It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive characteristics.James Weldon Johnson
Let’s Connect, Bradenton!
Sundays are about to get funky. Independent Jones and Bradenton-based blues artist Lauren Mitchell are teaming up to bring Sunday Soul Sessions starting in January 2020. The monthly event will feature a top blues/soul act and will be hosted at secret locations throughout the Bradenton-Metro area.
Mitchell, who recently joined Independent Jones, is excited to fill a void that was left when the popular music venue, Ace’s Live, closed last year.
“We have a large blues-loving community in Bradenton and when Ace’s closed, there really wasn’t anywhere to go on a regular basis to see and hear live Blues/Soul music,” Mitchell said.
“After some brainstorming, Morgan and I came up with the idea of a once-monthly concert series that featured Blues/Soul artists. As an artist, I always enjoy the idea of performing a Sunday ‘matinee’ kind of show. It’s a nice way for both musicians and fans to wind down the weekend and head into a new work week with some joy.”
Mitchell joins co-founders, Morgan Bettes and Wade Hamilton of Independent Jones – a local promotions company formed in 2015. The company focuses on event planning, booking, and live music in the Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch area.
“We want to bring quality bands to local audiences and quality audiences to local bands,” said Hamilton.
That’s exactly what Mitchell promises to deliver for Soul Sessions. “We are working to create a real listening environment. We’ve specifically matched each venue to the artist playing, so the musicians can showcase their best work,” she said.
“We want both the artists and the audience to come away with the feeling that they’ve shared something special.”
The lineup will include some of blues music’s hottest acts. They include Johnny Rawls, Kat Riggins, David Julia, Bobby Blackmon, Sugar & Spice, and CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion. Each performer was specifically chosen by Mitchell with careful consideration.
“I chose each artist based on the fact that I know they bring something special to the stage. Everyone on the lineup sings & plays from the heart. That was the first item on my list of criteria when I started putting our idea into action,” she said.
Mitchell is easing into her new role as Artist Relations and brings a unique perspective with her own experience as a performer. Working on the opposite end has been an eye-opening experience.
“I’m learning a lot,” she said. “Morgan and I come from opposite ends of the spectrum when presenting a show. She’s teaching me about permitting, logistics & budgeting and I’m teaching her about how to streamline the process for the artists.”
Another plus – she’s able to provide musical opportunities for her peers and other artists based locally and around the country.
“I love calling my friends on the ‘blues circuit’ and telling them I want to hire them,” she said.
Sunday Soul Sessions will take place the first Sunday of every month, beginning on January 5th at 4:00pm with Johnny Rawls and will continue through June 7, 2020. Ticket holders will receive location details 24 hours in advance of show.