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Banjo-B-Que

(This is a repost from June 11, 2010.)

The first time I heard about a new event called the ‘Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que’ that was happening on Memorial Day weekend I knew it was going to be great. The name is so original and catchy.  The Banjo-B-Que is all about bluegrass music and barbeque, and so much more! 

How can you beat a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbeque cook off?  There were over 20 teams cooking for days to see who had the best chicken, ribs and pulled pork. As we walked in the gates all we could smell was sweet, sweet meat. A good number of teams cooked enough to be able to sell some of their barbeque for people to try.  I think by the end of the day we tried meat from 3 or 5 different teams, along with boiled peanuts and other culinary delights. I was in heaven!

The promoters of the Banjo-B-Que stated that it was perfect for folks of all ages and they were right.  There were carnival rides and games for kids, and even a petting zoo. 

There was also several food tents with cotton candy, funnel cakes and fried goodies, and for the grownups there were plenty of beer tents, so we were never far from refreshments.

I also got to experience something I never had before…pig races!  Throughout the day they had little piggies running around a miniature racetrack.

I learned that the pigs were in hot pursuit of Oreo cookies.  Seriously, that is what they race for!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHSI7c8pnh4]

They even had a swimming pig.  His name is ‘Swifty’ and apparently he’s a big deal on the pig race circuit.

Another highlight of the day was all the great music.  The lineup was fantastic!  I think the bluegrass musicians we saw were quite talented, and great sports considering that it rained on and off during the last three sets.

We got to see Chatham County Line, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Ricky Skaggs.  Their styles of bluegrass are each a little bit different, but all of them were fantastic!  I was especially excited to see Ricky Skaggs since he is such a legend in the country music world, and he did not disappoint!

Even though it rained a little bit, the whole day was really enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what is in store for next year!

The 2011 Banjo-B-Que  full music schedule for Friday includes: John Popper & the Duskray Troubarours, the Blue Dogs, The Whiskey Gentry, Sibling String and Crosstie Walkers. Saturday’s main stage music line up features Old Crow Medicine Show, Doc Watson & David Holt, Frontier Ruckus, Charlie Parr & the Clack Twig Pickers, Chatham County Line, Little Roy & Lizzy, Bloodkin and Peachtree Station

Hippodrome

5540 Jefferson Davis Highway
North Augusta, SC 29841
(803) 400-3609

http://www.banjobque.com/index.php

Tony Howard’s Motown Review at the Imperial Theatre


I always struggle with what to get my mom for her birthday, but this year her visit to Augusta coincided with the perfect gift.  My mom is a big fan of music from days past, so I surprised her with tickets for us to see Tony Howard’s Motown Review.

The show was held at the Imperial Theatre, and we were fortunate enough to have seats in the lower first balcony.  We had a fantastic view of the whole stage and were able to see every bit of the action.  The theatre was packed, and there was plenty of clapping and dancing.

The show started out with a few Stevie Wonder songs and then went into a Marvin Gaye tribute.  That performer was fantastic.   So was the tribute to Aretha Franklin that followed it.  Man, she could sing!  I loved her performance of “Respect.”

By far the best part of the night was the finale, The Motown Review, which featured songs from The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops, among others.  Mom’s favorite song is “My Girl” by The Temptations, and she wasn’t disappointed.

We had a great time at the show, and it is definitely something I would see again.  I love the Imperial Theatre, such a fantastic historic venue and they host a lot of great performances.  To see which shows they have coming up, visit www.imperialtheatre.com.

(Both images courtesy of Jeff Hines)

Family Symphony Afternoon

What a great afternoon experience in Augusta, Georgia! Grandmother and I took the boys to the Augusta Symphony Children’s Concert on a Sunday afternoon. Maestro Z prepares a special concert, just an hour long, for children. He encourages them to get up and walk around to see the instruments up close. He explains the music and makes fun selections. This concert was based on movie and television scores – which did include a few cartoon favorites.

My kids were mesmerized for about 45 minutes.

The afternoon crescendo was a stop for ice-cream at Bruster’s.

What a great family afternoon in Augusta!

Willie Nelson in Augusta

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to see Willie Nelson live in Augusta. I’ve seen him several times before, but my husband hadn’t so I decided to take him.  We had dinner downtown at the Mellow Mushroom and went to Stillwater Taproom for a few drinks before the concert.  The show was at the Bell Auditorium and you can see from this picture that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The entire place was packed and everyone was excited about the show.  Willie’s son Lukas opened up for him and he was pretty good!  His voice sounds a little bit like Willie, but he plays the electric guitar and his music definitely has its own sound.  Once Lukas was done with his set, we waited patiently for Willie to start.

Willie came out on stage to cheers and shouts and everyone was anxious to hear him.  He played a great set of his classics, like “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”, “Crazy”, and “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”.  Of course, he also had to play “Georgia On My Mind”, another one of my favorites.  Almost the entire crowd sang along with Willie on this one.

It was a great treat for a legend like Willie Nelson and his family band to play in Augusta.  He proved that no matter what your age, you can still have a good time!

Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean at the James Brown Arena

 

Last weekend my fiancé, my best friend, her husband and I went to a country concert here in Augusta. We went to see Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean at the James Brown Arena- what an awesome show!!!

The place was sold out and downtown Augusta was packed!!! The show lasted for about three hours and was full of energy. It was a great time with friends and running into a few people we knew.

Seeing downtown Augusta full of people of all ages was really exciting. This was a great show for everyone! I’m looking forward to many more great shows coming to the James Brown Arena and The Bell Auditorium this year-and my personal favorite, artist Carrie Underwood in May! To see what is coming to Augusta, check out http://www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com/

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