Feb. 16-17 Marks Annual River City Blues Competition in Marietta

Posted on:

< < Back to

Blues, jazz, and folk music are three uniquely American art forms with roots that are steeped in musical traditions that date back literally thousands of years. The Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting those forms of music – types of music that many in the region would not otherwise be exposed to.

Friday, February 16 through Saturday, February 17 will mark the organization’s 27th annual River City Blues Competition, an event that brings largely up-and-coming heritage music acts from all over to the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Marietta to square off against one another for a chance to win $1,000 cash and an additional $500 when they register for the International Blues Competition in Memphis in early 2019. The International Blues Competition is a world-renowned contest that exposes artists to record label A&R representatives, various music industry professionals, and festival promoters who could potentially enrich an aspiring musician’s career beyond their wildest dreams.

Jay Phillips, who has been on the board at the Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society for about half a decade, explained to WOUB that the upcoming competition is closely tied to the organization’s River City Blues Festival, which will take place March 16 and 17 at the Lafayette Hotel.

“The festival and the competition were kind of founded at the same time,” said Phillips. “The idea behind the competition is that it selects some acts to go on to the International Blues Festival, which is organized by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, who will represent the (Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music) Society.”

In the past quite a number of acts who have performed well in the ballroom at the Lafayette Hotel have gone to perform in Memphis, and succeeded there, as well.

“One thing we have noticed – and one thing that the people who founded (Mid-Ohio Valley Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society) know is that there isn’t much of an opportunity for those in this area to be exposed to this kind of music,” said Phillips. “It’s also worth noting that we are not just a blues specific organization, as some organizations like ourselves tend to be. Something like this competition gives you a chance to see the kind of music that you just don’t get much of a chance to see otherwise in this region.”

The Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society has worked to create an exciting pre-competition dance party on Friday, February 16 in the ballroom of the Lafayette Hotel, which will feature blues artist Dany Franchi and saxophonist Vanessa Collier. After the announcement of the winning acts from the weekend’s competition on Saturday night, a performance by the Mike Wheeler Band will take place.

26th Annual River City Blues Competition

February 16 & 17, 2018
The Lafayette Hotel
101 Front Street, Marietta OH
Tickets & info: call Helen Holt 304-615-7997 or Peggy Bolen 740-376-0222
Friday Night $20 member/$25 non-member
Saturday Afternoon $20 member/$25 non-member
Saturday Night $20 member/$25 non-member
Weekend pass to all events $55 member/$70 non-member
VISA/MasterCard/Discover/American Express accepted.
We will hold your tickets/passes at the door for you to pick up when you arrive.
Participants compete for sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge (IBC). The first place winner of The River City Blues Competition in 2018 will receive $1,000 in cash and $500 more when they register for the IBC in Memphis early in 2019 where they will gain valuable exposure to record label A&R representatives and Blues industry professionals and festival promoters capable of real career advancement for a serious blues musician. Second place will receive $500 and 3rd place $300. If one of them qualifies to go to Memphis on the Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music (BJFM) stage, they will receive an additional $500 when they register for the Challenge. There will be 12 slots in the competition. The big winners however, are the blues fans who enjoy a weekend of great blues entertainment.

Competition Schedule
Doors open 1 hour before showtime.
Schedule of Events
Friday, February 16, 2018 – Pre Competition Dance Party – 8 p.m. Dany Franchi. 9:30 Vanessa Collier.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 1 p.m. till dinner break – Blues Competition and winners announced.
Participating Acts
1 p.m. 5$ Red (Duo) – Huntington WV
1:30 p.m. The Brady Young Band – Parkersburg WV
2 p.m. Dock Adams and Blues Hammer (Band) – Columbus OH
2:30 p.m. Dan Holt (Solo) – Cleveland OH
3 p.m. Lil’ Red & The Rooster (Band) – France/Ohio
3:30 p.m. Paul the Resonator w/Vince ‘Fireball’ Farabaugh (Duo) – Shepardstown WV
4 p.m. Roadhouse Redeemed (Band) – Columbus OH
4:30 Atom Lax (Solo) – Dover OH
5 p.m. John Henry and the Rainmakers (Band) – Columbus OH
At 8 p.m. the winning acts that will represent BJFM at the IBC perform.

9:30 Mike Wheeler Band.