In addition to some of the best barbeque around, visitors at the upcoming King City Barbeque Showdown also can expect to hear great blues and country music throughout the festival.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and Rend Lake College have partnered to organize the third annual Showdown, which will be held Thursday, June 9, through Saturday, June 11, at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace and Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon. Barbeque specialists from around the country will compete for $8,000 in winnings during the event.
Other activities scheduled for the Showdown, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, include a “Kids-Q,” which is a barbeque competition for youngsters; a carnival; a NASCAR display featuring cars driven by Dale Earnhardt and Neil Bonnett; a volleyball tournament; a craft fair; a karaoke contest, and a beer garden.
With all of this excitement, there still is room for another main attraction – music. Several well-known, high-powered bands will be performing during the event. They are:
Amanda Sheridan and Crossroads – Ina native Amanda Sheridan is all about country music. At fourteen years old, her vocal abilities have been described as “pure as silk”. Her style of country music ranges from Patsy Cline’s classics to today’s modern country sounds. The Crossroads Band consists of some of the finest musicians in Southern Illinois, and fans of fiddles and steel guitars will enjoy this performance.
Pennsylvania Slim Blues Band – “Pennsylvania Slim” Brian Melching leads the band on vocals, guitar and harp. Originally from the Pittsburgh, Penn., area, Melching moved to St. Louis in the early 1980s. He plays at such places in the region as the Soulard District, Chase Park Plaza, Ritz Carlton, Casino Queen, BB’s Jazz and Blues and Mike and Min’s. His talent as a Delta blues singer is renowned in the St. Louis area and he has been featured in St. Louis Magazine and The Riverfront Times.
Tawl Paul – Born on the south side of Chicago, Tawl Paul has learned and lived the blues for much of his life. Making the Southern Illinois town of Carbondale his home since the late 1960s, Paul has been a fixture on the active music scene of the region for decades. The hypnotic voodoo curse Tawl Paul casts over his audience with his showmanship and deep-toned voice has made him a local legend.
Generations of students that have filed through Southern Illinois University at Carbondale have seen Paul perform at PK’s, where Paul’s group is considered the house band. His live shows have Paul dancing into and with the audience and the energy is contagious.
His voice is reminiscent of the deep and gravely tones of Howlin’ Wolf but still has a unique stamp which puts him far beyond just another blues imitator.
Mal Rodgers – A self-described Irish mixture of Garth Brooks and Bono, Mal Rodgers is a born entertainer who gained popularity as a Nashville Star contestant. Mal trained as a chef in County Artrim in Northern Ireland before giving it up to become a full time singer/songwriter. He competed in a local talent competition in Northern Ireland in July 2003 through which he won his first trip to Nashville, and his visit there solidified his dream to return to the United States and try and land a recording deal.
Lance Miller – After moving to Nashville in August of 1995, Lance quickly became a well-respected vocalist and has worked with all of the major publishing companies. Lance signed a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing in 1999. Since that time, he has penned songs that have been recorded by Clay Walker, Tracy Lawrence and Restless Heart. In 2004, Lance was a finalist on USA Network’s television series Nashville Star.
Lance has been performing on stage since the age of 14 and has opened for major artists such as Lee Greenwood, Charlie Daniels, Tanya Tucker, Gene Watson, Sawyer Brown, Tracy Lawrence, Billy Dean, Darryl Worley and Lee Ann Womack.
Wild Horses – “Frontier Free-For-All” is what the band has called its show for years and it basically describes the lives of its members in general. According to the group’s Web site, “A Wild Horses show is an anything-goes party where there is no line between the band and the fan. Our ‘herd,’ as we call them, becomes as much a part of our show as we are.” The band has been playing for 15 years and continues to do so with about 200 dates per year across the country. The band writes most of its own songs and even had one recorded by legendary country music man George Jones.
“We understand what folks want for their hard-earned dollar – that’s a good time. A Wild Horses show is the definition of a good time. We are the band that Nashville couldn’t tame and we are proud of that,” the Web site states.
Wild Horses is made up of Angela Rae (lead singer), Michael Blake Mahler (lead guitar, vocals), Steve “The Head” Kellough (bass, vocals) and Ralph “Thundersticks” McCauley (drums).
The line-up of music for the third annual King City Barbeque Showdown is:
Thursday, June 9 – Amanda Sheridan and the Crossroads Band, 6-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight;
Friday, June 10 – Pennsylvania Slim, 7-9 p.m.; Tawl Paul, 9 p.m.-midnight;
Saturday, June 11 – Mal Rodgers, 6-8 p.m.; Lance Miller, 8-10 p.m.; Wild Horses, 10 p.m.-midnight.
For more information, contact the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce at (618) 242-5725.