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Celebrate Kids’ Day with Rooney

Rooney, a five-man band from Southern California, known for their rock/pop sound, will perform Wednesday, July 16, Merced Sun-Star "Kids' Day," at the 2008 Merced County Fair.

The band has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe with a long list of big name bands including Weezer, All American Rejects, Audioslave, The Donnas, the Black Eyed Peas and The Vines.

"To celebrate Kids' Day, when kids 12 and under get in free, we are offering a concert that's geared to our teens and 'tweens," said Robin Hauck, the fair's CEO. "This is just one more way we are continuing to be a family-friendly fair."

Each night a headline entertainment act will perform in the fairgrounds' Outdoor Theatre. Opening the fair on Tuesday, July 15 is Craig Morgan, whose album "Little Bit of Life," remains on the top country album charts after more than a year. Also performing at the fair are The Guess Who and their classic rock hits, Thursday, July 17, The Spinners' timeless R & B sound, Friday, July 18, country music's rising star, Terri Clark, will entertain fairgoers Saturday, July 19 and Yolanda del Rio, one of Mexican regional music's biggest stars, wraps up the fair on Sunday, July 20. All Outdoor Theatre concerts are at 9 p.m.

As always, all fair headline acts are free with the price of admission. The 2008 Fair theme is "Come Rock With The Flock," a salute to sheep, one of the county's top agricultural products. The fair is July 15-20.

Rooney is made up of Robert Schwartzman, lead vocals and guitar, Ned Brower, drums and backup vocals, Taylor Locke, guitar and backup vocals, Louie Stevens, keyboards and Matthew Winter on bass.

Rooney is a retro-leaning, pop/rock band that released their debut album in 2002 when most of the members were still in their teens. Their music is influenced by The Beatles and The Beach Boys as well as The Raspberries, Queen, Cheap Trick, The Cars and Weezer. Their new sound evokes the 80s rock/dance styles of David Bowie, the Cure and Tears for Fears.

Schwartzman wrote all of the songs on the group's most recent album, "Calling the World," after searching for a sound that rocks and "makes people dance." The first single from "Calling the World," is "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" an energetic, head-bobber of a song with an infectious chorus. The song broke into the VH-1 top 20 countdown where it peaked at number 8 and has become a top ten radio hit all across Europe. The song is featured in the film, "Nancy Drew."

The song's colorful video depicts a day in the California life of Rooney complete with a beach barbecue party and cruise around Hollywood in a red Cadillac convertible. The video was shot all around Los Angeles by Benny Boom, who also does videos for 50 Cent and Missy Elliot.

The album's other songs include "I Should Have Been After You," Believe In Me," a driving synthesizer-propelled call for a leap of faith, "What For" a breezy, melodic slice of friendly advice and "Help Me Find My Way," a poignant ode to Robert's late father.The band recently returned from a European tour and has hit the road with bands including The Strokes, Travis and Pete Yorn.

Last year, Rooney did a club tour of the United Kingdom and Europe and returned to the U.S. for a national tour as opening act for Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.