Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

The 9th Annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 25-27, 2015 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Missouri.

First Launched in 2007, the festival features over 30 artists representing the genres of roots, blues, gospel, country, folk, and soul. The line up includes international, national, regional, and local artists.

American Blues Scene Magazine called it “One of the most prominent festivals in the country!” As well as live music, fans enjoy delicious BBQ from local and national vendors. Included in the festival is a ½ Marathon and 10K on Saturday morning and a Gospel Revival on Sunday.

The festival is a fun, true and unique celebration of music, food and culture.

The Black Crowes

Having sold over 20 million albums and topping the album charts several times, the Black Crowes are an American rock 'n' roll institution. Today, anyone checking in on "The Most Rock 'N Roll Rock 'N Roll Band In The World," as the U.K.'s Melody Maker once called them, will find THE BLACK CROWES more dedicated than ever to their craft which has resulted in a body of work spanning two full decades.

The band recently released WISER FOR THE TIME, which features a mammoth eight sides on four vinyl albums containing 26 songs–15 acoustic and 11 electric–from THE BLACK CROWES' five-night, sold-out NYC performances in the fall of 2010. These never-released-before versions are also available as a double album digital download. The WISER FOR THE TIME track listing can be found on

Eighteen years after scoring the Grammy Award winning, harmonica laced Billboard Top Ten breakthrough hit that came to define pop music in the mid-90s, Blues Traveler are still finding unique ways to ensure that they don't give their legion of worldwide fans the "Run-Around." On their instantly infectious, musically expansive 11th studio album and 429 Records/SLG debut, Suzie Cracks The Whip, they remain creatively focused while dramatically expanding their musical horizons upon celebrating over 25 years as a band.
John Popper (vocals, harmonica), Chan Kinchla (guitars), Tad Kinchla (bass), Ben Wilson (keyboards) and Brendan Hill (drums, percussion) had a blast working for the first time ever with a handful of dynamic outside songwriting collaborators and the powerhouse production team of Sam Hollander and Dave "Sluggo" Katz, aka S*A*M and Sluggo--who have worked their studio magic for everyone from rap rock band Gym Class Heroes to pop princess Katy Perry.
The first questions on everyone's mind as Blues Traveler breaks ground on quarter century #2 is "Who is Suzie?" and "Where did she get the whip?"
Tongue firmly planted in cheek, Brendan Hill says, "That's Suzie Shinn, assistant engineer at Killingsworth Studios in Valley Village, California, who is truly the unsung hero on this project. She was awesome, doing it all from vacuuming up our messes at night to jumping into her chair to track our overdubs, and recording us in two rooms at the same time, vocals in one, rhythm section stuff in the other. One day, we had a photo shoot in back of the studio. John Popper, being a bull whip aficionado, was showing one to us and urging Suzie to try it. So we got a great pic of her swinging and cracking it. It was a fun moment that summed up our approach to the whole project, putting all our chips in yet not taking things too seriously. After playing together for so many years, we had another great opportunity to make music together, so we were thinking, 'Why not celebrate it?'"
Says John Popper: "Using the concept metaphorically, we weren't cracking the whip on the outside writers we collaborated with on the album as much as they were cracking it on us. Working with them really brought out incredibly creative ideas we didn't know we had in us. In the past, our concept (at least in our minds) had always been to be like some misguided homage to the Beatles and write and produce everything in house, but as the band progressed it felt like we were drawing from the same well over and over. I love these guys like my family, but after writing the same way with the same people for 25 years, it was good to find a new outlet and take a different approach. Likewise, S*A*M and Sluggo helped remind us about what was cool about Blues Traveler in the first place. It's easy to forget what's cool about yourself after so many years of being you."
One of the ways Blues Traveler shares the joy on Suzie Cracks The Whip is by giving Popper, the band's poet in chief, an augmentation on the songwriting front, bouncing around song ideas with other writers. Hill describes their typical writing process on most of their albums as an insular, closed-door process of wood shedding amidst themselves. This time, they trekked to Austin, Texas, one of their favorite cities, piled into a studio located in a barn on Red Horse Ranch and narrowed down to a list of five collaborators—most of which brought in rough versions of two or three songs to work from. The formidable A-list yielded impressive material that created the foundation for what Chan Kinchla unabashedly calls "the best all-around record we've made since Four. Just like the recording later in L.A., it was a loose fun atmosphere, like a songwriting party. That energy shines through in the music."
Longtime band friend Aaron Beavers, frontman for the Austin based band, Shurman, contributed the infectious sing-along opener "You Don't Have To Love Me" and the blues-rock romp "Big City Girls," a co-write with Popper, Tad Kinchla and Wilson. Popper says of the opening track, "Having worked with Aaron before, it is so rewarding to be on another's track as just a vocalist. It allows you to put yourself completely into the emotional state of the writer, which I find thrilling and don't often get to do." Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith co-penned four tunes with various members of the band: the jangling and heartfelt blues-pop rocker "Recognize My Friend" (music by Hill, words by Sexsmith and Popper), the Santana-flavored, organ fired "Devil in the Details" (music by Chan Kinchla, words by Sexsmith and Popper), the exuberantly optimistic jam "Things Are Looking Up" (music by Tad Kinchla, words by Sexsmith and Popper) and the rustic, front porch folksy "Love Is Everything (That I Describe)" (music by Sexsmith, words by Popper and Sexsmith). Popper explained, "For someone we'd never met, Ron seemed to get us instantly."
Blues Traveler has a long history with Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron, who went to high school with Popper in Princeton and originally played with the Blues Traveler singer in a group called Trucking Company. On Suzie Cracks The Whip, Barron contributes the easy jangling, Springsteenesque pop-rock gem "Saving Grace," which includes the unforgettable lines, "I'm tired of songs about angels/I could use a punch in the face." Blues Traveler also invited to the barn singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carrie Rodriguez, who wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics (with Popper) on the country influenced power pop tune "I Don't Wanna Go." Popper explains, "I actually caught a video of Carrie on that hip Austin music channel. This woke me from my sleep and was brilliant. I knew instantly that I had to meet and work with her." The song features harmony vocals by American Idol Season 9 finalist Crystal Bowersox. These outside contributions set wonderful contrast to the tracks that Blues Traveler created "in-house" including the playful, reggae tinged "All Things Are Possible" (music by Popper and Chandler Kinchla, words by Popper), Ben Wilson's country-blues-pop tune "Cover Me" and two songs whose soul is classic John Popper, the stomping warning "Nobody Fall In Love With Me" and the heartbreakingly poetic piano-vocal closer "Cara Let The Moon," which Popper claims is the best song he's written in the past decade.
Says Popper: "For me, the spirit of collaboration Blues Traveler has achieved on Suzie Cracks The Whip really began with the work I did with other writers on the solo project I released last year, John Popper & The Duskray Troubadours. While those writers were only close friends that I had known and trusted for many years, Blues Traveler took this approach further by collaborating with writers we've never worked with before such as Rodriguez, Sexsmith, not to mention Alejandro Escovedo (who has a great b-side), as well as tried and true friends Barron, Beavers, as well as Jono Manson (who also has a great b-side). These experiences triggered things in all of us that we didn't know we could do. What was rewarding for me having just experienced this in my solo project, was seeing how differently Blues Traveler responded to the new process. Being such a tightly knit musical machine, the results took us in a surprising and invigorating direction. In my mind, this was the natural evolution. In the mind of Blues Traveler, it was nothing short of an explosive renaissance. We were all pushed in new and exciting directions. It created variety and a narrative that was fresh and offered contrast to the songs we wrote on our own."
Once the tunes were written, developing Suzie Cracks The Whip under the guidance of S*A*M and Sluggo in Los Angeles proved to be another stroke of genius. Though Blues Traveler had never worked with the formidable team before, the band learned that years ago when Sam Hollander first moved to New York, a friend took him to see Blues Traveler at a dive bar called Nightingale's – one of his first notable musical experiences in NYC. Chan Kinchla says, "This was around the time when things were really starting to happen for us in New York. We were just a band of ambitious kids then, but we had something going. It's so cool that Sam got to see us then."
Says Popper: "Working with S*A*M and Sluggo was like being in a Tarantino movie, where the vibe is the primary thing and the focus is on the importance of telling a story. Sam Hollander told us he saw Blues Traveler as three unique disciplines working together—my approach, alongside Chan doing his own thing, and then the rhythm section led by Brendan."
Wilson adds, "Sam is sort of our same age but he's more centered into the contemporary rock scene with some younger bands. He's really attuned to songwriting for today's artists. One of the overriding themes of the recording process was him wondering at certain points why we wanted to slow things down. He urged us to work fast and keep the energy up, but gave us a lot of leeway. The way we approached the writing process this time meant we could come to Sam and Dave with 11 amazing songs right off the bat rather than a handful of good tunes and a bunch of lesser ones to pick from. One beneficial result of this speed was a surprising duet performance featuring Bowersox, on the track, "I Don't Wanna Go." We literally had 24 hours to find someone to sing. We knew that the song would be better as a duet. Crystal delivered the song (thanks to Jono Manson at his New Mexico studio) in less than that time. She knocked it out of the park because to put it simply, she had no time to do anything else. The take was utterly fantastic."
Tad Kinchla chimes in: "We brought a cool new energy to the entire production, from writing to laying it down in the studio. Having us all in the room with the other writers meant we were open to fresh ideas and molding them into the parts each of us play best. Every band has its typical 'go to' melodies but this time we wanted to push out of that box and take the pressure off. The good news is that where it started and ended up, it still sounds like Blues Traveler."
Blues Traveler trademark sound was electrifying fans around the world, to the tune of approximately 30 million people and upwards of 6,000 live shows over the band's now 26 year history. Beyond the commercial success of their recordings, which have sold in excess of 13 million combined units worldwide, Blues Traveler has long been known for the extensive use of segues, multiple song mash-ups and extensive instrumental jams in their live performances.
Blues Traveler's road to posterity moved from the burbs of Jersey to NYC in the late '80s, where they became part of a jam-band scene and shared bills with groups like Spin Doctors and Phish, founding the Horde festival and pioneering the subsequent movement of neo-hippie jam music. Represented early on by Bill Graham and son David, Blues Traveler's live reputation led to a deal with A&M Records; their 1990 self-titled debut eventually going gold simultaneously with the album Four. While putting out a string of popular albums in the 90s, the band endured its share of mettle-testing adversity, from Popper's near fatal motorcycle accident (he recorded and toured while in a wheelchair for two years) and the tragic loss in 1999 of founding bassist Bobby Sheehan at the age of 31. True to its name, the band traveled on, with Tad Kinchla on bass and Ben Wilson on keyboards, both being in the band as long as Sheehan.
The band has kept up an average touring pace of 250 shows per year, whether there has been a new release attached to the jaunt or not. Their studio output during this time included Truth Be Told (2003), Bastardos! (2005), the all-acoustic covers album Cover Yourself (2007) and North Hollywood Shootout (2008). Blues Traveler launched 2012 with a joyfully exhaustive look back on a quarter century since they first gathered in a Princeton basement and laid the foundation for a hybrid vibe that draws from blues-rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul and Southern Rock. As one of their more notable EPs states, they are likely, for all intensive purposes, on tour forever.

Called "one of rock's most astute singer-songwriters of the last 40 years" by the Los Angeles Times, Hiatt continues to write brilliant songs including "We're Alright Now," the first single from Mystic Pinball which is described by The Huffington Post as "…a hypnotic, energizing and inspirational anthem of rebirth and reassurance reminding us to once again, have a little faith in ourselves, each other and times to come."

Hiatt and his band, The Combo, have gained a reputation for captivating crowds at their live shows as The Tennessean depicts: "He prowls the stage, delivering the bluesy stuff in a whiskey-burn howl, shouting the rock stuff and fronting a formidable band that can turn on a dime, from ballads to bombast."

For 'Mystic Pinball', Hiatt's 21st studio album, Hiatt turned to producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley (Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Joe Bonamassa.) Shirley also produced Hiatt's highly praised 'Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns', which the New York Times declared was "…his best since 1995."

John Hiatt's career as a performer and songwriter has spanned more than 30 years and everyone from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop has covered his work.

Steve Earle

Steve Earle has released his fifteenth studio album, The Low Highway, to worldwide critical acclaim in
Spring 2013. Magnet Magazine stated in their 9 out of 10 star review, "This time out, he brings all his
influences together into an LP that may be his most musically diverse offering yet" with PopMatters
stating that it is Earle's best record since 2004's Grammy Award-winning album The Revolution
Starts...Now. The album and corresponding live tour features his celebrated live band The Dukes, which
also features the husband & wife duo Chris Masterson & Eleanor Whitmore (otherwise known as the
recording artists The Mastersons) as well as longtime Dukes members Kelley Looney and Will Rigby.
A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle quickly became a master
storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou
Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. 1986 saw the
release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one on the country charts and
immediately established the term "New Country." What followed was an extremely exciting and varied
array of releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty
of Train A Comin' (1995), as well as the politically charged masterpiece, Jerusalem (2002) and the
Grammy Award-winning albums, The Revolution Starts…Now (2004), Washington Square
Serenade (2007), and Townes(2009). His previous album, I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (2011),
was also Grammy Award nominated.
Earle is also recognized as an actor from his roles in the acclaimed HBO Original Series The
Wire and Treme (both from celebrated writer David Simon) as well as appearances on Law & Order and
the Tim Blake Nelson film Leaves Of Grass. He will be seen in the forthcoming feature film The World
Made Straight, co-starring Minka Kelly, Noah Wyle, and Haley Joel Osment. He is also host of The Steve
Earle Show: Hardcore Troubadour Radio, on Sirius XM Radio.
2011 saw the publication of his debut novel, like the album, also titled I'll Never Get Out Of This World
Alive. Of the novel, Patti Smith stated, "Steve Earle brings to his prose the same authenticity, poetic spirit
and cinematic energy he projects in his music. I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive is like a dream you
can't shake, offering beauty and remorse, redemption in spades." A forthcoming memoir and novel are
also set to be published by Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group.

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is a native Chicagoan who was part of the legendary Staple Singers. She has found new life in recent years with younger musicians: Staples' new album was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy: One True Vine comes out June 25, and includes guest appearances by Nick Lowe and the Minnesota band Low.



add to your calendar

Upcoming Events
The Blue Note (MO)


Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival with The Black Crowes, Blues Traveler, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Mavis Staples, and more!

Friday, September 20 · 6:00 PM at The Blue Note (MO)