Peterborough Ribfest (the Musical Edition)

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You’d think that a half-dozen world-class ribbers lined up in a row would be enough, right?

You’d think that local grills from the likes of Shish-Kabob Hut, Dr. J’s BBQ & Brews, Ariyana, and Island Cream would definitely put it over the top.  Am I correct?

Yeah, well, take all of that meaty goodness and then add a soundtrack of some of Peterborough’s finest musicians, and then you’ll have what Peterborough Ribfest has to offer.

The 12th Annual Peterborough Ribfest presented by the Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha and the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area runs July 11-13 in Millennium Park at King and Water streets.  And it’s going to be a humdinger!

Sure, I’ll be coming for the ribs — after all, as an annual judge of the Friendly Fires Kawartha BBQ Competition (July 26th) I get to taste some of the best around — but I’ll be staying for the tunes.

In particular, I’ll be grooving to Melissa Payne on Saturday and Al Black & The Steady Band on Sunday.

Melissa Payne is one of my local faves, blending rock, folk, and country into a sweet roots stew.  Her latest album — produced by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor — is stunning.   High and Dry shows some great musical growth: “departing from the mellow, acoustic sounds of her previous release, she experiments with more guitars, synthesizers, keys and percussion, resulting in a contemporary, indie folk creation.”

Al Black, meanwhile, is Peterborough music royalty.  Before starting the Steady Band — which offers up “New Orleans funk and echoes of the early blues masters” — Al was a member of the multi-Juno-nominated acoustic blues group, Jackson Delta with Rick Fines and Gary Peeples.  Not only that, but he’s chef and co-owner of Maggie’s Eatery — one of the popular stops on the Farm to Table Culinary Tour.

A quick word of advice:  Jackson Delta will be reuniting for a one-off concert at Market Hall on October 17th.  Tickets have been going fast.  If you want to the opportunity to see these legendary gents together on stage, seize it now.

Here’s Al with the Steady Band:

And with Jackson Delta (way back in the day):

On the plus side, no matter when you go, the music will be amazing.  It’s a great line-up — one that should knock your socks off.

Hope to see y’all there.  Ask nicely and I’ll save you a seat in the beer garden.

For a full list of performers, please visit the Peterborough DBIA website.