Rising talent booked for Night Show

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

Photo courtesy of Jasmine Archie Photography

The Fergus County Fair Board has signed an opening act for the 2018 Central Montana Night Show, and it’s someone who knows a little about life on the rural prairie. Country singer and songwriter Lexi Wyman is a new talent with a strong sound, and Entertainment Committee Chair Alan Shammel said a childhood in rural North Dakota makes her a great match for the fair.

Wyman’s name topped a long list, according to Shammel, thanks to input from the Fair Board and the public. Board members met Wyman at national fair conventions in 2016 and 2017, leaving with good impressions both years. Local residents echoed the board’s thoughts, according to Shammel.

“We did an online questionnaire,” he said. “We had a whole bunch of suggestions [for openers], so we asked people to choose one or name one.”

The effort produced a pool of candidates, but to choosing one turned out to be an easy task.

“It wasn’t even close,” Shammel said. “She was the overwhelming favorite.”

He added the committee is excited to have a female opener, something the night show hasn’t seen in years, and that the group was confident Wyman would put on a good show.

“She has opened for some pretty high-powered entertainers,” he said.

Wyman’s first album, released in 2015, started a cross-country journey for the farm-raised North Dakotan, and performing as an opener has produced some of her most memorable experiences.

“I’ve opened for a lot of really fun people,” she said. “A couple of summers ago, I got to open for Montgomery Gentry, which was so cool.”

Wyman has also opened for Kenny Rogers, another exciting career moment. Despite her travels, the 2018 Central Montana Night Show will be a first of sorts for her: Wyman has been booked by other fairs, but only for afternoon shows.

“I guess this will be my first big grandstand and night show performance at a fair,” she said.

A full band, all from North Dakota, will accompany Wyman. Roots and close relationships are two of her biggest values, even when she’s playing to crowds.

“When I play a show, I try to be really genuine,” she said. “When I’m on stage, I will talk to the audience like I will talk to someone standing face-to-face.

“…The songs that I write are very much things people can relate to.”

Wyman’s music narrates personal experiences she believes many people share: heartbreak, small-town settings and growing up on a farm. Her childhood on a third-generation rural farm provides most of the inspiration.

Now, Wyman is eager to bring those experiences and lyrics to Central Montana.

“I love Montana, and I love playing shows in Montana,” she said. “I’m so excited to come back this year and open for Easton Corbin. It will be a great night.”

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