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Oxford got the blues

Lester “Hambone” Brown performs at Scripter Park during Day #3 of Hot Blues and BBQ. Photos by Andrew Moser. (click for larger version)
June 23, 2010 - The sounds of blues reigned supreme in Oxford this past weekend as the Hot Blues and BBQ Festival took over Oxford.

"I think that it was very successful and one of our most successful to date," said Steve Allen, festival executive director.

Allen watched in delight as 3,000 people came and went throughout the weekend, culminating in a 12-hour marathon of blues and bar-be-que on Saturday, June 19 at Scripter Park.

According to Allen, the festival attracted people from around the tri-county area, up north, Ann Arbor, Saline. He mentioned that he even talked to people who drove up from Ohio and Indiana to enjoy the music.

"We were dragging them into good old Oxford," said Allen.

Clinton Township resident Chris Mullane and Ron Epp, of Rochester Hills, eat a hot dog “Lady & Tramp” style (click for larger version)
The buildup for Saturday began on Thursday, June 17 when the Randy Brock Group got the blues going in Centennial Park during Concerts in the Park.

Friday night was the place to be as three bands preformed for the crowd on June 18, which was followed by the official Hot Blues and BBQ after-party at Casa Real.

Allen estimated that over 1,000 people were in attendance during those two events.

The weather could not have been better on Saturday as the festival kicked into high gear as 14 bands played to the amusement of the crowd at hand.

"All the musicians are top notch and I spent a lot of time picking them carefully and they were all a good fit," Allen said. "We had a nice cross section of all the styles of blues that didn't bore anyone."

Highlighting the event was the third round of the Detroit Blues Challenge, a battle among four bands to determine the right to head down to Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills on Oct. 17 for the finals.

A panel of four judges selected the Thirsty Perch Blues Band as the winner of the competition.

Tons of oustanding food complimented the music. "The food was awesome. Everybody had good food and I wish I could have eaten something from everyone's table," Allen said.

Allen would like to thank all of the sponsors who helped make the event possible.

"Without them, we would have never been able to pull anything like this off."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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