Country artists like to set their touring schedules early.
So Joe LaGuardia is ready to announce four acts for this summer's New York State Fair a half-year ahead of time.
Joe Nichols opens for Alan Jackson at the grandstand on Aug. 24; Rascal Flatts opens for Brooks and Dunn on Aug. 29; and Brad Paisley opens for Vince Gill on Aug. 30. To round out the acts that already have signed contracts, The Charlie Daniels Band closes the fair at Cole Muffler Court on Labor Day.
"We have a number of offers out. The typical acts that make decisions early have responded to us, while the others who have not yet decided their tour schedules have yet to commit," says LaGuardia, who programs music at the fair. "I don't think we're any further ahead or behind than we normally are."
LaGuardia says that some blockbuster country acts, including Shania Twain
and Faith Hill rumor is Faith is not touring in support of CRY
, haven't decided on where they'll play in late August and early September.
He added that he also would like to see contemporary rock-blues singer and guitarist John Mayer accept an offer to play the grandstand.
"He'd be a perfect grandstand act," LaGuardia says of Mayer, who's hits include "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and "No Such Thing" from his disc "Room for Squares."
LaGuardia added that he'd also like to continue the stretch of grandstand shows aimed for younger audiences. Acts that have played in the recent past include Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and, last year, The A*Teens with Baha Men .
"That's a rather fluid market these days," LaGuardia says of the teen bands. "Who's hot, who's not, who can be hot again. Things of that nature."
Ticket prices for the three grandstand dates booked will be $34 and $32. The tentative on-sale date is June 21. LaGuardia said other acts will be announced as soon as they're confirmed. The fair runs this year from Aug. 21 to Labor Day. Cavern's parting gift
Syracuse band Cavern found the perfect way to send the full house of their friends and fans home from Happy Endings Cake and Coffeehouse last week.
Guitarists and singers Sean Taylor and Andy Sullivan stayed up the night before the show recording, burning and painting a batch of discs of some new original songs. They gave everybody a disc as they left the show.
Before that, joined by John Hanus on guitar and Spencer Reynolds on drums, Taylor and Sullivan took turns sharing their cool original songs and some favorite covers.
As they took a joyful turn on The Band's "Easy Chair," it was great to see a band with musicians in their early 20s find a deep connection with acoustic glory of four decades ago.
Dylan's "If You See Her Say Hello" got the same treatment. And, moving ahead to now, they delivered a knockout version of Ryan Adams' "New York, New York."