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Nashville's Cumberland River gave the mighty Mississippi a run for it's musical money during Music City's River Stages Festival. This year's three day long, wild weekend featured a lineup that had something for everyone to love, and the Dishmag staff was out rocking and rolling (and occasionally packed in) with about 75,000 other music lovers.

There were two Dylan's appearing -Bob (sorry, no photos allowed) and Jakob - but alas, not together. Train chugged through a set of polished radio pop, while up the street Angie Aparo sang out for "The American" followed by Alt-Country Queen Lucinda Williams unveiling a new band and her latest tunes, the stunning new songs from her new album "Essence". Wearing tie-dye bell- bottoms, wrap around black shades and a beat up cowboy hat, Williams as always defined cool during a sizzling afternoon set.

Cheap Trick never fails to deliver an amazing high powered set of hit after hit - "Dream Police", "The Flame", "Southern Girls", "Surrender" - the crowd roared along with every high note that lead singer Robin Zander blasted out, while bag of tricks guitarist Rick Neilsen had the crowd diving for the embossed guitar picks he threw out by the hundreds.

The real ear-shattering roar of the weekend was provided by the highly anticipated reunion show of The Cult. Racing around the stage in a sheer black shirt and flowing black pants, Ian Astbury reminded us how great the goth rock songs from the 80's still sound. With a whip cracking band and a sonic wall of guitars, The Cult recruited several thousand new members.

Also appearing were the Black Crowes, Steve Earle, Blues Traveler, John Prine and a couple of dozen more. All in all an amazing line up and a great kick off to the tours most of these acts are taking on the road all summer long.

Apart from all the fun and great music, River Stages raises considerable funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a voluntary national health group aimed at combating the neuromuscular diseases that affect more than one million Americans. No matter where you live, we recommend you come-on-down and join us next year- we'll keep you posted with dates, and ticket info when we have it!

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 20 - September 3222
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