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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I first ‘met’ Taylor Wells years ago. I came to know him well enough to accept his calls from a Florida prison. I came to know his advocate Beth Cioffoletti. Beth and I have since become cyber-friends who often disagree on politics but who are united in believing Wells should not serve more time for his role in a night of crime. Taylor is gifted in the arts, and that night not only derailed a potential career in the arts, but also the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Yesterday I got a text from a loved one who wanted to know if all my family in Jacksonville was okay. Media were reporting a mass shooting in Jacksonville. I turned on the TV and watched as the latest assault on innocents commenced. I am still dismayed at the loss of lives and the injuries. I am still not surprised, however, by what happened on social media before the bodies and injured victims were removed from the site.
I finally got to watch the screener of Durden Godfrey’s film I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday. I had to watch it on devices other than our TV, so I hope to see it soon on a bigger screen. I’d go so far as to say this is one of the best indie films I’ve seen. Before I write another word, I have to disclose something.
Reviews have rolled in for an indie film produced by Durden Godfrey in Jacksonville. The overwhelmingly positive response is resulting in an opportunity for the indie film community in Jacksonville.