Howard to headline Decatur Barbecue

DECATUR BARBECUE — One of Decatur Barbecue’s most popular events since its inception in 1953 is the evening concert. The first performer at this event was Leon McAulfe and his band who took the stage for the first performance at the Barbecue. This year’s featured performers have a very strong connection to Arkansas that will resonate with anyone who proudly resides in the natural state.

To this day, McAuliffe still holds the record for the longest run at the Barbecue, 19 years to be exact (1953-72). That changed when Lloyd Peterson, one of the barbecue’s biggest sponsors, sent Decatur native Pat Austin to Nashville, TN to find the best entertainers for the barbecue crowd. And Austin delivered on his promise when country music legend Hank Thompson Jr. took the stage at Old City Park in 1973 to usher in an era that saw country music legends, as well as rising stars, take to the stage for this annual event.

Austin always helps the Decatur Chamber of Commerce choose the best headliners to attract more and more visitors and barbecue townspeople each year. And this year is no different.

Blane Howard, who has had a real sense of Arkansas since he was growing up

in the central part of the state, is the featured singer of the 68th Decatur BBQ.

Howard was destined to be a country music singer-songwriter. At the age of three, he “stood in front of the TV with a blue and green plastic guitar and sang along to Alan Jackson’s ‘Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow’ ( .

More than twenty years later, this little boy’s dream has come true thanks to notable influences from Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Randy Travis on the country side and Lynyrd Skynyrd and AC/DC on the classic rock side. These different styles of music have helped make Howard the performer he is today.

Blane Howard moved to Nashville where he graduated from Belmont University, a private Christian college. Soon after graduating, Howard began opening for several notable country music icons, such as Joe Nichols (of Rogers), Blake Shelton, Charlie Daniels, Josh Turner and Trace Atkins.

In 2013, Howard’s country music career began to take off with a string of hit singles. One of Howard’s greatest hits was written as a wedding gift for his new wife, Megan. “Promise To Love Her” was so successful for Howard that the song spent 17 consecutive weeks on Country Music Television (CMT) Music’s 12-pack countdown, where it spent one of those weeks at number a.

In 2014, Howard wrote “Arkansas Y’all”, which was selected as a finalist in the Song of Arkansas competition. A year later, he released the Razorback version of the song which honors the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Together, the pair was released as a two-song CD of the same title.

“In late 2020, as the NFL playoffs approached, Howard received a boost in recognition. While his tour was put on hiatus during the pandemic, Howard, a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, wrote a new song, “Run It Back” which became the Chiefs’ new anthem during their playoff run. The song was played by radio stations throughout the Kansas City metro area and on surrounding stations in the Midwest In just a few months, the song, and the hype videos that coincided, racked up over two million streams and views and the Chiefs organization used the song in one of their flagship reels, as well. than playing her at Arrowhead Stadium in a playoff game” (

Howard was named Arkansas CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 2018 and 2019. He “embraces his unique style of country, modern and traditional, blending 90s authenticity with today’s contemporary edge” (

Blane Howard’s hit songs include: “Rock On Her Window”,”Promise To Love Her”,”All these voids,” /2022/August/02/howard-to-headline-at-decatur-barbecue/”Arkansas Y’all,”

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