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Festival's headliners are ready to rock

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Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 10:00 pm


Adbacadabra, an Abba tribute band, is coming to Lodi to give people a taste of what has always been great about the band, but maybe wasn't appreciated until people saw the movie.

Executive producer and show member Gary Raffanelli says the band has just as much fun as the audience does. Abba has 30 songs and Adbacadabra plays 20 of them, including crowd favorites "Dancing Queen," "Fernando," "Take a Chance on Me" and "S.O.S."

Even if you're not really familiar with the sounds of Abba, Raffanelli says you'll enjoy the show.

"If they can remember three Abba tunes, they'll recognize all 20," he said.

In the show, Raffanelli plays the role of the keyboardist. His favorite song of all is "Chiquitita."

"It has the most beautiful piano part," he said.

Raffanelli first saw the musical "Mamma Mia" in San Francisco in 1979. He patterned Adbacadabra's show after what he saw that year, including researching all of the outfits and wearing exactly what Abba originally wore.

Before Adbacadabra hit the stage, the group was in rehearsal and pre-production for two years and nine months to assure they were as close to the originals as possible.

With last year's "Mamma Mia" film being wildly popular, more people are now able to enjoy the happy music.

"It enlightened a whole new generation of music lovers, and a whole bunch of old Abba lovers came out of the closet," Raffanelli said.

In Lodi, Adbacadabra will play for an hour, and he says they will squeeze in as many hits as possible.

Adbacadabra will perform Sept. 17 on the Budweiser Amphitheater at 7 and 9 p.m.

60's Summer of Love

For the best of Woodstock, sounds of early Detroit, British Invasion and early rock, watch and listen to Reno-based band 60's Summer of Love at the Grape Festival. The band, made up of four men and one woman drummer, has been performing together for about seven years but decided to go 100 percent 1960s over a year ago. Now they cover Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf and more.

60's Summer of Love wants to take people back to a time of conflict and coming of age, of youth and love, of peace and innocence. They want people to remember the feeling they got when they listened to the Beach Boys and dreamed of warm sand, fast cars and hitting the surf.

Band manager Scott Thomas says audience members love returning to that era through music.

"When they do 'Born to Be Wild' and 'Magic Carpet Ride,' people go kind of crazy," Thomas said.

As Woodstock celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, 60's Summer of Love's music is gaining even more appreciation. Along with Woodstock, they mix the sounds that came from Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, as well as Detroit in the earlier '60s.

"People just want to remember it," Thomas said.

According to the band's Web site, the band agrees music was at its best from 1963 to 1969, from the time Motown rocked Detroit to beyond.

Each of the band members sing on stage, including drummer Myra Luv, who will sometimes step away from her drums to sing to the audience. Other band members include guitarist Brian Eldredge, bass guitarist Lonnie Garcia, lead guitarist Rick Ricketts and guitarist Matt Barrett.

Part of their allure is the way they look. Thomas jokes and calls them a '60s macho man group because they each dress different, from Woodstock-inspired to English mod and Beach Boy surfers.

"You feel like you're there," Thomas said.

The Grape Festival will be 60's Summer of Love 20th festival performance.

60's Summer of Love will perform Sept. 18 on the Budweiser Amphitheater at 7 and 9 p.m.

Blue Oyster Cult

You've sung along to their hits, "Don't Fear The Reaper," "Godzilla" and "Burnin' for You," and now you can see Blue Oyster Cult live at the Lodi Grape Festival.

The American rock band has been active for 42 years since they started the band in New York in 1967 as the Soft White Underbelly. Since then, they have sold more than 14 million albums worldwide. They've also been featured in several films, including "Halloween," and on the video game "Guitar Hero."

Their debut album, "Blue Oyster Cult," was released early in 1972 and featured songs like "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll," "Stairway to the Stars" and "Then Came the Last Days of Summer." With the album a success, the band went on tour with the Byrds, Alice Cooper and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Blue Oyster Cult went gold when they released a live album, "On Your Feet or On Your Knees," in 1975. Band member Eric Bloom is in charge of deciding the lineup of each show, but says he mixes it up all the time.

"If I get a vibe from the audience, I think it will be a good place to put a song, I'll call it on the spot," Bloom said. "On a regular basis, we play 'Godzilla,' 'Cities on Flame' - since it was on 'Guitar Hero' a lot of people like it."

Blue Oyster Cult will perform Sept. 19 at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Budweiser Amphitheater.

Marshall Tucker Band with Moonalice

From their first album in 1973, to their stage shows today, the Marshall Tucker Band has played countless concert venues around the world. With the success of the Volunteer Jam Tour, and 1999 release of "Gospel," the good ol' boys from Spartanburg, S.C. remain a force in the world of music.

David Muse has rejoined the Marshall Tucker Band after a three-year absence. As a founding member of Firefall, David took sometime away from MTB to reunite with his bandmates. David originally joined MTB in 1996.

Doug Gray, lead singer, credits the band's current members with carrying on the everlasting Marshall Tucker Band sound. In 1989, slide guitarist Stuart Swanlund joined the lineup of talented musicians. They also added the highly respected B.B. Borden, who is a former member of both Mother's Finest and The Outlaws, on drums in the early '90s.

Gray also notes that people have gotten "married and buried" to classic MTB songs like "Desert Skies" and "Can't You See." After nearly 30 years, the Marshall Tucker Band continues to be played on classic rock and country radio, and they have never stopped touring. "We never play fewer than 150 shows a year, and sometimes we play as many as 200 shows. We feel we owe it to the fans who have supported us through the years to deliver the music in person," Gray said on the band's Web site.

The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, S.C. when Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks, borrowing the name "Marshall Tucker" from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame. The MTB opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album.

"As we've become older, our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off," Gray said.

The Marshall Tucker Band will perform Sept. 20 on the Budweiser Amphitheater at 7 p.m. Moonalice starts playing at 5:30 p.m.

Moonalice featuring GE Smith

Moonalice will take the Budweiser Amphitheater Stage by storm on Sunday, Sept. 20. Led by legendary guitar player GE Smith, Moonalice is one of the most in-demand blues/rock bands in the world. Smith is best known for being the band leader on "Saturday Night Live" for more than 10 years.

After a strong career in bar bands, Smith became a guitarist in the Scratch Band which scorched clubs up and down the East Coast in the '70s. In 1977 GE Smith became the guitarist for Gilda Radner's 1977 Broadway show, "Gilda Live." Radner and Smith became an item and married shortly thereafter. Smith was then hired to be lead guitarist for Hall and Oates, a gig he kept for six years between 1979 and 1985. Smith, who won an Emmy for his efforts on SNL, also toured with rock icon Bob Dylan during this time.

At the 1998 Emmy awards, Smith played alongside Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Jimmy Buffet.

Playing alongside Smith in Moonalice will be Barry Sless (Phil Lesh and David Nelson Band), Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna), Anne McNamee (Flying Other Brothers), Jimmy Sanchez (Bonnie Raitt, Boz Skaggs), and Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna).

Moonalice will play their unique blend of blues and rock on the Budweiser Amphitheater Stage on Sept. 20 at 5:30 p.m.

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