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CMA-nominated Jamey Johnson leads Fryeburg Fair night shows

Fair offers six nights of free entertainment, plus daily shows & performances

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October 01, 2009
Johnson, who garnered four just announced nominations, will appear Saturday night, Oct. 10, on the big stage. His nominations are for Best New Artist, Single of the Year (In Color), Album of the Year (That Lonesome Song) and Song of the Year (Chicken Fried).

The eight-day Blue Ribbon Classic features six nights of free entertainment in front of the main grandstand starting at 8 p.m. In addition, live music will be performed daily at each of the fair's five parks. The fair runs Oct. 4 through 11.

The evening lineup features the Bob Charest Band Monday night, New Found Grass on Tuesday, Heartland on Wednesday, Kristy Lee Cook on Thursday, The Kokomo Beach Show on Friday and Jamey Johnson on Saturday.

All shows start at 8 p.m. and there is no additional charge for admittance once on the grounds. Fireworks follow Friday night's performance. Daily gate admission is $8 during the week and $10 on Saturday. Children under 12 are admitted free and seniors are admitted free on Tuesday.

Monday night is traditionally reserved for Maine and New Hampshire bands. This marks the second year that fairgoers are invited to dance along. A special area will be set aside on the pavement in front of the grandstand for those that want to swing and sway to a great dance band.

Johnson has a backwoods Alabama upbringing, but is a formally trained musician who knew music theory as early as junior high school. Jamey spent eight years as a member of the highly disciplined U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. The week he was discharged, the rest of his unit was ordered to Iraq. By then, Jamey Johnson was in Nashville trying to launch a country career. He arrived on Jan. 1, 2000, spending every dime he had to make the move. He took a job as a salesman for a sign company, then worked for an industrial pumping company. In 2001–2004 he ran his own successful construction firm, restoring buildings devastated by fires, hurricanes or tornados. Jamey's hit single "The Dollar," in 2005, launched his career. Since coming out of a self-imposed seclusion and eventually writing That Lonesome Song, Johnson was nominated for three Grammies and five Academy of Country Music Awards. In April, he was stunned when he won the ACM's Song of the Year honor for In Color.

Heartland is as all-American as the rich musical heritage of its native Alabama. Born as a band in 1994, Heartland has deep creative roots in the musical influences of their native South. By the time they smashed onto the national charts in 2006 with their debut single "I Loved Her First," the band's personal path to 'overnight sensation' had logged thousands of miles on the road and over a decade of paying dues.

That hit established Heartland as the first group in country music to reach No. 1 on the first single outing since Diamond Rio accomplished the feat 15 years earlier. It was this single that planted the Heartland flag deep into the hearts of a new generation of country music listeners. Heartland's debut CD zoomed to a No. 3 debut on the Billboard Country Music Charts and crossed mainstream lanes to reach an impressive #11 ranking on Billboard's All Genre Chart.

Quickly established as a major drawing card with concert audiences, Heartland's tour schedule has taken them from coast to coast. The success of the single immediately put them on the road in September, 2006, opening for Brad Paisley on tour in Lake Tahoe. Onstage partnerships with Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, Sugarland, Toby Keith, Deirks Bentley, and good buddy, Blake Shelton, helped take Heartland's live music to tens of thousands of country music fans. Heartland has a new single – "Mustache" – an up-tempo song that came out this summer.

Kristy Lee Clark was a top 10 contestant in last season's American Idol competition. The Oregon native sold her favorite horse to raise the money to travel to Philadelphia and audition for the show. Her rendition of Amazing Grace earned her a trip to Hollywood and a seventh place finish. She has a 10-song CD entitled Why Wait and will be performing some of those at Fryeburg.

The Kokomo Show has a high-energy party concept and blends it with the classics sounds of artists like The Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet, as well as The B 52s, Blondie and UB40. The show is described as a light-hearted and nostalgic journey through the surfing era and beyond complete with elements of comedy, dance and audience participation. The show that has performed throughout the world features audience participation with sizzling dancing with dazzling choreography.

Newfound Grass is a group of New England musicians who offer a modern twist on contemporary bluegrass, drawing on their collective backgrounds in jazz, soul and rock. They will be performing songs from Flatt & Scruggs, Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid and Carolina, Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs. They will also be joined by local fiddlers.

The Bob Charest Band has been voted Best Maine Band in the 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Portland Press Herald Audience Readers' Poll and selected by Modern Bride Magazine as one of the top 150 Bands and DJs in the USA in 2006 and 2007. The nine-member Bob Charest Band brings energy and fun to all styles of music.

The daily entertainment ranges from magicians and country-western bands to cloggers and strolling musicians. Among the entertainers throughout the week will be Denny Breau, the Half Moon Jug Band, Rick Adam and his One Man Band, the Dave Rowe Trio, the Dick Kaplan Band and the Blue Hill Brass Quintet.

For more information on fair entertainment as well as other fair information, go to www.fryeburgfair.org or call 207-935-3268.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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