My dad and I have an annual Father’s Day tradition of attending the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival at the Cannery Casino. Usually it’s held on Father’s Day weekend, but this year it was a week later. Here’s a photo of me and my dad — who taught me to appreciate good microwbrews and opera, among other things
I was excited for this to be the first outing for my new DSLR camera, but when we got to the event there was a big sign indicating “no digital cameras.” All of the photos in this blog post were taken by my mom with her iphone, except for the marquis photo above.
As we’re veterans at the event, we knew to arrive early to get a table in the shade. We also wanted to be close to Ironing Board Sam, a 72-year-old keyboardist/vocalist who sets up his keyboard on top of an ironing board. He is the “between acts” performer, but for my family, was really the highlight of the event. For yesterday’s performance, he wore a gold lamé jumpsuit.
There were three acts on the main stage: (1) Sputzy & the Soul Providers — a cover band from Pittsburgh; (2) John Lee Hooker Jr. — a Grammy-nominated blues band; and (3) The Official Blues Brothers Revue. The latter performers really did look like Jake and Ellwood from the 1980 movie and they put on a lively show.
On the “brews” side of things, they had over a dozen different microbreweries and craft-breweries to choose from. I had two pints: Uinta Brewing Company’s Organic Sum’r Ale and a Shock Top Belgian White. Both were tasty, although I was a bit disappointed to learn that Shock Top is owned by Annheuser-Busch, since I generally like to support smaller brands.
For dinner there were three different barbecue restaurants to choose from: H&H Barbeque, Austin Blues Bar-B-Q and Lone Coyote Smokehouse & Grill. Since the latter two only had beef and pork on their menus, I chose H&H Barbeque, well worth the 40 minute wait. My combo meal included two pieces of barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese and potato salad. The potato salad was the best part.
Admission to the event was very reasonable at $5 per person, considering you get to hear live music for 5 hours. Beers were $4 for a pint or $2 for a 7-ounce cup, and a barbecue combo dinner was $10 (sandwiches were around $5). It’s a pretty good value overall, but if you attend in future years be sure to bring cash, as I don’t think credit cards were accepted by any of the vendors.
My only two demerits for the event were: (1) The Cannery Casino doesn’t have a recycling program. I cringed a bit upon seeing all of those glass beer bottles and plastic pint cups in the trash can. (2) The venue was really smoky. But since Las Vegas has some of the most lax smoking regulations among major US cities, it’s pretty hard to find a non-smoking event associated with any casino.
And if you live in the Las Vegas area and love blues music, next weekend is the first installment in the Music on the Mountain summer concert series at Lee Canyon, Mount Charleston. I hope they allow DSLR cameras, because that is a picturesque setting.