While all country music fans listen to the radio or song collection year around, late July to Labor Day weekend always puts the average person in close proximity to artists from big names to rising stars. All one needs to do is head over to their state or county fair. Its not just about Ferris Wheel rides and 4-H competition. Sure, you have your tractor pulls, horse shows and sinful deep fried whatevers, no matter what area of the country you live in. Unless you're in a super rural county, there will always be some exciting country music artists appearing at least one or two nights during fair week.
It isn't surprising that this weekend's online buzz is awash with news about who is appearing and where. Country and agriculture have historically been connected for obvious reasons, and a large portion of fair goers are either participants in the competitions or their families are. While intensely populated counties and state level fairs may also bring in some rock and pop entertainment, you will still find country stars being billed. What's more, the admission to fairgrounds musical appearances is incredibly affordable, allowing far more people to attend than would be able to go to the same band's concert.
A month ago there was not much real country music news. Here we are in the midst of the final weekend of summer and there are newspaper and local TV station news posts washing onto the internet from all over the country. Chris Young and Wynonna Judd played at the Walworth County Fair. Rascal Flats is playing at the Wisconsin State Fair. Monday brings Glorianna and Love & Theft to grace the music festival in Salt Lake City. Jason Aldean played in Allentown, PA. Hank Williams Jr. was at the Iowa State Fair - and the list goes on and one.
It also seems to be a good weekend for country music festivals. Unfortunately, the one they had up near Boston, is accompanied with the announcement that there were 100 arrests and over 500 more people 'detained'. Something about tailgate parties and drunkenness. Guess it was cold beer and hot temps that did the fans in. While there is a lot about drinking in country music lyrics, fans should be aware that it all ends better down on the farm or for David Allen Coe going to pick his mama up the night they let her out of prison... as opposed to stadium parking lots and municipal areas.
On top of the annual fairground and festival appearances, this year's election has some of the biggest names in country genre appearing at a Mitt Romney event in Florida just a couple of days ago. Here fans could enjoy the sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Sara Evans at no cost, and while the Oak Ridge Boys were scheduled to appear, the Gulf disturbance made them cancel. Romney uses both rock and country songs in his campaign... nothing like delivering a message that easily hits home to the largest music audiences in the USA. It appears to be heavily leaning toward country though and why not? Country music fans create the largest genre of radio listeners - more than any other genre, and the most loyal ones too.
Once fair season ends, you'll find there 's a lot less country music press until the next awards show. Just as it always has been, even before Europeans and even the pilgrims came to North America, country musicians and the local fair or the celebration of summer's bounty have always gone hand in hand. Its just part of life on planet Earth.