Jacksonville music community options expand with Sam Ash opening

Sam Ash Music Stores recently opened a new store in Jacksonville (FL), at the former George’s Music location on Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. Several thoughts occurred to me as I read comments on a Facebook thread about the new store. Searching for information, I learned some interesting things about the latest option in shopping for the Jax music community.

Travel set for record highs ahead of Christmas; Florida wins top destinations

If you’re traveling this Christmas, you’re not alone. You’ll be one of an expected 112.5 million travelers hitting the roads. The good news is that not everyone is heading in the same direction. For Floridians, the news is a mix. My home state will benefit from all those travelers’ dollars, but three Florida cities are in the top ten destinations, and that means serious traffic on I-95 and other major highways. 

Gunboat Diplomats’ song picked for use in Shyamalan film ‘Glass’

Indie Art South has followed recording group Gunboat Diplomats for quite some time, reporting favorably on their compositions. Now the Jacksonville Beach (FL) group has reasons to celebrate something besides Christmas. Keith Holmes, who does lead vocals on the song, “Crazy About You,” told IAS the song will be included in content for use in M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Glass. Holmes isn’t shouting the news from the rooftops—he shared it as an aside in an email exchange in response to my mentioning song licensing opportunities. 

Georgia film fest taps Jacksonville’s Jared Rush for social director

Jared Rush, with Third Man Entertainment, is on the road (and in the air) a lot these days as he travels to places on behalf of an industry that’s a perfect fit for him. Rush is a familiar when it comes to local arts of any kind, from music to film to visual art. Now the Mosaic Film Festival has tapped the Jacksonville native for social director ahead of the 2019 event.

Afternoon at Amelia Island, a postcard worthy place

Over the weekend, Rebecca performed solo at Amelia Island Coffee, a shop smack in the middle of the central district on the island. A group of us decided to head that way to spend the afternoon and maybe get in a little early Christmas shopping. Amelia Island has always been one of my favorite places in Florida. The town is friendly, picturesque, and very accommodating to visitors. While she was setting up equipment and everyone in our party was getting settled, I strolled Centre Street. There’s something there for everyone. As I shopped, I encountered people from all over the

In Jax, two talented musicians definitely on an ‘Eternal Odyssey’

Jacksonville’s best kept secret is the city’s diverse music community. From rap to country to blues to metal to everything in between, this sprawling Florida city has an abundance of musicians doing live music every night of the week. Now two Jacksonville musicians, brothers Kent and Brent Smedley, have announced a new album due out from Combat Records, part of the EMP Label group, in early 2019. For both these musicians, music has indeed been an ‘Eternal Odyssey’, the namesake for their new musical endeavors. 

Hurricane on the brain as Michael comes ashore, but storms date to antiquity

Sometimes when you’re listening to coverage about extreme weather events, you just have to laugh. Last night, I was watching the 11 o’clock news. The coverage opened with content about Hurricane Michael and its impact on Florida. The reporter breathlessly noted breaking news in an area the storm would likely target. What was the breaking news? 

Inmate’s children’s book surfaces; his case continues to haunt me

I mentioned artistic talent in a recent column about inmate Taylor Wells who is serving a life sentence in a Florida prison as a result of the Felony Murder rule—the hand of one is the hand of all. Years ago I learned about Taylor, and I wrote columns and talked about his case on radio gigs. Taylor’s longtime advocate Beth Cioffoletti, located a children’s book Taylor wrote. I remember reading it years ago, and I remember my angst over talent and what might have been.

Godfrey’s ‘Kill’ film heads for world tour

After viewing Durden Godfrey’s I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday, I hoped those involved in promoting it would launch it to a wider audience. The premiere played to a sold-out crowd. Now there’s an encore in Jacksonville, and I highly recommend it. The Jax encore isn’t the only future this indie film has, though. 

Hurricane Florence poised to interrupt everything, including music

Hurricanes are the great interrupters, and if you have lived on the East coast of the US, you know the drill. Right now forecasters place North Carolina as Hurricane Florence’s most likely target, but wind and rain will affect many who are outside the direct hit area. Business takes a wallop, and consequently, so do working musicians. 

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