Blues, Brews and BBQ in St. Jo

Published 10:36 am Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel will perform at Blues Brews and BBQ in St. Joseph Sept. 22. Submitted photo

Three of the area’s top blues bands are prepared to entertain St. Joseph during Blues Brews and BBQ Saturday, Sept. 22, at the John E.N. Howard Band Shell.

The Elwood Splinters Blues Band is scheduled to play from 1:30-3 p.m., Big Boss Blues Band from 3:30-5 p.m. and Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel from 5:30-7 p.m.

The band shell is located on Port Street in downtown St. Joseph.

Great food and thirst-quenching beverages will also be on tap to complement the music.

The event will feature many types of craft beer, including Michigan favorite Bell’s Oberon, Lienenkugel Oktoberfest and Angry Orchard Hard Cider.

Wine lovers are covered too as Lemon Creek’s Gewurtztraminer, Silver Beach Sauterne and Domaine Berrien’s Chardonnay style Viognier will be available for purchase.

O.K. Distributors, a beverage distribution company based in St. Joseph is sponsoring the event, which is in its fourth year.

Jennifer Bishop, of St. Joseph Today, said Blues, Brews and BBQ is the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer.

“It is a free, fun fall festival that gives people something to do in the downtown area,” she said.

Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel is from Kokomo, Ind., and formed in 1993. They were voted the best blues band in Indiana in 2002 by the Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis and the Crossroads Blues Society. Career highlights include playing at the House of Blues in Chicago and Cleveland and the Cincinnati Reds stadium in Cincinnati.

The Elwood Splinters Blues Band formed in 1988 and has the reputation of being one of the hardest working blues bands in Michiana. They won the second annual Amateur Blues Talent Contest in Indiana in 1991 and finished in the top 10 of the Willie Dixon’s National Blues Foundation Competition in Memphis, Tenn., also in 1991.

Members of Big Boss Blues Band come from the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Plainwell areas. Bill LaValley is on the bass, Bob Scooneas the harmonica, Charlie Schantz the guitar and Craig Hunnicutt the drums.