MARIETTA - A solo blues singer from West Virginia was the winner of the 21st annual River City Ohio Blues Competition in Marietta.
Following two days of music at the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Marietta, Chris Sutton of Barboursville, W.Va., was chosen Sunday night as the winner of the competition.
He was followed by The Michael Gough Group, of South Union, Ky., in second place and Chaz Humley and The Effects, from Teays Valley, W.Va., in third place.
A total of 16 blues acts from several states competed Friday and Saturday in the competition, which is organized by the Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society in Marietta. The acts competed for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in 2014 in Memphis, Tenn.
The cash prizes are $1,000 for first (with $500 more for registration for the International Blues Challenge), $500 for second and $300 for third.
The River City Ohio Blues Competition is the oldest and largest blues talent competition in Ohio, with local and regional blues acts from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states.
The IBC represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its affiliated organizations for the blues band and blues solo/duo most deserving of taking their act to the international stage.
In previous years, the competition winner has also performed during the annual River City Blues Festival in Marietta. In a change for this year's event, the winner of the blues competition will be the opening night performer of that event, scheduled for March 15-16 for its 22nd year, organizers said.
Other acts scheduled to perform at the festival in March include Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Rocky Lawrence, the Jake Leg Stompers, Eddie Shaw and Zac Harmon.