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Headed to Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest? Here's what you'll hear

Strawberry Fest packs a lot of music into a few days. This year’s festival will include the following musical acts:

-- Thursday, 7-10 p.m. Free & Easy won’t be hard to spot — the band typically dresses in natty white sport coats. And those around them are likely to be dancing. The veteran Minneapolis soul and funk band is composed of seasoned studio musicians, including a four-piece horn section, at least three singers, and a nimble, rock-steady rhythm section. Their repertoire includes the ‘70s classic “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire and more recent hits like “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green.

-- Friday, 8 p.m.-midnight: Maiden Dixie gathers seven people from different walks of life under the high-flying flag of country music. The Minneapolis septet is comprised of at least four music majors, two Iraq War combat veterans and a former Division I basketball player. Yet they blend seamlessly to create a bracing blast of musical moonshine that stirs in blues, rock and honk-tonk. They recently released their CD, “Little Black Dress,” which they recorded in Nashville.

-- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.: The Teddy Bear Band plays to a tough audience — toddlers and elementary school children. Audience participation is a big part of this group’s appeal. For the Strawberry Fest, kids will want to bring their own stuffed teddy bear so they can toss them up into the air when the band plays a song called “Bear in the Air.” They have other songs like “Teddy Bear Twist” that invite kids to dance, with or without their bears.

-- Saturday, 8 p.m.-midnight: Cover bands are a dime a dozen, but Sell Out Stereo rise above the pack with a passionate commitment to replicating every drum fill and vocal inflection the way the original artists recorded it. That doesn’t make them musical taxidermists, however. They cover a wide range of songs, from ‘80s gems like “Melt With You” by Modern English to more current fare such as “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5.