- Reporters Desk
By B. Noel Barr, Music Writer Dude
The BBQ Kings’ perform an Americana hybrid brand of blues, rock, delta and cajun music, and may be becoming one of the best touring blues bands on the West Coast. The group will be calling the congregation of blues fan’s to church on the Golden Groove stage at 10:00 am Sept. 2. Their inspired double slide guitars and funky rhythm’s will have blues fans fired up for a day of revelry at this year’s New Blues Festival.
BBQ King guitarist Greg Dobler noted during a brief interview recently that the band had been playing at a lot of blues clubs, including hosting a blues jam in a Huntington Beach club called Tumbleweeds.
Two years ago, The BBQ Kings were highly received during The Annual Battle Of The Blues Harps at The Orange County Market Place. The crowds there are highly enthused blues fans with the competition being fierce. The annual competition is a highly coveted date to play, though not winning the show, they won over many new fans during the competition.
The band began with a chance meeting at the annual National Association of Music Merchandisers trade show in Anaheim.
“I was walking down the aisle and heard someone playing slide guitar reminiscent of the late Johnny Winter’s style,” Dobler recounted. “I stopped in front of Tom Hartl, since I’m a fan of Winter’s playing asked him to play some of that stuff. We began to play together at which point Tom said, ‘You got this! I’m starting a band you are going to be my other guitar player’”
Dobler replied, “Sure!”
Since that moment eight years ago, the band has developed into its current lineup.
“This is our best lineup so far with our drummer Rich Rigg and our bass player Marc Campbell,” Dobler explained. “The thing that is unique about us is that both Tom and I play slide guitar. Our sound and half our set is built on slide guitar.”
Tom Hartl plays harmonica and is our lead singer. Tom is a triple threat as he our songwriter. He has a couple of his originals that our in our set currently. This group is led by the multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist and harp player Tom ‘Slick’ Hartl, with guitarist Greg Dobler, Rich Rigg on vocals/drums and Marc Campbell on bass.
When asked about their original music, Dobler said they only perform two original pieces while the rest of their set is made up of cover songs.
“We have a wide breadth of material that we pull from like Hound Dog Taylor’s Give me Back My Wig, Willie Dixon’s Mellow Down Easy to classic blues rock covers of songs by The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stones and Johnny Winter,” Dobler said.
Dobler said he and the band are looking forward to performing at the New Blues Festival.
“We are very excited about playing at this year’s New Blues Festival and eventually moving on to the Main Stage next year,” Dobler said.
The New Blues Festival September 1 & 2
Time: Gates open at 9:00 am show closes at dusk
Details: www.newbluesfestival.com for tickets and info
Venue: El Dorado Regional Park, 7550 E. Spring St.,Long Beach