A Detroit rapper turned pop and country star and an iconic Southern rock band are set for next summer’s Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport.
Fair general manager Bob Fox announced Sunday that Uncle Kracker would take the stage on Wednesday, July 31, and Lynyrd Skynyrd would be the grandstand attraction for Friday, Aug. 2, at the fair.
As announced at the end of this year’s fair, Toby Keith will be the opening night entertainment on Tuesday, July 30.
Uncle Kracker, born Matthew Shafer, first gained fame as the DJ for fellow Detroit rapper Kid Rock. But he’s landed on the country and adult contemporary charts for the past decade with songs such as “Follow Me,” “Drift Away” and “Smile.”
While opening for Kenny Chesney in 2011 and Jason Aldean in 2010 at the
i wireless Center, he talked about growing up in Detroit and listening to country music from a Nashville radio station on a transistor radio.
“Everybody that (I’ve talked to) says he puts on a great show. I just hope the community appreciates it,” Fox said.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose classic rock songs include “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free- bird” and “What’s Your Name?,” previously played the fair in 1998 and 2002. The band’s history took a tragic turn with the 1977 plane-crash deaths of founding lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines.
Fox said that he has two acts penciled in for the final weekend of the fair and was waiting for both to sign.
“I was hoping I would hear last week when I was in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.
That would leave the only vacancy on Thursday, Aug. 2. Fox said he was still in search of a crowd-pleaser for that night of the 94th annual fair.
“Every year I try to rebuild the mousetrap. Somehow or other, we always pull it through,” he said.