QA: Joe Diffie primed for Pork and Hops

Country music entertainer Joe Diffie will play at the Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13–14, at Lincoln Park.



The Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge includes both amateur and Kansas City Barbecue Society competition categories.

The professionals will vie for more than $20,500 in cash prices during the event on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13–14, at Lincoln Park.

The events on Friday, Sept. 13, will include a Kids Que Challenge at 5 p.m., live entertainment from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband at 6 p.m. and Little Texas at 8 p.m.

Tickets cost $15 for Friday.

Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for the all-day festival that will include a car show, competitions and live music. Admission is free until 3:30 p.m., but it will costs $10 for 10 barbecue samples.

Awards for the competition will be at 3:30 p.m.

General admission costs $20 after 3:30 p.m. for access to live music, which will begin at 4 p.m. with the LeverAction Band. The Led Stetson Band will play at 6 p.m., and Joe Diffie will play at 8 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at City of Grand Junction’s Parks and Recreation offices, 1340 Gunnison Ave., and Townsquare Media, 315 Kennedy Ave.

For information about participating, go to

Longtime country music performer Joe Diffie has two goals for his upcoming appearance in Grand Junction for Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge: put on a good show and eat good barbecue.

Diffie, who broke into the country music industry in the early 1990s, is a multi-platinum-selling and Grammy award winning artist with numerous country hits such as “Home,” “Bigger Than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.”

In advance of his show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the challenge at Lincoln Park, he talked about his new video “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun,” country music and his love of bluegrass music.

Melinda Mawdsley: I just saw your video “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” on YouTube. How much fun did you have making that video?

Joe Diffie: It was a lot of fun. It’s always a little stressful, and it’s a long day. We had so many people there. All the people with their trucks, they were volunteers, and I got to have my wife and two daughters with me.

Mawdsley: Tell me about the process of making a video.

Diffie: It varies depending on how involved the video is. Sometimes, the camera crew will go out on another day and shoot B-roll of scenery and stuff. On that one day, we got there at 5 in the morning and they wanted you in makeup by about 6. Then you sit there and you wait and wait and wait. Then, they come in and say “We want to shoot the car scene.” Then you shoot that little scene and go back and wait for the next scene. Sometimes, it takes forever to set up cameras. The lighting has to be right, so it’s a detailed, long process. That’s just the shooting. Then they have to edit it.

Mawdsley: You broke into country music in 1990 right?

Diffie: 1990–91. A long time ago.

Mawdsley: What was country music like then?

Diffie: It was just kind of coming back to its country roots with Randy Travis and Ricky Skaggs. It had gotten into pop country — what I call it, which is fine — with Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, so it was kinda starting to go back to its country roots. It was a good time. It was a lot easier to break into the industry than it is now. You didn’t have people downloading songs for free, so everybody was making a lot of money.

Mawdsley: What do you think about it now? It seems like it’s never been more popular.

Diffie: It is popular. I don’t know how to explain it. I have to be careful because I don’t want to sound mad or bitter because I’ve had a great run, but to me there were a lot more unique voices back then there are now and a wider variance of songs that dealt with issues instead of partying, and I love those songs, trust me, I have those songs. It’s not bad. It just depends on what you like. Now, it’s a little more sizzle and a little less substance.

Mawdsley: What keeps you motivated after nearly 25 years in the business?

Diffie: Obviously, it’s how I make my living, so that’s a major motiving factor. But as far as the music, I still get excited to record and write a new song. I have to admit the traveling part gets old, but every night on stage you have a different crowd and the performing is different, so it keeps you pretty excited. There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing people enjoy what you’re doing.

Mawdsley: Tell me about your 2010 bluegrass album “Homecoming.”

Diffie: There are definitely a lot of similarities between country and bluegrass, and a lot of country gets its roots from bluegrass and some of the best musicians are bluegrass musicians. Bluegrass people are very eclectic and protective of their genre. It’s a difficult field to break into. It was just difficult to get shows booked in that genre. It’s a little bit of a tough nut to crack even though I got rave reviews on that album.

Mawdsley: Why a bluegrass album?

Diffie: Before I ever moved to Nashville I sang in a bluegrass band for six years. It’s my favorite type of music, honestly.

Mawdsley: You are performing during a competitive barbecue competition. Do you enjoy eating barbecue?

Diffie: Heck, yeah. We’ve done several of those over the years. It’s always fun to sample all the good stuff. Here’s an odd thing though: We play all sorts of events and a lot of times they are strictly regulated so you can’t even try things. Hopefully, we’ll get to try something.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy