Blues, Brews and BBQ

Summer is coming



What: Blues, Brews and BBQ
When: Thursdays, June 13-Sept. 12
Where: Hotel Bellwether, 1 Bellwether Way
Cost: Varies

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It happens every year. After spending the entire winter wearing all of the warm clothes I own at the same time, feeling like I’ll never be anything other than cold and weighted down by countless technical layers, existing in a constant state of nostalgia for balmier days, the skies part, the sun shines down and a realization dawns.

Summer is coming.

But it’s not quite here yet and I find myself confused by how to dress appropriately for the weather—it’s time to put my wool sweaters away, but it’s not quite T-shirt season. So, I’m back to donning multiple layers of clothing, lighter ones this time.

What I really need is a mostly sunny, 73-degree day and somewhere I can go to be entertained and enjoy it.

It just so happens that the weather forecast for Thurs., June 13 matches that description exactly, which is fortunate considering it’s also the first installment of the Hotel Bellwether’s annual Blues, Brews and BBQ series.

Bellingham has its fair share of impressively scenic outdoor locales and we make good use of them year-round, and when the summer months come around, many of those picturesque spots double as music venues. However, few live music locales are prettier than the Bellwether’s patio perched on Bellingham Bay. A few years ago, the hotel decided to capitalize on their singular spot and its expansive patio by offering up a combination that has proven irresistible to darn near all of us: live outdoor music coupled with local beer. I’m pretty sure they threw in the barbecue element as a sort of entertainment insurance policy—if you weren’t lured to the Bellwether by the sound of music, perhaps the aroma of smoked meat would do it.

Naturally, folks showed up in droves, right from the start. Now, hundreds of people make their way to the bay for their weekly dose of pints, meat and music—so much so that they’re now known as “patio partiers” in Hotel Bellwether parlance.

If you were to have me try and deduce which longtime Bellingham band would be tapped to start this year’s series, my list of guesses would probably start and end with the Atlantics. I would not be wrong, as they’ll kick out the jams not just during the June 13 kickoff party, but also two more times, on July 18 and Aug. 29. They won’t be the only band making repeat appearances, however. The Chris Eger Band (July 4, July 25, and Sept. 5), Baby Cakes (July 11 and Aug. 15), and SpaceBand (Aug. 1 and Sept. 12) will all play multiple times, which means you can catch them once, and then again on the flip side.

Filling in the blanks between those patio parties will be the return of Chicago’s Lowdown Brass Band (June 20), who seem to make a habit of touring through town just in time for Blues, Brews and BBQ, much to the delight of their ever-growing network of local fans. Following them will be the sweet sounds of Jasmine Greene (June 27), who is certainly no stranger to Bellingham’s outdoor music-making locales. On Aug. 8 will come a blast from our musical past as the Chryslers will get the band back together for a reunion show on the patio. The final single-serving band of Blues, Brews and BBQ will be Midlife Crisis, who will perform on Aug. 22.

When the series sunsets on Sept. 12, the days will be growing shorter, kids will be back in school and I will have begun adorning myself in layers while also eyeing my wool sweaters resentfully. The three-plus months of evening concerts, pints of beer and the foodstuffs that signify summer will have been lovely, but no amount of Blues, Brews and BBQ can stave off the reality drawing ever-nearer.

Winter is coming.

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