Jazz, Blues, & More

Blues on the Dock: J Edwards Band and Juke Joint Johnny

When: Sun., May 27, 4-7 p.m. 2012

A well-rounded frontman. Songwriter, musician, and arranger J Edwards grew up in Missouri and Arkansas, but he's been based in Columbia for years. He began playing guitar at age five and then picked up the piano at six. As a young musician, he traveled around the U.S. and the U.K. performing with a variety of bands. Once he settled in South Carolina, he concentrated on his own songwriting and recording. His latest album is LuLu's House (Serenity Hill Records).

The venue is gorgeous. The annual Blues on the Dock Series celebrates some of the best blues talent in town in a unique setting. From the dock stage and main room, the views of the creeks, marshes, and oyster beds are terrific. The breeze from the water helps keep things cool enough for attendees to the focus on the music.

The Blues Challenge connection. The J Edwards Band are reigning local champs, earning the top score last fall at the Lowcountry Blues Club's annual Blues Challenge at Home Team BBQ in West Ashley, where a handful of local acts competed for the chance to travel to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in January. Singer and harp player Juke Joint Johnny — a.k.a. the "Harmonica Beast of the Southeast" — is a regular fixture at the Lowcountry Blues Club and Lowcountry Blues Bash events. His lively, soulful vibe complements Edwards' grittiest work, from the lumbering Delta blues to the Chicago-style rompers.

T. Ballard Lesemann

Price: $16

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