Fair offers rain-proof music acts
Concerts held indoors

LAWRENCEVILLE - Rain or shine, the fair will be rocking.

The soggy start to the annual county event won't bog down the entertainment, organizers say. Three performances are scheduled nightly through Friday, and with heavy rains dwindling as the week progresses, along with the comfort of an indoor venue, fair manager Dale Thurman hopes Gwinnett residents will come out for performances by a couple fair entertainment veterans.

"We know that they're crowd pleasers," Thurman said.

First up tonight are high-energy honky-tonk rockers Confederate Railroad, who have been on the country music scene since the early '90s with their signature, Grammy-nominated song "Trashy Women." That anthem was followed up by "Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind" and "Elvis and Andy" off their sophomore album. With 18 charted hits and 5 million in album sales under their belts, Confederate Railroad plays more than 100 gigs every year at fairs and clubs around the country.

Railroad fans hoping for autographs or photos with one or all of the band's five members - lead singer Danny Shirley, drummer Mark Dufresne, Wayne Secrest on bass, Rusty Hendrix on lead guitar and Cody McCarver on keyboards and vocals - will be in luck after tonight's show.

Confederate Railroad will be followed Thursday by Athens native T. Graham Brown, a musical jack of many trades who will offer up Nashville honky tonk, Memphis soul, New Orleans funk and Muscle Shoals, Ala., blues.

Drawing from even closer to home, the county fair will host Gwinnett's own Joey Watkins and the RiverStreet Band on Friday. The group, which is fronted by Dacula native Joey Watkins and features the musical talents of Buford native Matt Puckett and Flowery Branch residents Zane Brock, Mike Roberts and Bryan Stone, will offer up crowd-pleasing country music. The band has played at the fair every year for more than a decade.

"We're just a bunch of country boys having fun," Watkins said. "We enjoy our music. We love to perform."

All three performances this week are free with fair admission and will be held in the entertainment building. For more information, call the fairgrounds at 770-963-6522.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Gwinnett County Fair nightly performances

· When: 7:30 p.m. today through Friday

· Where: 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville

· Cost: Free with fair admission, which is $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger

· For more information: Call 770-963-6522 or visit www.gwinnettcountyfair.com