The winner of the eight competing groups will perform as the featured act on Thursday night

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - DisBand, shown during a rehearsal, will perform their contemporary Christian-style music in hopes of winning the Battle of the Bands contest at the Crook County Fair this week. The competition, which will feature eight local acts, takes place on Thursday afternoon. Whichever group wins will take the stage Thursday evening as the featured musical act.

Eight bands will take the stage at the Crook County Fair on Thursday in hopes of not only securing bragging rights, but a gig for later that evening.

The Battle of the Bands will debut that evening, and the selection is diverse enough that most fairgoers are likely to find something that fits their musical taste. Acts will perform everything from heavy metal and rock to several subgenres of country to contemporary Christian.

"We wanted to do something to showcase the local talent," said Fairgrounds Manager Casey Daly. "The winner of that contest is going to be Thursday night's entertainment,"

Among the competitors participating in the battle is Pear Tree Lane, a group that is familiar with the Crook County Fairgrounds crowd.

"We played at the fair a couple years ago," said banjo player Ken Myers. "Personally, I just love the fair. That is one of my favorite venues, so when I saw they were having a battle of the bands, I jumped right on it."

The band plays primarily bluegrass music, although Myers noted that they have incorporated some Americana-style selections to the mix.

"Our lead singer (Jennifer Stewart) writes a lot of music, and we do a fair amount of her songs," he added.

New to fairgrounds performances is Shovelbelt, a rock band that formed just over a month ago.

"We met through a friend," said drummer Frank Bell, "and the guitar player (T.J. McClung), bass player (Aaron Stedman) and I played together formerly."

The familiarity serves the group well when crafting their brand of songs.

"It's rock with a nice groove that people can move to and lyrics that people can relate to," Bell explained.

DisBandis a nine-member ensemble that has been together much longer than a month. The Christian contemporary band has played together unofficially for several years as the Ascent Christian Church worship team.

During a time of transition in the church, vocalist Kara Becker took leadership of the worship team and the group has since cultivated a more official band status.

"While some might think it odd that a Sunday worship team should be in a battle, I think not," Becker said. "Our goal is to share the gifts God has given us with others, to share His love, and to show how much we love what we do."

Other competitors include Modeus, a four-member heavy metal band; Past County Lines, described as a red dirt country group; L.A.S.H., a rock trio; Borderline, a band of three that plays rock and country; and Sifted, a quartet that specializes in hard rock.

"We would love to be able to do this annually," Daly said. "We are really excited about it."

The Crook County Fair's Battle of the Bands competition will take place on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., on the outdoor stage.

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