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BottleRock Napa Valley: 5 acts that you don’t want to miss at the festival

People snatched up tickets to this year’s BottleRock Napa Valley at a record pace, thanks in large part to acts like Bruno Mars, The Killers, Bruno Mars, Muse, Bruno Mars, Halsey, Bruno Mars, Snoop Dogg and Bruno Mars atop the bill.
(Did we mention that Bruno Mars is performing?)
But this sold-out festival is about more than the A-Listers. It’s also about experiencing new music, or, at least, music that might be new to you. So we’ve rounded up some other performers that fans should make plans to check out when BottleRock returns to downtown Napa May 25-27.
And, of course, the festival is also about enjoying the great food and drink offerings as well as just taking in that famed Napa Valley vibe.
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“We spend a lot of time trying to transform the venue, the Napa Valley Expo, into a little slice of Napa Valley,” says Justin Dragoo, partner at Latitude 38 Entertainment, producers of the festival.
So check out www.bottlerocknapavalley.com to start planning your time and make sure to check out these five acts at the 2018 festival.
Tank and the Bangas
Tarriona “Tank” Ball and her crew have been making music together since 2011, building a fan base out of the New Orleans area with their groovy and eclectic sounds.
“I kid you not, the band is a fusion of music genres ranging from jazz and funk and soul and R&B to rock to hip-hop,” says Dave Graham, Latitude 38 partner. “Tank, who is the lead singer, is an absolute force and she brings energy like you wouldn’t believe.”
Tank and the Bangas are definitely on the rise, especially since winning NPR’s prestigious Tiny Desk Contest in 2017.
Stream these: “Quick,” “Drummers”
Details: 7:15-8:15 p.m. May 25, Lagunitas Stage

Music man Dave Graham recommends you see @TankandDaBangas a @BottleRockNapa pic.twitter.com/eN1xNExd2z
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 17, 2018


Lake Street Dive
Here’s an easy one. Basically everybody who sees this band, which got its start in Boston in 2004, falls for them — hard. And definitely count Graham in that number.
“Rachel Price, who is the lead singer, has one of the most incredible voices that you are going to find anywhere,” Graham says. “The music is kind of this mix of jazz meets pop. The band members themselves, all of them are classically trained — so they are amazingly talented.
“I am going to paraphrase a quote from the drummer of the band (that) it’s kind of like the band lives at the intersection of the Beatles and Motown. And it’s an experience to be seen.”
Stream these: “Better Than,” “Bad Self Portraits”
Details: 3:15-4:15 p.m. May 27, Jam Cellars Stage

Another recommendation from Dave Graham – catch @lakestreetdive at @BottleRockNapa pic.twitter.com/9nmboNESNH
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 17, 2018


Amy Shark
“Adore” is just one of those songs, right? You hear it once and you’re immediately sold on its author, believing that she has what it takes to make it big in the business. It’s already happened in her native Australia, where “Adore” was certified triple-platinum and brought much fame to Shark. Yet, the indie-pop is still cultivating a following in the U.S.
“I am surprised about how many people don’t know about Amy Shark,” Dragoo says. “She’s on our (Lagunitas) stage, so she’s another one who is on one of the smaller stages who I think will end up being a very popular name in the U.S. for years to come.”
Stream these: “Adore” (of course), “I Said Hi”
Details: 4:15-5:15 p.m. May 27, Lagunitas Stage

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real
You can’t knock his pedigree. Or his resume. But there’s more to this Nelson than just those things.
“People will say, ‘Oh, he plays for Neil Young and his dad is Willie Nelson.’ No. He is a force unto himself,” Graham says. “If you have any questions as to that, the song ‘Find Yourself’ will show you that this guy is a talent.
“Yeah, you can hear a little bit of his dad in the voice. But the music is best described as Jimi Hendrix meets Neil Young. It’s classic rock that has been modernized to his (style).”
Stream these: “Find Yourself” (because Graham says so), “Forget About Georgia”
Details: 6:45-7:45 p.m. May 26, Miner Family Winery Stage

Pokey LaFarge
Nothing else at BottleRock will sound anything like Pokey LaFarge. He’s a musical oddity, which is meant as a huge compliment, who shares more in common musically with Jimmie Rodgers than he does anyone on radio today.
“His music is a mix of blues and folk and country and swing,” Graham says. “And it takes you back to the Roaring ’20s. Yet, the lyrics are completely relevant today.
“You are saying, ‘How did this person get here? Where did they come from? And how did they come up with this kind of music?’”
Stream these: “La La Blues,” “Central Time”
Details: 7:15-8:15 p.m. Saturday, Lagunitas Stage


Justin Dragoo discusses what's new for the 2018 @BottleRockNapa pic.twitter.com/hwAMfZxXbf
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 17, 2018


Justin Dragoo talks about "the feeling" of @BottleRockNapa pic.twitter.com/JCt8ETJehR
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 17, 2018


BOTTLEROCK NAPA VALLEY
When:  Noon, May 25-27
Where: Napa Valley Expo, 573 3rd St., Napa
Tickets: Sold out, but there is a ticket exchange at the event’s website as well as parking and transportation information, the Culinary Stage lineup and more,  www.bottlerocknapavalley.com .

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