Music and food.
Food and music. Two great things that go together (unless the music is too loud or the food is over-seasoned). There’s a link between cookouts and live music. Even fine dining has its own melodic flair. Thank God that party goers and party throwers still value music to go with their oyster roasts, wedding parties, and BBQs. Sometimes the music is there for background, other times music and food are ‘turnt up’ to a high flame together in perfect harmony. I have had the opportunity to be present at some of Bluffton’s biggest food events and also performed for many house parties locally, so I know what I’m talkin’ about here.
Ever been to a BBQ where there wasn’t music? Ok, sure, I suppose a Bose speaker cranked outdoors does provide some sort of joyful noise, but put a live band next to your spit and blam! Instant party. Trying to match a meal with music seems like it might be difficult, but most people that host parties with dogs and burgers know that you want some rock ‘n’ roll or, even better, some bluegrass to go along with your sauerkraut and beans.
Why do people search out the bluegrass bands for BBQs?
I feel that fiddles and banjos complement outdoor events better than most genres of music, though a real blues group can do the same thing. It just seems that “roots” music has been paired for years with pig pickin’s or oyster roasts. A deep blues vocal and some wicked harmonica playing do the same thing. It just fits the mood of an outdoor picnic table type of party. Maybe there is something deep down in the genes somewhere that just wants to hear this kind of music when you’re devouring meat and drinking beer in the shade of an oak tree.
Now if your party is a black tie affair, you’re going to want to get a piano player and a jazz vocalist for your soiree. Jazz, as most of us know it, is typically non-evasive. A smoky female vocalist doesn’t break up conversations over Merlot and Mignon. The silky sound of a piano trio is also nice to have on hand at dinner, where getting wild isn’t on the menu.
Jazz has been long appreciated by the sophisticated lady (and her date) since before rock and roll was even heard of. Some of the world’s best musicians play jazz in venues that serve high-end food and ask that you keep the conversation to a minimum as well. Of course, jazz does well at outdoor festivals as well, but I wouldn’t really want to squirt mustard on a brat while someone sings “Summertime.” It just seems like diners expect jazz at finer establishments.
Sometimes trying to figure out these type of things can just confuse one trying to pair food and music.
So let’s simplify. Here are some pairs that go pretty well together:
- Howlin’ Wolf with a brisket sandwich and side of cole slaw
- Peter Tosh with curried goat, string beans and corn
- Dave Brubeck with brazed duck and a garlic-infused sweet potato
- Doc Watson with a hot dog and a beer
- Louis Armstrong with anything from steak to a hamburger and French fries
Written by Jevon Daly