River City Blues Competition Feb. 14 & 15, 2014

Updated 4 years ago From Press Release

The  22nd annual River City Blues Competition, still the oldest and largest blues talent competition in the state of Ohio, will be held February 14 & 15, 2014 at the Hotel Lafayette, Marietta OH. TheLevel Best Blues Band from Huntington will be one of the participants.

Past participants have come from New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Italy, Israel and Pennsylvania. They compete for sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge ( IBC). The first place winner of the The River City Blues Competition in 2014 will receive $1,000 in cash and $500 more when they register for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis early in 2015 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 qualify to go to Memphis they will receive an additional $500 when they register for the Challenge. There will be 13 slots in the competition. The big winners. however,  are the blues fans who enjoy a weekend of great blues entertainment.

Doors open one hour before show time. For passes, tickets or info call Mary Ann Osborne 304-422-2944 or Helen Holt 304-428-8393. VISA/MasterCard/Discover accepted. We will hold your tickets/passes at the door for you to pick up when you arrive.

$10/$15 m/nm Friday 8 - 10:45 PM
Preliminary $15/$20 m/nm Sat. 11:30-6 PM
Finals $20/$25 m/nm Sat. 8:00-11:30 PM
$40/$55 m/nm Weekend Pass


Competition Schedule
Pre-Competition Party Night - Friday, February 14th, 2014

8 - 9:15 PM Chris Sutton with C&S Railroad from Huntington, WV – Winner of the River City Blues Festival in 2013
9:30-10:45 PM Sean Carney Band from Columbus OH - The Sean Carney Band won the Albert King Best Guitarist and took first place at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. 


Saturday, February 15th  Preliminary Competition

11:30 - 11:50 AM

Steve Spires (4 pc. Band)

Zanesville OH

12:00 - 12:20 PM

The Level Best Blues Band (5 pc. Band)

Huntington WV

12:30 - 12:50

Greezy Juke (4 pc. Band)

Columbus OH

1:00 - 1:20

Rod Snider (Solo)

New Matamoras OH

1:30 - 1:50

Fuzzy Catfish (3 pc. Band)

Augusta KY

2:00 - 2:20

Dany Franchi Band (3 pc. Band)


2:30 - 2:50

Blues Chronicles (Duo)

Cleveland OH

3:00 - 3:20

Deuce n’a Quarter (4 pc. Band)

Columbus OH

3:30 - 3:50

Noah Wotherspoon Band (3 pc. Band)

Cincinnati OH

4:00 - 4:20

Luther Trammell (Solo)

Elyria OH

4:30 - 4:50

Reverend Sexton’s All Star Blues Review (5 pc. Band)

Detroit MI

5:00 - 5:20

Tee Dee Young Band (5 pc. Band)

Lexington KY

5:30 - 5:50

Dock Adams and Blues Hammer (4 pc. Band)

Columbus OH

Dinner Break @ approximately 6 - 8 PM. Finals start at 8 PM/Saturday Night

C&S Railroad vocalist and guitarist Chris Sutton says he does like trains, but the band’s name actually has no historical significance. In fact, it’s actually just the combination of his and bandmate Mark Cabbel’s last initials. “And we just happened to like and write about trains a lot.” That laid-back attitude defines the band, in a way. Where some overanalyze, C&S Railroad just does what it does. Chris took first place in the River City Blues Competition in 2013 and represented BJFM at the IBC this year.

Along with Chris and Mark, C&S Railroad is bass player Jim Branham and percussionist Steve Hall. The band calls Barboursville, West Virginia home, and performs a variety of Americana and roots music: blues, country, soul, and rock.


Sean Carney Band It’s no accident that Sean Carney’s career has been arcing steadily upward.  The Columbus, Ohio bluesman has it in his family genes, with jazz horn players in the previous two generations.  He’s put in at least his share of work and dues laying the foundation as he enters his third decade as a pro. 


Sean’s profile has gotten a major boost in the last five busy years, and in fact is decidedly international these days when European tours often in the company of major historical figures have become almost routine for him.  Drummer Eric Blume, who performed with Sean for over a decade, and Sean founded Nite Owlz Records in 2006 and issued Sean’s CD Life Of Ease.  It was a welcome surprise and a triumph of substance when The Sean Carney Band won the Albert King Best Guitarist and took first place at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. 


With recent studio recordings with Duke Robillard and Jimmy Thackery, Sean Carney reaffirms his importance and value as a part of the blues scene he has supported so tirelessly for so long.  It’s extra easy to root for him because of all the good he’s done and the road he’s taken.  But even someone who knows nothing about him is bound to take notice of this grounded, savvy and rewarding musical affirmation of so many great things about Sean Carney and the blues

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