Old Capitol Blues and BBQ Festival
August 25 brought an amazing event to the Old Capitol
area of Springfield, Il. Just mix together a great
music event, blues skies and a cool breeze, and that's
enough for most fests! This 4th year of the OCBB brought
even more excitement with the addition of the 1st
Annual Blues challenge.
kicked off on the Illinois
Central Blues Club (ICBC) stage at 11:30 a.m.
with the Blues Challenge. The organization Downtown
Springfield, Inc., along with ICBC
prez Mark Edmiston and a blues army of dedicated
volunteers made this event a music lover's mecca,
and the BBQ competition added another form of sensory
overload to this event! For the second sucessive year,
the gang at Back Porch BBQ won the BBq contest and
took home the gold!
Ten bands competed to receive $500 in travel monies
to represent the ICBC at the 2008 Blues Foundation
International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
If you've ever had to judge a music competition, you
know how tough it can be to choose from powerful bands
giving their all. When the smoke cleared, and the
scores were tallied, the St. Louis band of Darrein
Safron and the Soul Sensations emerged victorious,
and will be Memphis bound next February representing
the ICBC in the 2008
International Blues Challenge.
Darrein Safron is a 12 year old vocal phenomenom,
backed by 6 legendary players from St. Louis who compose
the Soul Sensations.
Record artists John
Cephas and Phil Wiggins performed
the Neuhoff Media Stage at
3 p.m. Cephas & Wiggins are the foremast exponents
of the Piedmont Blues style. Piedmont Blues originates
in the coastal regions of the southeastern US, it
is an old country style of blues that is described
by Cephas as” alternating thumb and finger picking
on the guitar…more similar to ragtime, house
party or dance music.”
4:00 p.m. Bill
Lupkin and the Chicago Blues Band took to the
ICBC stage with his special guests Willie
"Big Eyes" Smith, Little
Smokey Smothers, Eddie
Taylor Jr., BarrelHouse
Chuck and Dave
is always good, and for a nice
contrast, they were followed with some jump
blues by Little
Rachel and the Rhythm Busters at 5 p.m. Standing
only five foot tall and singing mid-Fifties rhythm
and blues, Little Rachel has a big, big voice that
seemed to please the crowded street of spectators.
the Neuhoff Media Stage
7:30 p.m. was electric blues by Zac Harmon, voted
“Best New Blues Artist” in 2005 for the
XM Nation Music Awards. Zac
Harmon was a 2004 IBC winner, and in early
2006, Zac Harmon won a Blues Music (formerly W.C.
Handy) Award for “Best New Artist Debut”
from the Blues Foundation. Take one look at
Zac's discography, and you'll see he's been in
the studio with just about everyone over the years,
so his recognition is long-coming!
Cajun slide guitar master Sonny
Landreth was the headliner on the Neuhoff Media
Springfield Main Stage at 9:30 p.m. Sonny Landreth
has amassed a devoted following among his fans and
peers since his first release in 1981. Eric Clapton
has said Landreth is “probably the most underestimated
musician on the planet and also probably one of the
This event is very 'family friendly', and seemed to
bring out the best of community and music lovers of
Springfield, Il. An outstanding way to spend a Saturday,
make sure you don't miss next year's Old Capitol Blues
and BBQ Festival!