Country music fans will have a reason to celebrate this fall thanks to the Kern County Fair, which just announced this year's concert lineup.
The fair runs from Sept. 22 through Oct. 3 but is closed Sept. 27 and 28, knocking two possible show dates out of the lineup. Of the 10 shows scheduled for the fairgrounds' Budweiser Pavilion, four easily fall into the country music genre: Walker Hayes, Michael Ray, Jim Ranger and Maddie & Tae. Other acts run the gamut from classic rock and pop to Tejano and reggae.
Sept. 22: Walker Hayes. The pop country singer is likely to play his current hit "Fancy Like" with lyrics including "We fancy like Applebee's on a date night, got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake."
Sept. 23: The Guess Who. For those who loved Lenny Kravitz's cover of "American Woman," check out the Canadian band who originated it along with "These Eyes" and "No Time." The lineup has changed since the 1960s with original drummer Garry Peterson joined by bassist Rudy Sarzo, guitarist Will Evankovich, multi-instrumentalist Leonard Shaw and Derek Sharp, aka D#, on vocals.
Sept. 24: Michael Ray. The 30-something country singer landed his big break winning the singing competition "The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep," during which he was mentored by John Rich of Big & Rich, in 2012. He charted with singles "Kiss You in the Morning" and "Think a Little Less."
Sept. 25: Monica. The fair belongs to this Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum artist (since her "The Boy is Mine" duet partner Brandy is nowhere to be seen). Beyond that late '90s hit, the performer has continued to record with more recent singles "Commitment," "Me + You" and "Trenches." The show is sponsored by the Law Office of Torres | Torres-Stallings.
Sept. 26: Jesus Ojeda y Sus Parientes. The regional Mexican band from Sinaloa has a sound based in norteño and corrido style. This concert is sponsored by Chain Cohn Stiles.
Sept. 29: Jim Ranger. The local pastor and singer, who made headlines as runner-up on NBC's "The Voice" last year, will bring his soulful music to the fairgrounds. His show is sponsored by the Law Offices of Kyle J. Humphrey.
Sept. 30: Maddie & Tae. The country duo, aka Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye, last played Bakersfield in 2019 as an opening act for Carrie Underwood on The Cry Pretty 360 Tour.
Oct. 1: Sean Kingston. Known for his 2007 hit "Beautiful Girls," the singer-songwriter is back on the scene with recent releases “Darkest Times" and “Love Is Wonderful." His show is sponsored by the Law Office of Torres | Torres Stallings and Gotta Go Bail Bonds.
Oct. 2: Smash Mouth. The San Jose rock band, known for such hits as "Walkin' on the Sun" and "All Star," played the fair in 2017.
Oct. 3: Grupo Siggno. The Budweiser Pavillion is a fitting performance space for the Tejano band that became a spokesperson for Bud Light in Texas in 2018.
All concerts start at 8 p.m. in the Budweiser Pavilion at the fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. Each is free with fair admission.
In addition to concerts, the fair will also host the PRCA Rodeo on Oct. 1 and 2 and the Fiesta Del Torro Rodeo on Oct. 3.
Discounted tickets along with parking and carnival wristbands can be purchased now online at kerncountyfair.com.