Jimmie Vaughan (supplied by BBQ & Blues Festival)
If you are hungry for some blazing guitar and slow-cooked slabs of well rubbed meat, well, this is your weekend.
The inaugural Winnipeg BBQ and Blues Festival starts Friday (August 17) at Red River Exhibition Park with a lineup of performers as tantalizing as the brisket and ribs which will be served. And that's only fitting, considering how the food and music go hand-in-hand.
"We saw the rise of BBQ culture outside of that area of the [American] south, and we thought Winnipeg is a great food town, a great blues town, so let's see what we can do here" said festival artistic director Rick Fenton, who, along with Kevin Walters, is bringing the deep south to the prairie.
And what a weekend they have put together, as several blues legends and the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) are all in.
"I'm really excited to see Jimmie Vaughan, that was our go-to person. I think he embodies everything that's great about the music and culture and history" said Fenton, who has savoured lining up the music. "And Eddie Shaw, a famous, famous, blues saxophone player who played with everyone through the '50s and '60s. And I'm also excited about how many local folks we have -- that's deliberate -- we always want to have our local acts be a big part of the festival."
Indeed, Winnipeg is also well represented with the likes of Big Dave MacLean, Romi Mayes, and the Perpetrators all set to perform.
While you ears feast on the blues, your taste buds can sample some of the best BBQ on this side of the bible belt as teams from the U.S., Montreal, western Canada, and of course Manitoba, will be competing in the KCBS sanctioned pit master competition where the winner will get an invite to the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue Competition along with $2,500.
Tickets are still available and parking is free, so get your crew together for a southern good time.