Jacksonville’s very own Mama Blue and John Austill Hit the Road to Memphis

The blues is a unique American art form that has often been associated with the delta or its “mountain cousin” southern Appalachia. Jacksonville, Florida has a long-standing blues tradition. It is weaved in many different versions such as the early twentieth century tent shows and countless artists that have roots in North East Florida. Jacksonville’s own Ritz Theatre, was once known as the Rizzoli Theatre and many a great played the venue on their way to Gainesville.

In 2015, after a two decades long absence from competing in the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis, Tennessee, the First Coast Blues Society was formed by Darcy Bowman. The society sent three artists to the IBC, as it is often called. 2017’s challenge was extremely successful with standing room only at Mudville Grille that crowned Mama Blue as it’s winner. Big John Austill and Allie & the Kats will join her in Memphis in January of 2018 to represent the First Coast. All three artists are have their own campaigns to assist with travel and accommodations.

Whiskey Jax at 950 Marsh Landing Parkway, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 will be hosting a rare one-time event with over thirteen Jacksonville-based blues and rock artists. Join Mama Blue, John Austill, Smokestack, Mojo Roux, Wildfire Rising, Jacksonville Slim, Mr. Natural, Bluesdog 66, the Rip Currents, Hurt, Ivan Pulley Band, Danny & Gail Roberts, Schizophrenic Sky, Perry Phillips Collective, Charlie Mayne Band, Bear & Robert and many surprise guest musicians, as they all pay tribute to Jacksonville’s rich blues history and send the latest IBC winners to the infamous Beale Street in Memphis. A five-dollar donation is appreciated for this event and donations for individual artist campaigns are welcome. There will auctions and raffles with proceeds going to the competing artists to assist with travel and lodging during their time at the challenge.

The music starts at noon for this very special event.

Please visit www.facebook.com/firstcoastblues for more information

Photo and Artwork provided by Frank Allen Sr. and Franc Robert