Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Feb. 11, 2002

Messina, Lonestar to headline Winstock 2002

By Ryan Gueningsman

Although Winstock is still almost four months away, the artist line-up is now complete.

Headlining this year's Winstock will be two-time Winstock alumni Jo Dee Messina Saturday, June 8, and one of the hottest bands in country music, Lonestar, will close out the evening Friday, June 7.

On the heels of her first major headline tour last summer to promote her latest album, "Burn," Messina has been having good luck in the business lately.

Prior to her Fan Jam appearance last September in Shakopee, I had the chance to chat briefly with Messina. She told me that she remembers being at Winstock and is excited to be coming back. She is set to take the stage at 10:15 p.m.

Although co-headliner Lonestar has not been to Winstock before, the four band members are sure to give the Winstock crowd a great night of entertainment.

Last year, Lonestar won two Country Music Association awards ­ one for Vocal Group of the Year, beating out long-time favorite Alabama, as well as the International Artist Achievement Award. Their performance will begin at 10:30 p.m.

The Clark Family Experience will kick things off Friday afternoon with their set, which begins at 6 p.m.

Relatively new to the music scene, this band, comprised of six brothers from Virginia, took the country world by storm last summer with their first hit single, "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch."

They cite their influences as anyone from Merle Haggard, to Lynyrd Skynyrd, to The Goo Goo Dolls.

Talking about their music, brother Ashley said, "Whenever we get together to play, it brings us to the level of the 'I'm glad I'm alive' feeling."

Following The Clark Family Experience will be fellow country music newcomer Blake Shelton with a 7:15 p.m. performance time.

Shelton, who scored big with his hit ballad "Austin," is originally from Oklahoma.

In August, Shelton was the first new country artist since 1992 to have a song at number one on the charts for five consecutive weeks, with "Austin."

His current single, "All Over Me," is also making its way up the charts.

Country music's gentle giant Trace Adkins will take the stage after Shelton at 8:45 p.m.

The 6'6" singer from Louisiana is currently working to promote his latest album, "Chrome."

Right now, his single "I'm Tryin" is at number eight on the charts, and still rising.

Kicking off the fun Winstock Saturday will be country music's party boys, The Kentucky HeadHunters.

Formed back in 1968, this band has been around the night club scene, done the big-time gigs, and every place in-between.

With their own songs like, "Dumas Walker," and "It's Chitlin' Time," as well as re-makes of popular hits, like Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky," and The Beatles' "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," they are sure to get the crowd ready to party early in the afternoon, with their music beginning at 1 p.m.

This is one performance all the folks who camp at Winstock will not want to miss ­ it'll be well worth it to head out of the campgrounds early Saturday afternoon.

Following the HeadHunters will be the Canadian father-son-daughter trio, The Wilkinsons, kicking off their show at 2:15 p.m.

Since performing at Winstock in 2000, The Wilkinsons have toured and are currently working on an album for their new record label, BNA Records.

A crowd-pleaser last time in Winsted, The Wilkinsons are sure to have just as much fun this time around.

Another of Winsted's favorites, BlackHawk, will return to the Winstock stage at 3:45 p.m.

Following the loss of band mate Van Stephenson to cancer, BlackHawk has decided to proceed on as a band, with the backing musicians taking a more active part.

They were signed to a new record label last fall and are currently finishing up their first album on Columbia Records.

Their first single, "Days of America," along with Winstock 2001 performer Aaron Tippin's single "Where The Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly," have become anthems to the American way since the attacks of Sept. 11.

Country cutie Jessica Andrews will follow BlackHawk with her show beginning at 5:15 p.m.

Not only is she attractive, but Andrews can sure sing, too. Only 18 years old, she has already won an Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Female Vocalist in 2000.

She is currently working on songs for her next album, and touring to promote her current album "Who I Am."

Compared frequently to Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, and even Britney Spears, Andrews is quick to stay grounded, and stay true to her music.

"I get compared to a lot of people,"

Andrews said. "But what's more important to me than how people see me ­ is how they here me.

"The music, the songs on "Who I Am," must come first and foremost."

Country music's living legend George Jones will make an appearance at Winstock with a performance beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Jones, who could easily retire, has been touring and performing hit after hit since the 1950s.

Following a terrible car accident in 1998, Jones has since recovered, and just released a new album titled "The Rock."

Chad Brock will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. after Jones' performance.

With his recently released album "III," Brock is hoping to get his music out to the fans who have helped him get where he is today.

"I try to get them on their feet," said Brock. "If they're just sitting down, why are they there? Why am I there? I try new things to entertain them and make them laugh, make them get their money's worth."

With hits such as "Yes!," and "Ordinary Life," Brock is sure to give the Winstock crowd their money's worth, and then some.

Winstock Festival Chairman Dave Danielson said plans for Winstock are moving along smoothly.

"The line-up's set, VIP is practically sold out, and sales have just been terrific," Danielson said. "Campground sales are going great, as well. Lots A and B are full, and we're working on C now."

One thing Danielson stressed is the continual need for volunteers at Winstock.

"Everything seems to be falling in place, and the one thing we're going to need yet is the continued support of the volunteers.

"Without them ­ we wouldn't have a show," Danielson said.

Other info

­ If you are camping out at Winstock, now is a good time to start gathering decorations to use at your campsite Winstock weekend for the decorating contest. This year's theme will be "Proud to be an American."

­ Other promotions at Winstock will be the Mini Biff Porta Potty Contest (listen to radio for details).

There will also be a chance to party with The Kentucky Headhunters. Details of this promotion will be announced during Friday evening's performance.

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