Roots N Blues announces final line-up

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COLUMBIA - The organizers behind the Roots N Blues N BBQ music festival held an event Thursday to finalize the full line-up for the music festival. 

The blues festival takes place in Stephens Lake Park and will feature 28 performers including Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Brandi Carlile. JR Brown was the most recent performer to be added to the festival's line up. 

The festival features classic interpretations of blues, folk music, and Americana roots paired with up-and-coming artists.

"I think the Roots N Blues Festival brings people together," said Chris Slusher, a sponsor of the event. "It's not just about blues. Roots encompasses a number of different types of music so there's something for everybody."

Slusher also said the wide variety of music tastes featured in the festival result in fans from all generations. 

"A lot of people out of town now come into the festival," Slusher said. "I think it's a tremendous boost to the community."

With festival visitors staying at hotels and eating at restaurants, the business side of Columbia receives benefits from the music festival.

Matt Gerding, owner of the Blue Note and a partner in the festival, said the organizers are expecting more than 10,000 visitors.

Last year, the festival attracted between 8,000 to 9,000 music fans. 

"Columbia is an ideal location for this style of festival," Gerding said. He also said the people in Missouri and even beyond have adopted an appreciation for original music.

The planning process of one of Columbia's iconic festivals begins with the booking process. Gerding said the booking was often the most complicated and required plenty of energy to secure the right dates and artists. 

Gerding said he wants the festival to grow, but he also wants to keep the festival comfortable for Columbia's standards. He said he didn't want to overwhelm the city with an influx of visitors.

"We work really closely with the police department and the fire department to make sure the city is fully aware of what's going to be happening that weekend."

He also public safety beyond the perimeter of the festival was of utmost importance. In spite of the preparations, Gerding said this particular brand of festival was calm and not prone to out of control incidents.

"We think it'll be a pretty safe and clean environment again this year," said Gerding. 

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival will September 25 to September 27 in Stephens Lake Park. The complete line up is listed below.


Friday, September 25


  • 5:30 - Danielle Nicole
  • 6:00 - Tab Benoit
  • 7:15 - The Wood Brothers
  • 7:45 - Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaries
  • 9:00 - Dr. John
  • 9:30 - Buddy Guy


Saturday, September 26


  • 11:45 - Chump Change
  • 12:30 - Dave & Dyno
  • 1:00 - Whitey Morgan
  • 2:00 - JR Brown
  • 2:30 - Justin Townes Earle
  • 3:45 - Lucero
  • 4:15 - Irma Thomas
  • 5:30 - Here Comes the Mummies
  • 6:00 - G. Love & Special Sauce
  • 7:15 - Robert Cray
  • 7:45 - Lucinda Williams
  • 9:00 - Needtobreathe
  • 9:30 - Dwight Yoakam


Sunday, September 29


  • 12:00 - Broadway Blues
  • 12:30 - Music Maker Blues Revue
  • 1:30 - Mike Farris
  • 2:00 - Dale Watson
  • 3:15 - Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
  • 3:45 - Rebirth Brass Brand
  • 5:00 - Punch Brothers
  • 5:30 - The Word
  • 6:45 - Brandi Carlile