BBQ and Blues comes to Cambridge Sept. 16

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The Baltimore-based band SoulTET, well versed in Funk, R&B, Soul, Rock, and Jazz, will be on stage at the Cambridge’s downtown GrooveFest on Sept. 16. Also performing will be Uphill , pictured below

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Main Street is busily planning a new event for the city, with a plan to drive away your blues by playing the blues! On Sept. 16, the Downtown Groove Fest will present a fully packed day of blues, funk and soul bands on multiple stages, a friendly BBQ competition, and a street festival guaranteed to drive away those end-of-summer blues.
The cornerstone of the GrooveFest will be plenty of music, with The Young Senators Reloaded, Carolina swampland blues band Uphill, SoulTET, Fire on the Bay, and the Chris & Greyson English Blues Duo signed on as headliner performers. Other local bands and musicians are likely to join the roster before the 16th, as Cambridge Main Street fills out the schedule for the day.
The GrooveFest is a benefit for Cambridge Main Street, and all proceeds help that organization to further their promotion — a support of Cambridge’s downtown businesses. The core of the event will be a free street festival, with Poplar Street and portions of Race Street blocked off for the celebration. In addition, special attractions within the event will be available for a separate fee.
In the “Friendly BBQ Competition,” Bubba Ya Cambridge Spice Company, Bistro Poplar, Low and Slow Barbecue, Cambridge Eateries, and more competitors get together to see who can concoct the crowd’s favorite dish of the day in three categories: pork, chicken, and beef. BBQ is served from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and tickets to the BBQ competition are $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the event.
Planned also is a huge after-party, from 9 p.m. til late, at 447 Race St. Admission to the party is $20 in advance, and $25 day of the event, with Kentavious Jones’ group Fire on the Bay performing, free food and drinks and a hometown hot party atmosphere. The Memphis-inspired menu and drinks will be provided by Chef Patrick Fanning of High Spot and Stoked. The after-party is sponsored by NOVO Properties and Cabin Creek Animal Hospital, and all proceeds benefit Cambridge Main Street.
One unique event that will happen the afternoon of the GrooveFest is a seminar offering a musical education in the blues. Mojo 101: Regional Styles in American Blues is a hands-on lesson and demonstration of what the blues is all about, presented by Christopher “Catdaddy” Palestrant, D.M.A., and Adam “Deacon Blues” Nixon.
Christopher Palestrant is a Professor of music composition and theory at Elizabeth City State University of the University of North Carolina. “Deacon Blues” Nixon also hails from North Carolina, and has been a journeyman blues musician since age 14. Together they will explain everything you ever wanted to know about the blues, with musical highlights and demonstrations with the help of their band, Uphill, which will also be performing at the festival. Sure to put a cure to the “don’t know enough about the blues” blues, this seminar will be a highlight for any musicians, wanna-be musicians or just plain blues enthusiasts who want to know more. The fee for the Mojo 101 seminar is $10 in advance, $15 day of the event.
Finally, the best way to experience GrooveFest will be with a VIP ticket to the event, a new concept for Cambridge Main Street but a mainstay of blues festivals across the country. VIP ticket holders will be treated to an all-access pass to GrooveFest, with entrance into the BBQ competition, the Mojo 101 seminar, and the 447 After Party; plus VIP ticket holders will enjoy a guided “Groove City” Walking Tour to learn more about the history that inspired the name “Groove City,” Two free drink tickets that can be used at any Main Street beer truck or at the After Party, up-close interviews with the musicians involved in the event, a free event tee-shirt, special downtown business promotions during the event weekend, and use of special VIP event restrooms & access to the VIP Entertainer Lounge. VIP tickets will be available only in advance, for $55 per person.
More information on GrooveFest, including advance ticket sales, is available at the Cambridge Main Street website, at CambridgeMainStreet.com

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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