Frankie Ballard AF 098When I headed out to the Appalachian Fair last night, I thought I already knew what I was going to see. And I already had it in  mind what I would be writing about when I got home. I had seen Thompson Square back in March, when they took part in a benefit show at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville. It was a very small stage, and it was an acoustic performance. I even got to meet them briefly after their set, and of course I have listened to their music a lot since. So, I have no idea why I thought tonight’s show at the fair would be kind of laid-back, and on the quiet side, maybe with a fast tune stuck in every now and then.

Frankie Ballard AF 108I was in for a wonderful surprise when Kiefer and Shawna took the stage! I just didn’t even think about three guitars and a drum behind the duo. Where was my head? I’ve been going to concerts for a hundred years (or so it seems). And I go to six concerts in six nights every year during our fair in Gray, Tenn. Why in the world would I ever expect a show at the Appalachian Fair to be ‘laid back, and relatively quiet.’ Last night, Thompson Square pulled me back to reality, with an absolutely awesome concert.

Frankie Ballard AF 154Those of you who have been keeping up with my concert reviews the past few days know that I thought Jerrod Neimann put on the best show we were going to see at our fairground this year. And then when I got home on Tuesday night, I realized that Frankie Ballard also put on a fantastic show!  Both Jerrod and Frankie were incredible – not only with their show, but with the way they treated their fans before and after their shows. Meet and Greets, autographs and photos after the show at the merchandise table, on air interviews with WXBQ radio. They just did everything right.

Frankie Ballard AF 149Taking nothing away from Jerrod and Frankie, I now have to tell you that the tradition continues. Our Appalachian Fair is three-for-three in bringing the best entertainment out there to our local fair again this year.  Shawna and Kiefer are talented, funny, friendly people who know how to work their way around a stage, sing to their fans, and jump right into the hearts of everyone in the audience. They have so much energy, enjoy what they are doing and everyone in the audience enjoyed watching. They work so well together, and if they weren’t already married, I’d tell them to get married! They are definitely a team. I think I smiled the entire show. And if you haven’t already guessed, Thompson Square is on my list of ‘’artists I will see again someday.’

Frankie Ballard AF 053I loved hearing them sing “Golden Rings,” which George Jones and Tammy Wynette did way back when country music was a totally different ballgame. They have so much diversity, that I shouldn’t have been at all surprised to hear them do Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, and Tom Petty, and have so much fun.  I think at least half of the crowd wanted to jump up on stage and join in.

On stage with Thompson Square were their band members  Matt Hauer, guitar, from Pennsylvania; Erik Halbig, guitar; Darren Theriault on bass, Ontario, Canada; and Matt Billingslea on drums. If they said where Erik and drummer Matt from, unfortunately I missed that part.

Jerrod Niemann AFThis was the final night for the U.S. Army Golden Knights to parachute onto the fairgrounds. They are a remarkable group, and even though I don’t normally write about anything that isn’t country music, I am definitely going to get an article up about the Golden Knights for you all very soon. 

Now, we’ve got pictures. For those of you who couldn’t make it – here is a little of what you missed last night.

Frankie Ballard AF 035 Frankie Ballard AF 050 Frankie Ballard AF 097

Frankie Ballard AF 185 Frankie Ballard AF 065

Frankie Ballard AF 060 Frankie Ballard AF 166

Frankie Ballard AF 089 Frankie Ballard AF 090 Frankie Ballard AF 129

Frankie Ballard AF 167 Frankie Ballard AF 086Frankie Ballard AF 120

There you have it. Third night is over. third concert is unbelievably fantastic. Thanks, Shawna and Kiefer, I do believe you have found many, many new fans in Gray, Tennessee, last night.

Have a good Thursday everyone!

countryFairsSummer FunWXBQacoustic performance,appalachian fair,benefit show,fantastic show,merchandise table,Thompson Square,three guitars
When I headed out to the Appalachian Fair last night, I thought I already knew what I was going to see. And I already had it in  mind what I would be writing about when I got home. I had seen Thompson Square back in March, when they took...