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Published: Thursday, 7/31/2008

5 bands named Blade 'Battle winners

Five bands have been selected as winners in The Blade s inaugural Battle of the Bands contest including two that will open for Ted Nugent and Bo Bice at The Andersons Northwest Ohio Rib-Off next weekend at the Lucas County Fairgrounds in Maumee.

There were co-winners in the pop/rock category: Chris Shutters and the band Empire Drift. Rodney Parker & Liberty Beach were the winners in the country category; It s Essential, in the R&B, jazz, blues category, and Katie and Pat in the solo/duo contest.

Shutters will open for Nugent on Aug. 8 of the Rib-Off, and Empire Drift will open for Bo Bice on Aug. 7. Rodney Parker was set to open for Gary Allan at the Rib-Off, but had to cancel because of a scheduling conflict.

A total of 111 musical acts participated in the Battle of the Bands, said Dan Gallerno, The Blade s marketing manager. The number was narrowed to 21 semi-finalists; a seven-judge panel picked the winners.

The winners and some of the top bands will be featured on a compilation CD. In addition, a showcase concert for the acts that are on the disc will be scheduled at a later date, he said.

Gallerno said he d like to take some of the things he learned from this first-time contest and apply them to another one next year. We have some bugs to work out, he said. We d like to do it again and improve on it next year.

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