Artist Spotlight: Kellie Pickler

I have to say that I’m generally not a country music person, with a few expectations. Kellie Pickler is one of those exceptions. I was so surprised at how much I liked Kellie Pickler’s music the first time I heard it, and it’s why I have already bought my ticket for her show on Oct. 23. The three-time CMT Music Award winner has a smooth country-pop fusion sound that keeps her catchy songs on constant replay in my head. Perhaps best known for her appearance on season five of American Idol, Pickler has since released two albums, one of which…

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Enjoy free music at this year’s State Fair

The State Fair offers great deals on musical entertainment for the  entire family. The State Fair’s Bluegrass Stage and the Waterfall Stage will play host to a variety of live music acts, all of which are completely free and appropriate for the entire family. The  Bluegrass Stage is located in Heritage Circle and will feature two different acts, both representing some of the best traditional bluegrass music. The Grass Cats are famous for playing music as diverse as traditional fiddle and banjo music, bluegrass classics, acapella gospel numbers and popular hits. A North Carolina born-and-bred act, the Back Porch Bluegrass Band focuses…

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Artist Spotlight: Dionne Warwick

I remember the first time I heard Dionne Warwick sing. I was 8 years old and my entire family was stuck inside our house to escape the cruel Massachusetts winter raging outside. My mom and I were sitting on the couch as near to the fire as we could be, flipping through the channels on TV. At some point we stopped on The First Wives Club. The comedy is a syndication favorite, and it opens with Warwick doing a cover of the Jack Jones song “Wives and Lovers.” I asked my mom who was singing and she said she didn’t…

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Special announcement from Easton Corbin

It’s pretty cool when a Dorton Arena performer takes time to give a special shout out to the State Fair. Check out the video below we received from Easton Corbin’s team this week. And, check out Easton in concert Saturday, Oct. 15, at Dorton Arena during the 2011 N.C. State Fair. Tickets are just $10, and are available now at www.ncstatefair.org. CONTEST: Easton’s crew was so nice to share this video with us, so we want to share something with you. In the spirit of deep-fried karma, we’re giving away a State Fair T-shirt to the first three people to…

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Artist Spotlight: David Nail

Country singer/songwriter David Nail has been chasing his musical dreams since he graduated from high school in a small southeastern Missouri town. Though he grew up playing baseball and was expected to pursue that career path, when it came time to decide what direction he wanted his life to go, Nashville was where he headed. Nail credits Elton John as one of the main reasons he started singing and calls Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Glen Campbell his all-time favorite star. When in the recording studio, Nail strives to bridge the gap between traditional country and the sounds of soulful masters like Lionel Richie and…

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Artist Spotlight: Easton Corbin makes an encore

The mystery artist has been revealed. Easton Corbin is coming back and he’s no stranger to Raleigh. After all, Easton performed his first full-length solo concert last year at the Longbranch in Raleigh. He has played at Walnut Creek several times now (including this past Saturday night) and of course, he played Dorton Arena last year to a good-sized crowd. Last year, fairgoers in Dorton Arena sang along with his hits “A Little More Country Than That,” “Roll With It” and “I Just Can’t Love You Back,” among others. The beginning of the concert was good, but he seemed a…

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Artist Spotlight: Darius Rucker

Seeing Darius Rucker on Saturday, Oct. 23, is going to be a like a homecoming. Growing up in South Carolina like I did, everyone knew Hootie and the Blowfish and its frontman. Everyone had a “Hootie” story – one of those stories that goes something like, “My cousin was roommates with the dogsitter of Hootie’s neighbor,” or “I bumped into Hootie in a mosh pit at a house party when I went to USC.” After meeting virtually everyone in South Carolina, except me, Darius Rucker dropped the “Hootie” name and transitioned to country music with 2008’s Learn to Live. Songs like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “History in the Making” and…

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Artist Spotlight: Carolina Chocolate Drops

When Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, there was no way of knowing the success their old-time string band would see in five short years. The trio began playing with fiddler Joe Thompson at his home in Mebane, and have since gone on to perform at huge music festivals like Bonnaroo and revered venues like the Grand Ole Opry (they will perform for a second time on Tuesday). CCD also has seen its latest album, Genuine Negro Jig, reach number one on the Billboard bluegrass chart and the band has even starred alongside Denzel Washington in 2007’s The Great Debaters.  Here’s a look at the…

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Artist Spotlight: Casting Crowns

I recently heard the name Casting Crowns for the first time. Obviously, there are many more people that have heard of the headlining act at Dorton Arena Friday, Oct. 15. After two weeks of advance sales, the concert for the Atlanta-based group has sold more than 1,800 tickets and is on its way to being our first sold-out show of 2010. I decided to see what all the excitement was about, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I might hear something similar to old gospel tunes from my grandparents’ radio, but after listening to the artist’s songs on our 2010 N.C. State Fair Pandora station, I understand…

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Dorton Arena concerts poster

We really love the look and feel of our design pieces this year, and this fabulous Dorton Arena poster is no different. Speaking of Dorton Arena concerts, do you have your concert tickets yet? Most of the shows will cost you less than a poster. Find the $5, $10 and $15 tickets for all of the artists listed below on our tickets page of the Web site.

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