The Jayhawks, Low Cut Connie and members of Dire Straits to play free stage at Minnesota State Fair

The Jayhawks, Low Cut Connie and Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry are among the artists set to play the Minnesota State Fair’s largest free stage.

The newly announced lineup for evening shows at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell also includes Caitlyn Smith, DSL* Dire Straits Legacy and the Family Stone.

Longtime local favorites the Jayhawks released their 11th album, “XOXO,” in the summer of 2020. It’s the band’s first record with sole writing credits for each member and is also the first to feature each singing lead vocals. The current lineup includes band leader Gary Louris, drummer Tim O’Reagan, keyboardist Karen Grotberg and bassist Marc Perlman.

Philadelphia’s Low Cut Connie has a reputation as a must-see live act and counts the likes of Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Howard Stern as high-profile fans. The group was set to play the Grandstand last summer as part of The Current’s Music On-a-Stick, but pulled out due to COVID protocol concerns.

Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry were a constant presence on country radio during the ’00s, with a string of chart-toppers like “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Something to Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew it All” and “Roll with Me.” Gentry died in a 2017 helicopter crash, but Montgomery has kept the duo’s music alive as a solo act.

A native of Cannon Falls, Caitlyn Smith has written songs for Garth Brooks, Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus, Jason Aldean and others. She has also released three solo albums and found some success with the singles “Long Time Coming,” “I Can’t” and “Downtown Baby.”

DSL* Dire Straits Legacy features five members who recorded and toured with the late British rock band Dire Straits, including keyboardist Alan Clark, who was in the lineup that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The group bills themselves as “the closest you’re going to get” to the original band.

Led by founding member Jerry Martini, the Family Stone performs the music of Sly and the Family Stone, including the hits “Everyday People,” “Stand,” “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and “Family Affair.”

Beyond the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, the State Fair features hundreds of free performances on multiple stages during the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together’s 12-day run. The full lineup with showtimes is online at mnstatefair.org.

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