If there’s anything that Texas’ Eli Young Band knows, it’s barbecue, beer and music.
So the country band’s guitarist James Young says he’ll feel right at home at the Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival on Saturday, March 21, in Downtown Chandler.
“Being from Texas, barbecue is the mainstay,” Young says with a laugh. “We love to eat it and we’ve been to barbecue (joints) all over the world. It’ll be a blast.”
The sixth annual Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival will feature more than 100 exhibitors and over 60 of the nation’s top pit masters serving up 20,000 pounds of pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken.
The menu doesn’t stop with barbecue. Other event highlights include the SanTan Brewing Tailgater’s Lawn, UltraStar March Madness Lounge, Chester’s Harley Davidson Pavilion, Porkopolis VIP Quarters, Dickel Hoedown Rodeo Zone, Bulleit Bourbon Barbecue Pit Row, DC Farmers Market, and an expanded kids’ play zone.
The Eli Young Band—which also includes vocalist/guitarist Mike Eli, bassist Jon Jones and drummer Chris Thompson—will take center stage. The quartet looks forward to playing tracks from its latest release, Turn It On EP.
“We’re working those into our set now,” says Young, whose band played the pre-Super Bowl festivities at Westgate earlier this year. “These are pretty much the first shows that we’re debuting all these new songs. It brings new life into the set. It’s been awhile since we’ve had new music. It really is a good change of pace.”
The pace has been a rather fast one for the Eli Young Band. It has a trio of platinum and multiplatinum No. 1 hits—“Drunk Last Night,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Crazy Girl”—under its belt. The quartet took a step back and headed to the studio to record the Turn It On EP’s four songs, co-written by the band with producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover.
“We’ve been writing for the last six months,” Young explains. “Everybody will bring a song to the band and we’ll go and demo the songs. These four songs were just demos. But the label heard them and loved them and said, ‘We need to run with this now.’ They wanted to get them out as soon as possible.”
The whole experience makes the Eli Young Band enthusiastic about its stop in Chandler.
“Barbecue, beer and music—can’t go wrong with that,” Young says with a laugh.
The Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival, Downtown Chandler, 3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, chandlerbbq.com, Saturday, March 21, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., $10-$125