The festival organizers, Brett Elmore, owner of Oldies 101.5 FM, and Richard “Bull” Corry, owner of Old York Farms and The Bull Pen steakhouse, decided to meld two of the South’s greatest traditions — blues music and barbecue — into a day-long event to precede the Fourth of July.
The lineup includes Earl “Guitar” Williams, a Bessemer native who is well known in blues circles for his lifelong devotion to the music and his talent on the guitar and harmonica; Microwave Dave & The Nukes, who have spent 20 years performing at venues around the United States and Europe; The Clay Swafford Band, headed by Walker County native Clay Swafford, who has made a name for himself in the industry in a very short timeframe; and Henry “Gip” Gipson, who owns the renowned “Gip’s Place” in Bessemer, which is the last remaining juke joint in the state.
Corry is especially excited to welcome Swafford, who grew up in nearby Providence and graduated from Oakman High School, back to town. “Clay is really amazing,” Corry said. Swafford’s album, released in
The family-friendly event will also feature a kids area, food and drinks and modern bathrooms housed in one of the location’s rustic-looking buildings.
Tickets will be $10 at the gate and $8 in advance. Tickets are available at the radio station and at the Bull Pen. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.
A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Oakman Community Ball Park.
The gates will open at 2 p.m. and Earl “Guitar” Williams will take the stage from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Microwave Dave & The Nukes will perform from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m., The Clay Swafford Band will play from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and ‘Gip’ Gipson will close the event from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m.
For more information on the event, visit www.facebook.com/bullpenbluesbbqfestival or the website at www.bullpenbluesandbbq.com.