Sawyer Brown, Confederate Railroad to headline Winn. Co. Fair

Sawyer Brown, Confederate Railroad to headline Winn. Co. Fair


The Winnebago County Fair Association is proud to announce that the Main Stage lineup for this year’s Winnebago County Fair features million-selling artists Sawyer Brown and Confederate Railroad.

Both bands have a history of producing radio hits and are famous for their live concert performances and will have new CDs out soon.

Confederate Railroad will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 16, and Sawyer Brown will perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17.

Sawyer Brown’s 16th album, Drive Me Wild, was co-produced by band founder and lead singer Mark Miller and award-winning songwriter Mac McAnally.

“Every so often, we go through a re-inventing period,” said Miller, “and this was one of them. Just vocal-wise, we did things on this album that we’ve never done before.” From the whoop-and-holler joyfulness of “All Wound Up” and the title cut to the spirit-probing intensity of “Soul Searchin’” and “It All Comes Down to Love,” this newest collection resounds with emotional truth.

Since making its chart debut in 1984 with “Leona,” Sawyer Brown has always had something to say. The band made its breakthrough with such pulsating songs as “Step That Step” and “Betty’s Bein’ Bad,” but it endeared itself to hard-core country audiences with more somber and thought-provoking songs like “Used To Blue”, “This Missin’ You Heart Of Mine,” “The Walk,” “The Dirt Road,” “All These Years” and “Caf? On The Corner.”

Sawyer Brown was one of the first country acts to use music videos to full advantage. From the start, its videos were built around concepts, rather than on straight performances. The videos also involved famous guest stars, such as the comedian Gallagher and wiseguy weatherman Willard Scott. But more than anything else, the videos showcased Mark Miller’s bounding and boundless stage energy and demonstrated that the other members were having great fun playing together.

Confederate Railroad has just released its first album for Audium Records, Unleashed, and the title says it all. This might be the best Railroad record yet, according to early reviews. The first single (and video) is “What Brothers Do,” and it’s getting plenty of airplay. The CD also features duets with George Jones as well as David Alan Coe.

With very few member changes, Confederate Railroad—Danny Shirley (vocals, guitar); Jimmy Dormire (lead guitar, vocals)—has been a torch bearer for turbo-charged country music for nearly 20 years. After a decade as a back-up group, Confederate Railroad was finally offered a record deal in 1991 and went about changing the country music landscape forever.

It all began with “She Took It Like A Man” in 1992, the first single from the double platinum Confederate Railroad CD. Subsequent smash hits of ’92 and ’93 included popular dance hall hits “Queen of Memphis” and the Grammy-nominated “Trashy Woman.” Sensitive ballads such as “Jesus and Mama” and “When You Leave That Way” quickly showed Confederate Railroad’s stylistic breadth and earned them the 1993 Academy of Country Music’s Best New Vocal Group Award.

Despite a relentless touring schedule, the band recorded Notorious and the platinum-selling CD featured more hits, “Elvis & Andy” and “Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind.” The title cut of the third CD, “When and Where” became a top 20 single. In classic Railroad style, “Bill’s Laundromat” was probably the zaniest video ever made by a major country act. In an era when bands and acts come and go at a rapid pace, this group still performs about 150 shows per year, a testament to their tried and true appeal.

For some hot music with some really cool bands, come on out to the Winnebago County Fair this August!

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