They are uncommon musicmakers with common surnames. One of Nashville's most consistent hitmakers, Alan Jackson has chalked up 27 No. 1 country hits in 22 years. His new album, "Thirty Miles West," is about as hard country as mainstream country gets these days. Oh, sure, he's duetting with Zac Brown on "Dixie Highway," but most of the tunes are more old-school than radio-friendly. Opening act Jamey Johnson is pushing the envelope in many ways in Nashville, including his prolificness and outlaw edginess. This fall, he'll release a tribute to Hank Cochran on which he duets with Merle Haggard, Elvis Costello and Alison Krauss, among others. (7:30 p.m. Fri., grandstand, $40.) Jon Bream

Sort of the West Coast answer to the Hold Steady, Los Angeles' Dawes has had Minnesota fans swooning for the past few years. It's impossible to resist frontman Taylor Goldsmith's unabashed enthusiasm and his quartet's soulful folk-rock. (8:30 p.m. Fri., bandshell, free.) Bream

Blake Shelton apparently has turned into a full-time TV star because of "The Voice," which recently began filming its third season. He doesn't have much time for concerts, but he's coming to the State Fair to sing about drinking, dogs and some beach somewhere. He's also known to throw in classic rock tunes just like the contestants he coaches on TV. Opener Sunny Sweeney loves the honky-tonk life, as demonstrated on her hit "Drink Myself Single." (7:30 p.m. Sat. grandstand, $31 & $41.) Bream

Texas blues-rockers the Fabulous Thunderbirds became unlikely rock stars in the '80s with "Tuff Enuff" and "Wrap It Up." Three decades later singer/harpist Kim Wilson carries on with a remade lineup that includes Fargo-reared guitar ace Mike Keller. (8:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun., bandshell, free.) Chris Riemenschneider

They were born during the Reagan administration, but the brothers behind the Cactus Blossoms sound more Eisenhower era with their harmonious country songs, anchored by an all-star band that includes pedal-steel wiz Randy Broughten of the Gear Daddies. (10:30 a.m., 11:30, 12:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun., Heritage Square, free.) Riemenschneider

Elizabeth Cook favors traditional country with a fresh attitude that makes her seem left of center in Nashville. She took a right turn on this year's "Gospel Plow," mixing spiritual and bluegrass. (1 & 2:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun., bandshell, free.) Bream

Billowy voiced songbird Caroline Smith and her rustically rocking band the Good Night Sleeps bring indie-rock flavor to the fair's twangy corner, but have enough folky, rootsy flavor to charm the cowboys, too (6:30 & 7:45 p.m. Sat. & Sun., Heritage Square, free.) Riemenschneider

Anita Baker, queen of quiet storm, has a new single, "Lately," a luscious remake of Tyrese's late-1990s tune. She also has a new album, "Only Forever," due in October -- her first new studio effort in eight years. The 1990s star and eight-time Grammy winner will bring the "Sweet Love" rapture to the grandstand. (8 p.m. Sun., $38.) Bream

If Tom Cruise's "Rock of Ages" left you nostalgic for hair bands of the '80s and unconcerned about the cheese factor, Hairball has been paying tribute to them for over a decade, with costumed re-creations of Guns N' Roses, Poison, Bon Jovi, Kiss and many more. (8:30 p.m. Mon.-Tue., bandshell, free.) Riemenschneider

Maybe the only other place to hear live hip-hop music at the fair besides next weekend's Wiz Kalifah grandstand show, 89.3 the Current will host on-air sessions with local rappers P.O.S. (4 p.m. Mon.) and Brother Ali (4 p.m. Wed.). Both have new albums to talk/brag about. (Minnesota Public Radio booth, free.) Riemenschneider

Former Oklahoma punk rocker JD McPherson creates songs that sound like 1950s rockabilly delivered with a voice as soulful as Sam Cooke's. No Brylcreem or poodle skirts are needed to appreciate such timeless tunes as "North Side Gal." (6:30 & 7:45 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Heritage Square, free.) Bream

The Turtles were unexpectedly wonderful last year at the grandstand. Their talents will offset whatever their Happy Together Tour mates -- '60s stars Gary Puckett, Micky Dolenz, the Grass Roots and the Buckinghams -- are missing. (8 p.m. Mon. grandstand, $18.) Bream

Of all the Disney-bred music stars, "X Factor" judge-in-waiting Demi Lovato rivals Nick Jonas as the most musically talented. She can sing, play instruments and command a stage. She will rock you. "Tonight Tonight" hitmakers Hot Chelle Rae open. (7:30 p.m. Tue., grandstand, $35.) Bream

One of the more exciting country acts of the '90s, the Mavericks mixed traditional country with vintage rock 'n' roll. After disbanding in 2004, the band is back, fortified by frontman Raul Malo, a vocal force in many styles. (8:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu., bandshell, free.) Bream

A fresh-faced, traditional Latin dance sextet fronted by powerhouse vocalist Adriana Rimple, Malamanya has become the go-to salsa band for Twin Cities clubgoers in just two years. (10:45 a.m., noon & 1:15 p.m. Wed. & Thu., International Bazaar, free.) Riemenschneider

Both bona fide headliners, Kiss and Mötley Crüe are better showmen than musicians. Kiss pulled surprises last time at the fair when Paul Stanley flew over the crowd on a cable. The studio-shy quartet is about to drop its second album in three years, "Monster," in October. The Crüe has good tricks, too. Party with some of rock's most enduringly hedonistic stars. (7 p.m. Wed., grandstand, $51-$81.) Bream

Last year at Xcel Center, Rascal Flatts were focused, fresh and fun -- partly because the show was filmed for a TV special. Flatts' hair and harmonies still rule country, and they know how to work the grandstand. With hitmakers Little Big Town and Eli Young Band plus impressive newcomers Edens Edge. (7 p.m. Thu., grandstand, $43-$63.) Bream