Six not-to-miss shows at Columbia, MO's Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival
Courtesy of New West Records

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is set to take place Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in Columbia, Missouri and the fun will take place in Stephens Lake Park, a large green oasis located about a mile from downtown Columbia. And once again the BBQ will be served up hot and the music will be served up even hotter as the roster of performers includes such top notch blues and roots music players as Ryan Adams, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Pokey LaFarge, Marshall Crenshaw, Ana Popovic, the SteelDrivers and many others.

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is an event where pretty much all you have to do to have a good time is show up; food and drink are always plentiful and the mood is mellow throughout the long weekend. But with a stellar list of musicians performing on two stages it can take a little advance preparation to make sure you see the artists you want to see; with that in mind we offer here our picks for half a dozen not-to-miss performances.

Fri. Sept. 29

The Suffers (6:00 pm, Missouri Lottery Stage)
This Houston-based band has seen their city suffer mightily recently and the big eight-piece band is currently planning events that will benefit hurricane victims. In the meantime they’re busy recording their second album and festival-goers might just get an advance listen to some of the new material.

Sat. Sept. 30

Nikki Lane (4:00 pm, Missouri Lottery Stage)
Lane’s new album Highway Queen, released earlier this year, features a cover graphic that has her posing with a Texas Longhorn, and we wouldn’t “steer” you wrong; this country gal with an outlaw attitude puts on one heck of a show.

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives (5:45 pm, Missouri Lottery Stage)
A native of Mississippi, Stuart made the pilgrimage to country hot spot Nashville 45 years ago and never looked back; he’s been a mainstay of “every man” country music ever since and no, he doesn’t mind if you call it hillbilly. Stuart’s latest album Way out West is barely six months old.

The Mavericks (7:30 pm, Missouri Lottery Stage)
The Mavericks played Roots N Blues N BBQ last year and there’s a reason why Raul Malo and company are returning this year; festival-goers just can’t get enough of the foursome’s soulful, Latin-flavored country music. They’re sure to play a lively set filled with favorites and cuts from their latest record Brand New Day.

Band of Horses (8:30 pm, Great Southern Stage)
This band experienced some changes in their line-up earlier this year but that doesn’t affect the way they sound; rest assured that their signature tunes and music from last year’s Why Are You OK album will sound better than ever before when you hear them here live. You might want to gallop to the front of the stage early though; this very popular band will have their fans out in droves.

Sun. Oct. 1

John Prine (6:00 pm, Great Southern Stage)
Prine will turn 71-years-old about a week after this show, and when he sings you can hear in his voice the wisdom he’s acquired over the decades. One of the true masters and prime purveyors of folk music since the 1970s, Prine favorites include “Sam Stone,” “Dear Abby,” “Illegal Smile” and “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore.” Prine wrote the country chestnut “Angel from Montgomery” which has been covered by Emmylou Harris; considering that Harris plays right before Prine there’s a good chance that she may return to the stage for a duet.

For the complete Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival line-up and other festival information go here