In addition to some of the best barbeque around, visitors at the upcoming King City Barbeque Showdown also can expect to hear great rock, country and blues throughout the festival.
The Showdown will be held Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11, at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace and Holiday Inn, both located on Potomac Boulevard in Mt. Vernon. Some of the best barbequing teams around will compete for cash, and spectators will have the chance to sample the teams’ cooking with the People’s Choice Award competition Friday evening.
More great activities and displays include the #38 NASCAR Great Clips racer and driver A.J. Foyt IV, a NASCAR simulator, the Budweiser Clydesdales, a Harley-Davidson show, a Kids Q (barbequing contest for youngsters), a karaoke contest, a volleyball tournament, a family food court, the Budweiser Beer Garden and much more.
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:
FRIDAY, JUNE 9
Blind Date (rock, 7-9 p.m.) – Made up of Greg Calvert (percussion, vocals), Dana DeMaris (keyboards, saxophone, flute, vocals), Milo Knight (bass guitar, pedal steel, vocals) and Jeff Widdows (guitar, violin, vocals), Blind Date bills itself as “the hardest-working band in Southern Illinois.” This band pulls no stops, delivering the best of many types of music from the fifties to the present. Blind Date has put together a wide variety of popular and classic tunes, representing a sonic sampling of American blues, country, and rock-n-roll musical heritage. The musicians in “Blind Date” bring more than 120 years of musical experience to the stage, with a light & sound show that won’t be forgotten. (www.geocities.com/blinddaterocks)
Probably Bob (rock, 9:30 p.m.-midnight) – Probably Bob is one of the premier high-energy party bands in Central Illinois, boasting a fantastic mix of songs guaranteed to liven up any atmosphere and occasion. Probably Bob’s claims to fame include spot-on renditions of AC/DC songs, fantastic guitar work, eliciting crowd participation, and putting a rock ‘n’ roll spin on almost any material and genre. Add to this an almost uncanny ability to get crowds dancing, singing, playing air-guitar, pumping their fists, or doing whatever it is they do when they feel energized by live rock music. These guys get right to the point. They have fun, and it shows. (www.pbob.com)
SATURDAY, JUNE 10
Kevin Blake Weldon (country, 1-3 p.m.) – Born and raised in Lufkin, Texas, Weldon began his career after “discovering” his voice at a recording studio at Astroworld theme park in Houston. Weldon sports a smooth vocal style influenced by many of the greats of country music, such as George Strait, Randy Travis, Clint Black and Garth Brooks. (www.kevinblakeweldon.com)
Mal Rodgers (country, 5-7 p.m.) – 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. (www.malrodgers.net)
Amanda Sheridan (country, 7:30-9:30 p.m.) – Returning to the King City Barbeque Showdown for the second year, Ina native Amanda Sheridan is all about country music. 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. (amandasheridan.com)
Jennifer Thompson (country, 10 p.m.-midnight) – A small town girl born and raised in Sandoval, Ill., Jennifer Thompson began her musical career singing on her father’s lap in church every Sunday morning. Since then she has formed her own band and has traveled the Midwest entertaining people from the large grandstands to the small private gatherings. With an incredible stage show and a soulful voice she continues to impress the crowds. Over the last few years Thompson has opened for a wide variety of artists such as Brad Paisley, David Lee Murphy, Neil McCoy, Darryl Worley, The Oak Ridge Boys, Little Big Town and many others. Being a friend and performer at Big O’s , close to her home town, led her to the opportunity to appear in Gretchen Wilson’s video, “All Jacked Up.” Now pursuing the dream she has had for years – a recording contract with a label in Nashville – she is well on her way to becoming the superstar her fans have grown to love. (jenniferthompsonmusic.com)
SUNDAY, JUNE 11
Shady Mix (bluegrass, 1-3 p.m.) – This band’s musical style and repertoire includes a little something to please everyone. Using only acoustic instruments, the typical stylistic elements of bluegrass music are applied to cowboy songs, country and bluegrass standards, and older American folk music. In addition, a good portion of the repertoire is made up of songs coming from lead singer Wil Maring herself, whose prizewinning songwriting is an integral part of the Shady Mix sound. Lead guitarist Robert Bowlin is often called upon to take the stage alone to do one of his impressive solo guitar pieces. Fans enjoy the spontaneity of Shady Mix shows, which are often broken up by “stump the band” request sessions, or Mark Stoffel’s silly antics on the mandolin. Shady Mix music seems to appeal to all age groups, from the toddlers dancing in front of the stage to the seniors requesting the songs their parents used to sing. Increasingly, the requests seem to come from the originals on the Shady Mix and Wil Maring CDs themselves. (www.shadymix.com)
Richard “Rip Lee” Pryor Blues Band (blues, 3:30-5:30 p.m.) – The son of legendary harmonica player Snooky Pryor, music has always pumped through Rip Lee’s veins. According to critics, Pryor is innovative. In songs on his 1998 debut album, Pitch a Boogie Woogie, Pryor coaxes everything from wobbly ululations to raw shrieks from his instrument.
For more information about the King City Barbeque Showdown, contact the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce at (618) 242-5725.
For high-resolution versions of the above photos, follow the link below each.