DeWayne Spaw set to perform at fair

Country singer DeWayne Spaw has opened up for some big-named artists like Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban. However, one of the highlights of his career every summer is playing the Erie County Fair in Sandusky.
John Benson
Aug 1, 2013
In fact, the rural Indiana native has visited the event so often, well, he can’t remember how many times it’s been.
This year Spaw, whose influences include Johnny Cash and Mel Tillis, is bringing his latest album “Let The Cowboys Rock,” which is a follow-up to his previous effort “Starting Today.” talked to Nashville resident Spaw about his music, his style and his Erie County Fair guilty pleasure.
So how many times have you been to the Erie County Fair?
I think this is the 14th or 15th year. I don’t know, and I’m not sure why we’re asked back. We’ve been coming here a long time. I guess we’ve built up a nice following. One year I was thinking about booking anther show that weekend and they said, “Don’t do that.” I said, “OK” and I never stopped playing there. I must have a big fan base there after that many years coming back time and time again.
What is it about DeWayne Spaw’s live performance that keeps so many fairgoers happy?
I try to keep the show exciting. I go up into the crowd when I’m performing. I always say it’s more of a personal type show because I don’t stand on the stage away from everybody. The entertainment element is probably the key. It’s a good, high-energy show and perfect entertainment for the grandstand. While you’re waiting there for the demolition derby or whatever to start, come early and catch the show. The concert is part of the grandstand show, so it’s a good value for your buck. Plus, the kids love it.
We see from your summer schedule that you make the rounds playing numerous fairs. What is it about a county fair that speaks to your music?
I’m more of a family-type performer. It’s a nice atmosphere, and kids can come have a good time. Parents can have a good time. There’s plenty to do for everybody, young and old with tractor pulls, demolition derbies, rides for kids, magic shows. Just you name it they’ve got it.
Tell us about “Let The Cowboys Rock.”
I wanted for years to do an album of classic rock covers. So the newest album I’m singing Bryan Adams, Billy Idol, Bon Jovi. That kind of stuff but I’d when it comes to my own music, it’s got a little bit of a southern rock edge. I wouldn’t say it’s real traditional. Some of the songs are. For the most part, it’s got a southern rock edge. That’s what I love. People say it sounds like Jason Aldean. It’s just more edgy stuff, maybe Brantley Gilbert.
Back to the Erie County Fair, are there any guilty pleasures food-wise that you look forward to?
Oh yeah, probably Toft’s ice cream. They have a stand there and that’s a tough one. The problem is I play in the grandstand each night but then on Friday and Saturday night I play over on the midway too. So I’m sitting right on the corner, right where the ice cream stand is. So the whole time I’m there I’m thinking about getting some ice cream.
So we know where to find you when you’re not on stage?
Absolutely. If I’m not in the grandstand performing, I’ll be over at Toft’s.
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