Rustic Overtones was scheduled to play Union Fair last year, but a summer thunderstorm had its own plans for a show that night. Maine’s rock/funk favorites will attempt to take the grandstand stage again Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. The show is included in fair admission, which is $12 this year for everyone older than 3 and includes unlimited midway rides.

Rustic Overtone is riding the wake of its latest  album, “Let’s Start a Cult,” but the band has that already in its home state and throughout the Northeast. Rustic Overtones’ eighth studio release represents a more up-tempo, stripped-down sound and music that ranges the gamut of psychedelic sounds, at times evoking a “Mad Men” style cocktail party, as in the title track, or the more fundamental and dark “I Like It Low.” Of course, the band also will play some of its earlier hits too.

Having survived one of the more contentious record label battles in the history of recorded music, the band has risen from the industry wasteland to recapture the energy and enthusiasm that heralded its arrival on the music scene more than a decade ago. New players Gary Gemitti (drums) and Mike Taylor (keyboards and vocals) showcase immense talent and bring out a new energy from Dave Gutter and other original band members. Rustic Overtones is a great live band; hopefully the skies above will welcome it this time.

The 2012 Union Fair opens Saturday, Aug. 18 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 25 at the fairgrounds off Route 17. A real Maine agricultural fair, it also offers live music and comedy each day in the Entertainment Center and two evening concerts on the grandstand stage. The second, this year’s headliner, will be Friday, Aug. 24 when Steve Holy, a contemporary country artist who likes to dip into the traditional well, performs at 8 p.m. For the complete schedule of events, visit or look for the flyer and premium books at Midcoast stores. Daily updates can be found on the fair’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or