Damon Fowler's Southern Hospitality records with Tab Benoit before playing Bradenton Blues Festival

wtatangelo@bradenton.comNovember 29, 2012 

Bradenton Beach resident Damon Fowler shook up the blues world in August when his newly formed Southern Hospitality band turned in a sizzling performance at the star-filled Heritage Blues Music Fest in West Virginia.

Although the group name was unknown to the thousands in attendance, the superb players were and they gelled wonderfully.

In addition to Fowler, Southern Hospitality features fellow Florida guitarist/vocalist JP Soars and Memphis-based keyboardist/singer Victor Wainwright. All three artists are big attractions on the blues circuit.

The super group is scheduled to take the stage 1 p.m. Saturday at the Bradenton Blues Festival before launching a tour that includes dates across Europe in the spring.

"I really like playing with JP and Victor and am very excited about the project," Fowler said by phone from his home in Bradenton Beach. "It's come together for a really nice blend. The last tour in August was very musically satisfying."

In addition to live shows, Southern Hospitality just inked a deal with Blind Pig Records. The famed label has issued albums by everyone from Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy to Fowler's recent solo releases.

The trio is rounded out by Fowler's forever bassist Chuck Riley and Soars's drummer Chris Peet.

Southern Hospitality recorded a demo in August at Tony's Treasures in Cadiz, Ohio. They jammed on originals and the Jerry Lee Lewis classic "Don't Boogie Woogie (When You Say Your Prayers)," Fowler said.

Tab Benoit, winner of three Blues Music Awards this year including the prestigious "B.B. King Entertainer of the Year," is producing Southern Hospitality's debut album. It's expected to include originals by all three chief members. Recording took place during Thanksgiving week at the Whiskey Bayou Studio in Houma, La.

"Tab is at the top of his game," Fowler said. "He's an awesome singer with great taste in music who I feel we can connect with and all speak the same (musical) language and come out with a great record."

Details: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Bradenton Riverwalk, 425 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Tickets: $25 (until noon Friday); $30 (gate). Information: 941-681-0708 or www.bradentonbluesfestival.org.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057.Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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