Kevin “Jake” Sweeney and John “Elwood” Vukovich are members of a Blues Brothers tribute band that will headline the CE&H Ruritan Club’s Beers, Bands and BBQ festival May 17.
Kevin “Jake” Sweeney and John “Elwood” Vukovich are members of a Blues Brothers tribute band that will headline the CE&H Ruritan Club’s Beers, Bands and BBQ festival May 17.

Archived Story

Ruritans to serve up fun

Published 8:50pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The CE&H Ruritan Club’s annual spring fundraiser, a party with beer, live music and barbecue, has only ever attracted one complaint, according to its organizer, Jason Gould.

“The only complaint I have ever heard is: ‘Why do you all call it Beer, Bands and BBQ, when you only ever have one band?’” Gould said.

Gould considered it a valid complaint. So valid, in fact, that he went out of his way to line up not two, but three bands for the 14th annual event on May 17.

From 3 to 7 p.m., the area surrounding the Ruritan Hall, 8850 Eclipse Drive, will bathe in the sounds — that’s the plural of sound — of The Bill Miles Band, Stolen, and headliners The Shotgun Blues Brotherhood.

Gould expressed a lot of enthusiasm for this year’s lineup.

“These bands know each other, they share a lot of their drum sets, and there won’t be a lot of downtime,” he said.

The popular Shotgun Blues Brotherhood, a “Blues Brothers” cover band, will bookend the entertainment.

Another important component of the event is also being revamped this year.

“We’ll have some different beers on the beer truck — we are mixing it up a little bit,” Gould said, adding, “I don’t know exactly what yet.”

The club is doing event T-shirts again. “I have a hard time coming up with different ideas, but I think I nailed it this year,” Gould said.

Organizers are expecting between 350 and 700 people. Gould noted that last year experienced some troublesome weather, and he’s hoping for clear skies for this latest installment.

Tickets are $25 in advance at the Sonoco at 1600 Bridge Road or Rio Grande Traders in Driver, 3049 Kings Highway, and $30 at the door.

Proceeds go to various club activities in support of the community, such as scholarships and helping pay for $15,000-worth of Fourth of July fireworks. The Ruritan Club also had some costly things that needed fixing on its hall, Gould said.

Since Chris Nierman and Butch Simonetti started Beer, Bands and BBQ, and other events, at a time when it was “starting to get a little stagnant,” the club has been reinvigorated with new blood, according to Gould.

“It’s just like going to work,” he said. “You have got to find things fun about it, to make it interesting. Otherwise, you are just going to get your paycheck and go home. Let’s have fun doing it.”

Gould can also be contacted for tickets, at 803-8487.

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