Hot breaking music news in Ashvegas – the big Bele Chere lineup for ’05:

Susan Tedeschi
Derek Trucks Band
Karl Denson
Sam Bush
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Drew Emmitt
Dottie Peoples
Drive-by Truckers
Grease Factor
Porter, Batiste and Stoltz
Larry Keel
Xavier Rudd
Tinsley Ellis
Bonerama
The Codetalkers featuring Col. Bruce Hampton
Corey Harris
The Greyhounds
Tishamingo
Blueground Undergrass
Lil’ Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
Al Petteway and Amy White
Billy Jonas

It’s always interesting to try and get into the heads of the committee that makes these picks, a group made up of local Ashvegas movers and shakers. It’s a huge festival, and a huge undertaking in terms of trying to pick the music. I know the committee gets innundated with tapes, CDs and requests from a zillion bands who want the exposure of the big fest.

Much has also been made the past few years regarding how the festival has grown. Some think it has gotten way to big for its britches, and away from the homey roots from which it sprang.

Looking at the music is a good barometer of that. Looks like this year, the committee is shooting for a younger demographic. It’s also obviously shooting for local and regional flavors. They try to do that each year of course, with varying degrees of success. This lineup is about average.

There’s usually one semi-big name that the committee will announce closer to the festival kick-off. The committee has gone back and forth on that – it’s usually a country act with mass appeal that will play the festival’s Saturday night gig, although it has veered off with some old rock and blues acts, too. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if there is more to come.

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