A fleeting, magical moment at a Florida music festival led to a collaboration that has had fans of roots and blues music raving ever since.
It happened three years ago at a post-festival party jam session hosted by a club that sponsored the festival. That was the first time Damon Fowler, J.P. Soars and Victor Wainwright played together. They are now known collectively as blues supergroup Southern Hospitality.
“We all got up, started playing, jamming and, just naturally, it felt really good,” Fowler recalls in an interview from his home near Tampa. “There was a guy there that was like, ‘Hey man, I want to hire y’all for this event that we have every year and I want this lineup right here to come down and do it.’”
Though guitarists Fowler and Soars and pianist Wainwright are all bandleaders on their own projects, they agreed.
But to make it worthwhile for Wainwright, who lives in Memphis, to come back to Florida — the home base for Fowler and Soars — they organized a mini-tour of the state with about seven dates, Fowler says.
The jam band didn’t even have a name. They just called it the Southern Hospitality Tour, Fowler says. But by the time they reached the event, they were getting offers for more work. READ MORE