Rhode Island BBQ Blues Festival

Come kick off summer with the best BBQ & Blues that the Ocean State has to offer on Saturday, June 23 and 24, 2018.


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slam allen band


The internationally renowned Slam Allen is a messenger of love. This dynamic entertainer uses the genres of Blues, Soul, R&B, and a touch of Rock and Roll to deliver powerful soul stirring performances! Slam captures you with a voice that echoes Otis Redding, a guitar that immerses you in B. B. King and stage energy reminiscent of James Brown, all while captivating you with his own original music! 

The Undaunted Professor Harp

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Although born and raised as Hugh Holmes of Boston, Mass., the emanations from his harmonica and vocals make it clear that Professor Harp has the blues of Texas and the whole wide Delta coursing through his veins.

The Professor was a rock ‘n’ roll drummer until ’69, when the Boston blues revival and a sterling performance he caught of blues harmonica great George Allen ‘Harmonica’ Smith, combined to lure him away from drums and into a full court press on the blues harp. “Undaunted!” he brags, by the vicissitudes of his life as blues man, front man, every kind of man, Professor Harp puts forth his commanding presence and exceptional talent, night after night.


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Singer/songwriter/guitarist TJay has been playing solo shows across the northeast, traveling with a loop pedal and acoustic guitar.  Along the way, meeting some of the best (and tallest) musicians in the Hudson Valley, TJay and the Tallboys was formed.  Incorporating Rock/Pop with Jazz and Blues, they draw on influences such as Steely Dan, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, and more.  Together they have been working their way quickly up the ranks, sharing the stage with well established artists such as The Doobie Brothers, Blues Traveler, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Rusted Root, Little Feat, The Neville Brothers, Dave Mason (of Traffic), Leon Russell, Chris Trapper (of the Push Stars), and more.  Speaking to a multitude of musical tastes, the upbeat show will keep your feet tapping and your senses engaged.


Soul Box


Soul Box is a band with chemistry. All the members lock in together effortlessly and that kind of connection draws the audience in and makes them a part of it. Songs are always evolving and changing during every performance, the band just lets what happens happen. Drawing from influences of Blues, Funk, Soul, Rock, and Reggae, Soul Box creates a sound that is simultaneously new and classic.

The Kohaug Allstars


The Kohaug Allstars are one of New England’s hottest up and coming bands playing Blues, Roots, and, Americana. The band has been exciting audiences throughout New England for the past two years. The band was founded by singer songwriter Jim Devore and Brian Rodriques to bring the region a fresh take on the great American songbook.

Over the past few years the band has enjoyed sharing the stage with some of New England’s finest musicians including Chris Stovall Brown, Newport Slim, and James Montgomery, to name a few. The band has honed their craft playing in local clubs such as Newport’s “Pour Judgment”, Fall River’s “ Boondocks”, Connecticut’s “ Strange Brew” and many other venues throughout the Northeast. 

Black & White Band

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What do you call a Rhode Island institution that came together over twenty years ago through a love of blues and rock & roll? Black & White! Since 1990, the band has adorned the stages of venues throughout New England, bringing forth their unique blend of high energy swing-blues and roots rock & roll.

Heidi Nirk Band

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Someone asked me the other day “where have you been”? Hmmmm. Good question. What she meant was that suddenly, Heidi Nirk appeared like a flash of light out of nowhere. I had to laugh. It wasn’t, really, out of nowhere, I have been around before. There was no spontaneous manifestation it has just been a long time coming. What took me so long you might ask? Well, I was taking my time searching for a sound. My musician friends can relate to that statement I am sure. I was looking for something magical, so much so that I had my doubts about ever finding it truly. It took a lot of moving around, testing things out, new members would come, and they would leave. Then, one day… serendipitous the perfect combination appeared in the practice space… and something miraculous was born. The addition of illustrious legendary players such as Mark Taber (Tombstone Blues Band), Paul Tomasello (Roomful of Blues), and Rob Nelsen (he is EVERYWHERE… Loaded Dice, Robcats, etc.) alongside Jack Matthews (Stoval Brown, and countless others), and Rhode Island’s best kept secret, harmonica player, Richard “Lil’ Cousin” Calitri, the band is POWERFUL! Now add my unique sound to the band and we are a POWERHOUSE! All you got to do is come see us live… and you will feel the power too!

Jake Kulak & the Lowdown


Jake Kulak picked up a guitar at age 11 and instinctively knew what to do with it.  Within a couple of months he was playing at open jams in the CT blues and jazz scene.  At age 13 he made the first of many trips to Memphis where he played in clubs on Beale Street as part of the International Blue Challenge Youth Showcase, and to Clarksdale, MS where he attended the Pinetop Perkins Masterclass in Guitar, learning from living blues legends like Bob Margolin.  At age 13 he was also recognized with a merit scholarship by the Honeyboy Edwards Fund for the Blues at the National Blues Museum.  Several years later Jake is playing 60+ professional gigs a year, all while still attending High School.  He can play solo acoustic, solo electric or rock out with his full band, Jake Kulak and the LowDown.  Jake Kulak and the LowDown bring their blend of modern and traditional guitar-driven blues and blues-rock to music lovers everywhere.  Formed in 2013, these talented young artists have represented CT for the past 4 years at the International Blues Challenge Youth Showcase in Memphis, TN.  They have also been nominated for a New England Music Award in the "Best New Act of the Year” category and were one of 6 Boston-area bands to win the the House of Blues emerging artist competition. Bassist Anthony Dailey, from Longmeadow, MA is a crowd favorite with his quiet swagger and tasteful grooves. Drummer, Jeremy Peck, from Manchester, Connecticut is a formally trained, multi-instrumentalist whose killer, high-energy beats anchor the band.  

Baxter Hall

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BAXTER HALL is a guitarist/singer-songwriter from Millis MA. He is the lead guitarist with  DWAYNE HAGGINS, whose debut album 'Heavenly Rose' was released October 14th, 2018. The album features Baxter Hall on lead guitar.

Baxter started playing the guitar at the age of thirteen after finding a Fender Stratocaster in his Grandmother’s attic. Baxter Hall grew up in a musical family and began taking interest in blues music from a young age after hearing Mike Bloomfield on  “Super Session”.

When Baxter was fourteen years old he was invited to play at BB King’s club in New York City. Baxter has also performed on stage with Duke Robillard, James Montgomery, George McCann and other blues artists in New England. 

Baxter Hall's official debut album is set to be released sometime in late 2019. This album is being produced by Grammy nominated guitarist and producer DUKE ROBILLARD. 

Baxter Hall is commonly found playing his 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior. He has been recognized as the next generation of blues guitarists with the recent release of “Baxter Hall Plays the Blues”.  Baxter Hall is heavily influenced by "Michael Bloomfield, Roy Clark,  T-Bone Walker and Shuggie Otis to name a few", he says.  

Cross Rhode Blues

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In March 2015, Kevin Baker posted a Craigslist ad seeking a blues guitarist/singer.  Ben Boisclair answered that ad and Cross Rhode Blues was born.  Sharing a love of blues music, CRB plays a mixture of covers and originals.  

After initially jamming acoustically, CRB began adding amps and foot percussion and finding its sound.    Cross Rhode Blues has been touted for their ability to sound like more than just two people.  

In the Spring of 2017 CRB released its self-titled debut album featuring 14 original blues songs in a variety of styles. Summer 2018 saw the release of their second album “Take Two”.

TD James Band

Live at the 2018 Rhode Island BBQ & Blues Festival

Live at the 2018 Rhode Island BBQ & Blues Festival

Rick, Tom and Dave have collectively been playing and recording in the New England area for more than 30 years. Their all-original music encompasses many styles from the earliest blues masters and Lords of classic rock to the psychedelia of Frisco Bay. The TD James sound is powerful and immediate, derived from many hours of improvisational jams, and overflowing with light and energy. Consummate professionals and showman, they pack their sets with music that exploits their dynamic playing style and blues rock virtuosity. They’ve gigged for crowds large and small, from local bars to Summer festivals, and they’re sure to be coming to a stage near you real soon! If you’re a fan, be sure and say hello, as they’re always armed with free schwag!

Brought to you by Grand Festivals, the people who bring you the Rhode Island Seafood Festival and the Rhode Island Music & Arts Festival.