Music adding flavor to barbecue festival|Smoke on the Water music coordinated by BCTMA’s members

Published 11:48 pm Sunday, October 18, 2009

Contributing Editor

The 12th-annual Smoke on the Water is most definitely about barbecue and chili.
This year, there are some added attractions to the festival set for Oct. 24. As always, the pig-cookers arrive the day before to set up their cooking stations and prepare for the showmanship contest the evening of Oct. 23.
Smoke on the Water is associated with the Down East Rods &Classics Car Show and the 45th-annual Beaufort County Arts Council Fine Arts Show. Two new events have been added to the Smoke on the Water schedule this year, a pumpkin-carving contest and a Halloween pet parade.
The Beaufort County Traditional Music Association is coordinating the musical entertainment for this year’s Smoke on the Water. The music begins at 10 a.m. at the outdoor stage on the Washington waterfront (at the intersection of Respess Street and Stewart Parkway) with the BCTMA Jam. On Saturday mornings, the association hosts an informal traditional-music jam session on the waterfront, but this Saturday the jam sessions moves to the Smoke on the Water stage, where BCTMA members play acoustic numbers.
Tried &Blue takes the stage at 12:30 p.m. to perform blues. Tried &Blue features “Big Poppa Sid” Rothchild, a veteran bluesman on guitar. He is joined by Don Skinner (guitar), Teresa Prichard (vocals), Darren Smith (bass) and J. Alan Casey (drums). The band opened for Lightnin’ Wells at this summer’s Pamlico Opry, playing an acoustic blues set. For Smoke on the Water, the band will be breaking out the amplifiers and “cookin’ with gas” for a barbecue-and-blues combo that packs heat.
The acoustic alternate-rock duo of Rick Groves (bass) and Neal Horne (guitar and mandolin) from Wilmington take the stage at 1:45 p.m. The duo features close and complex arrangements of classic rock tunes (think Pink Floyd unplugged) and standards as well as original compositions.
At 3 p.m., Mike Pilgrim and Friends will perform a variety of tunes in a swinging style. Pilgrim play the electric mandolin, joined by “Big Poppa Sid” Rothchild on guitar and David Sutton on bass. Pilgrim plays a variety of instruments encompassing many styles and is an instructor at PC Sound.
This combo was formed as an opening act for the Chambergrass performance at the Turnage Theater. After hearing the group’s performance, Kim Terpenning with Chambergrass said, “Those guys are fantastic. We should have been opening for them.”
At 4:15 p.m., When Cousins Marry, a band sponsored by the Washington Daily News, will close out the musical performances. A Southern band founded on old-time family values, When Cousins Marry has been making music around Chapel Hill for 25 years. The group began as a rock and blues cover band. Over the years, the band evolved. Its songs range from rock to country, blues and beyond, making for a sometimes-indescribable wedding of styles. The band consists of Steve Esthimer (guitar, cornet, saxophone, vocals), Spence Foscue (drums, vocals), Tom Cole (trombone, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) and Jimmy Dickerson (bass, vocals, guitar), all from the Chapel Hill area, and Charles Blackburn (guitar, vocals) from Raleigh. Blackburn got his start as a reporter (but not as a musician) at the Washington Daily News in the 1970s. He has returned to perform as part of the Washington Daily News’ 100th anniversary celebration this year.
This years, dogs can participate in Smoke on the Water.
The Washington Off-leash Dog Park is sponsoring a Halloween-costume contest and doggy parade as part of Smoke on the Water, beginning at 2 p.m. The event is free.
Dog owners may costume their dogs and gather at the green space between the N.C. Estuarium and former Maola plant on the waterfront. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories (dogs only): most original, scariest and doggone cutest. A dog’s owner may wear a costume, too.
For more information about the costume contest and parade, call 252-975-3335 or 252-975-1698.
The Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is coordinating the chili contest for this year’s Smoke on the Water. Judging of the chili-contest entries begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 24. The deadline to enter the chili cook-off is Oct. 14.
The entry fee is $25, with contestants required to produce at least three gallons of chili. The contest’s prize money is $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place.
Money raised by the chili contest and chili sales during the festival will benefit the local Red Cross chapter.
Entry forms for the contest may be downloaded by visiting the Washington Visitor Center’s Web site at They also may be obtained by calling the contest coordinators, Kay and Ed Summerfield, at 252-946-0505 or the Visitor Center at 252-948-9415, or at the chapter’s office at 135 N. Market St. and the Visitor Center at 138 S. Market St. in Washington.
The Washington Tourism Development Authority, which operates the Washington Visitor Center, is sponsoring a pumpkin-carving contest. Other events include a story-telling session to entertain children, vendors’ booths and the presentation of awards and prizes associated with the barbecue and chili contests.
For more information about Smoke on the Water events or to obtain applications for the chili cook-off or vendors’ spaces, call the Washington Visitor Center at 252-948-9415 or send an e-mail to
(BCTMA member Rob Cuthrell contributed to this article.)