T. Graham Brown, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Hear some honky tonk mixed with the blues during T. Graham Brown’s fair concert. Brown is known by hits such as “I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again,” “Wine Into Water” and “Hell and High Water.”
The award-winning singer/songwriter was also the face of Taco Bell’s “Run For The Border” promotions.
Emerson Drive, 7:30 p.m. Saturday
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Country music group Emerson Drive IS known for hits such as “A Good Man” and “Moments.” Named Billboard Magazine’s top new artist in 2002, the band has continued to make music that has attracted the country music community.
Members are Brad Mates, on lead vocals, Dale Wallace on keys/background vocals, Danick Dupelle on guitar and background vocals, David Pichette on fiddle and Mike Melancon on drums.
Seven Years Past, 8 p.m. Sunday
Come hear why Seven Years Past snagged the grand prize at Bradenton.com’s Battle of the Bands last year. This energetic, alternative rock band from Sarasota won’t disappoint.
Music City Brass, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Jan. 23
Since 1969, Music City Brass has been providing family-style entertainment. Equipped with a trumpet, a trombone and a saxophone, the group has toured nationally and has appeared at state fairs near and far. They’ve performed shows with Kenny Rogers, Ray Price and many others music greats.
The Grascals, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24
Bluegrass and country fans can get their fill with The Grascals. The band’s musical talents have been recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association, which in recent years, crowned the group as emerging artist of the year and for song of the year and other honors. The Grascals, who have been around since 2004, have toured with Dolly Parton and have made guest appearances on shows such as the Grand Ole Opry and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. “
Their latest recording effort is “Keep on Walkin’,” which features guest artist Vince Gill.
Rock-It-The-Robot will make his rounds on the fair grounds during the festivities. Rock-It is a towering 9-foot-tall high-tech body puppet who not only talks but produces music and special sound effects. He’ll use his life-like qualities for good, entertaining crowds with his humor, but he may also be inclined to dance at will and woo the girls with his serenades.
Ed and Geraldine Old Time Music
Become part of show with Ed and Geraldine and their old time music act. As they perform, they invite audiences to dance along and play some of the old fashion rhythm instruments. The show is perfect for families with young children who like to jump and dance to the music of the guitar and fiddle. Yee-haw!
Other things to check out:
Cow Town, Pets Overboard, Nojoe’s Clown Circus, The Nerveless Nocks Inc. Thrill Circus, which features motorcycle stunts and more, and the Banana Derby races (think monkey jockeys racing dogs).
The 2009 Manatee County Fair begins today and continues through Jan. 25. General admission at the gate is $7. For seniors age 55 and up, $6; children 6-12, $5; and free for children age 5 and under. For more information, call 722-8951 or visit manateecountyfair.com.
— January Holmes