Roy Rogers to headline 13th annual barbecue-blues festival
Cycling event added to festival’s
growing list of attractions
(August 2014) – The Madison Ribberfest returns for its 13th year on Aug. 15-16 with a popular lineup of blues music and barbecue along the Ohio River at Madison Bicentennial Park. The popular band Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings will headline the event Saturday night, while Friday night will close with the Taj Mahal Trio.
Roy Rogers will bring his Delta Rhythm Kings band to Madison, Ind., for Saturday night’s closing act.
In addition, there will be the annual amateur and pro barbecue cooking competitions, along with a 5K run and walk, and paddleboat rides on the river.
The last three years have produced the largest crowds ever, and 2014 promises to be just as successful with the appearance of Roy Rogers and Taj Mahal, organizers say.
Redding, Calif., native Roy Rogers is considered one of the world’s premier slide guitarists performing today. With eight Grammy nominations as producer and performer, he is also an internationally acclaimed producer, having produced recordings for John Lee Hooker and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. He has received numerous accolades for his songwriting, as well as work on movie soundtracks and television.
“Split Decision” is his latest studio recording with his band, The Delta Rhythm Kings. It was released in 2009 by Blind Pig. In May 2011, Rogers released a collaboration with The Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek titled “Translucent Blues.” Rogers and Manzarek are currently in the studio working on a new project.
Madison Ribberfest Band Schedule
Friday, Aug 15
• 5 p.m.: Gates open
• 6 p.m.: Deanna Bogart
• 8 p.m.: Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
• 10 p.m.: Taj Mahal Trio
Saturday, Aug. 16
• 11 a.m.: Gates open
• 11:30 a.m.: Power Plant Blues
• 1:30 p.m.: The Kingbees
• 3:30 p.m.: Kelley Richey Band
• 5:30 p.m.: Paul Thorn
• 7:30 p.m.: The West Coast All-Stars featuring Junior Watson and Fred Kaplan
• 9:30 p.m.: Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
• Wristbands: $20 for a two-day pass until Aug. 15, then $20 per day for Friday and Saturday. Children 12-under free with paying adult.
• Information: Visit www.MadisonRibberfest.com or call (812) 265-2956
Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a two-hour set to climax Ribberfest’s Blues Bash, sponsored by Craig Toyota.
Taj Mahal Trio is comprised of singer Taj Mahal on vocals, guitar, keys and banjo; Kester Smith on drums; and Bill Rich on bass. Taj Mahal is considered one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades go with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the year to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and more.
Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem in 1942, Taj Mahal grew up in Springfield, Mass. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger of Caribbean descent.
His mother was a gospel singing schoolteacher from South Carolina. In addition to the piano, Taj Mahal learned to play the clarinet, trombone and harmonica, and he loved to sing. He studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in the 1960s. Inspired by a dream, he adopted the alias Taj Mahal and formed a party band. After graduating, he headed to L.A. to pursue his musical career.
Guitarist Junior Watson returns to Ribberfest for the third time, this time accompanied by pianist Fred Kaplan, to perform on Saturday night as the West Coast Blues All-Stars. Watson, with nearly 30 years of experience, has reached cult status. Influenced by Tiny Grimes, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Guitar Slim and others, he has truly created one of the most original and unique guitar voices to come along in years.
Kaplan was drawn to the ivories at age 3 and performed his first recital at age 7. Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, BB King and others, wetted his appetite to learn more.
Roy Rogers, Taj Mahal, Watson and Kaplan head an all-star cast of blues musicians that include Paul Thorn, Kelley Richey, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers and more. There will be wall-to-wall blues music starting at 6 p.m. Friday, then again starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Of course, no one is expected to listen to a two days of blues music without enjoying food and libations. Both are readily available at Ribberfest, with barbecue being the meal of choice. Several vendors will be available on the riverfront selling food and drinks, including two beer tents and a wine tent.
Two barbecue competitions are incorporated into the festival. Amateur cooking teams take their turn at Friday’s Madison Courier Backyard Barbecue Bash. Festival participants are welcome to watch the teams at work, then taste free samples after the teams have turned in their judged entries.
The more serious competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society is on Saturday. More than 60 KCBS-sanctioned barbecue teams are registered for Saturday’s judging. They will set up on Friday evening and begin turning in their judged entries at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The KCBS teams compete in seven categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork, beef brisket, barbecue sauce, “anything butt” and dessert. Winners will take away $12,000 in cash as well as other awards.
A Kidz “Q” cooking contest, sponsored by Kroger, is set for 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the riverfront, offering youths a chance to get a taste of competition. An award of $200 will be presented to first place in each age categories of 8-11 and 12-15. Second place will receive $100 in each age group. Entry fee is $10, and this year’s meat used in the contest will be pork chops.
Ribberfest promises more than just blues and barbecue, however.
For the third year, organizers have invited the “Spirit of Cincinnati” paddlewheeler to give 45-minute river cruises throughout the two days of the festival.
These will be open to the public at $15 for riders aged 13 and older and $3 for children 3-12. Children under 3 are free. Ribberfest participants who are wearing their wristbands can ride for only $10.
Advance tickets for the riverboat rides are available through the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center at (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956. Ribberfest patrons who reserve their tickets in advance will receive their $5 rebate at the ticket table at the dock.
The 5K “Ribberrun” and walk begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. The start-finish line will be on Vaughn Drive near Fireman’s Park at the foot of Jefferson Street. The route will make a 5K loop through downtown Madison, extending as far as Springdale Cemetery. The $16.75 entry fee includes a special Ribberfest T-shirt. The 5K Ribberrun will head west from Fireman’s Park. The route will allow the walkers and runners to pass some of the professional barbecue teams set up along Vaughn Drive.
This year, the Madison Bicycle Club has organized two bicycle rides to take place in conjunction with Ribberfest. The new “Ribberride” will offer cyclists two choices: a 23-mile “Porky’s Challenge Ride” through eastern Jefferson County or the more vigorous 62-mile “Sweat Like a Pig Century Bike Ride” heading up to Friendship, Ind., and back. Each event requires a $16.75 entry fee, and both cycling events begin at 8 a.m. at Fireman’s Park. Participants of both cycling events and the run Ribberrun urged to register by Aug. 8 to ensure receiving a T-shirt.
Those needing a break from music can divert themselves with the “Pig Toss” cornhole tournament or by strolling through “Pigmania,” the display of painted and costumed concrete pigs. Children will enjoy giant inflatable playthings at the “Piglet Pen.”
Admission wristbands are $20 for the two-day festival. Wristbands can be purchased at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., and various retailers in Madison. Or order tickets online at www.VisitMadison.org. Gate prices on Saturday only will be $20. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
• For more information, visit: www.MadisonRibberfest.com.
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