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Country, Christian rock and bull riders at the West Virginia State Fair

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Casting Crowns, Josh Turner and Theory of a Dead Man are the musical acts that will headline this year's West Virginia State Fair.

On Monday, State Fair officials announced the lineup, which includes a lot of pop country, a little bit of hard rock and Christian rock, as well as the Buckin' B Bull Ride show.

The concert series opens Aug. 9 with "X Factor" winner Tate Stevens. The 37-year-old won the reality competition in December and is expected to release his first album in April. His show is free with gate admission.

On Aug. 10, Casting Crowns performs. The award-winning contemporary Christian rock band, a consistent hitmaker on the Christian Music Charts, recently released "The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One," a collection of acoustically reworked Casting Crown's songs.

A youth-oriented show with Austin Mahone and Coco Jones is on Aug. 11.  Mahone is an Internet sensation with more than 1.8 million Facebook fans, 1.5 million Twitter followers and 545,000 YouTube Subscribers. His first official release, "Say You're Just a Friend," features rapper Flo Rida.

Coco Jones starred in the 2012 Disney Channel film, "Let It Shine" and has parlayed that into a music career. The 15-year-old's first single, "Holla at the DJ," was released on Radio Disney in December.

Country singers Josh Turner and Dustin Lynch perform on Aug. 13. Turner has earned four No. 1 country hits -- "Your Man," "Would You Go with Me," "All Over Me" and "Why Don't We Just Dance" -- and released his fifth studio album, "Punching Bag," last June.

Lynch is a relative newcomer to the country music scene, but already the 27-year-old has seen some success. His debut single, "Cowboys and Angels," reached No. 2 on the country charts. His second song, "She Cranks My Tractor," made it into the Top 40.

On Aug. 13, it's the Eli Young Band and Love and Theft. The Eli Young Band is a country four-piece out of Texas, founded in 2000 by Eli and James Young at the University of North Texas. The country performers are best known for the songs "Always the Love Songs," "Even if it Breaks Your Heart" and "Crazy Girl." Country duo Love and Theft released its self-titled sophomore record, which featured the single, "Runnin' Out of Air," last July.

Performers on Aug. 14 are Thompson Square and Randy Houser. Thompson Square, best known for its hit single, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" is currently on tour with country star Luke Bryan and awaiting the release of its second album, "Just Feels Good."

Houser, a country singer/songwriter who co-wrote "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" for Trace Adkins and "Back that Thing Up" for Justin Moore has carved out a successful career as a solo artist with songs like "Whistlin' Dixie," and "How Country Feels."

The fair goes rock on Aug. 18 with Theory of a Deadman. The Canadian grunge rockers are best known for hits like "Make Up Your Mind," "Bad Girlfriend" and "Hate My Life."

The series ends Aug. 16 with the return of the Buckin' B Bull Ride, which is followed by a concert with Southern country rockers Parmalee.

Tickets are not yet on sale and prices are not available. When they do go on sale, they will be sold through Etix, according to the fair's news release. Visit www.statefairofwv.com or call 1-800-514-3849 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.


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