MiniBluesFest Highlights Two Tampa Native Blues Musicians
Brought to you by the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center
The Safety Harbor Arts and Music Center (SHAMc) will have a MiniBluesFest this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7, featuring two outstanding Tampa native Blues musicians. They will be performing on the SHAMc Outdoor Stage, with limited seating due to COVID-19 rules for audience safety.
Tampa Native Blues Singer Damon Fowler
Electric blues and rock singer Damon Fowler and guitarist-composer-vocalist Selwyn Birchwood are the two Floridians who will bring their own special music to SHAMc for this special MiniBluesFest weekend. Fowler is scheduled to perform starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, while Birchwood will be performing a “double header” on Saturday with an afternoon performance starting at 4:30 p.m. and an evening show at 7:30. (You can see the Blues in his soul with Damon Fowler LEFT)
Tickets for the MiniBluesFest featuring these two outstanding native Tampa Blues musicians are available online at SHAMC.org or by calling 727-725-4018m priced at $25 per person. No walkups will be admitted. Audience members are asked to bring their own lawn chairs but not to BYOB. The center’s Bar and restrooms will be open during all performances, and the SHAMc ARTery will be open for shopping as well.
For his Friday evening performance, Damon Fowler will bring a broad musical variety to his solo concert. All music noted this sound is blues based, but there are hints of country, swamp rock, R&B, and swing in his playing and song writing.”
While developing his own solo career, Damon joined forces with fellow guitarist JP Soars and keyboardist Victor Wainwright in 2011 to form the southern roots rock group, Southern Hospitality. SoHo quickly became a strong draw on the national circuit due to their early, roof-raising live performances and their first recording, Easy Livin’, on Blind Pig.
After spending much time touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler came back an album titled Sounds of Home as his third solo project for Blind Pig Records. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab’s rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in what critics call Damon’s strongest effort to date. Fowler’s guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it is his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.
Tampa Native Blues Guitarist Selwyn Birchwood
Selwyn Birchwood is an American blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter from Tampa. His favorite band is 311. He was the winner of the Blues Foundation’s 2013 International Blues Challenge, as well the winner of the Albert King Guitarist of the Year award, presented at the same event. In this competition, he bested 125 other bands from around the world. Birchwood plays electric guitar and electric lap steel guitar. Selwyn Birchwood (RIGHT)
Audience at SHAMc’s MiniBluesFest will have an opportunity to hear Birchwood perform his impressive portfolio of original songs. Living Blues magazine said, “Selwyn Birchwood is making waves, surprising people and defying expectations. Be on the lookout. He revels in the unexpected.” The Tampa Tribune said Birchwood plays with “power and precision reminiscent of blues guitar hero Buddy Guy. He is a gritty vocalist commanding with his axe.”
Rolling Stone said “Birchwood is a young, powerhouse guitarist and soulful vocalist. Don’t Call No Ambulance is a remarkable debut by a major player.” The Washington Post said, “Selwyn Birchwood is an indelibly modern and original next-generation bluesman; his tough vocals, guitar and lap steel touch on classic Chicago blues, Southern soul and boogie.”
For tickets click here. For more details and to see more happenings at SHAMc click here. For their most recent activity at SHAMc check out their fashion show here. For something completely different in Destination Tampa Bay check out the St. Pete Opera here. Feature photo above taken of Damon Fowler by Misty Leigh McElroy. Other photos supplied by individual artist. Content written by Jackie McCallum.