(Posted July 27, 2018)
Get your blues on with an all-star music line-up in downtown London Aug. 3-4 as the London Rib & Jazz Fest returns for its 11th year.
The festival, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. both days, draws about 10,000 people to enjoy about 5,000 pounds of ribs and hours of live music.
Sway to the music and sip a cold beverage from the beer tent as you choose among the five central Ohio rib burners: Wilson’s Family BBQ, Rudy’s Smokehouse, Fine Smoke BBQ, Off the Bone BBQ and Smokin’ Joe’s.
The Third Row, a trio from Otterbein University, will kick off the music just after noon on Friday.
Local favorite Matt Rees will take the stage with his guitar at 2 p.m. Most recently, Rees has been performing with the beer hall party band, Platzl 9, seen most often at Hofbräuhaus in Columbus. He recently completed a fourth album with the band, The Self-Depricants. His repertoire includes rock, pop and folk songs.
Harmony is the focal point for the next act: Counterpoint. Festival-goers won’t be able to help but sing along with the two-man group playing songs by The Beatles, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Byrds, among others. The duo begins at 3:45 p.m.
The words bluesy, jazzy and sexy best describe the next act. Change It Up Charlie’s fusion of retro jazz, velvet smooth blues and upbeat swing offer a unique take on contemporary covers like “Black Hole Sun,” while blending retro hits, like “Walking After Midnight,” with the current musical landscape. The group will get you up and dancing beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Making its first appearance at the festival at 7:15 p.m. is The Doug Hart Band, which made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis this past January. The Dayton-based group plays original material seamlessly placed with the songs you know and recognize. It’s blues. It’s rock. It is a versatile blend of music that creates a sound that is all Doug Hart.
Finishing out the first night is headliner Mojo Theory, a festival favorite taking the stage at 9 p.m. The band performs original blues music that is imaginative and captivating for the blues enthusiast as well as the novice listener. Without forsaking the core blues traditions of yesterday, Mojo Theory has somehow preserved the blues traditions of the past and merged them successfully with the 21st century.
On Saturday, the music will return at 12:15 p.m. with a crowd favorite, School of Rock. Mixing young blood with old hits, this band of students will prime the crowd ready for a full day of festival fun.
At 2 p.m., get ready to be inspired by InnerVision, led by two life-long friends who both lost their vision as infants but found their musical abilities as young children. The Westerville-based group’s set list includes contemporary Christian music, radio favorites and classics such as “At Last” and “Unchain My Heart.”
Lovers of the Hammond B3 organ will be tapping their feet with the next jazzy act, the Linda Dachtyl Quartet, who take the stage at 3:45 p.m. Dachtyl is a performer and university music instructor whose playing experience includes jazz, blues, rock and classical music genres.
Johnny Mack and the Heavyweights will bring their mix of blues, jazz and American roots music to the stage at 5:30 p.m. Members of the Heavyweights first played together as a group in the highly-regarded band, Soul Satyr. The influence of a new rhythm section opened up more musical possibilities. The band has performed at Dayton’s blues festival, Big Blues & Brews, and the Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival.
Enjoy the after-dinner hour at 7:15 p.m. with the talent of the blues-influenced Bluecats. The four-man group performs energy-intensive original arrangements of favorites from their musical hip pockets. Members have played with a wide variety of national acts, including James Brown, Albert King, Linda Ronstadt, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Paycheck and Luther Allison.
Closing out the festival at 9 p.m. by request is Deuce n’ a Quarter, a blues band fronted by the heartfelt voice and wailing harmonica of Brian Peters. Their original music paired with covers from many legendary influences such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Little Walter resonates to satisfy the soul. The band will represent Columbus at the International Blues Challenge in January 2019.
For more information, visit the London Rib & Jazz Fest website at www.londonribandjazz.com or find the fest on Facebook.