Be Us Again.” Sure to be included is the current hit single, “Mr. Mom,” which mines the same stay-at-home-dad themes of the 1983 Michael Keaton/Teri Garr movie comedy of the same name. “There’s bubble gum in the baby’s hair, sweet potatoes in my lazy chair,” McDonald sings, “been crazy all day long and it’s only Monday, Mr. Mom.”

The song, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart, reflects a topic that’s popped up all over country recently — parenting, especially by young fathers. There’s Billy Dean’s current hit, “Let Them Be Little,” in which he sings, “Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle”; Gary Allen’s “Tough Little Boys,” who, when they become dads, “turn into big babies again”; Phil Vassar’s No. 1 hit, “In A Real Love,” in which a young man faces marriage and parenthood; and Kenny Chesney’s “There Goes My Life,” in which a young father soon forgets his anxieties and becomes a doting dad to his baby girl.

Lonestar has had other family-themed hits, most notably “I’m Already There,” a tear-jerker that has McDonald promising his young son that he’ll soon be home from yet another tour.

Lonestar’s first hit came in 1995, the twangy “Tequila Talkin.’ ” Its biggest hit, the romantic ballad “Amazed,” went to No. 1 on both the country and pop charts in 1999.

Opening the show is Memphis Radio Kings, a rootsy, Seattle-based country band.

Patrick MacDonald: 206-464-2312 or pmacdonald@seattletimes.com