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August 3, 2006
Section: Local
Edition: Final
Page: 1C

Wayne County Fair kicks off
The Herald-Dispatch



The Herald-Dispatch

If it has strings and isn't nailed to a wall, Huntington resident Bobby Maynard, can play it like it's borrowed.

Maynard, the multi-instrumentalist who toured the country for five years with Dry Branch Fire Squad, brings his band Breakdown to today's bluegrass night at the Wayne County Fair at the Huntington Police Recreational Farm on West Virginia 152.

Gates open at 4 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m. with Maynard and Breakdown, Down Tyme, Bottomline, and bluegrass legend Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.

Cost is $5 and free for children 12 and under.

A 1982 Fairland High School graduate, Maynard, is a multi-instrumentalist who has played professionally with a wide range of national country and bluegrass acts including Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, Little Jimmy Dickens, Johnny Russell, Jack Greene, Dry Branch Fire Squad and The Jordanaires.

Back home since he went off the road with Dry Branch Fire Squad, Maynard has found a nice niche here in the hills of home. In addition to starting a family, he and his wife have a 2-year-old, Abby, and a little boy on the way in the fall, Maynard has recorded three solo CDs that are still top sellers at Tamarack, cutting his own musical path with his own band Breakdown, as well as carrying the tradition to beginners of all ages.

Maynard, who took first place at the 2000 bluegrass banjo contest at Vandalia Gathering, has been teaching music lessons since age 15 on everything from banjo and fiddle to mandolin and guitar.

Maynard, who has already had Breakdown as south as Florida and as north as Michigan this summer, said he's excited to play for a second year at the Wayne County Fair.

"Last year was the first year and we had a ball," said Maynard, who only lives a stone skip from the fair. "We saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones."

Playing in Breakdown, which recorded its first CD in 2004, is Carter Brickey, who plays mandolin and guitar and upright bassist Tim Corbett.

They make a mountain of music for three people as Maynard and Brickey trade off on instruments as Maynard musically plows on banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin.

A traditional bluegrass band in overdrive, Breakdown will also be unveiling some new originals that Maynard and the boys will be recording this fall for a new CD that will be out in early 2007.

At the Fair, they are going to debut, "The Last Time That Miner Went Down," a song Maynard wrote after the Sago mine tragedy.

The band, which plays a cancer benefit on Friday at Soggy Bottom Campground in Greenup, Ky., will also play another Maynard original, "Go Getter," a funny song that has been getting airplay on WTCR-AM, 1420, a new Americana station being broadcast 24-7 on the Web and locally on the radio.

Maynard, who has always made a living playing music, said folks will see a little bit of everything tonight from clawhammer and bluegrass banjo to old-time fiddle tunes and new funny songs.

Everything, except dancing.

"They're probably not going to see any of us dancing," Maynard said laughing. "We'll save that for the indoor venues."

Bruce Finley, who booked the 25 or so gospel and bluegrass groups at the Wayne County Fair, said the music at the fair show off the deep well of talent in the Tri-State region.

"In this area we have super good talent," Finley said. "They are great people and they are good to work with and that makes my job a lot easier."

Finley said it is nice to be able to host bands with area ties, including Down Tyme, is a Wayne County group that was formed up by Chuck and Alan Perry of Genoa.

Although bluegrass has been a long-time tradition at the

 the bulk of the fair music is gospel which is close to his heart since he used to sing in a quartet.

The fair has five gospel groups on Friday and gospel music starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday with five local groups, and then winds up with such national headliners as The Narrow Way and the Primitive Quartet.

Finley said he wanted to thank all the local companies that made donations so the fair could bring in good entertainment and also keep the costs down.

"If it wasn't for them we couldn't put on the caliber shows we do," Finley said. "We try to keep the gate prices down to $5 so that everybody in the county can come. I look at it like a big family reunion."

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Melvin Goins and Windy Mountian