Artist Spotlight: Kansas

Kansas came out of America’s heartland in the 1970s to show the music world that the British didn’t have exclusive rights to the term “progressive rock.” This subgenre of rock music began growing in popularity in the late 1960s, and the Oxford Companion to Music says it featured “extended musical structures which involved intricate instrumental patterns and textures and often esoteric subject matter.” In its early years, prog rock was populated primarily by British bands, such as Pink Floyd, Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With the release of Kansas’ self-titled debut album in 1974, the self-proclaimed “garage band” from…

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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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Julianne Hough dances her way into Dorton Arena

Julianne Hough will waltz her way onto the fairgrounds Wednesday, Oct. 21, when the triple threat — she started as one of the professional dancers on ABC’s hit TV show Dancing With The Stars, then channeled her success into a country music career and was recently tapped to play Ariel in the 2010 remake of Footloose — hits the stage of Dorton Arena. The show, a steal at just $5, will  kick off at 7:30, and I can’t help but hope that she’ll make her way over to the Folk Festival before the show to do a little clogging and…

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Artist Spotlight: The Temptations featuring Dennis Edwards

[FULL DISCLOSURE: Bearded Lady wasn’t alive when Dennis Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968. He was only six when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His earliest memories relating to the Temptations are from pop culture in the form of the 1991 Macaulay Culkin film My Girl and the 1998 made-for-television biopic The Temptations.] I’m excited about seeing the Temptations featuring Dennis Edwards at the Fair this year. I know I’m not exactly the target audience for this show, but I think there is something timeless about great performances with strong voices, choreographed dancing and matching suits. I…

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100 days until the Fair!

The concerts are booked. The Web site is live. The grounds entertainment acts are practicing their racing, magic tricks and drawing skills. The application deadline for food vendors and exhibitors is closed. That can mean only one thing: The countdown is officially on, as today marks 100 days until the N.C. State Fair opens.

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