There’s nothing quite like an all-day outdoor music festival. Grab a blanket or maybe a low-slung chair, some sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle, so you can laze and walk around all day into the night checking out the various vendors and soaking in the music wafting throughout the air. You might, as was the case for day two of the 2019 Roots N Blues N BBQ festival in Columbia, Missouri, pack a raincoat, which, by the end of the night, was needed.
The only downside to the second day was that the lightening in the air caused a delay and eventual cancellation of headliner Ben Harper’s set. Which was, of course, a let down to what was otherwise a terrific day for the 13th year of this festival bringing a mixture of top-notch up-and-coming and classic performers that all had their own version of roots ’n’ blues music. Find all the photos snapped for Arch City Media here: http://bit.ly/RootsBluesBBQ19cz
Kicking the day off was St. Louis’ own John Henry. Described as a troubadour singing heartland rock, Henry’s melodic, yet slightly gritty voice brings his songs, written about heartbreak, darkness and more to life.
Kent Burnside & the Flood Brothers took to the MO Lottery Stage next and brought a powerful bluesy/rock set to the growing crowd. If the last name sounds familiar it’s because Kent is the oldest grandson of famed bluesman R.L. Burnside and let’s just say from the way Kent plays and sings, the blues are in his bloodline. The Flood Brothers hail from Hannibal, MO but currently call Columbia home.
Also from St. Louis, The Mighty Pines showed off their own version of roots music by bending the lines between groove, country, funk, blues, and folk music.
After a slight rain delay (rather a lightning-in-the-area delay) The National Reserve performed a shortened set. From Brooklyn, NY they are not what you’d expect. The band has “crafted a rich and raucous collection that instantly places them among Americana’s finest with its force, directness, and performance, not unlike some lost recording unearthed from the golden age of 70’s rock ’n’ roll.” (From RNBNBBQ site.)
Not to be missed was the mash-up of the legendary Louisiana Man Doug Kershaw featuring Dave & Deke Combo. Deke told the crowd that after Doug played the Grand Ole Opry Friday night his flight to St. Louis had been canceled so they drove through the night to get to Columbia to perform. Cracking jokes at one point Doug mentioned he had to relearn some of his songs he’d written to perform at the festival as he’d written them so long ago (as he’s now age 83 many of them had been written before the majority of the crowd had ever been born).
While the Cajun standards continued on the Great Southern Bank Stage, Black Pumas, which many reviewers are saying are ones to watch (we agree), were wowing the crowd with their retro/psychedelic soul.
Another not-to-be-missed set was the pairing of Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. These two are excellent on their own but have figured out how to combine their blues and country sounds into a wonderful combination of old blues and folk.
Alejandro Escovedo continues to traverse the world bringing his Texas/California sound with him. If a few of the members of his band look familiar that’s because he brought in a few musicians from St. Louis (Jimmy Griffin, Kevin Bachmann, Dave Grelle, and a drummer) to help out.
It’s a strange combination for certain but it works. Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets be-bopped their way into the crowds’ heart where they played some classic covers to newer songs hand-picked just for the festival.
Last, but not least, The Mavericks wound up being the final act of the night. And those who stayed through the sprinkles that turned to a heavier rain were treated to a grand performance from this high-energy, flashy American-Latin sounding band.
For those of you in the St. Louis area missing LouFest, or for anyone who likes a great outdoor music festival, it’s worth your while to put the 2020 Roots N Blues N BBQ three-day event on your radar.
PHOTOS from all of the second day of Roots N Blues N BBQ: http://bit.ly/RootsBluesBBQ19cz