The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival is known for many things. When you start making the list, music is going to be at the top every time. From Hootie and the Blowfish to local bands, music is a mainstay of the festival. This year is no different.
    Festival organizers are proud to welcome two national performing acts to this year’s festival’s main stage – one a rock mainstay and the other an up and coming star. Eighties rocker Eddie Money will heat up the Bloom and Boom kickoff party on Friday night, while Vanessa Carlton will rock Saturday’s events.                                     Local favorites Joyner, Young & Marie will kick Friday night’s party off at 7 p.m. Once they’ve got the crowd warmed up, Money will take over the stage at 9 p.m. Money is known for such hits as Two Tickets to Paradise, Baby Hold On, Walk on Water, and Take Me Home Tonight. And while the younger generation may not be aware of who he is, their parents definitely will. He has been continuously recording music since the mid-70s, and has even taken on television and the movies. Money did a cameo on David Spades Joe Dirt, appearing as himself. He was Joe Dirt’s rock ‘n’ roll idol. His attention is focused on writing theme songs for arena football and Major League Baseball currently, but on Friday he’s only going to have on thing on his mind – rocking the ‘Ville!
    Carlton, a 27-year-old singer, songwriter and pianist, started making waves in the music scene with the release of her album Be Not Nobody in 2002. The Billboard chart topper A Thousand Miles quickly flew to No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song garnered her several Grammy nods, including nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. She is currently touring in support of her most recent album, Heroes & Thieves, which was released in October 2007. The album has received critical acclaim, and fans are lining up in droves to hear her perform. This is your chance — and, it’s free!! Carlton will perform Saturday evening at Q98’s Saturday Night’s Alive. {mosimage}
    These two headliners are only the tip of the iceberg. Other great performers are lined up throughout the festival:
    On Saturday, In That Tone, a blues rock band with Latin flare, will rock the stage at 1 p.m. At 3 p.m., Swampdawamp will take the stage to share its own blend of southern rock. The band is touring the Southeast in support of its debut release, which is in stores now and available for digital download at all major online retailers.
    It’s impossible to be “in the know” of the Fayetteville music scene without knowing about D. L. Token. The band, formed in 2001, is a staple in the area, and will get Q98’s Saturday Night’s Alive party started at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, Rough Draft, a dance variety band, will take center stage at 1 p.m. The group performs some of the top dance songs, featuring music by The Gap Band, Gloria Gaynor, Earth Wind and Fire, Donna Summer and Mary J. Blige.
    Once you’ve boogied your buns off, stick around for the wackiness that is Hot Sauce. Hot Sauce blends crazy costumes and some of the top hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s for one all-out party. Don’t expect to just stand by, audience participation isn’t just encouraged, it’s required!!
While the main stage will be hot, the Dogwood Festival’s Second Stage will be even hotter on Saturday. Sponsored by The Rock Shop, the second stage will bring an eclectic group of performers together to keep the party going all day long.
    Located in front of the library on Maiden Lane, the second stage will feature some of Shawn Adkins’ — the man behind The Rock Shop — favorite bands.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said Adkins. “We are gathering some really good bands together for the event.         These are some of my favorite bands.”
Coming from Adkins, that’s high praise. He noted that the bands range in genre from rockabilly-blues to acoustic, alternative rock, ska reggae to rap-rock. The music will go on all day from noon to 6 p.m., and will feature 12 different bands.
    “It’s nonstop music,” he said.
Fayetteville music lovers will be excited to know that Adkins’ own band, The Answers, will be reuniting to perform during the day. The Answers opened for Hootie two years ago at The Dogwood Festival, and will be the headliners at The Rock Shop Stage.
    Adkins is excited about the new location of the stage. Last year, the stage was off the beaten path, but this year, it’s right in the middle of everything.
    “I can’t stress the diversity of the groups performing — it’s just awesome,” he said.
If you haven’t got your fill of music by the end of the day, don’t worry — The Rock Shop’s Dogwood Festival Party will feature Fixer, Gasoline and The Answers at 8 p.m. at the Rock Shop.
    “I can’t wait,” said Adkins. “I love music. There’s nothing I’d rather do — and bringing all of these guys together is going to be great.”

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