'American Idol' finalists hit Folsom stage

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Folsom Live, traditionally a daylong music festival this year scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25, has added a second night. On Friday, Sept. 24, four former American Idol finalists will be performing Motown hits on stage in Folsom. They won’t be alone, however. Over the past five weeks, Folsom has been trying to find its American Idol. More than 40 people have auditioned for the contest. The winner will join the former Idol finalists, Gina Glocksen, David Hernandez, Trenyce Cobbins and Michael Sarver, on stage on the 24, performing under the direction of American Idol’s own Michael Orland. “We’ve added the Idol component to Folsom Live this year and it’s fun, different and it’s in the news,” said Murray Weaver, owner of The Powerhouse Pub, and the man in charge of running the Idol event. “It’s going to be great. American Idol is so hugely publicized and they just had the current show come through Sacramento. It’s on everyone’s mind. I’m really looking forward to it.” The auditions have found some talented singers. Cheri Mello, 28 of Shingle Springs, has auditioned and was one of a handful of performers that impressed the judges. She is a former Idol contestant, as she tried out for the show in Denver last year. “The contest is a good thing,” Mello said. “I think it would be awesome to perform on stage with the Idol finalists. Performing takes me back to high school when I was on stage with classmates, but this would be fun to be on stage with people that were on TV.” Though Weaver isn’t one of the judges, he’s heard a few auditions. “We’ve had some great talent,” Weaver said. “We’ve had some dynamite auditions and I’ve been impressed.” There will also be an under-21 Idol selected to perform on stage with the former Idol finalists and the 21-and-older winning Idol. Folsom Live, a five-stage musical festival on Sutter Street, is expected to draw more than 6,000 people. The event features a variety of musical performances from blues legend Elvin Bishop, party bands WonderBread 5 and Club 90, tribute to Pink Floyd, Pink Froyd, and Tower of Power tribute, Bump City. Country acts include Whiskey Dawn, the Dave Russell Band and Johnny Cash tribute James Garner. Jerry Martini, an original founder of Sly & the Family Stone and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will also perform with his band Stones Throw. Gallagher, he of smashing watermelons fame, will also be performing. See schedule, this page. For more information on Folsom Live, go to