Music News & Reviews

Alan Jackson, Brett Eldredge charm country fans at California Mid-State Fair

Country legend Alan Jackson performs July 28 at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles.
Country legend Alan Jackson performs July 28 at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. California Mid-State Fair

Country music legend Alan Jackson wowed a crowd of nearly 12,000 fans Tuesday night at the California Mid-State Fair, performing a mix of old hits, such as his first No. 1 song, "I'd Love You All Over Again," and more recent ones such as the just-released rockabilly tune "You Never Know."

Wearing a black shirt and jeans with his trademark white cowboy hat, the 56-year-old performer noted that this was his 10th time playing the fair, adding that he has sold more records in California during his 25-year career than in any other state in America.

As Jackson performed older favorites, music videos he made then were projected onto screens on stage — much to the delight of the audience members, who stomped their feet to the beat of the music. A few danced in the aisles.

Among the crowd favorites were "Remember When" and "I'm A Country Boy." The fans who packed the Chumash Grandstand Arena ranged in age from their teens to 70s.

Jackson who performed for more than an hour and a half, has sold more than 80 million records worldwide and won two Grammy Awards and more than 150 music industry awards.

Brett Eldredge, the Country Music Association’s 2014 New Artist of the Year and winner of the American Country Countdown Awards’ Song of the Year honor, kicked off Tuesday’s concert promptly at 7:30 p.m.

The 29-year-old entertained the crowd for a solid 45 minutes with his engaging style and winning, sexy voice.

Eldredge’s high-energy performance included the songs "Beat of the Music," "Don't Ya" and "I Wanna Be That Song.'' The latter, he said, "reminds you of the first time you fell in love."

“I Wanna Be That Song” will be featured on his second album, “Illinois,” due out Sept. 11.

Eldredge toasted the audience for allowing him to open for Jackson, calling the artist one of his favorites.

For what it's worth, they're both favorites in our book, with heartthrob Eldredge drawing the younger crowd and superstar Jackson appealing to older fans.

Concertgoers clearly got their money's worth on Tuesday.

The California Mid-State Fair continues through Sunday at the Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles.

For more information, call 800-909-FAIR (3247) or visit