Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Patrons of the Pit Playlist

I can’t go often in life without music. Creating playlist or soundtracks as I like to call them has become a hobby of mine. Matching music up to what I’m doing at that moment. To become the musical director for my life is something I take serious. Being that I’m a musician, I’m very picky and biased when doing so. To go into the many avenues of life and tell you about my music selections would probably force me to start another blog, so I’m going to focus on sharing of my music stations I have created when dedicating an afternoon at the BBQ pit.


First off, who could go wrong with a B.B King station. How often is it you walk into a BBQ joint and they have classical music, or rap playing on their overhead speakers? What music is better associated with BBQ than blues music. The crying guitars whine as your basting your meat. The harmonica calls out while the hickory smoke curls into a dimming orange sunset. The singer cries as they have lost their lover over, perhaps over someone else’s BBQ. My B.B. King station of course is always my first choice of serenades when standing next to a smoking pit.


My second choice is my Elvis station. I grew up listening to Elvis and have many fond memories of establishing myself on a sunny afternoon. Our backyard patio packed with Aunts and Uncles. My dad sat with his banjo and my Uncles sat with guitars, often livening up the family with classic rock and roll tunes and old country western songs. This station is often listened to because of the strong feeling of nostalgia it brings on.  I can remember words of songs I hadn’t heard in 20 years purely because I fell in love with the moment I first heard them. Thus, Elvis often joins me when BBQing for large groups of people.


Now there is a station I don’t often brag about. This station is played in my headphones so many people don’t judge my geeky side of life. But here, I hide nothing about my BBQ experience. So I would like to publicly announce the third choice of station is my Lord of the Rings Soundtrack station. I use this station when having a full day ahead of me – of a long drawn out smoke. When smoking a cut of meat that may need a little more effort. From the point of lighting the flame to pushing a sharp knife through that saucy, sweet, smoky, spicy side of meat. You then know your efforts have paid off and the epic journey of BBQ was fulfilled. No other station encourages such BBQ geekiness as my Lord of the Rings Soundtrack Station.

So, my question is to you who have read this, what music do you like to listen to during an afternoon at the pit? What might be on your BBQ playlist?

Have a good day – POTP

21 responses

  1. I’m partial to Cake, or maybe Sublime, while grilling. The only quiet place in my house is outside my house, on my BBQ patio. Plug in the headphones, crack a beer, maybe light a cigar, inhale that wood smoke… as close to heaven as it gets.

    January 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    • I’m one who fancies an occasional pipe. To me it goes hand in hand with the outdoors and wood smoke. Oh yes… A good ale perfects the ambiance too!

      January 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

  2. I do the same thing….very passionate about my music. I have converted an old pc into a digital juke box for the mancave….close to 80 gig of space I am filling up with the best music my ears can handle. I grew up in SarasotaFla. around the time the Allman Bros were playing in local bars.
    I also cooked competition bbq in Ga for close to ten years…I would love to swap stories about that experience….I really dig your blog and will be following your posts…oh by the way my current heavy rotation playlist includes the following : Joe Bonamassa, Live from nowhere… The Rolling Stones, Exile on main street….Gov’mnt Mule, Dose….and of course the digitaly remastered Allman Bros. Live at the Fillimore East.

    January 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    • The Allman Bros. are great. I played in a soul/blues Band for a while and got the opportunity to play an amazing on Whipping Post a few times. I’m like you, my home is networked for media and I can have my music anywhere I want it. I would love to hear more stories about your competition years. Thanks for following, and keep in touch!

      January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

  3. jrcali

    A Great list to burn meat by. I always make sure to have a fair dose of Roy Orbison, Chris Isaacs, The Black Keys and Radiohead. Eclectic, but necessary.

    January 16, 2013 at 11:50 am

  4. jrcali

    Oh, and my Quincho is wired with a Sonos player from the media closet in the house, so I’m always entertained by my favorites.

    January 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

  5. Man! The Black Keys… They often go on my playlist while I eat. I feel it goes along well with the sauces and grease running down my arms and face. Good choice for a playlist for sure.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  6. Totally agree with the playlists! And that’s weird because I thought I was probably one of a very small population who has those kinds of soundtracks on his playlists. Ha! I dig the Black Keys too. It’s usually classic rock or outlaw style with the music. It’s been a lot of outlaw lately though. Here’s some of my favorites for BBQ’n:
    Low Down – Hank III
    Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
    Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright – Waylon Jennings
    Broke Down South of Dallas – Junior Brown
    Country Boy Can Survive – Hank Jr.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    • If you have a smartphone there is an app called Songza. They also have a website that does the same thing. I like this app because they have play list based upon the activity you are doing. And of course one of the activities is bbqing. They also have play lists you can choose from. One of my favorite is “Outlaw Country”. Check it out if you have the time. I think you will dig it!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      • Many thanks for the tip. I’ve downloaded it for both, and am listening to the outlaw country list now. Very cool indeed!

        January 24, 2013 at 10:09 am

      • Another play list I dig is “driving back roads” and “sitting on back porch”. Glad you dig the app!

        January 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

  7. Answer: JJ Cale, Sensitive Kind. Your hickory smoke will not only curl but also sway from the bbq pit.

    Your gravatar is cool that made me check out your Pit.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:22 am

  8. JJ Cale, Wow I’m impressed. I’ve met very few people that know that name. Good suggestion!

    January 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

  9. You can never go wrong with Elvis. I would also suggest little steven’s underground garage. He’s got a little jukebox pop-up player and a ton of archived shows.

    March 12, 2013 at 2:14 am

  10. SmokieButGoodie

    This post was a great idea! I’m surprised more people didn’t chime in, although you definitely garnered some great responses regardless. I need to check out songza… I never heard of it before.

    As a fellow, but former, musician, I’m really curious, what instrument(s) do you play?

    In my youth, I played me some piano but I never fell in love with it (although it’s funny how much I love piano in any kind of music now that I’m (much) older!). But then I finally found my passion…drums! So I banged on the drums quite a bit, and while I was at it I blew out my eardrums performing while positioned right in front of towering Marshall stacks without any hearing protection so that I could enjoy the music better…. In the retrospect wisdom of adulthood: that was really, really dumb (but so, so memorable). MAN those were some good times right there!

    July 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    • Ah that’s a good story. The exuberance of youth! Thanks for sharing!

      Well this post was conceived written by our blog co-fonder/care taker of the Track Side Pit. He shows up every once in a while in the annals here, and his passion besides BBQ is music. So he pretty much had to make this post. His instrument of choice is the harmonica, and he can play it well enough to raise the goose bumps on any given performance. He also has informed me that the songza thing is no more, bought out by google, I think he said.

      I myself am not so musically gifted, but I have in recent years taken up the instrument of cajon. It’s a pleasant way to relax in the evenings, doesn’t take up as much room as the drums, nor as loud to bother the neighbors, and seems to satisfy my very occasional need to bang on things. It was a great project build for my woodworking hobby too. Good times indeed.

      I wish I could play this guy!

      July 19, 2016 at 8:05 am

      • SmokieButGoodie

        Whoa! Stop the presses…just what in the heck IS that, son?! That right there, solves all my problems of having to sacrifice the drums for urban living vs my constant percussion cravings!

        At the risk of annoying my Wife who casts the omnipresent perma-glare at my uncontrollably tapping fingers and feet, I might need to check out this cool musical contraption you call the cajon.

        MAn, you are just full of interesting surprises, thank you for introducing me to things and life experiences of which I had no idea!

        That YouTube video is great – how did he achieve those thudding bass notes – electronically, or were those actually acoustic? I also heard electronic cymbals which I presume were conjured up by those black thingamajigs on his fingers. I do hope you get to play that thing one day! Wouldn’t that be sweet!

        Thank you for sharing your musical side along with your penchant for woodworking. I guess somewhere deep down I already knew you’d be a gentleman of woodcraft. It’s all the more cool that you handcrafted your very own cajon. What kind of wood did you use? Post a pic, if you don’t mind!

        Woodworking happens to be a vivid future dream for my retirement one day, fueled by fond childhood memories of it in grade school, with a passion as intense as that for grilling. Just as soon as I can make a break for the good life in the woodsy mountains, escaping the clousterphobic confines of existance in an urban reality. It would almost be like camping every day! But for now I gotta go make hay while the sun shines, before I can go get me a horse, as it were…

        July 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      • You’ve not heard of the cajon? Dear dear. It’s the Spanish word for drum box I think. And it is truly much fun. Not as fun as a full drum set, but just enough to get your fix. Least wise for me. Makes a good footrest or end table by the couch too! The low thudding bass tones is how it sounds acoustically, however I noticed this one had microphones both in the front and the back, and once you do that, of course, the world is yours. They make cajons out of all kinds of wood, I think, but I made mine simply of 3/4 inch oak plywood, all save for the front striking plate, or “tapa” as its called. That needs to be flexible, like 1/8 inch thick. Some cajons have built in snares and some don’t. I like the sound of a snare so I put one in mine that with a lever you can turn it on or off. So that’s kind of nice. As for the cymbals in the video, I have no idea. Electronic maybe? I dunno. Sounded mighty fine tho.

        I’ll see about rummaging up a photo for you. In the mean time enjoy making the hay!


        July 19, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      • SmokieButGoodie

        Oh that’s so nifty like that you stuck a snare on yours with an on/off lever just like a snare drum! What a great idea…just trying to imagine in my mind the cool sound that would make!

        That’s so true that it would make a great footstool or couch end-table, that’s perfect multi tasking right there. Just like your custom idea of adding a snare, I might have to add a decent looking upholstered cushion top to the cajon to make it look kinda furniture-like, if I hope to have any chance at getting my Wife’s buy-in of this addition to the living room.

        Just like with your future posts, looking forward to seeing the product of your handiwork, good gentlecraftsman.

        July 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm

  11. SmokieButGoodie

    (Ignore this…I just forgot to check off the notify me of new comments box so doing that here…)

    July 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

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