Lens on Music at the Fair Day 9 Boots and Roots Featuring Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye
Review and Photos by Patrick Dunn
Yesterday’s overcast weather pattern stuck around through day 9 at the Minnesota State Fair making for cooler than normal temps including off and on drizzle. Overall, it did not hamper the ability to experience a truly wide range of musical styles taking place across numerous stages at the fair.
In previous years, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) hosted mini-acoustic sets at their booth throughout the week. This time around, they chose to bundle them all together on a big stage just outside the Grandstand. Of the 5 scheduled performances, I was able to catch a really nice acoustic set by David Huckfelt (The Pines) followed by an electrified Soulful set by Annie Mack.
The sounds of Celti-cajon Folk Pop rang out from the Leinie Lodge stage for 2 early afternoon sets by The Sweet Colleens. Fueled by the masterful fiddle work of Jeremy Greenhouse, all 5 musicians in this band do a very good job of contributing to what comes together as a really fun and enjoyable offering.
Every year at the fair, I happen upon a show that ends up being my unexpected favorite. That show this year was the 2 afternoon performances by Thomasina and the Kings Quartet on the Leinie Lodge stage. The Kings Quartet is off the charts talented, and I was simply mesmerized by the incredible Jazz infused vocal ability of Thomasina Petrus. I also enjoyed and appreciated the backstories she shared about Jazz and her own experiences including the fact that she first performed on that very stage in the Amateur Talent Contest at 15 years old. You must look for future performances by this group around the Twin Cities.
Of all the headlining acts scheduled on the Leinie Lodge stage so far this year, the Roots and Boots show featuring Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye had by far the largest number of fans showing up early and jockeying for seats closest to the stage. When it finally was showtime, Tippin, Kershaw and Raye joined forces for the first couple tunes, which was exciting and effective at getting the crowd hyped. Then each played their own individual mini-set starting with Kershaw then Tippin followed by Raye – and came back together to close it all out.
In addition to all of this, Kevin Costner was performing a unique show at the Grandstand that included a conversation about his movie and music career, capped off by a musical performance by him with band Modern West. Plus, the headlining show at the Shell’s stage was the first night of First Avenue Goes to the Fair.