To anchor its July 4 lineup, Taste of Minnesota has turned to a London-born star: Elvis Costello.
The punk pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer fills the last slot in a schedule of headline acts that is dominated by hard-rockers, starting with Staind July 2, Judas Priest and Whitesnake July 3 and Bret Michaels July 5.
"He rounds it off perfectly for us," said Andy Faris, one of the new partners in the festival at St. Paul's Harriet Island. "It's a bit of a departure from the past but that's what we committed to do when we acquired Taste. He's had such a long and varied career. He's an amazing, talented artist and we're very excited."
And while he may not get the ratings of Michaels' VH1 hit "Rock of Love," Costello did have some cable success this year with his Sundance Channel music chat show, "Spectacle."
Costello will hit the summer-festival circuit -- including Bonnaroo in Tennessee June 13 and the Winnipeg Folk Festival July 8 -- in support of his June 2 release "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane," a country-tinged album recorded in Nashville with producer T-Bone Burnett. It features a host of acoustic/Americana stalwarts, including Alison Krauss sideman Jerry Douglas, fiddler Stuart Duncan, mandolinist Mike Compton and accordionist Jeff Taylor, and vocal harmonies by singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.
Although Costello is reportedly performing an acoustic set at Bonnaroo, at Taste he will perform with his rock quartet, the Imposters.