Gold Country Fair offers a midway’s worth of live music

By: Bruce Warren, Journal staff writer
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Whether you like blues, hard rock, songs from the ’70s and ’80s or just some old-time music, this year’s Gold Country Fair offers a wide variety of live music this weekend. “There’s something for everybody,” said Greg Hegwer, chief executive officer of the Gold Country Fair. “If you don’t like one, then go to another.” Tonight’s headliner is the Greg Kihn Band, which plays at 8 and 10 p.m. on the Coors Country Stage. The Bay Area band plays what could be called New Wave rock. On the Budweiser Fiesta Stage, Patton Leatha will be playing some funk and soul, along with blues and Motown, at 7 and 11 p.m. If Patton Leatha is not your style, consider moving over to the Food Court Stage to listen to the Enablers from Grass Valley, who play more classic tunes at 4:30 and 6 p.m. today. “It’s just fun music with a little bit of ’30s and ’40s with some bluegrass mixed in,” Hegwer said of the Enablers. “It’s just old-time songs.” Moving on to Saturday night, the Shane Dwight band steps onto the Coors Country Stage at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. “We started out playing blues, but now it’s pretty much contemporary rock,” Shane Dwight said in a telephone interview Thursday. “We still play some blues, but we’ve expanded into contemporary rock and country and a wide category of music. ” The group’s “Done With You” CD, produced independently by Dwight, has already sold 50,000 copies. As a result, Vizztone in Boston will put out a CD that will have 10 original songs. The CD will be produced by Richard Rosenblatt and come out in the fall under Redeye Distributor. Dwight played at the fair in 2006 and is pleased to return Saturday night. “It’s a beautiful fairgrounds and an awesome fair,” Dwight said. “I want to move there some day.” During the two Shane Dwight Band sets, there’s one song you don’t want to miss, called “The Good Life.” “That’s the deal getter,” Dwight said. “It’s got like a hip-hop beat to it. It’s going to be on our CD.” Besides Dwight’s lead vocals and guitar playing, the rest of the group includes Robby Zolezzi on rhythm guitar, Kevin Stuart on bass guitar, and Jerome Kimsey on drums. Stuart just joined the band four months ago, but the rest of the Bay Area group has been together seven years. Moving on to Sunday night, get ready for Skynnyn Lynnyrd, a “Reloaded” Lynyrd Skynyrd band, playing sets at 7 and 9 p.m. on the Coors Country Stage. Lead vocalist Larry Woodruff said his band is ready to put on a great show. “I am totally excited,” Woodruff said. “The Grass Valley-Auburn area is one of my favorite areas. One day I’m going to retire up there. It’s God’s country there.” For Sunday’s performance there is one showcase song that Woodruff wants his audience to hear. “I can promise you that ‘Free Bird’ will knock your socks off,” he said. “You’ve missed the finale if you miss that.” The rest of Woodruff’s band includes Marc Schwarz on drums, Curt Posthuma on bass, and Chris Durham, Kirk Thomas and Robert Moody on guitar. On keyboards is Ike Klepic, while Sarah Madsen and Jamie Moore are backup vocalists. On the Budweiser Stage at 5 and 8 p.m. Sunday is Aquanett. “Aquanett plays classic rock from the ’70s and ’80s,” Hegwer said. “They bring back the memories, the image and the age.” If you don’t care for all of that hard rock music, balladeer Lenny Walker plays on the Food Court Stage today, Saturday and Sunday. “Lenny is a balladeer who sings railroad songs and ballads,” Hegwer said. “He’s actually a train conductor and takes his music real seriously.” The Journal’s Bruce Warren can be reached at brucew@ ---------- Learn more about this weekend's Gold Country Fair lineup by calling the Fair office at (530) 823-4533 or by visiting