It’s time for local music fans to help crown the inaugural champion of the Orlando Sentinel online Battle of the Bands. The competition opens for voting on Friday, July 18 with the first round closing on Tuesday, July 22 at noon. The winner will be announced online August 8.
The chosen bands represent a variety of genres and most of them are based in and around Orlando. According to the article in the Orlando Sentinel, the bands were chosen for skill, ambition and heart. The list of bands in the battle cover folk, pop, rock, reggae, ska, soul, jazz, country, blues, rap and more.
The Battle of the Bands is being done NCAA bracket style. The initial list of 32 bands will be cut to 16 and then 8 and then 4 before it becomes a head-to-head competition. The second round voting begins on July 22, the third round on July 25, the fourth round on July 29 and the fifth and final round on August 1.
Round one list:
Thomas Wynn and the Believers vs. The Supervillains
Matthew Fowler vs. Solillaquists of Sound
Big Jef Special vs. The Sh-Booms
Reggie Williams vs. The Outer Toons
Saskatchewan vs. Beautiful Chorus
Gerry Williams Band vs. Paddington Ambush
The Fallen Sons vs. The Ludes
Kaleigh Baker and N.E.M. vs. Hadley’s Hope
Chasing Jonah vs. funkUs
The Legendary JCs vs. Beth McKee
Emily Kopp vs. E-Turn & SPS
Bloody Jug Band vs. Absinthe Trio
Beebs and Her Money Makers vs. Terri Binion
Laney Jones vs. Built to Be Broken
The Hindu Cowboys vs. The Jonnie Morgan Band
Ancient Sun vs. RJ Harman & Company
This is a popularity contest so music fans need to vote often for their favorites. Bands are being encouraged to promote the competition heavily on their social media sites and fans can vote more than once. Music fans can vote here.
The Orlando Local Music Examiner asked several of the bands what the best part about the Orlando music scene was and here are their responses:
“The diversity yet strong sense of community among Orlando musicians is what resonates with me. We have so much to learn from and share with each other and we do! I am inspired by every act on this list.” – Beth McKee
“The best part is that it’s a tough scene. What I mean by this is you have to work extremely hard to build your following. In some cities it comes very naturally and then when the artist goes outside of its comfort zone it realizes the work that needs to be done and how hard it actually is in other cities. Orlando prepares you for the road.” – Jonnie Morgan
“The Orlando music scene has some of the most truly masterful vocalists and musicians of anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s home to a level of skill that is commonly reserved for huge cities, and a personable nature about it that is normally only found in down-home, small town communities. It’s got the best of both.” - Alexandrah Love of Solillaquists of Sound, Beautiful Chorus
“For most music fans, I’d say the best thing about Orlando’s music scene is the amazingly good quality and diversity of the music being made by the bands and musicians who comprise it, but as a musician myself, I strongly believe that the best thing is the camaraderie that exists among the many talented bands and musicians. There is a very real sense of brotherhood and sisterhood as we all try and navigate this business of making music together instead of opting for a competitive stance against one another, as I’ve witnessed in other music scenes. I am proud of my fellow musicians and even more so to be a part of a scene that supports, encourages and inspires each other and works together toward making our scene a better place for us all, bands and fans alike, which is how things like Jambando even exist. So, though this battle of the bands that The Orlando Sentinel is putting on seems like a competition, we choose to view it more as a game we are all playing together and are so thankful to be included; we’re gonna have a whole lotta fun with this along the way!” Dave Mann of funkUs