If you go

What: Blues & BBQ series

When: 2-5 p.m. on Sundays through the warm months

Where: Dickens Opera House and Tavern, 300 Main St., Longmont

Info: dickensoperahouse.com


• It's time for annual Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands and Brews festival.

LONGMONT — Barbecues are an essential part of the American summer. Throw in some good music and good friends, and you've got what many people might call perfection.

That being the case, Dickens Opera House hosts what some might regard as the perfect summer concert series.

For about the past five years, the restaurant has hosted Blues & BBQ, which takes place every Sunday afternoon during the warm months on its patio. The restaurant is located at Main Street and Third Avenue, so the series brings a bit of a backyard vibe to the heart of the city.

Sean Owens, who owns the Dickens with wife Lynn, said he loves to sit on the patio eating great food, drinking cheap beer and listening to good music.

"It's the kind of thing we started," Sean Owens said, "because it's the kind of thing we like to do."

The series includes some of the area's top solo performers. Lyons artist Arthur Lee Land performed last Sunday, and Cary Morin, Pete Kartsounes and Danny Shafer are scheduled to play in the coming weeks.

Owens said the series attracts quality performers who might not otherwise play a show of this nature.

"They come out and want to do it because it's a good time," he said.

Morin, whose performance Sunday will help cap off the July Fourth weekend, is best known to Colorado audiences as frontman of The Atoll. In 2013, Morin released "Streamline," a solo album that highlights his skill on the fretboard.

Shafer is well-known to northern Colorado music fans. The Lyons musician rocks out with his band, The 21st Century, but he's also a compelling solo performer whose lyrics are well-crafted and whose voice is a richly toned instrument. Shafer even has a song titled"Barbecue."

"After all I've been through," he sings in the jaunty tune, "It all comes down to one thing, and that's barbecue." (Check out a video of Shafer playing the song at second storygarage.com.)

Kartsounes has performed in the Boulder area for many years as part of many outfits, including the Pete Kartsounes Band and, more recently, Bluegrass Delta Force. He toured in 2012 as a member of the popular Chicago jamgrass band Cornmeal.

Blues & BBQ typically gets going after Mother's Day and continues every week until the weather turns cold. Owens said the series usually runs into September.

"A lot of times the patio is just packed," Owens said. "A lot of people look forward to it."

Contact Quentin Young at 303-684-5319 or qyoung@aespotlight.com.