After three weeks of stiff competition, San Diego County Fair's Musicpalooza contest concluded on Saturday on the Paddock stage to a packed house.
There was $10,000 on the line for each category (soloist and band), which were judged by a panel that included local radio veteran Robin Roth; FM949's local music guru, Tim Pyles; and Live Nation's Vicki Marangos and Candace Mandracia. In addition to cash prizes, sponsors Taylor Guitars, Noisy Planet and Anthology threw down equipment and/or services to the winning artists.
In the soloist category, country artist Natisha Lyne took the grand prize home to her San Diego family. Although raised locally, the talented working mom is a country girl at heart, influenced by Sara Evans and Faith Hill. Upon receiving the coveted cash prize, a teary Lyne thanked the judges and the crowd for keeping country music alive in San Diego.
In the band category, the Orange County-based band Entice destroyed the competition with their passionate, hook-laden modern rock. After seeing Entice perform for the first time (Week 1 of Musicpalooza), I asked for a copy of their debut release, Let the Fire Come. A bona fide fan of the independent record, it hasn't left my car stereo since. When he was asked what he was going to do with the band''s $10,000 winnings, Entice singer Isaac Leland responded, "record more material..