We had a bit of a cold snap this weekend, with lower temperatures, crisp breezes, and an overall feeling of fall. It was 45 on the porch this morning and 49 on Sunday morning. Afternoon temperatures at our place never cracked 70. It didn’t affect the Blues & Barbecue Festival, as it was reasonably warm downtown during the afternoon and early evening. It did get a bit chilly on toward 9 PM, but it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits.
The event was a success by just about any measure. There were eight bars or restaurants featuring music for the Blues Crawl the night before, and the Brewery actually had two acts, one inside and one outside. The Rotary Blues Train was reportedly a smashing success with something like 500 tickets sold – at $60 each or $100 per couple – with some of the profits earmarked for the Ferst Foundation, which distributes free books to children. The Buckner Brothers played a “street dance” for free afterwards, and they sounded good, although their sax player, Carle Vickers, wasn’t in attendance. I was told that he is caring for his mother back in Connecticut and couldn’t make the gig.
We had a funeral to go to Sunday, so we didn’t get down to the Festival until about 5:00, but attendance was strong. It seemed that everyone had good reviews of the barbecue. We ran into Sam Huff, who owns Sam’s #1, and mentioned that we missed seeing his rig there. He said that he was associated with the South 40 operation, so we gave that a try and were very pleased with the pulled pork and the ribs. We ran into Rob Kaser, and he gave the young opening act, No Komment, a very enthusiastic review. We just heard the last few notes of Mudbone Turner/Sugarlips Wilson’s act, and they sounded very good. The headliner, Dwayne Dopsie, closed the show with a rocking hour or so of zydeco. Toward the end, there were maybe 250 people dancing in front of the bandstand, and everyone seemed to be having fun.
Unfortunately, the Festival is still balkanized, with the beer tent and picnic tables across the tracks from the stage, due to the opposition of the First Baptist Church to an amendment to the alcohol regulations that would allow patrons of duly licensed festivals to consume beer and wine in the vicinity of the stage. So … we still have some growing up to do, although they had the sound worked out much better this year, and you could actually hear the music reasonably well from across the tracks.