Robert Earl Keen will be featured on the Food Network’s ‘All-American Festivals’ showcasing the fajita cookoff at the Great Texas Mosquito Festival and Fajita Cookoff in Clute, Texas. Scheduled to premiere on Monday, January 17 at 9:30 p.m. CST on the Food Network, the 30-minute episode promises to capture local flavor and colorful characters. ‘In the moist and muggy Texas town of Clute, there’s a buzz in the air. At the Great Texas Mosquito Festival and Fajita Cookoff, man and bug unite for one big barbecue bash. Barbecue cookers are grillin’ up chicken, pork spare ribs, brisket and their specialty ‘ fajitas,’ a script excerpt states.
The show will focus on the fajita cookoff, said John Pauly, the episode’s producer. ‘All-American Festivals’ has aired many barbecue contests, but never a show on fajitas. Additional footage features other festival highlights, including the mosquito calling contest, the mosquito legs contest, and the festival’s mascot, the 25-foot tall Willie Manchew.
ACountry spent the day with Robert Earl Keen and the Food Network film crew as Robert visited several of the cookoff teams and sampled barbecue and fajitas. In an exclusive ACountry interview prior to his festival headlining concert that evening, Robert shared his thoughts about the festival and Food Network experience:
“I had a good time. We went out there and ate barbecue and fajitas and talked to the people who were cooking. I got a real sense of what’s going on here, as far as this big cookoff thing and this particular festival. If you want to get away from the corporate run deals, like Fiesta Texas or Six Flags, this is where you go. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. This is about as mom and pop as you can get. It’s really down home, alot of fun, and really nice people.”
As a special treat for his fans, Robert and the band gathered under a tree and played an impromptu fajita song for the cameras.
“Yesterday I told Bill, my bass player, that I needed a song about a fajita, and he goes, Okay… “I need a fajita.” I was playing the mandolin and we were just jamming together and he goes “go to the fourth chord” and we just hammered it out. I told the guys in the band to meet out there and we played the song. We hadn’t gone over it with the band at all – just Bill and I had gone over it twice. So they all got out there and just jammed. That’s the great thing about being in a band and being together with guys like that for so long. I’ve got great musicians, and we have great fun. Everybody’s a great player. That’s the great thing about music. People are amazed by great guitar players and great drummers, but so much of music is a team effort with a community feel. People like that whole idea of people being together, working together and making something that’s joyous and beautiful as music.”
Founded in 1981, the Great Texas Mosquito Festival has brought national acclaim to the city of slightly more than 10,000 residents and has been featured in Newsweek, Southern Living and on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman.’ Clute is located fifty miles south of Houston on the Texas gulf coast.
All-American Festivals is produced by High Noon Productions for the Food Network. The Great Texas Mosquito Festival and Fajita Cookoff premieres Monday, January 17 at 9:30 p.m. CST and repeats Tuesday, January 18 at 1:30 a.m. CST and Sunday, January 23 at 1:30 p.m.
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