* As I’ve already said, the grandstand lineup for this year’s Illinois State Fair isn’t bad at all. But you gotta check out some of the lineup for the DuQuoin State Fair…
DWIGHT YOAKAM ($35, $30)
Saturday, August 25 - 7:30 pm
The Du Quoin State Fair kicks off it’s concert series with Dwight Yoakam. With his stripped-down approach to traditional honky tonk and Bakersfield country, Dwight Yoakam helped return country music to its roots in the late ’80s. Like his idols Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams, Yoakam never played by Nashville’s rules; consequently, he never dominated the charts like his contemporary Randy Travis. Then again, Travis never played around with the sound and style of country music like Yoakam. His Hits include: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Fast As You”, “Honky Tonk Man”, “Guitars, Cadillacs”, “Little Sister”, “I sang Dixie” […]
THE ELI YOUNG BAND and THOMPSON SQUARE ($35, $30)
Wednesday, August 29 - 7:30 pm
It’s a crazy-good story. The Eli Young Band-four musicians who met during their college days in Texas-is now 11 years into a career built on touring without a single lineup change. That dedication is paying off big-time as the band enjoys a crazy new level of success. EYB received their first platinum record for “Crazy Girl” and have sold over 1.5 million downloads of the track. “Crazy Girl” is a perfect introduction to Life At Best, a 14-track album that takes the band’s wide-ranging multi-genre influences and distills them into a focused, engaging vision: edgy country with hints of heartland rock bands such as Tom Petty and classic Eagles.
Thompson Square isn’t a real place, exactly. It’s the musical territory staked out by the husband-and-wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson, an exciting and unpredictable area where country meets rock, rough meets smooth and one vagabond heart finds a harmonious common ground with another. And now the rest of us get to discover that magical place, starting with the chart-topping duo’s self-titled debut album.Their #1 Platinum+ radio smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” is a fitting introduction to the Thompsons’ natural chemistry and spirit of buoyant romance. “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” spent five consecutive weeks at #1 on the Country Digital Soundscan chart and 12 consecutive weeks as the #1 Country Ringtone. […]
MERLE HAGGARD ($45, $35)
Friday, August 31 - 7:30 PM
The word “legend” usually makes an appearance at some point when discussing Merle Haggard. It’s an acknowledgment of his artistry and his standing as “the poet of the common man.” It’s a tribute to his incredible commercial success and to the lasting mark he has made, not just on country music, but on American music as a whole. Haggard found his songs at the top of the charts on a regular basis. Immediately embraced by country fans, he also earned the respect of his peers. In addition to the 40 #1 hits, Haggard charted scores of Top Ten songs. He won just about every music award imaginable, both as a performer and as a songwriter, and in 1994 was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His body of work easily places him beside Hank Williams as one of the most influential artists in country music. That’s quite an accomplishment for the boy who was once officially branded “incorrigible.”
Anything implied to have a John Hiatt influence is good by me. JH has to be the most criminally underrated singer/songwriter/performer of all time (publicly at least - he’s definitely highly respected by his peers).
Kudos indeed! As the proud owner of every Dwight record and about 80 percent of Merle’s I am in heaven that this is happening 20 miles from house. Everyone should get out and see Merle while you still can, his voice is still amazing and his backup band is one of the best in the land.
I’ve been a Dwight fan for over 20 years. Was in Nashville in April and saw the Country Music museum’s Bakersfield sound which featured Merle, Buck Owens and Dwight, among others.
I have always loved Dwight’s first four or five albums, which had the same bandleader and arranger (Pete Anderson) and same band. I still love Dwight, but the albums he made after he split with Anderson don’t rock me the same way.
I saw Dwight about 15 years ago at the Fox in St. Louis. I love listening to his music but it was the most boring country concert I have ever been to. (And I have been to about 100). He stands in one place. His hat is down over his eyes and he moves his foot back and forth all the while young girls are squealing.
The folks south of 1-80 control everything. They get two state fairs, while people up north get nothing.
Heck, Quinn has state-funded mansions in both Springfield and DuQuoin. That’s why he’s never in Chicago. Why live in your own bungalow in Galewood when you have two mansions with servants on the state dime?
There’s nothing you can do about. The north is only a handful of counties, while there are dozens of them south of 1-80. They’re legally armed, too.
- El Conquistador - Tuesday, Aug 14, 12 @ 6:18 pm:
Levois - The DuQuoin State Fair started as annual parties by the Hayes family for the employees of their soda bottling plant. It eventually grew into an annual, private fair that featured the Hambletonian, the premiere harness race in the country. Eventually the remaining Hayes family sold the fair to Saudi investors. The fair was failing, but downstate lawmakers saw an opportunity when Chicago politicians were pushing for expansion of McCormick place. Chicago got its shiny new convention space and southern Illinois got its own state fair.
- dr. reason a. goodwin - Tuesday, Aug 14, 12 @ 8:32 pm:
El Conquistador is not quite correct. The Jabr family, which bought the fairgrounds in 1979 from the Hayes’, is Iraqi not Saudi. Saad Jabr was the son of the former Iraqi Prime Minister and was, for a time, considered a candidate to lead Iraq when Hussein fell. He was one of SIU’s early international students.
The State of Illinois bought the fair in a deal engineered by former Governor Jim Thompson, when finances threatened its 1985 opening. It became a pet project of his special assistant, Jim Skilbeck.