It’s time to rock and drink at the old ball park. Parkway Brewing Co. and Olde Salem Brewing Co. have teamed up with the city of Salem to host the inaugural BaM! Festival at Kiwanis Field, in Salem.
“BaM” is the acronym for “Beer and Music,” and the breweries will have drafts of their offerings at the baseball stadium. The music will come courtesy of honky-tonk band JP Harris & The Tough Choices, retro rockers Southern Culture on the Skids and Roanoke’s own surf-funking Chupacabras.
It begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Harris and his band, the Tough Choices, are a road-tested vintage country outfit that can rock out, too. Harris, an Alabama native, took off on his own as a youngster and built up just the kind of life experience required for honky-tonk lyricism. In fact, the uptempo, train-chug of “Jimmy’s Dead and Gone” seems to detail highlights and lowlights of leaving home at 14 and receiving his education “on the freight trains of our nation.” That song comes from Harris’ latest album, 2018’s “Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing,” with a track list that includes “When I Quit Drinking” and “I Only Drink Alone.” Both those numbers deliver words and music that descend from the classic country tradition.
Two members of the North Carolina-based Southern Culture on the Skids are Roanoke natives. Those two, bassist/singer Mary Huff and drummer Dave Hartman, combined with guitarist/singer/songwriter Rick Miller more than 30 years ago, and the band has had international cult success in the years since. SCOTS’ 2018 release, “Bootleggers Choice,” features completely re-recorded versions of the band’s out-of-print major label catalog, this time captured in the band’s own Kudzu Ranch studio and released on its own Kudzu Records label. “Voodoo Cadillac,” “Eight Piece Box,” “Nitty Gritty,” “Soul City,” “Banana Pudding” and “Dirt Track Date” are among the fan favorites the band re-cut for “Bootleggers Choice,” along with a remastered version of the original “Camel Walk,” one of the band’s signature numbers.
Chupacabras, which lists influences including Fela Kuti and Dick Dale, plays music that lives up to both the Afrobeat and surf genres those two acts represent.