Roddy Barnes and Jim Belushi were two of the performers who took the stage at the “Live! At the Library: The House of Blues Moves into the Library of Congress” event in Washington, D.C. (Submitted photo)

Roddy Barnes, a Tarkio High School graduate and formerly of Westboro, Missouri, recently performed at the Library of Congress in our nation’s capital. “Live! At the Library: The House of Blues Moves into the Library of Congress” took place in Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C. Over 500 people attended the event, which was held to celebrate the arrival of the House of Blues Radio Collection. The ceremony honored the work of Ben Manilla, who produced the award-winning House of Blues Radio Hour with comedian and musician Dan Aykroyd for over 20 years. Hosted by Dan in the “Elwood Blues” persona that he created from the famous “Blues Brothers,” the radio hour presented programs on blues artists and topics. The shows featured interviews with musicians like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, and more. The Library of Congress will preserve all episodes of the radio show along with 2,000 raw, unedited interviews with the blues musicians. The digitized files will be accessible to anyone through the Library of Congress.

Roddy was among several blues performers who took the stage that night. Playing on his favorite piano, the concert grand Steinway, Roddy joined Gaye Adegbalola (who he had previously toured the world with) to perform three songs, “Sugar in My Bowl,” “Prove It on Me Blues,” and “Jelly Bean Blues.” Gaye also performed a song, and then another blues group took the stage for two songs. Jim Belushi took the stage to perform “Sweet Home Chicago” with that group and then all musicians joined together to perform “Flip Flop and Fly.” Roddy said that song was a rousing and amazing performance that literally flew, with an increased tempo that set the auditorium ablaze. The audience had been very engaged all night long and it was incredible to see hundreds of people join the performers in celebrating the blues with such gusto.

Roddy is “a blues and jazz pianist, composer, and consummate entertainer. Classically trained, he made the transition to blues and jazz during study in France and at the Berklee School of Music, and performed for many years in New Orleans and Austin. Now living in Richmond, Virginia, Barnes has released eight of his own albums, been featured at festivals and on national radio programs, and toured internationally. Roddy’s compositions have been recorded by many notable performers including Gaye Adegbalola, Andra Faye, and Ann Rabson of Saffire, the Uppity Blues Women.”  Roddy is the son of the late Kenneth and Carol Barnes.