Fluid, a Medford-based progressive rock band, is one of six slated for FairaPalooza at the county fair. - Photo by Josh Morell

'Tonight, I'm a rock 'n' roll star'

The Jackson County Fair's headline entertainment features a dynamic group of rock bands for the first time this year at the Lithia Motors Amphitheater.

Radio Medford-Grants Pass and the Jackson County Fair have teamed up to present FairaPalooza, a concert that will showcase six regional bands competing for a total of $5,000 in cash prizes.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Friday, July 20, at the amphitheater at the county fairgrounds, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.

Each band will perform using the professional sound equipment and staff at the Lithia Motors stage.

Ryan Cox of the Medford-based progressive rock group Fluid says he couldn't be happier about the opportunity.

"We've been trying to get our band out there," Cox says. "We've already worked with some big people, and we'd like to become a professional group."

Fluid includes Cox on guitar, Justyn Reese on keyboards, guitar and vocals, Will Kell on bass and Aaron Couchman on drums.

The group formed in 2002, with Aaron Couchman replacing the original drummer a little over a year ago. In 2005, the group won a band competition sponsored by Southern Oregon University and was named Band of the Year by KROG 97, now New Rock 96.9.

Fluid just released a demo of its new song titled "Whose Side Are You On?" produced in Hollywood by Page Hamilton of the heavy metal band Helmet. The demo includes drummer Kevin Woodruff of Medford filling in for Couchman. The group also has a new full-length CD to its credit titled "Lie."

The other five bands vying for the top prize of $3,000, $2,000 for the runner-up, are The Throwbacks and Chesterfield, also from Medford; the Frankie Hernandez Band from Ashland; Yesterday from Wilderville; and Rental 58 from Corvallis.

"We're going to do a song called 'Lost' that we wrote a couple of years ago," says Cox. "Along with one called 'The Animal' and another one called 'This World Needs a New Drug.' Only it's not about drugs, it's about society and how everyone's always looking for the next big thing.

"I like to make the distinction when I talk about that song," he laughs. "We'll also do the song from our new demo."

Cox says that Fluid would start another full-length album with the prize money.

For more about Fluid, see myspace.com/fluid123.

Admission to the concert is free with fair admission.

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