Blues competition in Marietta

From staff reports

The Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society will host its 24th annual River City Ohio Blues Competition on Friday and Saturday at the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Marietta.

Local and regional blues acts will be competing for the chance to perform in an international blues competition. The winner will compete for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in 2017 in Memphis, Tenn.

This year’s event will also include performances by three guest artists on Friday and Saturday nights.

The cash prizes are $1,000 for first, $500 for second and $300 for third. The winner will also receive an additional $500 when they register for the IBC competition. If second or third place also qualify to go to Memphis on the BJFM Stage, they will also receive an additional $500 when they register for the challenge, officials said.

More information is available online at bjfm .org. The River City Ohio Blues Competition is the oldest and largest blues talent competition in Ohio, with 10 competition slots to be filled by local and regional blues acts from all over Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states.

The winner of the 2015 River City Ohio Blues Competition was Micah Kesselring, of South Bloomington. Second place was the Tee Dee Young Band of Lexington, Ky. Third place went to Mojo Theory, of Columbus. Since the first- and second-place finishers were in separate categories, both Kesselring and the Tee Dee Young Band earned trips to the International Blues Challenge this year in Memphis, Tenn.

The IBC represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its affiliated organizations for the blues band and blues solo/duo most deserving of taking their act to the international stage. Competing artists can gain valuable exposure to record label representatives and blues industry professionals and festival promoters capable of real career advancement for a serious blues musician, organizers said.

As it has for the past several years, the Marietta competition will be a two-day event. Instead of bands competing Friday night, the weekend will begin with a pre-competition party on Friday from 8-11 p.m. This year’s Friday’s concert will feature guest artists Shaun Booker at 8 p.m. and Biscuit Miller and the Mix at 9:15 p.m.

On Saturday, the competition will be from noon-6 p.m. with a dinner break from 6-8:30 p.m. In a change for this year’s format, the winner will be announced and will open the evening show at 8:30 p.m. The final performance of the weekend will feature guest artists Lil’ Ed and the Blue Imperials at 9:45 p.m.

The competition schedule will be:

– Noon: Olentangy Musk, a four-piece band from Columbus

– 12:30 p.m.: Central Blues, a three-piece band from Columbus

– 1 p.m.: Sadie Johnson and Joey Crumbs, a duo from Marietta

– 1:30 p.m.: The Brother Short Band, a three-piece band from Morgantown, W.Va.

– 2 p.m.: Scott Horn, a solo artist from Akron

– 2:30 p.m.: Roadhouse Redeemed, a four-piece band from Columbus

– 3 p.m.: Blues Chronicles, a duo from Cleveland

– 3:30 p.m.: Memphis Cradle, a three-piece band from Akron

– 4 p.m.: Chaz Hunley and the Effects, a four-piece band from Teays Valley, W.Va.

– 4:30 p.m.: Christ Sutton, a solo artist from Huntington, W.Va.

For those wishing to attend the blues competition, tickets are $20 for BJFMS members and $25 for non-members for the Friday night show, $20 for members and $25 for non-members for Saturday afternoon and $25 for members and $30 for non-members for the Saturday night performances.

Weekend passes are $60 for members and $75 for non-members.

For ticket information, call Mary Anne Osborne at 304-422-2944, Helen Holt at 304-615-79973 or Peggy Bolen at 740-376-0222.

The blues competition is a precursor to the 25th annual River City Blues Festival on March 18-19 at the Lafayette Hotel. This year’s festival will include performances by a variety of regional and national blues performers.