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Top country music duos heading to Winstock ‘09

For its 16th year, Winstock is proud to bring not only one, but two of the top duos in country music to the stage for what just may be the biggest show yet.

This year’s headliners have sold more than 30 million albums, had 23 number one hits, and are four-time entertainers of the year

They have been named both the CMA and ACM Duo of the Year 14 times, and are the most awarded artist in CMA and ACM history. Winstock 2009 headliners Brooks and Dunn, simply put, are country music — and they’re following their “Red Dirt Road” straight to Winstock 2009.

The most powerful duo in country music will be closing out the show Saturday, June 13 at 10:30 p.m., marking their first-ever Winstock appearance.

Winstock will also welcome Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy to make Winstock-goers part of their “Freak Parade” Friday night, June 12 at 10:45 p.m. With a limited touring schedule in 2009, Winstock is excited to have Big & Rich coming to our city with all of their hits, including “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy),” “Comin’ to Your City,” and “Lost In The Moment.”

“It’s an honor to have the top two male duos in country music coming to Winstock this year,” said festival chairman Dave Danielson. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest show we’ve ever had.”

Also on the bill for this year’s festival is LeAnn Rimes, who has made the rare transition from child prodigy to seasoned artist.

Few in popular music can rival her in terms of critical acclaim or commercial success. She has sold more than 37 million records, won two Grammys, and has received numerous industry awards.

What’s most impressive, though, is that she has accomplished all this by her early 20s. Clearly, she is just warming up. Rimes takes the stage Friday at 8:40 p.m.

Joining Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy, and LeAnn Rimes, will be Billy Currington, Bucky Covington, Neal McCoy, Heidi Newfield, The Lost Trailers, Randy Houser, Trailer Choir, The Dixie Hicks, The Smok’n Guns, The Daisy Dillman Band, Roy Dawson and The Bootleggers, Always . . . Patsy Cline, and a special guest appearance by Casey Carlson.

In 2003, Currington burst onto the Nashville scene with his self-titled debut album, and proceeded to burn up the charts with top-10 singles “I Got a Feelin,’” and “Walk a Little Straighter.”

He brings all of those plus his most recent hit “People Are Crazy,” to the Winstock stage Saturday at 9:05 p.m.

No doubt about it, in the 20 years since he released his first single, Neal McCoy — the one-of-a-kind country singer and consummate live performer — has enjoyed every minute of his long, successful career.

Even with 11 albums, over 25 charted singles, and countless thousands of touring miles already under his big belt buckle, the Texas-based artist has no intention of slowing down and will find himself at home at Winstock on the main stage Saturday at 7 p.m.

“American Idol” and country music have seemingly gone hand-in-hand for several years now, and Bucky Covington is proof of that. This year, the Idol favorite will soon become a Winstock favorite, bringing his hits like “Different World,” “It’s Good to be Us,” and his most recent, “I Want My Life Back,” to the Winstock stage Saturday at 4:55 p.m.

Who can forget Heidi Newfield? The former blonde bombshell lead singer of Trick Pony, which played at Winstock 2003, has gone on her own and has been turning heads the entire time.

Her debut single as a solo artist, “Johnny and June” has taken the country music world by storm. She’ll bring that and much more to the stage Saturday at 2:50 p.m.

Quickly becoming Winstock favorites, The Lost Trailers are returning for their third Winstock appearance, and this time they are hitting the main stage Friday at 6:35 p.m.

The five guys have been moving up the charts with “How ‘Bout You Don’t.”

Adding to the Winstock line-up is regional favorite The Daisy Dillman Band. First-time Winstock performers, The Daisy Dillman band is no stranger to country music.

They are a timeless, authentic, and powerful musical voice, and after 30 years, the band now performs several reunion shows each year for the faithful. The Daisy Dillman Band will perform Saturday, June 13 at 12:45 p.m. on the main stage.

Winsted native Lauren Eggert returns to the Winstock line-up with her band The Dixie Hicks, kicking things off on the main stage Friday, June 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Emerging Artists Stage

Newcomer Randy Houser, who recently released his debut album “Anything Goes,” will hit the Emerging Artist Stage Saturday, June 13 for a show not to be missed.

Houser has burst onto the charts with his hit song and album of the same name, and followed it up with the smash “Boots On.”

Trailer Choir is a last-minute addition to the Winstock line-up, replacing Kristy Lee Cook on the Emerging Artists Stage Friday night. Cook canceled her appearance at Winstock.

Trailer Choir, signed to Toby Keith’s Show Dog Nashville, are the fun-loving entertainers who rocked thousands on Keith’s tour, but are also three seriously determined entertainers who’ve poured everything into their careers.

This year’s Emerging Artists Stage will also feature Minnesota native Casey Carlson with a special appearance at 8:15 p.m.

Carlson made it into the top 36 contestants of the hit television series “American Idol 8” this winter. The Eden Prairie native and University of Minnesota student was in the first group of 12 contestants to perform out of the top 36.

Winstock audiences will be treated to Monica Heuser appearing on the Emerging Artists Stage Saturday at 4:05 p.m., as Patsy Cline from Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ current hit musical “Always . . . Patsy Cline.”

“Always . . . Patsy Cline” is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who tragically died at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in 1961, and continued a unique pen-pal relationship with Cline until her death.

Also taking the stage is The Smok’n Guns, who will bring their brand of country music to the stage to kick things off Friday, June 12 on the Emerging Artists Stage at 5:45 p.m.

The band then makes a return appearance to Winstock ‘09 Saturday morning, performing at the pre-show beer tent party, beginning at 11 a.m.

Winstock notes

• Campgrounds open for admission Thursday at 3 p.m., and will remain open until 9 p.m.

Also on Thursday, the Winsted Fire Department’s annual spaghetti dinner will be taking place, beginning at 5 p.m., near the beer tent with live music by Roy Dawson and The Bootleggers.

The campgrounds then open Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. for admission.

• Gates into the concert area open Friday at 2 p.m. for the “running of the chairs,” a Winstock tradition not to be missed that includes hundreds of Winstock-goers running into the concert area in an attempt to get some of the best seats in the general admission area.

• Remember to bring items for the local food shelf.

• Don’t forget the annual Winstock campsite decorating contest. The 2009 theme is “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” There will be three categories in this year’s contest:

1 – Most original/best overall decorated site.

2 – Decorate according to the Brooks & Dunn hit song “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

3 – Decorate according to your favorite Winstock ‘09 artist’s song.

Participants must pre-register by Friday at 9 p.m. at the Winstock information tent, or at the southwest gate Friday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., to be considered for judging. Cash prizes will be awarded. Please present photo ID to claim prize. No double winners, and judges’ decisions are final.

• The meeting for those volunteering at Winstock will take place Wednesday night at the festival grounds at 7 p.m.

• General admission and reserved seating tickets can be purchased at the Winstock gates this weekend. Campsites are also available.

• Watch www.winstockfestival.com for any late-breaking Winstock news and also for interviews with Newfield, and later this week, Houser and Covington.