Who's coming to Riverfest | Rock Candy

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who's coming to Riverfest

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Set your links. This is going to be my permanent Riverfest line-up update spot. Two new ones today and one from the weekend.

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3 Doors Down

Who cares? So many more people than you'd think. Southern alt-rock never dies. Also, the National Guard.

Peak of fame? 2000-2001. On the strength of the single "Kryptonite," the band's sophomore album, "The Better Life" has sold 11 million records. Amazingly, last year's eponymous release reached the top of the charts and has been certified platinum.

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Jason Aldean

Who cares? Fans of a slightly grittier version of Nashville. Anyone who self-identifies with a song called "Hicktown."

Peak of fame? Recently. Now, maybe. The Georgia native has two albums under his belt, one platinum and one gold, and he's releasing a third in April. 

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Who cares? Anyone who can't get "Love Shack" out of her head and doesn't mind. Jazzercisers. Geeks like me who'll go fingers-crossed hoping to hear "Planet Claire" and "Dance the Mess Around."

Peak of fame? 1989-1990. That's when "Cosmic Thing," the album that spawned singles "Love Shack" and "Roam," came out and sold in bunches.

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Who cares?
Angst-y teens. Moms who appreciate the band's vocal Christian faith. Teens who appreciate how easily lyrics of longing can move from Jesus to a crush. "Rock Band" enthusiasts.

Peak of fame?
Soon, probably. The band's 2005 debut has gone platinum. A new album, possibly due in April, could push them well into the mainstream.

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Buddy Guy

Who cares?
Blues lovers. Guitar geeks.

Peak of fame?
It's been hills and valleys. Even though he's often claimed that Leonard Chess at Chess Records wouldn't let him play his guitar loud enough, his work for that label, from 1960-1967, stands out, especially. He's won five Grammys, and in 2005, he was inducted in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Heads of State (Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant)

Who cares?
Fans of New Edition, who don't care about Bell, Biv or Devoe. Also, anyone who has nostalgia for R&B. Me.

Peak of fame? 1983-1985. New Edition was New Kids, Menudo big. "Cool It Now!"

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Who cares?
Anyone who appreciates woman-fronted hard rock and power balladry. Cougar lovers/aspirants. Film nerds hoping to glimpse a peek at Cameron Crowe.

Peak of fame?
1985. A self-titled album released that year sold 5 million copies and spawned four top 10 hits. Like "These Dreams" and "Never." They were big in the late '70s, too.

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Who cares?
Fans of hedonistic post-grunge cock rock and drippy Goo Goo Dolls-style power ballads. So A LOT of people.

Peak of fame?
Probably now. The group's second album, (ahem) "Take It to the Limit"came out late last year. They're currently on tour with Motley Crue.

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Little River Band

Who cares?
Australian immigrants. Fans of smooth pop, yacht rock.

Peak of fame?
1978-1981. The band had six consecutive top ten singles in the U.S. during that time, including their biggest hit "Reminiscing."

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Gavin Rossdale

Who cares?
Fans of, um, "soft grunge." Celebrity obsessives hoping to get a peek at Gwen Stefani and the kiddies back stage.

Peak of fame?
1994-1997-ish. Rossdale's band Bush broke through in 94 with the album "Sixteen Stone," which featured five top 40 singles. Like "Glycerine." The band came to Barton sometime during that peak, I think.

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Tone Loc

Who cares?
Fans of "Jock Jams"; white people who remember junior high dances, circa 1990, fondly; drinkers of funky cold medinas (1 oz vodka, 1 oz peach liquer, 1 oz Blue Curacao, cranberry juice and dry ice (!)).

Peak of fame? 1989. That's when the Billboard-topping "Loc-ed After Dark" came out. With "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina."

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Trout Fishing in America

Who cares?
Kids. Fans of Stan Freberg, Dr. Demento. Residents of Prairie Grove.

Peak of fame? Statically pretty popular for a long time. They got Grammy nominations in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

Is it possible to have Riverfest without Trout Fishing in America?

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Willie Nelson

Who cares? Everyone. Potsmokers. Country traditionalists. People who write "9/11 was an inside job" in bathroom stalls. Farmers. People who've emigrated from Texas. The gays. Everyone.

Peak of fame? He's been huge internationally since the '70s. Riverfest might add a bigger draw to the line-up, but the festival's not likely to land a bigger name.

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