Gearing up for London’s Rhythm & Rib Festival

Mojo Theory is headlining act for Friday night at the Rhythm & Rib Fest.

(Posted July 27, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Despite a name change, the event formerly known as London’s Rib & Jazz Fest still has plenty of jazz. The difference now that it’s called the Rhythm & Rib Fest? Other music genres are part of the lineup, too.

“We still wanted to stay heavy on the kind of blues and jazz we’ve had in the past, but we wanted to bring in some rock and country and pop just to appeal to all audiences,” said Patrick Closser, London’s mayor and one of the event’s organizers.

The Rhythm & Rib Fest will take place Aug. 6-7, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. each day, in downtown London. Live music and lip-smacking ribs are the focal points. This year’s rib burners are Wilson’s Family BBQ, Off the Bone BBQ, Fine Smoke, Big Pappy’s, and Rudy’s Smokehouse. Several other food vendors will be on site selling fair-style goodies and ice cream. A beer tent is planned.

The festival also includes a cornhole tournament, 5K, car show, dunk tank, children’s activities, and local arts and crafts vendors.

The event was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited that we’re back. We’re excited to be able to bring people out and have them visit the downtown stores, eat some good food, and listen to great music, and just have a sense of community back,” Closser said.

The music schedule is as follows:

London’s own Matt Rees kicks off the festival’s live music lineup on Friday afternoon.

Friday, Aug. 6

12-1:30 p.m.–London’s own Matt Rees will open the festival. A singer and guitarist, he has played more than 1,200 lives shows and written nearly 100 songs. He plays everything from Matchbox 20, Train, and Radiohead to The Beatles, Elton John, and Roy Orbison.

2-3:30 p.m.–Counterpoint, an acoustic duo, performs songs from the 1960s and ‘70s with a strong emphasis on vocal harmony. Think Jimmy Buffet, The Eagles, The Everly Brothers, and Neil Diamond.


4-5:30 p.m.–The Linda Dachtyl Quartet, featuring the band’s namesake plus Chip Willis, Don Hales, and Cary Dachtyl, are longtime Rhythm & Rib Fest participants. They combine, organ, saxophone and soulful vocals to turn out all sorts of blues and jazz.

6-7:30 p.m.–Deuce n’ a Quarter returns to the festival lineup. The joyful five-piece rhythm and blues act is a two-time winner of the Columbus Blues Challenge, two-time recipient of the Ohio Music Award for Best Blues CD, and a two-time quarter-finalist of the International Blues Challenge. The group’s forte is original music.

8-9:30 p.m.–Mojo Theory will close out Friday night with originals, including slow-burn ballads, rock, boogie woogie piano, soul and blues numbers. The band merges blues traditions with 21st century sensibilities. They have earned finalist and semi-finalist accolades at the International Blues Challenge.

The Linda Dachtyl Quartet

Saturday, Aug. 7

12-1:30 p.m.–Playing the likes of Stevie Wonder, Hall & Oates, and Prince, the Funk Buzzards is a quartet that brings an edge to familiar songs and performs new arrangements of more modern material. They deliver it all with precision, grace, and, of course, funk.

2-3:30 p.m.–InnerVision is a festival favorite featuring Genene Blackwell on keyboards and vocals and Sam Shepherd on vocals, harmonic, trombone, and guitar. The duo dishes up soul, blues, jazz, hymns, gospel, patriotic tunes, oldies, standards and originals. They have been performing together since 2009 when they were students at the Ohio State School for the Blind.

Deuce n’ a Quarter

4-5:30 p.m.–Based in Columbus, Old School Union stays true to its name, bringing to the stage classic rock from artists like Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The group has played the national circuit for a very long time. Two years ago, their lead singer was named best jazz and blues singer in Columbus.

6-7:30 p.m.–Grab your cowboy boots, Dan Wallace of Marysville will be giving the Rhythm & Rib Fest a little country flavor.

8-9:30 p.m.–Finishing out the weekend, Radio Tramps of Columbus will have the audience dancing, performing pop, rock and dance cover tunes featuring radio hits from the 1980s to today.

Funk Buzzards

Cornhole tourney, 5K, car show, and dunk-a-dignitary

The Merri Mac Park Miracle group is hosting a double elimination cornhole tournament starting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6. The entry fee is $40 per team. Cash prizes go to the top teams: first place, $400; second place, $200; third place, $100. Sign-ups are 5-6 p.m. Brackets will be drawn at 6:15. Proceeds go toward improvements at Merri Mac Park in London.

The London Kiwanis Club is hosting a 5K on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. The race starts at St. Patrick Church, right in the heart of the festival grounds. The entry fee is $30. Each age group winner receives a medal. All entrants receive a t-shirt. For details and to sign up, visit


The Rhythm &Rib car show takes place Aug. 7 on East Second St. Registration runs from 3 to 6 p.m. followed by the show from 6 to 8:30 and awards at 8:45. The entry fee is $10 per car. Dash plaques go to the first 50 cars. Awards for each class are a trophy for first place and plaques for second and third. Classes are set in 10-year increments, starting with 1920.

Radio Tramps

Making a splash both nights of the festival, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., is the dunk tank where for a small fee, anyone can take aim at sending local dignitaries into the water. Among those in the wet seat are Mayor Patrick Closser, London Police Chief Glenn Nicol, Madison County Commissioner Chris Wallace, Madison County Prosecutor Nicholas Adkins, London Police Sergeant Donovan Cooper, and London Police Officer Michael Combs. All proceeds benefit the London Area Baseball Council.


Event organizers welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer with setup, teardown, cleaning, selling beer tickets, or pouring beer. To express interest, send a message through the London Rhythm & Rib Fest Facebook page.

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