POINT PLEASANT — West Virginia’s largest county fair is approaching quickly and the entertainment for the event has been set.
The 58th annual Mason County Fair will be held from Aug. 5-10 and the entertainment line-up for this year includes The Whisnants, Copper Chief, Tyler Rich, Mr. Speed, and John Anderson.
On Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m., Fair Entertainment Chairman Brian Billings shared The Whisnants will be returning to the fair main stage once again. The group performed in 2011. According to Billings, the achievements The Whisnants have acquired over the years are a testimony to the blessings God has placed on their ministry and they seek to use them to bring glory to their Lord in every concert. The group has had 13 number one songs spanning from 2001 to 2013 and their first single for 2014 “He Can Move That Stone” was nominated as a “Top 10 Favorite Song” in the Singing News Fan awards in 2014. Their ballad “What You Took From Me” ranked number one on the Singing News Top 40 Year End Chart as the most played song on radio and “Even in The Valley” did the same in 2004. They have been nominated for “Trio of the Year” 10 times and received many individual nominations. The Whisnants have appeared on the Gospel Music Southern Style Program (INSP Network), the Gaither Video Tapings, as well as numerous appearances at the National Quartet Convention.
Following, on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 9 p.m., Copper Chief, a central Texas band with deep roots compromised of four country boys, who love to play music and have fun, will take the stage. Copper Chief’s members are not afraid to carve their own place out on the musical landscape of the world and they are not afraid to play with the knife sharp enough to carve that place out. The group’s self-titled album “Copper Chief” was the idea of all the members. In the studio, the songs took on a life of their own through collaboration and flare of each member Mike Valliere, Rio Tripiano, Justin Lusk, and John Joseph Jammal II. The journey turned into a roller coaster of songs for the listener. From songs like “Jericho” written about growing up and realizing the need to open oneself to real love, to wild stories of voodoo and romp through New Orleans like “Faster Than The Flame” all the way down to “Muddy Water” that will have a person feeling high on top of the world. Copper Chief has been burning a path across Texas and states to steadily growing crowds. They have shared themselves and their music with countless fans at festivals and sold out shows and take pride in their high energy performances. The group makes the music that flows through them naturally. They are not afraid to show who they are individually or as a whole.
On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 9 p.m., Tyler Rich, a country singer with a strong voice, a pop sensibility, and a talent for delivering romantic lyrics will take over the Mason County Fair stage in only a way that he can. While Rich learned to play guitar and took up writing songs, after high school academics took priority over music, and he graduated from college with a degree in economics. However, Rich could not let go of his dream of making music, so he relocated to Los Angeles and dabbled in various styles and approaches, both as a solo act and with bands. In time, Rich decided country music was where his heart was, and in October 2014 he self released his debut single “Radio” which made an impression on country radio. In August of 2015, Rich released a four-song EP “Valerie” and that year the Country Music Social Media Awards named him the “one to watch.” Rich spread the word about his music with plenty of live work, headlining small venues and opening in bigger halls for Cole Swindell, Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, and Dan and Shay, among others, and he relocated to Nashville, to be closer to the center of the country music industry. Rich’s talents attracted the attention of Music City powerhouses Big Machine Music and Valory Music, who signed him to recording and publishing deals. Rich’s first single for Big Machine “The Difference” was soon released.
Rich is a “a great entertainer with a super voice and an artist you just can’t miss,” said Billings.
On Friday, Aug. 9 , a Kiss tribute band, Mr. Speed will take the main stage at 9 p.m. Mr. Speed has been voted as an overall best Kiss tribute band worldwide.
“The fair entertainment committee has had many great tribute artists grace our fair stage but this Kiss tribute band, Mr. Speed, is requested quite often,” said Billings. “No wonder with their talent and stage presence, its as though Kiss is here.”
Mr. Speed is making their second appearance at the Mason County Fair as they performed in 2013. The group performs all of the fan favorite Kiss songs and are celebrating their “Heart of Chrome 25th Anniversary Tour.”
To round out the fair on Saturday, Aug. 10 John Anderson will take the main stage at 9 p.m., Anderson is known as one of the greatest country music singers to ever step up to a microphone, possessing one of the most instantly recognizable instruments in the history of genre.
“Fair goers get ready to spend an evening with John Anderson, at the Mason County Fair stage an evening you won’t forget,” said Billings. “You just can’t get any better than this.”
Back in August of 2017, many were waiting to hear and see Anderson, but unfortunately he fell ill and had to cancel many of his schedule shows as well as his date scheduled at the Mason County Fair. After recovery, he is back and playing dates once again across the country. Anderson, signed to Warner Brothers in 1977, and notching his first major hit in 1980 with Billy Jo Shaver’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday).” Other hits, including the classic “Wild and Blue” in 1982, solidified his status as powerful new voice in country music. “Swingin’” written by Anderson and Lionel Delmore, blew the roof off a year later, exploding to number one on the Billboard Country charts, propelling Anderson to the CMA Horizon Award, and becoming one of the most enduring hits in the country canon. Anderson plowed through the ebbs and flows of country music and the country music business throughout the eighties, and in the early nineties engineered one of the biggest comeback runs in the history of the genre. Seminole Wind, released on BNA, produced hit singles in “Straight Tequila Night,” “When It Comes To You,” “Money in the Bank,” and the stirring title cut “Seminole Wind.” Anderson’s career has produced 23 albums, more than 60 singles (20 reaching the Top 10), and a wealth of industry awards.
Along with Billings, Mason County Fair Entertainment committee members include Fair Board President Shawn Paugh and Fair Board Treasurer Nickki Hunt.
Billings said, “For over 35 years Gallion Productions, Melody Gallion, agent, has provided main stage entertainment. We are proud to continue this tradition with Gallion Family in bringing the best in country music to the fairgrounds.”
Erin (Perkins) Johnson contributed to this article.