2005 Madison Ribberfest

Top blues performers
to entertain rib-eating crowd

By Levi King
Staff Writer

(August 2005) – The Madison Ribberfest kicks off its fourth year on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20, with barbecue, blues and balloons along the Madison riverfront.
Several big name blues musicians will perform at the event. They include Friday night headliner Tommy Castro and Saturday night headliner James Harman, with special guest Junior Watson.

2005 Madison Ribberfest cover

Pick Up our Madison
Ribberfest Guide
in mid-August!

Madison Ribberfest
Friday-Saturday, Aug. 19-20, 2005
on the Madison riverfront

Friday Bands
- (EST-slow time)
• 6 p.m.: Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings
• 8 p.m.: The Tommy Castro Band
• 10 p.m.: Mark Selby

Saturday Bands - (EST-slow time)
• Noon: L.A. Groove
• 1:30 p.m.: Gordon Bonham Blues Band
• 3 p.m.: Studebaker John & The Hawks
• 5 p.m.: Guy Davis & The High Flynin’ Rockets
• 7 p.m.: Omar & The Howlers
• 9 p.m.: James Harman & Junior Watson

• Tickets: $20 for 2-day wristband if purchased by
Aug. 19. Single day tickets: $10 Friday; $15 Saturday. Children 12-under free. To order call (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956 or visit: www.madisonribberfest.com

Other performers on Friday are the Chicago Rythm & Blues Kings, and Vanguard recording artist Mark Selby.
Saturday's lineup features L.A. Groove, the Gordon Bonham Blues Band, Studebaker John & The Hawks, Guy Davis & The High Flyin' Rockets, and Omar and the Howlers.
Meanwhile, festival-goers will be able to stroll through the Backyard BBQ Blast cooking area to sample food prepared for competition judging by amateur grillers. As of late July, nearly 20 teams had signed up, and chairman Steve Thomas expected many more by mid-August.
Down Vaughn Drive, professional cookers will be grilling meat for competition judging using the Kansas City Barbeque Society rules. Competition chairman Shawn Auxier said 39 KCBS-registered teams had signed up as of late July. He expects to have more than 40 teams by festival time.
Festival-goers can purchase ribs, chicken and other foods from several vendors that will be set up inside the festival grounds. A hot air balloon glow will be visible at dusk Friday from the staging area across the Ohio River in Milton, Ky. Two hare-and-hound hot air balloon races are planned for Saturday, with 24 balloons registered as of late July, according to chairman Jim Pruett.
The planning committee are eagerly looking forward to what they hope will be the “bluesiest” festival yet.
Castro takes the stage at 8 p.m. Friday. A native of San Jose, Calif., Castro listened to B.B. King’s “Cook County Jail” album as a kid and fell in love. He picked up the guitar and never looked back. Castro’s influences include Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and James Brown.
Castro, 50, played in several bands in the San Francisco area, including Warner Brothers recording artists the Dynatones before starting his own band in 1991. Castro produced his debut album, “No Foolin’,” in 1993 and followed up two years later with the breakthrough “Exception to the Rule” on Blind Pig Records.
The Tommy Castro Band was selected as the house band for NBC’s “Comedy Showcase” in the late 1990s. Castro’s 1999 album “Right as Rain” featured guests Dr. John and Delbert McClinton. In 2001, Castro and crew toured and performed with heroes Buddy Guy, John Hiatt, and B.B. King. The late John Lee Hooker performed on Castro’s critically acclaimed 33rd St. Records release, “Guilty of Love,” that same year.
Harman and Watson will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday. Harman was born into a musical family in Anniston, Ala., where he learned to play several instruments, including piano, guitar and harmonica. In 1962 he moved to Panama City, Fla., where he frequented black nightclubs to hear acts like Little Milton Campbell, Otis Redding, and Jimmy Reed. Harman began performing with local musicians, and put together his own bands, performing under many different names. In 1964, a label manager took the 18-year-old bluesman to Atlanta to record a 45, and he spent the next several years touring the eastern United States.
Harman in 1970 moved to southern California, where he still resides. In his career spanning more than four decades, Harman has released 29 recordings, received 14 W.C. Handy Blues Award nominations, and played alongside greats like Freddie King, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, and Albert Collins.
Watson boasts an equally impressive resume. In more than 30 years as a blues guitarist, Watson has performed and recorded with an all-star roster of musicians, including Big Mama Thorton, Charlie Musselwhite, Shakey Jake, and Jimmy Rogers. Watson was a founding member of The Mighty Flyers. Throughout the 1980s, Watson was a member of Canned Heat. He continued to tour with the band through much of the 1990s.
In the weeks preceding Ribberfest, local businesses have been supporting an agricultural scholarship program by "adopting" 250-pound concrete pigs, decorating them and displaying them in front of their buildings. The Pigmania contest will culminate at the festival when the pigs will be on display along Vaughn Drive for people to vote with their money on the best decorated pig.
A new event this year is the "Kids Q," a cooking contest for youth in two age categories to be held Saturday morning. Only 16 total contestants will be allowed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eight contestants will compete in ages 8-11, and eight will compete in ages 12-15. Winners in each category will receive a $500 U.S. savings bond. To sign up, call (812) 265-2196.
At the merchandising tent, there will be no posters for sale this year, but T-shirts will be available with a new design for 2005.
The Madison Ribberfest is coordinated by Kathy Ayers, who leads a committee of nearly 30 people. The event is operated under the auspices of the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Back to 2005 Ribberfest Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta