Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tunes to Que by

BBQ Boogie

Go onto any of the current BBQ forums and ask the question what Pit Masters consider most important when it comes to cooking good que and see what happens. Of course, it goes without saying that you will get the standard boring run of the mill answers. You know, temperature control, knowing your cooker, good quality meat products, blah blah blah. Ask those same Pit Masters what they feel is essential to cooking good que and inevitably you’ll get the answers, good friends, cold adult beverages, and good quality tunes.

Depending upon who you ask and when, you might even be told the last 3 are more important than the first 3. The topic of what would be considered good quality tunes to que by can elicit a discussion as spirited as to which type of cooker is best. A stroll around a mid sized BBQ competition to take in the musical offerings will find an assortment of tastes ranging from head-banging to jazz to classical.

Sometimes, you can take a look at the make up of the team and pretty much predict with a reasonable degree of accuracy what type of tune will be emanating from their I-Pod speakers. A group of 50+ year old men, chances are you’ll be listening to a mixture of classic rock and the blues. Toss in a couple female teammates you can be sure a few country tunes will be heard. A couple of early 30’s cookers and your likely in for a few selections from Slipknot or Korn. At the risk of sounding too much like my parents back in the late 60’s, for the life of me, I don’t understand how they can call that stuff music, but I will leave that discussion for another day.

For us, a group consisting of a couple of guys on the back side of middle age and my wife, our Pod consists of a wide variety of selections that range between The Mills Brothers, Glen Miller, The Beatles, Muddy Waters and everything in between. Well, everything except opera. I say not opera but have forgotten about one of my favorite selections to play on turn in morning, Wagners Ride of the Valkyries, so much for my everything but opera claim.

In my recently released book Startin the Fire I have listed a collection of tunes to be included on your I Pod playlist used on turn-in morning. I have the selections broken down between prep time, the four meats and clean up. I had a ball as I collected songs to complete the lists. I used forum posts on the topic, internet searches as well as good old fashioned research sources to come up with what I consider a pretty complete listing. I always have my eyes and ears open for songs that would fit the bill and could be added to my list, which, by the way, has grown even since the book was published. I have listed what I would consider a few of the “essential” compilations that must be included on everyone’s BBQ playlist.

Chicken Shake Boogie- A tune from Amos Milburn first recorded in 1948. I enjoy the original version but prefer a newer recording by Willie And The Poor Boys, a group formed in the early 80’s by Stones bassman Bill Wyman and included an assortment of members from time to time that included Ron Wood, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Page and Ringo Starr.

Milk Cow Blues- This song has been covered by everyone from Elvis to the Kinks. My favorite cut is probably one of the earliest by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. If you can listen to this song without tapping your toe, I would have to question your reason to live.

I Love My Babys BBQ- Recorded by RJ’s Rhythm Rockers. A little hard to find but well worth the hunt, very snappy lyrics.

Barbeque- Robert Earl Keen. A slower selection, great for watching the smoke roll out the stack while sipping a cold drink.

Too Much Barbeque- Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows- How can you not have a tune by a band with this name on your I Pod?

Barbecue- Washboard Sam-This is an old recording that just cries out for someone to cover it again, Washboard asks, “baby, who’d you give my barbecue to?”

Mess around- Ray Charles- The first words of the song are, “talk about the pit, Barbeque”, how can you go wrong?

Good BBQ- The Riptones- “Shes a fine young thing that likes good BBQ”, nuff said.

As you can see from this small list, there is no shortage of songs about BBQ and related topics. Half the fun is hunting for them, the rest of the fun comes when you’re tapping your foot while loading your cooker or grill. Search for songs about smoke, fire, cooking, food, you can see what I am talking about. Have fun with it. I only ask that if you come up with any good ones, you drop me a line so I can add them to my playlist. I am always looking for new tunes to que by.


awb said...

You can't go wrong with Ray Charles.

Jack, the Bulldogge said...

Interesting overview of musical favorites to bbq by! Luv it!

Quick update from New Mexico. Travelin' Jack, roving bulldog reporter, is making ny BIG ANNOUNCEMENT tomorrow at Balloon Fiesta! If you can't be there in person (or dog person!), here is a a sneak preview for you!

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