Niki TurnerContributing WriterRifle, CO Colorado

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July 25, 2012
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County Fair: The Backstage rocks!

Music lovers will be pleased with the lineup of Backstage entertainment performers this year. They'll provide toe-tapping, partner-twirling tunes, and the best thing is that all the performers are local talent from no farther afield than Denver and Vernal, Utah.Denver-based cover band Swerve Live kicks things off with high energy style and a stage show and set list diverse enough to entertain people of all ages and backgrounds. With Chris Young on bass guitar, Nate Bilo on lead guitar, Tony Terranova on the drums and Jason (Jay) Abbott on lead vocals, Swerve Live performs rock, classic rock, modern country and other popular material.Rifle's own Rock Ridge Band brings a wealth of musical talent and history to the stage with bass player Tim Bradley, Bill Nieman, Sandy Angelo on drums, vocalist Coy Keithley and lead guitarist Tonas Jones. They're ready to "Roll it on!" at the fair.Grupo Folklorico Sol de Mexico is a regional Latino dance group for children based in Rifle and led by Jessica Hernandez. First introduced to folklorico dancing when she was in high school, Hernandez wanted to keep the culture of folklorico alive with the next generation. In May 2011 when she posted a call for young dancers, 77 youngsters called and a group of 27 dancers, ages 3 to 13, now perform as Sol de Mexico. They perform dances from the different regions of Mexico.Country fans will enjoy the home-grown sound and style of Bill and Friends. Bill Pugh, owner of Bill's Cowboy Steakhouse in New Castle, formed the band a little over a year ago. "We all have jobs, businesses, families and required activities, but we try to make time for a little music and fun. Most everyone in the band is a beginner that has worked hard to learn a variety of songs mostly country, or not, with a country feel." Pugh said. One of the most in-demand party bands in the region, Already Gone from Gypsum, will cover songs that weave through classic rock, R&B, funk, blues, country crossover and rock 'n roll. Already Gone is comprised of drummer Eddie Muniz, Jean Graca on bass, lead guitarist Mark Chenoweth, Randy DeHerrera on alto sax and keyboards, and fronted by vocalist Lisa Popish. Specializing in high-energy country and classic rock since 2006, the Back Country Band from Vernal, Utah, makes a return appearance this year. Founding members are Jim Still on rhythm guitar, steel guitar and vocals, Lynn Locke on lead guitar and vocals, and drummer Tyke Kargis. Newer additions to the group are Bob Halbert, a former Glenwood Springs police chief, on lead guitar and Randy Millicham on bass guitar.Fifty50, a Glenwood Springs band that frequents the main stage at Strawberry Days, plays a mix of classic rock and roll to creative originals. The band includes long-time Roaring Fork Valley residents David Stoltzfus on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, lead vocalist Beth Getzen Stoltzfus, guitarist and lead vocalist Dale Loper, drummer Jerry Larsen, Brian Brown on vocals and bass, and Mike King on vocals and keyboard. The members bring together more than 40 years of combined musical experience, originality and enthusiasm. The musical entertainment lineup wraps up with the Steve Skinner Stimulus Package of Glenwood Springs. The lineup of front man Steve Skinner, drummer Corey Spagnolo, Louie Girardot on bass guitar, lead and backing vocals, and Frank Martin on guitar, is a coming together of band leaders with a dash of California studio musician thrown in for flavor. Their repertoire is peppered with original contributions aimed at the funny bone and Skinner's "resort rock."

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The Post Independent Updated Jul 25, 2012 06:49PM Published Jul 25, 2012 06:48PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.