Binge MusicCast: RNBNBBQ 2017 Recap

On 4 October, 2017 by Moreno

The Roots N Blues N BBQ festival in Columbia, Missouri (Visit Columbia, MO) came to a resounding close on Sunday and the natural high of seeing many of my favorite musicians and living legends still has me buzzing.  As we did last year, Chris Prunckle from Wannabe The Comic joins me in recapping the three day festival, highlighting who we think won the day and what our favorite moments of the day were.  We both had amazing access to see the artists up close but given Chris’ access to the photo pit, he provides unique insight into being even closer to the action.

Here are some other highlights:

Biggest Surprise

My favorite thing about music is discovering something new to listen to.  Even if it’s an artist that has been around, old becomes new for me.  Last year at the Roots N Blues Fest, my biggest surprises were discovering Southern Culture on the Skids and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, two groups I follow religiously now.  This year, two stood out for me.

I was only able to catch a couple of songs from The Suffers but I was immediately hooked by the power, passion and range in frontwoman Kam Franklin’s vocals.  I’ve been listening to their full length, self-titled debut and dancing regularly ever since.

I was introduced to Nikki Lane by a coworker who plays a haunting rendition of “You Can’t Talk to Me Like That” at open mic nights at my bar.  And though that song was my intro, and it’s of course a great song, once I delved into Highway Queen, I soon realized why she deserves the moniker “Hurricane Lane”.  Her performance was outstanding, her band rocking, and the banter in between songs is what I expected from someone who says “it’s always the right time to do the wrong thing”.

Best Moment

Though we discuss our favorite moments in this show, I have to underscore that by far the single best moment for me was listening to John Prine play “Sam Stone”.  The crowd was so respectful, hanging onto every lyric, and when Prine played that final note, there wasn’t a dry eye in the venue.  Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel.

Best Stage Setup

Not that I expect a huge, dramatic and elaborate stage setup for roots and Americana artists, but it’s hard not to pick pick Ryan Adams stage as the best.  Unfortunately, Adams, who delivered above and beyond what I expected, suffers from Meniere’s Disease, so no flash photography was allowed.  This is the best pic I have of his TV stage set up.  In this podcast, Chris and I detail just how cool it was to see.  Also, tons of smoke.

Best Food

Goddamit.  We never got a pic of our favorite food from the year, which was a pulled pork sandwich on a glazed doughnut bun.  Sound gross?  You’re wrong, it was delicious.

Best Performance

I hate this category considering I had my face blown off by so many amazing performances.  Lee Fields & the Expressions was like going to church.  Booker T’s Stax Revue played Green Onions and it blew everyone away.  Ryan Adams was intensely great.  Band of Horses showed up with so much positive energy I still get goosebumps thinking of it.  Pokey Lafarge had the crowd in the palm of his hand and treated them well.  Leon Bridges made everyone dance.  And John Prine made me immediately want to pick up a guitar and learn every single song he’s ever written.

However, no one blew my face off like Gary Clark Jr.  While I won’t say it wasn’t a close race, Gary just added that certain “kill” factor that only the greatest live performers can deliver.  He attacked the stage.  He was cool.  He was composed.  And his guitar work was unparalleled.  Not to mention his superb backup band, notably his other guitarist who Gary let take solos at times too.  The man was all class, tearing it up, coming back for an encore and bowing like the Southern gentleman he is.

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