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Montipaloosa aims to appeal to broad range of music fans

Monopolizing on the success of last year’s “breakthrough” inconnecting with audiences of all ages, Montipaloosa will featureacts that spread through the decades and across the rock musicscene, an event organizer said.

“I’m really happy with our lineup,” said Jeffrey Reed. “I feellast year we crossed a milestone in trying to appeal to a wideaudience, and I think we’ve done that again this year.”

The headliners for the fifth Montipaloosa Festival at AtwoodWater Park include Edgar Winter and Strutter on Friday and BeaverNelson, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Percy Sledge, the GeorgiaSatellites and Charlie Mars on Saturday.

“I think between them we have something that will appeal toeveryone,” Reed said.

Festival activities begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m.Saturday, with headliners taking the stage around 7 p.m.Saturday.

Approximately 3,000 people attended last year’s event, he said.Organizers are hoping to surpass that number this year.

“I hope we’ll get more this year. The festival grows every year.It’s been consistent,” he said.

The opening night lineup includes Mr. Cogdelle, a rock band witha blues favor; the Jeff & Vida Band, bluegrass; and LivingBetter Electrically, pop rock.

Edgar Winter leads Friday’s headliners with his blend of classicrock, blues, pop rock and jazz. He first came to prominence in 1970with his recording of “Tobacco Road” and continued that success inthe ’70s with the No. 1 hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride” in1972. “Frankenstein,” the first song to feature a synthesizer asthe main instrument, revolutionized rock ‘n’ roll. Thedouble-platinum “They Only Come Out At Night,” released in 1973,peaked at number 3, but stayed on the charts for 80 weeks.

His music can be heard in more than 15 film and televisionprojects.

Strutter closes out the Friday lineup. They are generallyacknowledged as the frontrunner of KISS tribute bands and have beenendorsed by the famous hard-rock band.

Saturday night’s lineup includes the Battle of the Bands from1-5 p.m., featuring, in order of appearance, The Score and No PunIntended of Jackson, 10 lb. Test of Oxford and Gillian Fritz ofBrookhaven.

Regular acts follow at 5 p.m. with Son of Sabbath, an OzzyOsbourne tribute band; The Electric Mudd, playing swamp boogie;Beaver Nelson, Americana and country rock; and James “Super Chikan”Johnson, who received the 2004 Governor’s Award of Excellence inEntertainment from Gov. Haley Barbour, playing Delta blues.

Saturday’s headliners will take the stage around 7 p.m. withBeaver Nelson.

Nelson, who has family in Monticello, recently released hisfifth album in six years. He is a genre-jumper, moving from theroots-rock sound of his first radio single, “Minute Man,” to thereggae-influenced “It is There” to the spiritual “Loving Arms ofGod.”

Rolling Stone magazine has described Nelson as a “prodigy,” andreviewer Andrew Dansby wrote that “Thirty years ago, he would’vebeen pegged as a next Dylan, but as our Jester has proven moreresilient than Yorick, Nelson can settle for being the first ofsomething. A young, literate, melodic Texas songwriter, he salvagesthe state’s lyrical legacy from the party-anthem buffoons.”

James “Super Chikan” Johnson follows Nelson onto theMontipaloosa stage with his brand of Delta blues. Johnson wasrecently awarded the 2004 Governor’s Award for Excellence inEntertainment by Gov. Haley Barbour.

Soul legend Percy Sledge is known for his smooth, stirringvoice. “When A Man Loves A Woman” was his first song recorded, andit became not only an international hit, but was also the firstgold record released by Atlantic Records. It was followed by “WarmAnd Tender Love,” “Take Time To Know Her,” and “Cover Me” duringthe ’60s.

He charted twice more in the ’70s with “I’ll Be Your Everything”and “Sunshine.”

Sledge, an Alambama native, is a member of his home state’sMusic Hall of Fame.

The Georgia Satellites follow Sledge’s sultry ballads with adose of Southern rock. Their 1986 hit “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”propelled them to the top of the charts, but their follow-up album,Open All Night, didn’t achieve the success of the first album andthe band called it quits in 1989. During the mid-90’s, the bandreunited without lead singer/guitarist Dan Baird and released”Shaken Not Stirred” in 1997.

Laurel native Charlie Mars is celebrating his debut album on amajor record label with a performance at Montipaloosa. Mars, wholives in Oxford, recently completed a tour with the Dave MatthewsBand and his first album with V2 Records is set for release thismonth.

In addition to the featured acts, the festival also featurescraft vendors, games for the children and a few carnival-stylerides.

For more information on the festival, visit the Web site atwww.montipaloosa.com.

Montipaloosa Chart

Time Band

Friday

6:30 p.m. Mr. Cogdelle

7:45 p.m. Jeff & Vida Band

9:00 p.m. Living Better Electrically

10:30 p.m. Edgar Winter

12:15 a.m. Strutter

Saturday

1:00 p.m. The Score

2:00 p.m. No Pun Intended

3:00 p.m. 10 lb. Test

4:00 p.m. Gillian Fritz

5:00 p.m. Son of Sabbath

6:00 p.m. The Electric Mudd

7:00 p.m. Beaver Nelson

8:00 p.m. James “Super Chikan” Johnson

9:30 p.m. Percy Sledge

11:00 p.m. Georgia Satellites

12:30 a.m. Charlie Mars