Festivalgoers enjoy food, music at Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ

Saturday, September 22, 2012 | 12:50 p.m. CDT; updated 8:06 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 22, 2012
Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ brought 65 teams to Columbia to compete for $10,000 in prizes and the winners of the best chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork divisions were announced 3 p.m. Saturday.

Team gets perfect score

4 p.m. Hickory Hangover placed first in the chicken category at this year's competition with 180 points — a perfect score.

The team consists of Curt Volmert and Bob Drainer, both of Jefferson City. This is the first year Hickory Hangover has participated in the competition, and it's Drainer's first barbecue competition.

Volmert and Drainer started cooking at 11:30 p.m. Friday. They took turns checking  on the food throughout the night, getting an hour or two of sleep here and there.

Their team placed fourth in the overall competition. As Volmert and Drainer sipped victory beers following their win, they said the reason they got into barbecuing was because they enjoy it.

"We're pretty pleased," they said.

— Brian Ransom

Barbecuing team to add new member

4 p.m. Tim Scheer was born and raised on a pig farm, so he cooked a lot of pork as he was growing up.

"I was always the one out there manning the grill, even when I was young," Scheer said.

Scheer's team, Shake 'n Bake BBQ, placed second overall at this year's barbecue competition. This is the team's third year as a contestant.

Scheer said he was satisfied with how Shake 'n Bake BBQ performed at this year's competition.

"It's such a tough crowd," he said. "Some of the best cooks in the country are here."

Shake 'n Bake BBQ placed first at the Lake of the Ozarks Blues and BBQ Weekend competition in June this year.

The team consists of Tim Scheer; his wife, Terri Scheer; his daughters, Tatum and Taylor Scheer; and family friends Joe and Diane Munsinger.

"My favorite part of this is just bringing the family and letting the girls hang here and getting to meet new people," Tim Scheer said. "It's a great crowd to hang with here."

Tim Scheer also runs the Gateway BBQ Store, which sells barbecue sauces, grills and more.

Tim Scheer said his wife is expecting to have another child in two weeks — a "new team member" — which might conflict with Shake 'n Bake BBQ's participation in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue competition in Kansas City.

— Brian Ransom

Blazin' Blues wins overall competition

3 p.m. Earlier in the day, Dan Richard said he didn't feel good about this year's barbecue competition. But when the winners were announced Saturday afternoon, Richard learned his team, Blazin' Blues, placed first overall.

"The chicken and ribs weren't the best, but the pork and brisket were right on," Richard said.

After the win Saturday, Richard said Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ was probably his team's favorite event.

"It ties right in with our theme: music and food," Richard said.

The winners of this year's barbecue competition include:


1.) Blazin' Blues

2.) Shake 'n Bake BBQ

3.) Burnt at Both Endz


1.) Hickory Hangover

2.) Team ESS

3.) Smokin O BBQ

Pork Ribs

1.) Getting' Basted

2.) B-Boy'z BBQ

3.) Shake 'n Bake BBQ


1.) Blazin' Blues

2.) Red-White-Nque

3.) Political Pork


1.) Smokin O BBQ

2.) Hickory Hangover

3.) Shake 'n Bake BBQ

— Brian Ransom

Hickman alumna visits festival during high school reunion weekend

1:55 p.m. Karla Geerlings and her family set up a picnic — red-and-white-checkered tablecloth and all — on a table in Flat Branch Park just before the next performer hit the stage at 2 p.m.

But the Geerlings weren’t there specifically for Roots 'N' Blues.

Karla Geerlings graduated from Hickman High School in 1982, and this weekend is her 30-year high school reunion.

The Hickman High School class of 1982, along with the Rock Bridge High School class of 1982, coordinated its 30-year class reunion for this weekend, Geerlings said. There were social events planned for Friday and Sunday for the graduates, but the picnic on Saturday was for the graduates and their families to enjoy.

Although the reunion is not a part of the Roots 'N' Blues festival, one thing that connected the two was the fact that a 1982 Rock Bridge High School graduate was scheduled to perform at 2 p.m.

Geerlings said she did not actually know who the performer was, but she figured she and her family would stay and listen to him while they picnicked.

Overall, what Geerlings was most looking forward to with the reunion weekend was spending time with her old classmates.

“I’m excited to see people from my class,” Geerlings said. “I haven’t seen a lot of them in a really long time.”

— Taylor Weatherby

Company tailgates competition

1:05 p.m. Doug Whitworth stood among friends and family watching football on a flatscreen television as a grill full of meat barbecued next to him.

The television was propped up outside a remodeled school bus that Emery Sapp and Sons, the heavy highway construction company Whitworth works for, has converted into a tailgating vehicle.

In addition to tailgating, Whitworth and other members of Emery Sapp and Sons were cooking up barbecue for the company's fifth year in the competition. Last year, the company won second place in ribs.

"We usually place somewhere every year," Whitworth said.

This year, the company is cooking chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket.

— Brian Ransom

Contestant slices up 'the money muscle'

12:50 p.m. Inside the RV headquarters of Blazin' Blues BBQ, Dan Richard pulled the foil away from around a pork butt — a slab of meat from the front shoulder of a pig — and set it on the table, juicy and steaming.

He sliced into the most tender part of the pork butt — what Richard called "the money muscle" — and carved a piece of meat into a medallion.

Dan Richard, along with his wife, Janice Richard, was cutting meat in preparation for the judging portion of the barbecue competition.

Blazin' Blues BBQ is a team effort. Dan and Janice Richard and their son serve up fresh barbecue at competitions.

This is the third year Blazin' Blues BBQ has entered the barbecue competition. In the 2011 competition, Blazin' Blues BBQ won second place overall.

Dan Richard woke up at 2 a.m. Saturday to start cooking. For this year's competition, Blazin' Blues BBQ is cooking chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket.

After the competition, Dan Richard said he and his team would give whatever barbecue was left to family and friends.

"It's amazing how many friends you pick up when you have leftover barbecue," Richard said.

— Brian Ransom

Competitor cooks up chicken, brisket, pork, ribs before contest

11:30 a.m. Tony Miller, Renaissauce Man BBQ, said he has competed in Roots 'N' Blues every year but one.

“I like the contest part, and I like to cook,” said Miller.

Miller said he cooks his meat seven to eight hours. His barbecue pork has placed in previous Roots 'N' Blues competitions.

On Saturday afternoon, Miller already had chicken covered in a sweet barbecue sauce finished and was sharing samples with other people at the festival.

— Josephine Butler

Barbecue competitors beat crowds to second day of festival

11:15 a.m. The streets near Flat Branch Park were lined with tents and big smoking grills as the Roots 'N' Blues festival continued Saturday morning.

The crowds hadn’t arrived yet, but the smell of barbecue was overwhelming.

Kurt Dunn, the team captain of Dunn Up BBQ, said he has been competing in the Roots 'N' Blues barbecue competition for the past six years. Dunn and his teammates are mostly from Kansas City, but one is from Columbia, and one is from Topeka.

“We like it,” he said. “It’s a well-organized competition.”

Dunn said he started cooking at 10 p.m. Friday, which is the "old-fashioned way."

“Slow and low,” he said. “You have to cook it at a low temperature for a long time.”

Dunn said his best barbecue is his chicken. He has placed in previous festivals in pork, desserts and side dish beans.

“It’s important to cook it properly,” he said. “Barbecue sauce matters, too.”

— Josephine Butler

Coverage of bands at this year's festival is available on Vox Magazine's website.

Supervising editor is Alison Matas.

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