Canines feeling a little dull–the tooth that is? Well for those wanting to satiate their more carnivorous desires, the ARC Foundation is putting on their annual Rib Fest from August 2nd through the 4th, this upcoming Thursday through Saturday.
Now, while the sounds of flesh being torn from hickory-smoked, barbecued bones baked in “nuke sauce” may be delightful to many an ear, there will be conventional live entertainment to enjoy along with the carnivorous cacophony. Throughout the three day feeding fest there will be thirteen bands playing, with genres ranging from soul-flavored country to Michigan spiced Brit-folk.
The big man headlining, and closing the festivities Saturday night, for Rib Fest will be the country-singer with long hair, leather clad bad-boy Travis Tritt. Known for his upstart country career in the early ‘90s, Tritt twiddled songs on his six-string about lost loves, five o’clock shadows, microwaveable dinners and drinking in the afternoon–all while growing out his hair and driving around country roads sweeping country gals out of their boots. (He is now happily married and has received a partial haircut. The jacket remains.)
Tritt’s most recent album, The Storm, diverged away from his traditional country-style upon collaboration with Randy Jackson, producer of American Idol fame. Listeners can expect a tinge of gospel soul in his voice, complete with wily organs in the background when playing songs from his newer collection, while still hearing a healthy dose of the country gait that made him famous.
Local talent Shelagh Brown will also be playing Saturday night, providing her Allison Kraus-like folksy-twang to the country vein established. While sentimental at times, singing songs about childhood with a honey-colored nostalgia, Brown also has rock sass about her that is sure to rouse a few feet into dancing.
Other notable acts to keep on the watch for are Grand Rapids-based Brit-folk group Flashing Blue Lights, opening up the festival Thursday at 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. (complete with mandolin), the hardest covering kids in show business The Kalamazoo Academy of Rock Saturday morning at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and hard-rocking Massachusetts natives, Prospect Hill immediately following their set at 3:30 p.m.