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By Photo courtesy of Los Lobos
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By Photo courtesy of REP Speedwagon
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By Photo courtesy of Lonestar
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By Photo courtesy of Luis Miguel
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By Photo courtesy of Zendaya
BY MATT MUNOZ Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The musical acts lined up for the Kern County Fair hit all the right notes: classic rock, country, vintage soul, Latin, contemporary Christian. The common denominator: All but one are included with the price of fair admission.
No matter your height or age, the bleacher-seating arrangement guarantees you won't be without prime view of the stage. Unless otherwise noted, shows begin at 8 p.m. at the Budweiser Pavilion, are free with paid fair admission and seats are first come, first served.
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Wednesday, Sept. 18: Luis Miguel at Kern County Fair Grandstand
Mexican crooner and heartthrob Luis Miguel is one of Latin music's best-selling icons. After releasing his first album at the age of 11, Miguel eventually became an international star -- the "Latin Frank Sinatra" -- even being tapped by Ol' Blues Eyes himself to appear on Sinatra's "Duets II." Today, Miguel's "Romances" music series remains popular around the globe, as does his love life. Reserve tickets are $59 to $149. Fair admission is included in price and available for purchase through vallitix.com or by calling 322-5200.
Wednesday, Sept. 18: Uncle Kracker
Starting out as Kid Rock's DJ, singer and guitarist Uncle Kracker hasn't done too bad as a solo artist since leaving his old boss's traveling circus. He knows what his blue-collar fan base wants and provides it: Southern rock with the occasional nod to his former rap/rock persona. He's a regular visitor to Bakersfield.
Thursday, Sept. 19: REO Speedwagon
The name may conjure images of '80s power ballads like "Keep On Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling," but REO Speedwagon has a reputation as bona fide rockers. Longtime lead singer Kevin Cronin still has the pipes to get the job done.
Friday, Sept. 20: Zendaya
Singer, dancer and actress Zendaya, who appears on the Disney Channel series "Shake It Up," is all over the place these days, most recently on season 16 of "Dancing with the Stars," where she took second place. Now the 17-year-old artist is heading into the realm of dance pop with her latest single, "Replay."
Saturday, Sept. 21: Jo Dee Messina:
Country diva Jo Dee Messina broke out in the '90s with a string of country power ballads like "I'm Alright" and "That's the Way." In addition to releasing a new album titled "Me," Messina enjoys a successful career in cyberspace, running her own mommy blog, fumblingmom.com.
Sunday, Sept. 22: Starship with Mickey Thomas
With roots dating back to the summer of love, the psychedelic Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship before morphing into Starship in the 1980s, with the pop hits, "We Built This City" and "Sarah." The band is currently fronted by vocalist Mickey Thomas, who sang on the group's biggest MTV-era hits.
Monday, Sept. 23: Los Lobos
Not just another band from East LA, the Los Lobos quintet of David Hidalgo, Conrad Lozano, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas and Steve Berlin are celebrating 40 years of spicy Mexican-American rockin' blues. Known for their rendition of the Richie Valens classic, "La Bamba," the group boasts a rich discography and colorful live show, which will take listeners on a trip through the Latin American musical experience.
Tuesday, Sept. 24: The Four Tops
The legendary Four Tops teamed up in high school and spent more than four decades without a single personnel change. After churning out hits for Motown, the group continues sharing their iconic hits "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself," "Bernadette" and more. On lead vocals is former Temptation Theo Peoples.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: Dustin Lynch and Lucky Ned Pepper
A relative newcomer to the country music scene, singer Dustin Lynch has already toured with heavy-hitters Little Big Town and Keith Urban, but also knows the importance of a grass-roots level fan base. His self-titled debut reached No. 1 on the country charts. Also appearing are former Smokin' Armadillos members Rick Russell and Josh Graham, who now perform as Lucky Ned Pepper.
Thursday, Sept. 26: Kutless
Christian pop rock quintet Kutless have survived numerous lineup changes since forming in 1999. With seven best-selling studio albums, the group's updated blend of music and inspiration have helped introduce them to a new legion of fans.
Friday, Sept. 27: Hollywood Stones
Since 1994, this Los Angeles-based tribute has been performing the music of the Rolling Stones to the masses around the world. With the look, the sound and the feel of the real Stones, the Hollywood Stones will have crowds rockin' and rollin' into the weekend.
Saturday, Sept. 28: Lonestar
Introduced to radio during the new country craze of 1995, Nashville's very own Lonestar has garnered one of the most loyal fan bases in the genre. The band's latest release, "Life As We Know it," features the return of original vocalist Richie McDonald and has been embraced by both fans and critics.
7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29: Banda La Costena and also Ana Victoria
Formed in 1950 in the Mexican coastal region of Mazatlan, Banda La Costena is revered for its horn-heavy "Sinaloense"- style music and energetic live shows. Often taking the stage with 20-plus members, the band's fans hang on every note. Also appearing is Latin Grammy-nominated vocalist Ana Victoria.
Over at the Villa Festiva
Head over to the Villa Festiva stage during the fair for some of the best Latin music you'll find in one place. Free acts present everything from traditional mariachi to various regional Latin styles every night. Don't forget your roasted corn glazed with butter and chili.
Two must-see acts this year are Bakersfield Latin legends Mariachi San Marcos, who appear both weekends on Friday and Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. Led by musician Jose Laris, Mariachi San Marcos combines the best of traditional and contemporary styles for a perfect fiesta afternoon. Also, catch Mexico's legendary La Sonora Santanera, appearing at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, and Rocio y Su Sonora from Los Angeles, appearing at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Both groups are purveyors of the infectious Colombian cumbia musical style, a Carribean-rooted rhythm that's easy to dance to.