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Heating up in Madrid: Organic crawfish, live blues and special beers anchor a fun festival

Get down and dirty during the CrawDaddy Blues Fest in Madrid.

The CrawDaddy Blues Fest returns on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, to the Madrid Railyard. (Courtesy of CrawDaddy Blues Fest)

The event on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, will offer 1,400 pounds of fresh crawfish boiled, seasoned and served with potatoes, corn and andouille sausage. The menu does not stop there. Hush puppies, fried okra, chicken and sausage gumbo, barbecued pork ribs and beef brisket, as well as soft-shell crab, Texas fried shrimp and fried oysters battered in a housemade tempura batter also will be available for purchase. Attendees who would prefer to keep it vegetarian can order a quinoa salad.

“So we bring our crawfish in from the same location from Nome, Texas, the Broussard’s Crawfish Farm, for organic crawfish, which I’m really happy to do that,” said Lori Lindsey, owner of the Mine Shaft Tavern and Madrid Railyard, which houses the blues fest. “They’re awesome, good people. Their crawfish are outstanding. They really do have a very clean, kind of lobster-esque flavor to them before we throw all that spice in them, and they’re just great.”

The live music lineup for the two-day event will heat up the Mine Shaft Tavern and Cantina, as well as the amphitheater at the Madrid Railyard. Entertainers include newcomers the Lionel Young Band, Billy D and The Hoodoos, and Miller and the Other Sinners.

“A lot of the other bands have played for me, now we’re 13 years, but they don’t play every year, but Felix y Los Gatos is my go-to band to get kind of that gumbo creole with a little green chile, so they’re really good,” Lindsey said. “I have Hillary Smith, who has played for me in years past with different bands. I also have Stewart Welles; Chris Dracup is playing here. A lot of really great bands. Probably the biggest thing that is happening this year is Levi Platero. He’s playing on Saturday, and he’s hot. He’s good.”

Festival guests will get to wash down all that food with a new Madrid Brewing Co. pale ale and a lager. Madrid Brewing Co. does not yet have a brewing license but has branded the beer and contracted Santa Fe’s Tumbleroot Brewing and Distilling to make it. One of the buildings on the Madrid Railyard grounds will house Madrid Brewing Co. Lindsey is hoping to get licensed and have the brewery up and running by next year.

“It’s amazing to me to come up with a beer and say, ‘I want it to taste just like this, and I worked with a person that is a brewmaster and he said if you want it to taste like this, you want it to have this and this and this,’ ” Lindsey said. “And then we had someone contract brew it and it tastes just like I want it, unreal. At the CrawDaddy, we’re going to be profiling those beers, and I think people are really going to enjoy them.”

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