Boru Vodka today announced the 15 semifinalists in its "Defend the Bar Band" contest, co-sponsored by Roadrunner Records, Blender.com, Musician's Friend, and our very own Madina Lake.

The month-long search for the most authentic and passionate bar band resulted in over 100 applications, representing 31 states and a wide variety of musical styles. Fifteen artists have now been selected to be featured on the Boru Vodka website as semifinalists, where they will continue to compete for the opportunity to win a digital release with Roadrunner Records as well as $10,000 worth of new equipment from Musician's Friend.

The semifinal round of the "Defend the Bar Band" program as well as the "Defend the Fan" sweepstakes, launches on Monda, Spetember 24th. We therefore encourage music fans to visit www.boru.com, listen to the artists, and cast their vote. The first 100 voters each day will receive a free music download. By registering to vote, consumers are automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win a grand prize of either $5,000 or a Boru-branded jukebox. Bands and fans will be able to track each band's standings through real-time, on-line voting results.

The four bands receiving the greatest number of votes in the semifinal round will become the finalists in the competition. A combination of consumer voting and industry panel judges will determine which finalist will be Boru's ultimate bar band. The judging panel is made up of judges from Roadrunner Records, Madina Lake, Blender.com, Musician's Friend and Boru Vodka. Both the winning band and the winner of the "Defend the Fan" sweepstakes will be announced in early November.

"We have been blown away by the talent and passion of the bands that have entered," said Roseann Sessa, Vice President Marketing & Public Relations for Castle Brands. "It is exciting to be able to give these unsigned artists an opportunity to be heard around the world. We are confident that our talented semifinalits will all have great success in the music industry. Good luck to each of these outstanding performers."

The 15 semifinalist bands are:

Art of Chaos - Torrance, CA
Avision Red - Louisville, CO
Ballyhoo - Bel Air, MD
Bing & The Bingtones - San Carlos, CA
Joker - Athens, GA
Liz Woodworth Trio - Bayfield, WI
Lloyd Dobler Effect - Silver Spring, MD
Olio - Los Angeles, CA
Rich Ortiz - Lake George, NY
Scarsboy - McKinney, TX
The Righteous Hillbillies - Joliet, IL
The Secret Resistance - Brooklyn, NY
VMF East - Bridgewater, MA
Volume Runner - Cinnaminson, NJ

May the best band win!