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Country concert fills grandstand

County music fans -- and a few people who were just plain curious -- took a seat Friday night in the grandstand at the Lawrence County Fair.

A 7 p.m. concert by Tammy Cochran preceded the 8 p.m. session with Clay Davidson, both relative newcomers to the music scene.

"Tammy Cochran is the main reason we came," Kevin Karschner said. "My wife likes her song 'Angels In Waiting.'"

Karschner, from Ironton, brought his wife, Janice, and daughter, Khara.

"She's got a nice voice," Khara Karschner said.

"We haven't heard too much from Clay Davidson. That was the other reason we came," Kevin Karschner said. "We wanted to hear some of his music."

Eloise Riley of Ironton was another Tammy Cochran fan who came to listen.

"She's got that song I like, 'Angels In Waiting,'" Riley said.

That song was repeatedly mentioned as a favorite current hit on the county charts.

Written by Cochran about her two brothers who died in childhood of cystic fibrosis, the song talks about the two little boys, who are now angels, on Earth for a short time, now in heaven.

"It conveys a good message about where her brothers are,"

Shauna Freeman, of South Point noted. "It's a comforting song, I think."

Cochran saved her big hit for last, singing it just before she left the stage.

The song "Angels In Waiting" made the American Country Countdown top 10 late last year.

The video for the song was awarded "Video of the Year" at the eighth annual CCMA (Christian Country Music Association) Awards in November of 2001.

The Billboard Video Music Awards also honored Cochran in late 2001 when

"Angels In Waiting" was awarded "Best Contemporary Christian Clip of the Year."

Winners of these awards are chosen by Billboard Magazine readers.

Dressed casually in a red tank top and blue jeans, Cochran sang several songs she had written herself.

Cochran, a native of Austinburg, Ohio -- a small town near Cleveland -- is an Epic recording artist.

While most people praised Cochran's songs and singing voice, some of Clay Davidson's fans came for other reasons.

"I think he's really cute," Jessica Ferguson said.

She quickly added that she thought he had a nice voice, too. She said her favorite Clay Davidson song is "My Love is Unconditional."

"I came to see him up there on that stage," Charlett Townsend of Willow Wood said with a smile.

Davidson, looking the part of the outlaw so popular among country fans, was dressed entirely in black, topped off with a cowboy hat.

His songs often were followed by what sounded like female hooting from the fans in the stands.

Davidson, a Virginia native and Virgin Records Nashville recording artist, got his start in country music as the opening act for Restless Heart.

Some of the people who attended the concerts were there mostly by fate.

"Actually, I don't listen to country," Marie Weaver, of Barboursville, W.Va. confessed with a grin. "I'm here because I came with her."

She pointed to a friend, and explained they work together.

Lena Clark is her friend from South Point. Clark is a country music fan She is also a Lawrence County Fair fan.

"We come every year. It's a family tradition," she said. "And my grandson sold a chicken tonight."

Ashley Mattox of Catlettsburg, Ky. wandered into the grandstands out of sheer curiosity.

"My grandma's here running the Headstart booth," she explained with a shrug. "I thought I'd come take some pictures." Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune