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Downtown Blues Concert: Lauren Mitchell/Sheba the Mississippi Queen

November 30, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm


Jack Sullivan of Blues Music Magazine called her “a mesmerizing performer, with a voice for the ages”, and she will be in Gainesville Friday, November 30. Sarasota-based Blues and soul vocalist Lauren Mitchell will be playing the Bo Diddley Plaza for a free show to kick off the Downtown Festival & Art Show weekend, presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society.

Mitchell was nominated in the Best Soul/Blues and Rising Star categories by Blues Blast Magazine, and her 2017 album Desire reached the top of the Roots Music Report Soul/Blues chart. Mitchell doesn’t just sing Blues and soul (although she does so with great power, range, and passion), she is also a student of those genres and the people who sang them.

Blues legend Etta James is one of Lauren Mitchell’s major influences. “She had that low register which I identify with. She had a way of presenting a song that really got down to business, digging in and touching the emotions and the meaning of the song. “ No less than Etta’s long-time producer and guitarist Josh Sklair, a Grammy Award Winner, thinks Lauren’s talent embodies some of Etta, saying “I miss Etta a little less when I hear Lauren sing”.

“Sometimes people don’t understand that the blues is a song of victory,” Mitchell says. “The Blues is a way to say, ‘I have overcome.’ I’m over it, and now I’m turning it into this beautiful thing that I can give to the world that can help someone else heal, or feel better, or just open up a conversation.”

Appearing last in Gainesville earlier this year at the wildly successful Women in Blues showcase, this show will provide two hours of Lauren commanding talent for your enjoyment.

Also playing will be Sheba the Mississippi Queen & the Bluesmen. Sheba the Mississippi Queen was born in Sunflower, Mississippi, and her career has taken her to New York City and Miami, where she gained fame as a uniquely talented singer and spellbinding live performer. Now making Ocala her home, she regularly delights North Florida audiences with her powerful and passionate voice, and the ability to thrill and chill equally. People love her heartfelt, real-life Blues lyrics with music that carries the listener to the dance floor. Her supporting band includes musicians that have played with such stars as Buddy Guy and Bo Diddley. Sheba the Mississippi Queen & the Bluesmen will be representing Gainesville at the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Sweet William, an acoustic Blues and Country singer from Palatka that will also be representing the region at the 2019 International Blues Challenge, will open the show at 7 pm. Sheba the Mississippi Queen & the Bluesmen start at 8 pm, and Lauren Mitchell takes the stage at 9 pm.

The Downtown Blues Concert is an annual event presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society, and funded in part by the Alachua County Tourist Development Tax and The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Outside Agency Grant.

The North Central Florida Blues Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, cultivation, nurturing and promotion of Blues Music.


November 30, 2018
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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Bo Diddley Plaza
111 E University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601 United States
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