The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 26, 2013

Octavia Blues Band keeps on grooving



“The chemistry is wonderful. We love what we do and adore sharing it with you,” Octavia said.

“Original music is the character of a band and defines bands from each other. We’ve got tons of good original music many of which will be on my soon-to-be-released sixth album. On the other hand, we all love covers as they seem to mark time.”

Although she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts majoring in sculpture and painting, music has always been her first love and consistent.

That love also helped change her life many years ago during an Etta James concert at the Keystone in Berkeley.

Upon hearing Octavia play a few notes from her trusty harmonica, James handed her the mic and shortly after the concert, James asked the young musician to join her tour.

During the next several years, after touring with James, Octavia continued performing with a wide variety of bands across the U.S. and in Europe including The Allman Brothers Band, Freddy King, Gil Scott-Heron and The Iguanas.

Equally impressive are the acts Octavia and her band have opened for. They include B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Delbert McClinton, Elvin Bishop and The Muddy Waters Blues Band.

Other high points for the band include performing at the Gettysburg Blues Festival last month and a gig at the Baltimore Zoo for a crowd of 4,500 where they performed a mix of covers and original tunes.

Those original tunes is what recently helped the band, based in Lancaster County, win the opportunity to attend the International Blues Challenge in Memphis early next year, an honor they are proud to have bestowed upon them.

“I always yearned to play music and found the guitar fulfilled my needs at age 13. I purchased my first harmonica at age 16 and have stayed on a constant road of honing my skills since then,” Octavia said. “There’s something about that harmonica, a magic from the first time I played it which has driven me to who I am today.”

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