May 15 2009 12:00 AM

Festival adds blues, pop and rock acts


Hot blues licks, dramatic pop-rock vocals and plenty of high-gain crunch. That’s the sound coming from today’s Common Ground talent announcement.

Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, American Idol winner David Cook and up-and-coming modern rock acts Saving Abel, Taddy Porter, Framing Hanley and Red have been added to the lineup, which already features headliners Huey Lewis and the News, Sheryl Crow and Stone Temple Pilots. The 10th annual festival is scheduled for July 6-12 in Lansing’s Riverfront Park.

Fawned over by guitar heads since the mid-‘90s for his Stevie Ray Vaughn-like tone and mature-beyond-his-teens fretwork, the platinum selling, Grammynominated Shepherd is probably best known for his breakthrough 1998 hit “Blue on Black.” Shepherd will return to Common Ground for the second year in a row, this time opening for Huey Lewis and the News on July 6.

Cook, who was crowned America’s “Idol” during the TV show’s seventh season, has gone on to much Billboard chart success, scoring several high-ranking hits, including “The Time of My Life,” which entered the Hot 100 at No. 3 and was the highestdebuting title of 2008. He’ll play Common Ground July 10.

Up-and-coming rock group Saving Abel has been slugging away since 2004, winning fans with southern-tinged heavy hooks and ballads that would fit nicely on a play list with radio rock superstars Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd. Better-known tunes from the band’s self-titled, major label debut include “Addicted” and “Drowning (Face Down).” The band plays Common Ground on July 9.

Opening for Saving Abel is Oklahoma’s Taddy Porter. Fans of The Black Keys and Kings of Leon may appreciate Porters rock-revivalist sound. Framing Hanley and the Grammy-nominated Red also share the bill.

Common Card seven-day passes are available for $85 until July 1, when they go up to $95. Individual, single-day general admission tickets for July 6–9 are $26 per day in advance until July 1, when they go up to $32.

Children 10 and younger get in free with a ticketed adult. Tickets are available at Star Tickets outlets, the Common Ground office in the Lansing City Market, 333 N. Cedar St., Lansing, www.commongroundfest.com and by calling 1 (800) 585-3737.