The Deep Roots Festival presents BBQ and the Blues Saturday night, August 23 starting at 5 p.m. at Burrell Park in Carmi, Illinois. Free watermelon slices will be available to cool off the crowd, courtesy of Brown’s Melons. Pulled pork and chicken barbecue will be for sale from Midway BBQ.
Headlining the show is the Recliners, who hail from the Evansville/Henderson area and include Carmi native Mark Witherspoon on guitar and blues harp. Playing a mix of traditional and contemporary blues, the band takes their name from their tendency to play sitting down, as befits a group of older bluesmen who have played for years. Jim Waterson, sings lead and plays one of his handmade belly slide guitars. Rounding out the group is Doug Kirk on the drums and backup vocals and Jeff Wilhite on backup vocals and five string bass. For more info about the Recliners, click here.
Area natives will recognize the faces of Long Hard Road, who are also on the bill. The group consists of LD Wolf, guitar, Gene West, vocals and harp, Sheri Stevens, keys, Jerry Pringle, vocals, Tim Mitchell, drums and Nash McVey on bass. For this gig, Scott Kittinger will be handling the bass. For more info about the Long Hard Road, click here.
Also new to the Deep Roots Festival is the Smokies. The group is made up of Candi Stocke on vocals, Ryan Stocke on lead guitar, Alex Smock on drums, Kayla Smock vocals and keyboard and Tom Knasel on bass. The band is a family affair, as the Ryans and Stockes are married, and Kayla’s father Tom plays bass.
Rounding out the bill is Starfire and the Friday Night Drifters, and the show will close with a set by the House Band, which is made up of everyone who is around at the time and still in the mood to play the blues. Special guests are expected.
Midway BBQ is owned by the Lee family, who operates the original Midway BBQ Shack & More at 3800 Highway 141. They will be soon be opening a restaurant in the strip mall by Wal-Mart in Carmi. They plan to offer the full menu at the new Carmi restaurant, including a wide variety of smoked meats such as pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, catfish, turkey and hams. You can buy it as a sandwich, dinner or by the pound. They also offer specialty pizzas and dessert pizzas along with other desserts such as bread pudding, soft serve ice cream and shakes.
People are invited to bring picnics, coolers, grills, blankets, lawn chairs – whatever they require for summer fun.
The next event in the Deep Roots Festival will be a harvest festival featuring a potluck dinner and acoustic music on Saturday, September 6. For more info about the Deep Roots Festival, click here.