Devouring some Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ
September 28, 2009 by Chris Dunn
I really love Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ.
Ben Moore performs as one of the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Peace Park stage on Saturday.
Oops. As a journalist who covered the festival wherein music and barbecue took over downtown Columbia for two days, am I allowed to say that?
Oh well. I have loved Roots ‘N Blues since the 2007 festival, which was supposed to be a one-time thing. And then the powers that be decided to give it a second go. And then a third. And who knows if there’ll be a fourth?
If you don’t know what Roots ‘N Blues is — well, it’s a lot of things.
Ana Popovic shreds her guitar as bassist Ronald Zonker plays along at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Popovic hails from Yugoslavia and learned to play the guitar at age 15.
Hole Shot BBQ team member Kevin Henderson arranges smoked pork at his team's station on Sixth Street in preparation for the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival barbecue judging on Saturday. The team, hailing from Wentzville, also prepared ribs and chicken for the barbecue contest.
There’re the fans from all over:
Music reviewer "Beatle Bob" - real name Robert Matonis - dances to Ana Popovic's music at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Matonis, who is the subject of an upcoming documentary called "Superfan: The Lies, Life and Legend of Beatle Bob," is known as a regular at live music events and for his active dancing to the music.
There’re the kids:
Four-year-old Reid Boyd of Columbia plays his guitar while listening to James Hand on Saturday at the stage at Seventh and Locust Steets. Boyd, who doesn't know chords yet but can pick out tunes by watching others, is on his third guitar.
There’re the activities for kids:
Balloon artist Mike Martin and Columbia resident Beverly Bell help place a balloon hat on 8-year-old Nikki Williams' head on Saturday outside of Flat Branch Park during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Bell said the wait for balloon creations was an hour long.
Festivalgoers form peace signs with their hands in Peace Park while listening to the Itals' performance on Saturday. The Itals, a reggae group hailing from Jamaica, asked the crowd, "Give us some peace!"
And there’s more music:
Texas country singer James Hand tips his hat at the end of his performance on Saturday at the stage at Seventh and Locust Streets during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Hand, who has appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, also played at the Whole Hog Lounge for the VIP guests.
For the first time in its three-year history, the festival was a ticketed event, which made me all the more grateful that I’d volunteered to work two extra days for The Missourian and, therefore, get a media credential.
The media credential was a good thing and a bad thing. It was great because on Saturday, I had complete and utter freedom to wander the festival, chat up vendors and patrons and anyone and take photos the entire time. It was not so great because on Friday, I was working on an audio slideshow and missed the two groups I wanted to see most: the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Music Maker Revue. (Please view the slideshow, which is about the Mid-Missouri Highsteppers — a drill team that led the festival’s opening parade.)
So I was pretty bummed about that. But on Saturday, I had that complete and utter freedom, and you can bet I took advantage of it.
It was great.
Jimmy Carter of the Blind Boys of Alabama starts singing "Spirit in the Sky" to close the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, at the Peace Park stage. Carter has led the Grammy-winning gospel band since its formation in 1939 in Talladega, Ala.
You can view more photos here!