Time for Blues, Barbecue once again
There will be good food and good music when the fourth-annual Blues and Barbecue event takes over downtown Baldwin City Saturday for the Lumberyard Arts Center Project fundraiser.
One of the founders of the event, Sandy Cardens, is pleased to see that it has caught on.
"I'm really pleased to know this is the fourth annual Blues and Barbecue," said Cardens, also a LAC board member. "I'd always hoped it would become a tradition for the Lumberyard Arts Center and for Baldwin City. It appears that is actually happening."
Plenty of barbecue will be on hand, as well as a good helping of blues music. Real blues music. And, even more newsworthy is it looks like the Downtown Streetscape Project will be advanced enough that entry to the lumberyard will be through the front doors, not the back as has been the case at other recent events.
"The street engineer assures Jim (Niehoff) that they will be finished or at least have the walk poured in front of the building by Friday," said Diane Niehoff, president of the LACP who along with other board members have organized this year's event. "We will have accessibility via the west office door if nothing else. The sidewalk is finished to that point now.
"The Alpha Chi had a party in the alleyway last weekend and used this access, but we are hoping to have the big doors open once again," said Niehoff.
Laura Dickinson, vice president of the LAC who has helped with this year's event, takes it a step further.
"We are planning on entrance from High Street," said Dickinson. "We can call this our grand re-opening of the front doors to the LAC with completion of this section of the downtown renovation."
Saturday's event starts at 5 p.m. and food will be served until 9 p.m. The music will continue on until at least 10 p.m.
"Ric Gere of Hickory Creek Barbecue will be providing the delicious smoked meats again this year and smoked ham will be added to the menu, along with pulled pork," said Dickinson. Saturday is Baker University's homecoming and we are hoping folks will come and eat barbecue between the numerous events at BU.
"The music has been coordinated by Gloria Roach and will include Road Hoag and Blues Tradition, which feature local favorites Dave Chauvin and Alonzo Beardshear, respectively," she said.
Roach gave a brief description of the bands.
"Dave Chauvin is the lead singer and guitar player in Roadhoag and is opening the show," said Roach. "Dave is a seasoned performer who was on tour for seven years with the two musicians joining him for Saturday's Blues and Barbecue. He is a very talented guitarist and performer and I'm looking forward to hearing Roadhoag play and sing the blues."
There's even an added treat for her with Blues Tradition.
"The band Blues Tradition does traditional blues," said Roach. "It's the kind of blues band that has that cutting edge to it. Alonzo Beardshear is such a versatile musician, can play any instrument and many people in Baldwin City have heard him at Art Walk performing with me.
"'Bones' plays lead guitar and 'Hobo' plays harmonica," she said. "If you've spent any time at Knuckleheads, the hottest blues club in Kansas City, you've heard the statement, 'Hobo's in the house' and you know you're in for a treat. Both Bones and Hobo live and breathe the blues. Trust me, you're going to enjoy the evening. I am excited that I was asked to sit in with this band."
The event has grown every year and around 250 people or more are expected again.
"It will be good food and good music and friendly people," said Cardens. "We certainly hope everyone will come out and enjoy it. We are always grateful to the volunteers who help make this event happen, as well as the businesses that help tremendously with their financial support."
The LACP was started about five years ago with the goal to refurbish the historic lumberyard into a home for all arts in Baldwin City.