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.38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Queensryche, Jackyl and others Headline This Year’s HalfWay Jam

The line-up for 2012′s HalfWay Jam looks like this is going to be the biggest year yet for die-hard Jammers. In addition to HalfWay Jam local band staples BLIMP and TNT, this year’s campers and attendees will be immersed in a Southern-fried Friday and a headbangin’ Saturday. Set to heat up the Royalton evening air on July 26th, 27th and 28th, the three-day HalfWay Jam is in it’s 9th year and after last year’s record attendance the caliber of talent has been notched up once again.

Thursday night’s rock brings the return of a HalfWay Jam fixture: Jackyl.  Also on the main stage Thursday night is Bang Tango and Trixter. On the Rhino Deck that night is Dirtee Circus, Maiden Minneapolis, and Central Minnesota fav BLIMP.

Friday night is set with a good dose of Southern-fried rock that includes Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special. The Rhino Deck Friday line-up starts with LazyBoyz, Lolah, another set by Dirtee Circus, Strange Daze and finishes off with Freebird, a Skynyrd tribute band.

Saturday’s rock will come from Stryper, Lynch Mob, Jackyl and Queensryche (OR some form of it as there is big trouble in the Geoff Tate-Queensryche universe right now).

The promoter, Rockhouse Productions, has done a great job this year with capturing 3 bands that have never played HalfWay and bringing back 3 (1/2?) of the festival’s most popular bands.

You can purchase tickets here, make your camping reservations here and join the HalfWay Jam community on Facebook here.

Let’s give you a primer on the awesome line-up The LOON is bringing you-


.38 Special

According to their website, they play 100+ shows a year, and the band includes founding members Donnie Van Zant on guitar, and Don Barnes on guitar & vocals who have been playing together since 1974. Along with original member Larry Junstrom on bass, they’ve added Danny Chauncey on guitar, keyboardist Bobby Capps and most recently drummer Gary Moffat.

The band’s first two albums had a strong southern rock influence. By the early 1980s, .38 Special shifted to a tighter more polished sound while maintaining its southern rock roots. This shift helped to usher in a string of successful albums and singles.

Their breakthrough hit was Hold On Loosely in 1981. Later Caught Up in You from 1982 and If I’d Been the One released in ’83 both hit #1 . 1984′s Back Where You Belong their hitting streak and after a four-year break, Second Chance also hit #1 hit on Billboard.



Molly Hatchet

Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1975,  Dave Hlubek, Steve Holland and Danny Joe Brown gave us one of the greatest party and rebellion songs of all time: Flirtin’ with Disaster the title cut of their first effort. The gruff, rough and tough vocals of Danny are what we remember best about the band.

Not only is Danny heard on Flirtin‘, but he’s the man that stamped The Allmans’ Dreams (I’ll Never See) and the band’s legendary Lennon tribute Fall Of The Peacemakers with The Hatchet Sound. Danny Joe left the band in 1980 because of health issues, but returned two years later, only to have a stroke sideline him in 1995. He passed in 2005, while Hatchet churned on in the studio and on tour with Phil McCormack, whose similar style, sound and soul has given breath to Danny Joe’s memory.

One of our favorite things about Hatchet is their album covers that feature the works of Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo.



Blackfoot

Train, Train. It’s one the most requested songs on The LOON… from the first strains of that unmistakable harmonica to the power riff from founder Ricky Medlocke‘s Gibson Explorer and his growling delivery on vocals, this band hammered out signature Southern Rock staples like Highway Song, Wishin’ Well and On The Run live and on record for 20 years.

In 1996 Ricky was asked by former Lynyrd Skynyrd bandmate Gary Rossington to rejoin. But just recently Ricky announced that he was ‘reviving’ Blackfoot with an entirely new line-up that he personally selected and would produce and mentor, therefore providing a Blackfoot ‘backbone and legacy’ to the new venture.

The new members are: Philip Shouse (lead vocals, guitar) – Tim Rossi (guitar, vocals) – Brian Carpenter (bass) – Christopher Williams (drums). If their picture at the Blackfoot website is any indication, these guys promise to be one kick-ass show. Since the band is virtually brand new, we haven’t been able to dig up any videos of the current line-up. But we did unearth this gem featuring the original band that Mr. Medlocke is using as the model for what has become to be known by internet forum fans as Blackfoot, Jr.



Queensryche

Hailed as the turning point of progressive rock, Geoff Tate and the boys merged the artful side of prog-rock with the gleaming edge of metal at the dawn of the 80′s. Formed originally as ‘The Mob’ Queensryche burst onto the rock scene with a sound that virtually every hair-band in their wake would model.

Working with producers that had forged their way with the likes of Judas Priest and Pink Floyd and getting national exposure during the KISS Animalize tour, the mid-80′s saw the now-veteran clan rise as a hard-core metal-head fav and critic’s darling.

But it wasn’t until 1988′s Operation: Mindcrime and the monster hit Silent Lucidity that mullet-sporting lads, teen party-girls and commercial success would catch up to them. When Empire was released in 1990, it welded the group to metal’s Legendary status.

Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield are still tearing up the stage together, with new-comer Parker Lundgren handling guitar duties.



Jackyl

What can we say about these guys? It’s their 3rd appearance at HalfWay and we can’t wait to hear Down On Me and I Stand Alone live again! Maybe Jesse James Dupree was right when he declared on the LOON airwaves two years ago:

“Hell we oughtta just call this damn thing Jackyl-Jam!”

We’d tell you to keep your pants on Jesse, but we know that’s not possible.

With the success of his Sturgis, SD bar, concert venue and reality TV show Full Throttle Saloon, we’re insanely honored to be able to Jackyl-Off once again. We’ll shut the hell up now and let JJD’s chainsaw do the talkin’.



Lynch Mob

One of the most unique acts to rise in the 80′s was Dokken. The metal band featured soaring vocals and thick, harmonic laced guitars. George Lynch was at the center of it all as lead guitarist and he now rests firmly in the upper echelons of guitar-god worshipers.

His band Lynch Mob features Dokken-mate Mick Brown on skins, and at last report original Lynch Mob member Oni Logan on vocal duties. Former Dokken, Dio and Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson appears on Lynch Mob’s latest effort, but at this point we’re not sure if he’s touring with George or not. He could be, considering he also plays guitar.

Ratt’s Robbie Crane has toured with Lynch Mob in the past, so it’s possible he would be at HalfWay Jam as well. We know George will choose the right touring band to crank out Into The Fire!



Stryper

Through the 80′s this band defied the critics and the mainstream metal movement by wrapping the positive message of Christianity in the same hard-charged guitars, thundering bass, blistering drums and wailing vocals.

Hailing from the glam-o-rific shores of Orange County California, Stryper achieved success by not only bucking the system as a ‘Christian-Metal’ band (and virtually creating the genre), but with their high-energy shows that proved metal didn’t have to be all demons, sex and drugs.

Their original line-up is still intact and by the looks of the video below, still doing the powerhouse shows you’ve come to expect from them. They are without a doubt, the top Christian rock band of all time. And Honestly, we’re really looking forward to seeing them for the first time.



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