The 2015 Scioto County Fair will be held August 10th - 15th.
Monday - August 10th
MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Tuesday - August 11th
THE WILLIS CLAN
NEWEST RELEASE: HEAVEN
Life for the Willis family has never been what one might call normal. They have chosen to walk the path less traveled in all areas of life and their newest studio album release, Heaven, is the musical culmination of their journey thus far. Written, performed, engineered and produced by various members of the 14 person family, listeners will hear a top level record full of meaningful songs, striking harmonies, driving rhythms and soaring anthems. They proudly show their deep, colorful roots with the integration of ethnic instrumentation, creating a unique, exciting sound in contemporary circles. "We've been waiting a long time to release this music," Jessica, the eldest at 23, explains, "but we always knew we were headed for this sound that would combine all of our musical loves into a new sort of genre in popular music."
Their latest CD is not the only exciting thing on the horizon for the Willis Clan. They broke out in a big way at the end of 2013 when they were named the TODAY show's Sound of Music Family. This appearance led to an initial audition on the 9th season of America's Got Talent with their cover of "A Few Of My Favorite Things" that has now garnered over 6 million views on YouTube. The video got the attention of TLC executives and a reality show centered on the family was fast-tracked and went into production the end of 2014. The first season of the show premiers on May 5th. "We're really excited about the reality series because it gives people a chance to see all the different things we love to do." says Jeanette, 18. "And there really is so much going on, sometimes it's hard for us to explain to someone."
One of those things that is sometimes hard for people to grasp is the fact that the powerhouse band actually started off as a dance troup and holds an impressive bevy of awards and titles across multiple dance styles such as National Swing Dance Championship titles in three different categories, 9 regional titles in Irish Dancing and 4th place at the Irish Dance World Championships in 2013. The various children have also studied under world class ballroom dance teachers and cross trained in other styles such as ballet, flamenco and even hip-hop. "We really want to bring good dance back into the social scene in a big way," shares Jenny, 20, who competes with Jeremiah, 22, as her swing partner. "We have so many friends that are always asking us to teach them!" The idea of teaching and also choreographing their own routines is natural for the kids of the clan who were all homeschooled and are used to both hands-on learning and creative freedom.
Their interests and skills don't stop at dance either. Due to their outside-of-the- box education and early life, the family members all create art in various formats such as drawing and illustrating, leather tooling and Celtic knotwork, fashion and custom costuming, graphic design and photography. Also, between the Dad, Toby, and the four brothers, the Clan holds 16 state championship titles in wrestling. "If there is any one main frustration," Jessica laughs, "It's that we love too many things and we can hardly fit them all in!" The band is on the road most of the year with extensive touring throughout the summer at festivals, fairs and theaters, and they strive to balance school and other interests while living out of their family bus. The TLC reality show will continue to give a behind-the-scenes look at their adventures as the family embarks on their first west coast tour and also takes time to see some new parts of the country.
The band comprises of the oldest seven children ranging from ages 23 to 13: Jessica, 23, on fiddle and lead vocals, Jeremiah, 22, on acoustic and electric guitars and uilleann pipes, Jennifer, 20, on accordion and mandolin, Jeanette, 19, on whistle and dobro, Jackson, 16, on drums and banjo, Jedidiah, 15, on bass, and Jasmine, 13, on keys. Mother, Brenda, joins periodically during live performances and Dad runs their live sound at the gigs as well as produces in the studio. All primarily self-taught, the children learned to play from an early age and began composing and writing soon after. All of the Clan's musical releases have been original which was a conscious decision their part. "There is a desire we have to add to the traditions we've studied and contribute to the body of work that inspires people to make music in the first place, " Jair comments.
The Clan's first album, Chapter One - Roots, firmly established their credentials in the Irish music scene and was released in 2012 in tandem with winning the All- Ireland World Championships of Irish Music (Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann). This album won Celtic Connection Radio Album of the Year and made waves in the Irish/celtic festival circuits where the Willis Clan quickly became one of the hottest and most sought after bands. Their second album, Chapter Two - Boots, showcased the effects of exploration into Nashville's music scene, where the family relocated from Chicago in 2000, and developed a mixture of original bluegrass and country tracks. Appearances at the IBMA festivals in 2013 and 2014, and extensive runs at the theme parks Dollywood and Silver Dollar City propelled the Clan to a fan favorite in the bluegrass world.
The Willis Clan has also been performing regularly at the legendary Grand Ole Opry show with over forty guest performances under their belt since late 2011, including shows hosted at the famous Ryman Auditorium. The Opry relationship has opened many doors for the Clan in their hometown which has such a rich musical history in and of itself. Brenda, the mother, has also become a mover and shaker in the local community and is greatly involved in the Sister Cities relationship with Belfast, Ireland, heading up the Irish movement in Nashville as the Executive Director of the first annual Music City Irish Fest held on St. Patrick's Day weekend to great response.
The horizon is burning bright for this trailblazing family. With the new TV show and Heaven album release coinciding so closely, and their summer tour schedule running strong, this year promises to create the perfect storm to catapult The Willis Clan to the very top.
Wednesday - August 12th
THE SWON BROTHERS
Arista Nashville recording duo The Swon Brothers (Zach and Colton) are poised to release their new single, “Pray for You,” the follow-up to their Top 15 debut single, “Later On.”
Performing professionally since childhood – and honored with the Rising Star award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame – the Muskogee, OK, natives first hit the national radar charming fans with their incredible sibling harmonies and fun-loving personalities as finalists on “Team Blake” in Season 4 of NBC’s The Voice.
The duo’s self-titled major-label debut album released on October 14, 2014, produced by the Swons and Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans), and featuring the singles “Later On” and “Pray for You.”
The Swon Brothers are nominated for “Vocal Duo of the Year” for The 48th Annual CMA Awards, airing November 5, on ABC Television. Find them online at www.swonbrothers.com, Twitter @TheSwonBrothers, and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/theswonbrothers.
Thursday - August 13th
Friday - August 14th
A twenty year anniversary is cause for celebration, and Lonestar is marking this career milestone in more ways than one. Reunited with original lead singer Richie McDonald, the multi-platinum country music quartet is working hard on a brand new album and embarking on an extensive anniversary tour, with over 90 dates scheduled in North America alone.
"Twenty years ago, when we put this little band together to play in some bars and make a little money, I dreamed it pretty good," admits keyboard player and songwriter Dean Sams. "But I never dreamed it quite this good."
Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, Lonestar has amassed RIAA-certified sales in excess of ten million album units since their national launch in 1995 and achieved ten #1 country hits including "No News," "Come Crying To Me," and their crossover smash "Amazed" (which was also #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the first record since 1983's "Islands in the Stream" to top both charts). The band's awards include a 1999 ACM Single of The Year for “Amazed” (the song also won the Song of the Year award) and the 2001 CMA Vocal Group of the Year.
But it isn't hit records and trophies that have kept Lonestar going strong. On the contrary, says lead singer Richie McDonald. "Honestly, through it all, the one thing that has kept Lonestar around is that we're just four good old boys from Texas." All four members originally hail from blue collar households, and place a premium on the value of hard work. "No matter how much success we've had, it didn't change us as people."
Originally formed in Nashville in 1992, Lonestar played over 500 shows before landing a recording contract. "We traveled for two and a half, maybe three years, just playing in bars," Britt recalls. "We were starting from zero back then." But all those gigs paid off. By the time they released their self-titled debut album in 1995, they already had an enthusiastic fan base. Their first single, "Tequila Talkin'," went Top Ten on the country charts. It's follow-up did even better: "No News" would be the first of many #1 singles for Lonestar.
Lonestar continued to ascend in the years that followed. Their third album, 1999's Lonely Grill, was certified multi-platinum in both the United States and Canada. In addition to "Amazed," which was #1 with country audiences for eight weeks in a row, Lonely Grill yielded three more #1 country hits: "Smile," "Tell Her," and "What About Now." The 2001 release I'm Already There topped the country album charts, as did the band's 2003 retrospective From There To Here: The Greatest Hits, which produced yet another #1 single, "My Front Porch Looking In."
For all their record and ticket sales, the biggest accomplishment of the band's storied career has been witnessing the impact of Lonestar songs in the lives of others. "Music is a very powerful tool and can help people going through both good and bad times," observes McDonald. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the group's performances for U.S. armed forces stationed overseas in Iraq and Kuwait, where classics like "I'm Already There" have elicited powerful emotional displays from men and women who've put their lives on the line defending America.
"When you can truly say that what you do can make a difference, that it really can impact somebody's life in a positive way, that's the greatest thing," admits Sams.
That timeless appeal transcends nationality, too. A recent string of European dates with Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and Little Big Town found Lonestar thrilling audiences in England, Ireland, Switzerland, and Germany. In a four-star review of their performance at Wembley Arena, UK daily The Guardian noted that Lonestar "got an even bigger welcome than McEntire," and praised how "they reminded us of country’s greatest strength: picture-painting, story-based, tear-your-heart-out lyrics that are the most direct and lucid in popular music."
Lonestar is currently hard at work making a new, self-produced album. "It's kind of a no-brainer for us to come along at this stage in our careers and say, 'Yes, we can produce our own music.' After all, nobody knows what Lonestar should sound like better than Lonestar," says drummer Keech Rainwater. "I'm proud that as a band, collectively, we're smart enough to know what we need to do and how to get it done."
The new material sounds as thrilling as any of the band's classics. "The songs we've already recorded, I'm more proud of those than anything we've recorded in our careers," says guitarist Michael Britt. "And not just because they're new. I feel like we're as good or better now than we've ever been."
The as-yet-untitled full-length is the follow-up to 2010's Party Heard Around the World, which was recorded with singer Cody Collins, who stepped in after McDonald left to pursue a solo career in 2007. Parting ways with an original member—even temporarily—could've spelled the end for many bands, but not Lonestar. "We've been very fortunate that a lot of our fans have stuck with us through the good and the bad," says Sams. "You know who your true friends are by who stands by you during the low times, and we found out we have a lot of friends."
With McDonald now back in the fold, Lonestar is starting its third decade of making music together with a bang. The best may be yet to come. "I'm so excited to think about the songs that are going to come out of the next chapter of Lonestar," concludes Rainwater. "And I'm looking forward to another twenty years of great music.
Saturday - August 15th
Click Here for : Camping Permit
A complete listing of all Ohio fairs is available at www.ohiofairs.org.