OTW: A look at Festival Stage headliners

Illinois’ largest music festival will bring some of the top names in music to the Festival stages at this year’s On the Waterfront Festival in downtown Rockford Sept. 1-4.

Three-day Waterfront admission buttons are $12 in advance, available at various locations. Cost is $14 for a one-day admission wristband at the gate. Children 8 and younger are free.

For more information, including button outlets, contact the OTW office at 964-4388 or visit www.onthewaterfront.com.

Following are biographies of some of the top acts appearing on Festival stages. For complete festival schedule and information, see related story “OTW this weekend” on the front page of this Web site.

Com Ed Country Stage

Marty Raybon, 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2—His first love is bluegrass music. Marty Raybon began playing bluegrass in the early 1970s, then he ventured into country and gospel music. He has finally come back to his roots. Raybon, the former lead singer of the country music group Shenandoah, recently released his album, Full Circle, including acoustic versions of “Ghost In This House” and “Next To You, Next To Me.”

Joe Diffie, 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3—Born in Oklahoma, this country star has been most influenced by Merle Haggard and his father. Joe Diffie first learned how to play the guitar on his father’s F-Hole Airline from Sears & Roebuck. Best known for “Home” and “Is It Cold in Here,” Diffie last released A Night to Remember in 1999. In 1998, Diffie received his first Grammy for “Best Country Collaboration With Vocals” for his song “Same Old Train.” With more than 15 songs in the Top 10 Hot Country Singles, Joe Diffie is a country legend.

Julie Roberts, 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—She adds a little blues to her country heritage, revealing a fresh and real sound. After a difficult journey, Julie Roberts turned her fantasy into reality after signing a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2003. Roberts, who has been compared to Faith Hill, offers an emotion-filled, self-titled debut CD with the single “Wake Up Older.”

WTVO Oasis Stage

Silvertide, 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2—With the release of their major-label record Show and Tell last June, Silvertide has rocked the stage with their bluesy, classic-rock sound. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses have influenced this fivesome from Philadelphia. This up-and-coming rock group has opened for Steve Tyler.

Cheap Chick, 7:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2—This is the world’s only all-female Cheap Trick tribute band. These four females left their fairly successful music careers to form a group out of friendship and the love of Cheap Trick. And this group has a sense of humor. They dress and act the part of Cheap Trick, have an entourage of groupies, and they even have a faux manager, Jim Addthemoney, who pays tribute to Ken Adamany, Cheap Trick’s former manager. However, Cheap Chick is serious about the music they love to cover. They nail the songs with force and the love of a band that played a part in their musical formation.

The Spinners, 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—With more than 20 top 10 hits, including several No. 1 songs, such as “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Then Came You” and “Rubber Band Man,” The Spinners are considered to be one of the greatest soul groups.

RRSTAR.COM Ethnic Stage

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, 3:45 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3—Nathan Williams’ playful lyrics and contemporary arrangements make the music of zydeco enjoyable for everyone. Zydeco, a popular music style in southern Louisiana, is a dynamic and exhilarating experience. With the mastery of his piano-style accordion, Nathan focused on making the best music possible for his latest album, Let’s Go!.

Johnny Clegg, 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—Clegg integrates the white, English-speaking society with the black, African culture of South Africa in his music. Clegg was born in England but moved to Africa as a youngster. He started playing the guitar at age 14 and was greatly influenced by the music of Zulu. In 1979, he formed his first band, Juluka. Clegg recorded two platinum and five gold albums and became an international success. The group eventually disbanded, but Clegg formed another band called Savuka, and their debut album, Third World Child, sold more than 2 million copies. Savuka’s latest album, Heat, Dust And Dreams, was nominated for a Grammy and received a Billboard music award as “Best World Music Album.”

Jazz/R&B Stage

Bar-Kays, 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2—R&B visionaries, the Bar-Kays are known for their Memphis rhythm and blues. They have recently reemerged with their album, Old School Mega Mix, with the sultry ballad “Out of My Mind.” James Alexander, the group’s founder and bass player, and Larry Dodson, vocalist, both agree that the new album modernizes the roaring funk sound of the Bar-Kays.

Kermit Ruffin & The Barbeque Swingers, 9:15 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3—Kermit Ruffin, a New Orleans native, was greatly influenced by jazz, Satchmo, and Louis Armstrong as a child. Today, Ruffin is in the process of reinventing history and making his marks in the jazz books of the future. This singer/songwriter/trumpeter has received many awards, including the Big Easy Award, and the Barbeque Swingers were recently named “Best New Traditional Jazz Band” of the year by Offbeat magazine.

Chuck Mangione, 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—Grammy Award winner Chuck Mangione has returned from a 10-year recording hiatus with The Feeling’s Back, a celebration of love through jazz improvisation. Lucy Tauss from Jazziz commented, “Mangione continues his tradition of stating melodies simply and forcefully, and of letting the charms of each individual song as well as his own distinctive sound win listeners over.” Mangione is an enthusiastic and breathtaking jazz musician who has entertained millions around the world.

Verizon Wireless Left Bank Stage

Sonny Landreth, 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2—This electric slide guitarist from Louisiana combines blues, zydeco, Cajun, rock and R&B to keep his audiences amazed. Sonny Landreth has a large British fan club, which includes Richard Thompson and Eric Clapton. His newest album, Grant Street, turns up the heat with songs like “Broken Hearted Road” and “USS Zydecoldsmobile,” and it has reached No. 2 on the blues charts.

Lonnie Brooks and The Brooks Family Band, 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—The massive voice and blistering guitar of Lonnie Brooks brings a unique sound to the stage. With a combination of Chicago blues, rock and roll, and a little bit of Cajun boogie, Brooks makes every song he sings his own. Since 1969, Brooks has been releasing records and lighting up stages across the country. The Village Voice claims that Brooks is “Sheer energy and excitement… Brings an original brilliance to the blues.” Lonnie and his two sons, Wayne and Ronnie Baker Brooks, bring life to the stage with their exhilarating jazz sounds.

AMKids Stage

Babaloo, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3; 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—Babaloo mixes songs, stories, movement, call and response, mass drumming, beanbag bopping, and any other type of controlled musical mayhem to keep kids on the edge of their seats. Rob Compton, the founder of Babaloo, entertains children all around the country with his guitar and fun sing-a-longs. Babaloo’s albums include Bean Bag Bop and Room For Everyone, and all performances are high energy, interactive events that allow the audience to move, dance, sing, scream, shout, grunt, growl, throw things around, make big noises, and, of course, laugh.

Yellow Pages Stage

Mike and Joe, 8:45 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4—This dynamic duo began performing together at Indiana University as late night entertainment for their fraternity brothers. Mike Notaro and Joe Valentino played cover songs for their friends, and after they signed up for an open mic night, their career took off. Mike and Joe have performed all over Illinois and Indiana, including colleges like Northern Illinois University and University of Illinois. They rock the stage with their covers of a range of music, from Dave

Matthews Band to U2 and more.

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!