Singer/songwriter Kelcy Mae, an artist we’ve long admired here at OffBeat (and occasionally published as a freelance writer), is now a contestant in a national country/rock competition jointly sponsored by the Sonicbids website and Pepsi-Cola. All 24 artists hail from the Gulf Coast and are competing for the title of “Southern Original.” The winners will appear in the Pepsi-sponsored “Gulf Coast Jam” on September 28 in Panama City Beach, Florida; opening for Toby Keith, Darryl Worley and the Eli Young Band. They’ll also be awarded studio time with a major (as yet unnamed) producer and a development deal with a Nashville management group.
Preliminary votes are being taken now through September 12 on the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam website here, where all 24 artists’ songs are being streamed. They’re also performing through the month at regional playoff events; Kelcy Mae plays this Friday (September 6) at the Double Branch Bar in Troy, AL. The five finalists will compete over the weekend of Keith’s show at the Club La Vela in Panama Beach, with the victor getting to perform before 15,000 fans at the main event.
Shreveport native Kelcy Mae has been touring this summer behind The Fire, an EP that features guitarist Alex McMurray, Revivalists drummer Andrew Campanelli, and members of Rotary Downs, the Revivalists and Afghan Whigs. Earlier this year, OffBeat hosted an exclusive “First Listen” premiere of the track “Oh How the Whiskey” off her EP, a striking gospel-blues tune that hovers somewhere between sin and redemption.
- Stream Kelcy’s music, as well as music from the other “Southern Original” artist contestants here.
- Hover over her photo to vote for Kelcy Mae in the Pepsi “Southern Original” Gulf Coast Jam country/rock finals here.
- More info and tickets for the September 28 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam concert in Florida here.