The Camden County Board of Freeholders, whose longstanding reputation for presenting a bounty of great music throughout the county year-round is unmatched in the tri-state-area, builds on the new Labor Day Weekend concert tradition begun last year by presenting the 2nd Annual CAMDEN BACKYARD BARBECUE, a FREE New Orleans flavored daylong festival on the Riverstage at Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden that’s also designed to promote Health & Wellness.
The event is Sunday, Sept. 5 from 2-10 p.m. , and stars IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK, THE RADIATORS, New Orleans legend MARCIA BALL and their Crescent City neighbors, BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION, combining with returning local act North 61 (South Jersey) and 16-year-old visually impaired blues prodigy CONRAD OBERG to cook up an eight-hour groove of funk, soul and spiritual jams with a BBQ family flavor.
With the festival arriving this year on the five-year aniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the recent impact of the Katrina-inspired, critically acclaimed HBO series Treme, it was especially important for Freeholder Ian Leonard to rekindle the festival’s New Orleans flavor for its return installment this year.
Leonard and Washington-based non-profit Citizens Helping Heroes, Inc. aim to annually give local music lovers another memorable holiday weekend while helping them take away some positive information on Health & Wellness at the same time.
Leonard fell in love with the New Orleans music scene a decade ago, when he attended his first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He continues to return each year, and has since become " a huge fan" of Dumpstaphunk, the Radiators, Marcia Ball and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Leonard is convinced that being able to combine that feel-good music and feel-good health and wellness aspect- all for free to close out the summer season on a holiday weekend – is an irresistable service to everyone who takes part.
"With the economy still struggling," he says, "I think this show is a great opportunity for families to have a fun time for free that includes amazing music and most importantly, to access some great health and wellness resources."
Adds co-pomoter Robert Jennings: "We’re fortunate that the Freeholders continue to give us their full support, as do our lead sponsors, WXPN and Verizon, both returning this year. Together, with the Philadelphia skyline as the backdrop, we’ve created a fun and friendly day of community, music, wellness and health. And of course it’s free to everyone, thanks to all of our generous sponsors."
IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK,"the best funk band from New Orleans" (New York Times), is a group of musicologists that transcend age and styles in a free-flowing approach to their art. Dumpstaphunk weaves a vocal and musical tapestry from key members of Dave Matthews & Friends, Trey Anastasio, Jewel and the Neville musical families. The band’s music incorporates drops of Sly and the Family Stone and Meter-esque jams as well as other diverse influences into a spicy musical gumbo. Ivan Neville began absorbing the musical attitude of the Neville family from birth. Ivan’s music honors and extends the Neville’s musical heritage, adding a distinctive new grit that radiates from his New Orleans roots.
Long before there was a phenomenon called Jam Band Music, THE RADIATORS’ shows were noted for their seemingly in nite repertoire and their soulful, inspired improvisations. Widespread Panic, Phish and Blues Traveler performed opening duties on Radiator shows on the East Coast in the early 90’s and such luminaries as Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, George Porter, Jr. and Maceo Parker have sat in on occasion. Volker and Malone share vocal and writing responsibilities, with the bulk of the tunes coming from Volker. The twin guitar front of Malone and Baudoin form one of the most noteworthy guitar duos in rock music today, while Scanlon’s sinuous bass lines effortlessly lock into Bua’s unstoppable rhythms and Volker’s keyboards add a sweet counterpoint to the rich gumbo that only The Radiators can serve. The Radiators have called it "Fish Head Music" from the very beginning. They’ll give you different takes on what that might mean on different nights, but this is music that could only rise out of the swamps and bayous of Louisiana.
Singer/pianist Marcia Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls with her infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional brand of southern boogie, rollicking, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads. Over the course of her three-decade career, the four-time Grammy nominee and 2010 Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame inductee has earned a huge and intensely loyal following all over the world. Her exquisite piano playing and passionate, playful vocals fuse New Orleans and Gulf Coast R&B with Austin’s deep songwriting tradition into a sound No Depression described as "a little rock, a lot of roll, a pinch of rhythm and a handful of blues."
Winners of the 2008 Big Easy Music Award for "Best Funk Group ," BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION is a driving force of urban funk. The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls "the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz." Combining his distinctive trombone riffs with a call-and-response MC style, Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still. Between the band’s solos and his trombone riffs, Big Sam second-lines (a uniquely New Orleans style of street-dance) and gets the crowd going.
A number of booths from regional Health & Wellness Organizations will be lining the walkways around the festival with an abundance of information. Make sure you visit them, too! For complete information, call the Camden County Special Events Hotline at (856) 216-2170.