Logan County Fair moves forward with plans for 2021
Josh Turner to be feature artist at August 7th concert

Send a link to a friend  Share

[June 23, 2021]   In 2020, the Logan County Fair had to be canceled due to the coronavirus and restrictions on public gatherings. Now as the time for the 2021 Logan County Fair approaches, the fair board is moving forward optimistically with plans for a fair event to be held August 1st through 8th.

LC fair volunteer David Irwin is hopeful that by the end of July, the return to the new normal after the pandemic will permit business close to ‘as usual’ for fair events and fair goers.

With that in mind, the fair board is announcing that there will be a Saturday night concert, and the featured performer will be Nashville recording artist Josh Turner.

The Friday, August 7th concert will once again this year be a lawn concert on the southeast corner of the fairground. Guests may bring a blanket to sit on or bleacher seating will be available. No lawnchairs will be allowed inside the concert area. Gates will tentatively open at 6 p.m. with the concert scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Over the last several weeks, many restrictions have been lifted particularly for those who are fully vaccinated. The Covid positivity rate is dropping and there is evidence Illinois Governor JB Pritzker will be making further adjustments to local restrictions within the next few weeks.

Irwin said that the fair board is and will be working closely with the Logan County Department of Public Health to assure the safety of all those involved with the fair along with those attending.

Regarding the concert, Irwin said that the board is excited to have Turner come to Logan County. Turner was originally booked for the 2020 fair, and the board feels it was good luck that they were able to re-book the artist.

Irwin explained that when looking for a concert performer there are two factors that come into play; budget and routing. The budget is on the fair board side. They have to choose from a selection of artists whose concert fee is within the money set aside by the board for that event.

Perhaps the more difficult part of the selection process is the routing which is on the artist side. Irwin commented, “I can have all the money in the world and have access to all the names I want but if the routing doesn’t work out you simply aren’t going to get them here.”

Irwin said the process of selecting an artist takes a lot of time and requires a good working relation with a promoter who helps the fair board make an affordable selection based availability. “Then I have to hold by breathe and hope they aren’t so far away that it prevents them to getting to our venue. The rule of thumb is usually 500-600 miles. If they are within that mileage from a show the night before they will make it happen. There are also other restrictions that happen as well. There is usually a rule saying that they won’t come if they have been within 90 miles, 45 days before or 60 days after our concert date. These are just some of the things that makes lining up an act somewhat difficult.”

And again, having a good working relationship with the people on the other side makes a big difference. This was the case with bringing Turner to Logan County. “We were lucky enough to stay in touch with his people last July/August and get him lined back up for this year. He is a big time performer with lots of songs that music lovers will recognize.”

Indeed, the music of Josh Turner reflects some of country music’s finest artists. He lists as his personal favorites and those who have influenced his music as well-known artists such as Randy Travis, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Vern Gosden and Hank Williams.

His album “Country State of Mind” features Turners renditions of many of the works performed by those artists including Randy Travis’ hit song “Forever and ever, Amen,” Johnny Cash’s “The caretaker,” and Hank Williams “Alone and Forsaken.”

Be sure to read the complete biography of the music of Josh Turner included in this article.

Tickets for the concert are set to go on sale June 11th. The cost will be $22 per guest. Tickets will be sold online at www.logancountyfairil.com or by visiting the State Bank of Lincoln Loan Department. The Logan County Fair office is set to open July 1st and tickets may also be purchased there.

Josh Turner Bio

MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner, while a multi-platinum-selling star himself, is a country music fan first and foremost. He’s even concocted his own version of Mount Rushmore conceived solely of country music legends. Turner’s “Mount Rushmore of Country Music” boasts five faces rather than four (it’s his mountain, after all) — Randy Travis, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Vern Gosdin, and Hank Williams.

The giants carved into the granite of Turner’s musical soul form the core of his aptly titled new album, Country State of Mind. “I’ve always said that any song you hear coming from my voice, you’re going to hear bits and pieces of those five guys,” he says. “They taught me how to be Josh Turner.”

[to top of second column]

The dozen songs on Country State of Mind, including songs from those five legends among others, span more than half a century of classic country music, encompassing both well-known standards and deep-catalog cuts. The album shows a singer in dialogue with the songs and the artists that shaped his vision. It’s a conversation — relayed in the distinctive, resonant baritone that brought Turner #1 hits and five gold and platinum albums — between the past and present of country music. And on half the tracks, Turner invites other voices — some heroes, some contemporaries — to join him in the conversation.

“I knew the artists I wanted to represent,” explains Turner, “and I chose songs that exemplified who each of these artists was from my perspective.” The result is a multifaceted album that reflects a distinctive mix of popular and personally meaningful songs. “Forever and Ever, Amen” marks Randy Travis’ first recording session since an incapacitating 2013 stroke. John Anderson, who has written and recorded with Turner in the past, joins him to reprise Anderson’s 1993 hit “I’ve Got It Made.” Early in his career, Turner often performed Vern Gosdin’s first chart-topping single, “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight),” and has long dreamed of re-introducing it to a new generation of listeners. Turner plays guitar for the first time on one of his albums on his renditions of Johnny Cash’s “The Caretaker” and Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” — the album’s oldest, and darkest, songs.

“When I was growing up, before I moved to Nashville, I was crazy about sad songs,” he says. “There has always been a part of my heart that has loved those sad, lonesome, and slow songs.”

Turner chose his guests as carefully as he did his material, selecting artists who shared his love and respect for the material. “I wanted artists I knew have an appreciation for traditional country music,” he says. Besides heroes Travis and Anderson, Turner invited Country Music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson to record a new version of his 1973 chart-topper “Why Me” with him. The title track, originally a 1986 hit for Hank Williams Jr., becomes a duet with fellow Grand Ole Opry member Chris Janson. The members of Runaway June take George Jones’ part on “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me,” and Maddie & Tae sing with Turner on “Desperately,” a 2004 single for George Strait and the album’s newest song.

Country State of Mind also includes songs originally made famous by Keith Whitley (“I’m No Stranger to the Rain”), Waylon Jennings (“Good Ol’ Boys” Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard), and Alan Jackson (“Midnight in Montgomery”).

From the very start of his career through chart-topping hits like “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “All Over Me,” Turner has immersed himself in country music’s history and its iconic figures. After all, this is someone who, as a student at Nashville’s Belmont University, took an open gate on Johnny Cash’s property as a sign he should knock on the legendary singer’s door and introduce himself.

“The doorknob wiggles, the door swings open, and there stands Johnny Cash,” Turner recalls. “He and I both jump back, because he didn’t expect to see me, and I sure didn’t expect him to answer the door.”

Later, as the hits came, along with multiple GRAMMY, CMA, and ACM nominations, Turner joined the Grand Ole Opry. One of country music’s oldest and most hallowed traditions, the Opry once counted Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, and George Jones among its ranks; now, Turner shares membership with heroes like Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, and Patty Loveless, as well as guest Chris Janson.

For nearly two decades, Turner has been one of country music’s most recognizable voices, selling more than 8.5 million units and amassing more than 2.5 billion global streams. He has never kept his reverence for traditional country music a secret, but, with this latest album, Josh Turner is definitely in a Country State of Mind.

Really, though, he always has been.

For more information on Josh Turner, visit www.JoshTurner.com.

[Submitted by Dave Irwin]

Back to top