Native Blues Band “Smokestack Lightning” Prepares for International Blues Challenge

Gila Band Smokestack Lightning

Gila Band Smokestack Lightning

Published January 25, 2016

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Smokestack Lightning, a blues band from the Gila River Indian Community, is set to compete in the 32nd International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee, which will be held in the Beale Street Historic District from Jan. 26-30, 2016.

“We are very excited to play in Memphis,” said Smokestack Lightning’s harmonica player Robert Jackson. Smokestack Lightning won the Arizona Blues Showdown at the Rhythm Room blues club on Sept. 27, 2015, earning a chance to compete in the IBC hosted by the Blues Foundation.

Smokestack Lightning has been together since late 2009 and will be representing the Phoenix Blues Society. The band members are Pat Antone (drums, vocals), Mark Leos (bass), Rik Leos (guitar) and Robert Jackson (harmonica, vocals).

“This is a worldwide event and we’re glad to be a part of it,” said Jackson. Smokestack Lightning will be competing with over 250 other bands from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and Australia.

While the band is focused on their Memphis trip, they will have plenty of gigs to play when they return. In addition to their regular shows in the Valley, they will be playing at the upcoming Phoenix Blues Blast, the Old Town Blues Fest in Cottonwood, Ariz., and the Flagstaff Blues & Brews.

“It’s going to be another good year for us,” said Jackson.

Attached is the band’s one-sheet for more information.


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