The Juke Hounds, Funny Pages featuring Couch Burner, Dashboard Lights, Straight On and four national award-winning rib teams are on the lineup for the second Annual Rockin' Rib Fest Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sunbeau Valley Farm, 3229 S.R. 59 in Ravenna.
The fest will feature music, food and beer. Admission is free. Profits will benefit the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, the 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that presents all the folk and blues concerts and children's activities at The Kent Stage as well as paying for the headline entertainment for the Kent State Folk Festival, Kent Blues Fest and the Reggae Meltdown events..
Straight On, a tribute to the music of Heart, will rock the fest Saturday night.
The tribute band is the dream child of vocalist Monique Orban and guitarist Kevin Bennett.
"We started playing out a year ago," Orban said. "It was a lot of trial and error to find the right people that could do the job and enjoy Heart music and get it out there accurately."
In 2012, Orban met guitarist and keyboardist Scott Summers. The nucleus of the band, fronted by two women, was formed when vocalist, guitarist and pianist Lori Davis filled the role of Nancy Wilson of Heart.
Add in bassist Jerry Olinger and drummer Drew Sodee and Orban had the band she needed to bring the music and spirit of Heart to audiences everywhere.
"We're all really big fans," Bennett said. "I grew up in the '70s and '80s. Heart was really big then and I had older brothers and sisters, so Heart was always in the house. Led Zeppelin was my favorite band and that was also their favorite band. It just made sense."
Like Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, Orban and Davis personify women who rock on stage.
"I've seen her many times in concert," Orban said. "I channel what I've studied over the years. They have went through a lot of things through the years being women in the industry. I try to take that in. I think what if they were in the crowd."
Bennett said covering Heart doesn't come without challenges.
"Their whole harmony as a group is so tight," Bennett said. "It's second nature and that's a hard thing for anyone to handle. We all get together and do our best and I think we do a pretty good job of it."
Their live show is meant to take audiences back to a live Heart concert.
"It's exciting," Davis said. "We bring the music to life. People will sing along and dance to the songs and really become a part of the show. I believe that comes with the excitement we show on stage. I've had people come up to me and say they felt like they were back in the SSRq70s seeing Heart in concert."
Straight On will play all the chart toppers from the SSRq70s, SSRq80s and SSRq90s.
"If there was a hit, we will play it," Bennett said. "We look forward to playing Heart and getting people excited to hear the music."
Straight On will have merchandise for sale at the fest, including T-shirts for $15.
Josh Hill Band will open the fest at 4 p.m. Friday, with Vince Ruby Trio following at 6:15 p.m. and Juke Hounds at 8:45 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, Funny Pages featuring Couch Burner will play at 3 p.m., southern rock band Train of Thought at 6 p.m. and Straight On will headline at 8:45 p.m. On Sunday, Ball and Chain will open at 3 p.m., Poisonous will perform at 4 p.m. and Dashboard Lights Meatloaf Tribute will close at 5 p.m.
The fest features four national award-winning BBQ champions and the opportunity to taste a variety of ribs and sauces from these highly regarded teams.
Attending rib teams include Smokin Joe's Hog Wild BBQ, Mojo's Rib Shack, Armadillo's BBQ Co. and BG's Main Event.
"Running the Kent Stage is an expensive proposition," said co-owner of the Kent Stage Tom Simpson. "It helps pay the bills and the losses from some shows."
Simpson is looking for more than 10,000 people to come to the fest.
"It is a pretty big event," Simpson said. "It's a great place for an event like this. There is a place for the vendors and a stage and room to run around. We have a really strong lineup and of course the ribs are the main event."
For more information, call 330-677-5005 or visit rockinribfest.org.