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The Rib Rock Festival: B.B. & BBQ

Quinn Sullivan, wiz blues guitarist and only 15-years

Quinn Sullivan, wiz blues guitarist and only 15-years old, will be performing at the Rib Rock Festival along with BB King. Photo Credit: Handout

Update: The Rib Rock Festival has been canceled due to Hurricane Irene.

It is unclear whether attendees of Saturday's Rib Rock Festival are coming for the food and staying for the music or vice versa. What is obvious is that ticketholders have a chance to hear one of music's living legends while eating award-winning barbecue. B.B. King will headline a lineup that includes the J. Geils Band, Buddy Guy and 12-year-old guitarist Quinn Sullivan, and Gary Clarke Jr. The festival kicks off at 3 p.m. Here are some details:


THE KING

With a career spanning 60 years, 15 Grammys and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King is one of the music world's most renowned blues guitarists.

Since releasing his first single, "Miss Martha King," in 1949, he has strummed his way into America's musical lexicon by playing more than 15,000 shows. It appeared that the guitarist was finished traveling when he embarked on a "farewell tour" in 2006, but King has performed regularly since then, setting out on at least two tours in the past five years.

King has named his guitars Lucille since the winter of 1949, when he was playing a show in Twist, Ark., and the building was set on fire after a barrel filled with kerosene was knocked over by two men fighting about a woman. After fleeing, King remembered that he'd left his guitar in the building, and he ran back in to grab it. The woman the men were fighting over was named Lucille. Naming his guitars after her reminded King to never again fight over a woman or run into a burning building.

Over the course of his career, King has been named the third-best electric guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was granted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His hits include "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Sweet Little Angel" and "The Thrill Is Gone."


THE GUY

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Buddy Guy, who Rolling Stone named the 30th-best guitarist of all time, is probably used to being the best guitarist at any given show. Tomorrow, though, he'll play second string to King, the man who inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Much of Guy's career has been spent playing backup guitar for notable Chess Records artists such as Koko Taylor, Little Walter and Muddy Waters. The label refused to record him because Leonard Chess, the label's founder, thought Guy's innovative blues style was just noise.

Guy has proved Chess wrong, though, winning six Grammys and the National Medal of Arts.

Quinn Sullivan, a 12-year-old guitar prodigy who has known Guy since 2007, will join the legend onstage.


J. GEILS

The J. Geils Band, which is known for hits such as "Centerfold" and "Freeze Frame," will take the stage as part of its first reunion tour since 1999.

Since going their separate ways after 1985, the musicians have teamed up fairly often but typically for one-off shows instead of tours.

Geils and harmonica player Richard Salwitz formed the band Bluestime in 1992, releasing two records under the name. Vocalist Peter Wolf, meanwhile, recently toured with Kid Rock.


LOCALS ONLY

The Long Island Music Hall of Fame and WBAB radio will bring together a blues band and an all-star band of Hall of Fame inductees. Also on exhibit will be the Hall of Fame's display of Long Island music artifacts.

And the Kerry Kearney Band will cook up its tasty blues-roots-Delta music.


THE FOOD

Pitmasters from around the state will take to the beach, and for an additional cost, festivalgoers can sample their award-winning fare.

Big Belly BBQ, a seven-time New York State BBQ champion from upstate Hamburg, will make the trip, along with fellow upstate experts Desperados Barbecue, Manhattan's Mexicue truck and Long Beach's Swingbellys Beachfront BBQ.

Other beach side offerings will include Chef George & Brother Joe's Baaah Bee Que, Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que and Mother Shucker's roasted sweet corn.


WHAT Rib Rock with B.B. King, Buddy Guy and the J. Geils Band

WHEN | WHERE Festival starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, music begins at 8 p.m., Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh

INFO 800-745-3000, livenation.com

COST $15-$150; food extra

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