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Want Country? Hit the Appalachian Fair

August 20th, 2011 10:32 pm by Doug Janz

The Appalachian Fair always has a lineup of top-notch country music to offer visitors, and this year’s schedule has some established names as well as some up-and-comers performing at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray.
The music starts on Monday night with Jerrod Niemann and continues all week on two stages — the Main Stage and the Museum Stage. Admission to the fair is $8.
Admission to the Main Stage concerts, starting at 8 p.m., is also $8 each night.
The schedule features Niemann on Monday, Frankie Ballard on Tuesday, Thompson Square on Wednesday, Colt Ford on Thursday, Justin Moore Friday and Bradley Gaskin on Saturday.
The Museum Stage also has entertainment every night: Fairest of the Fair Monday, Little Miss Pageant on Tuesday, Daisi Rain on Wednesday, the Youth Talent Contest on Thursday, Savannah Jack on Friday and After Six and the Has Beens on Saturday.
WXBQ-96.9 FM oversaw the job of putting together the music lineup.
“WXBQ is very proud to be associated with an event like the Appalachian Fair that is celebrating 85 years,” Bill Hagy, WXBQ program director, said in a statement. “We feel the fans are in for a great week of country music.”
Here’s a rundown of the week’s musical artists:
Jarrod Niemann — The well-respected Nashville songwriter is making a name for himself as a performer. He co-wrote three singles for Garth Brooks, “Good Ride Cowboy,” “That Girl is a Cowboy” and “Midnight Sun,” but has put out his own hits, including “I Love Women (My Momma Can’t Stand),” “One More Drinkin’ Song” and two country top-5 songs, “What Do You Want” and the No. 1 hit “Lover, Lover.”
Frankie Ballard — He’s one of Nashville’s young guitar slingers, adding a little rock and blues to his country. Ballard, an Elvis fan, has gone from relative unknown Michigan songwriter to a new star in less than three years, putting out the hit video “Tell Me You Get Lonely” and touring with Uncle Kracker in 2010, then making his Grand Ole Opry debut this year as well as opening for Taylor Swift and Bob Seger and releasing the hit single “A Buncha Girls.”
Thompson Square — This husband-and-wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson put out their self-titled debut album this year and it went to No. 3 on the country charts. They’ve got hit songs “Let’s Fight,” “I Got You” and the No. 1, platinum-selling “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.”
Colt Ford — He’s almost certainly the only everyman former pro golfer country/hip-hop star — quite the combination. Ford, who played golf on the Nationwide Tour and was a teaching pro, started his own Average Joe’s record label and has his own sub-genre of music, merging country licks with hip-hop lyrics.
Justin Moore — His self-titled debut album was a smash and had four top-40 hits, including “Small Town USA” and “How I Got to Be This Way,” both of which hit No. 1, and “Backwoods,” which made the top 10. The album went to No. 3.
Bradley Gaskin — The newest face on the scene among this year’s lineup, Gaskin, from Duck Springs, Ala., is best-known for his song “Mr. Bartender.”
The Museum Stage at the Appalachian Fair will feature local country rockers Daisi Rain on Wednesday at 7 p.m. They’ve performed on many of the area’s biggest stages. Daisi Rain will also be playing at the Bristol Family Race Day on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Savannah Jack, a dynamic Southern rock band from Nashville, will play on Friday 7 p.m. They’ve opened for Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill and John Fogerty and are known for their three-part harmony.
Saturday’s entertainment will feature both After Six, beginning at 7 p.m., and the Has Beens at 8:30.
For more on the Appalachian Fair, visit

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