Tracy Byrd to perform at U.P. State Fair Aug. 14

Country music artist Tracy Byrd. (Courtesy photo via the Escanaba Daily Pess photo)

ESCANABA — This summer at the U.P. State Fair, you can learn the “Watermelon Crawl” when country music artist Tracy Byrd takes the Grandstand stage on Wednesday, Aug. 14, along with special guests The Riflemen. Tracy Byrd and The Riflemen are the first acts announced by the U.P. State Fair in its full line-up of grandstand entertainment, presented by Island Resort and Casino.

Tracy Byrd became a household name on the country music scene in 1993 when his third single, called “Holdin’ Heaven” — off of his MCA Records, self-titled debut album-hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Charts. The album also included the remake hit of Johnny Paycheck’s “Someone to Give my Love to” cementing Byrd as a Traditional Country Troubadour. The debut album went on to be certified Gold, an award signifying sales in excess of 500,000 copies.

Byrd’s second project, “No Ordinary Man,” built on the momentum the first album created, with the first radio single from it, “Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous” reaching No. 4, followed by another top five hit, “The First Step,” then with the release of the smash, chart-topping hit “Watermelon Crawl,” the second album crossed the half million sales mark and certified Gold.

The release of the fourth and last single on this project moved Byrd to the top of both the Billboard Album and Singles charts. The song was called “The Keeper of the Stars” and it shot to No. 1 on the singles charts and pushed the album to Double Platinum status, which certifies sales of over two million copies. “The Keeper of the Stars” won Academy of Country Music’s “Song of the Year” award in 1995.

Byrd’s later album, “The Truth About Men” first released the title track — a comedic look at what men are really like; the track was a team effort with Byrd’s buddies Blake Shelton, Andy Griggs, and Troy and Eddie of Montgomery Gentry lending their talents to the song and the video. This album also released the top five smash, “The Drinkin’ Bone,” which became a crowd favorite sing-along song.

In 2001, Byrd released the album “Ten Rounds,” with the party song of the year, “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” shooting to the top of the Billboard charts in 2002 to notch Byrd’s third No. 1 single. He also hit the top 10 with his Spanish guitar flared “Just Let Me Be In Love.” Byrd has performed over 4,000 shows across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia from 1992 to 2009, and in June 2016, went back in the studio, releasing his latest album, “All American Texan,” in October 2016. It has been well-received by critics and fans alike.

The U.P. State Fair will also welcome The Riflemen to the Grandstand stage on Wednesday night. The Riflemen pride themselves as a true blend of Heartland/Southern Rock, and Midwest Country/Americana.

This four-piece band, playing their own original songs and well-known covers, is led by Grant Reiff on piano/keys and lead vocals, Joe Cordell on drums, Mark Vironda on lead/rhythm guitar, and Conor Reed on bass guitar and background vocals. Based out of Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, they are traveling the world over to play their brand of American music.

With their upcoming album “Rebels & Rogues” slated for release in mid-2023, The Riflemen are sure to leave crowds with a memorable experience. Some members of the band’s previous keynote performances include: the Inauguration of President George W. Bush, Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, The Houston Rodeo, The Crystal Cathedral, St. Andrews-Scotland, and opening for Ted Nugent, Justin Moore, Blues Traveler, and countless additional shows around the country and world.

Gold Circle tickets for performances by Tracy Byrd with special guests, The Riflemen, on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) go on sale on Monday, April 22 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased from the presenting sponsor, Island Resort and Casino, at islandresortandcasino.com/entertainment. General seating for all Grandstand entertainment is free with admission to the Fair. To purchase advance gate admission for the U.P. State Fair, please visit upstatefair.net.


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