The Minnesota State Fair has announced the lineups for its free stages: Some names from way back, some hip acts and a lot of who are they?

The popular Leinie Lodge Bandshell Tonight program will kick off with Blood, Sweat & Tears, the old late 1960s hitmaker, with a modern-day singer: Bo Bice, the rocker dude who was runnerup to Carrie Underwood (whatever happened to her?) on “American Idol” in 2005.

Bandshell Tonight will thereafter feature Paul Cebar, the Milwaukee barroom fixture who has mastered many rhythms; fallen rock god Scott Stapp, the voice of Creed; Dr. Dog, the hip Philly rockers who regularly pack First Avenue and get love from DJs on 89.3 the Current; Buckwheat Zydeco, the beloved Louisiana zydeco party-starter; and Charlie Worsham, a rising country star who, unlike other Nashville types, paid his dues by attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

The daytime lineup at the Bandshell will feature 19 acts including Home Free, the Minnesota-based winners of NBC’s a cappella competition “The Sing-Off”; piano powerhouse Marcia Ball and veteran Minnesota vocal group and state-fair regulars Tonic Sol-Fa.

The Bazaar After Dark stage leans toward local heroes and this year’s agenda includes the Van Morrison-loving Belfast Cowboys, barroom institution GB Leighton and rebounding R&B singer Sonny Knight & the Lakers.

Heritage Square is being reborn as the West End but the musical talent includes many Heritage regulars: Chastity Brown, Deke Dickerson with the Trashmen, Monroe Crossing, White Iron Band and promising country singer Sturgill Simpson.

There are more than 900 free performances at the fair. For more information, go to 


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