Get to Know the Black Opry Revue | Coming to the WJCT Soundstage in February

On Thursday, February 15, right in the middle of Black History Month, we’ll welcome a quartet of musicians from the Nashville-founded collective Black Opry. The traveling showcase, known as the Black Opry Revue aims to put Black country, folk, roots and Americana artists on stages across the country.

Country music has always been both versatile and diverse. Country, blues, folk, and Americana music often overlap or weave together, and the artists touring as part of the Black Opry Revue explore all of those sounds and intersections.

Founded in Nashville by music journalist, artist manager and self-proclaimed “country music disrupter” Holly G, Black Opry was imagined as a supportive space where Black artists – long overlooked and disregarded in the country-music space – could be heard and celebrated.

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“So many of these performers have had experiences with the doors in Nashville being shut in their face due to the color of their skin,” Holly G told the Nashville Scene. “It means a lot to be able to hold a door open for them and hopefully demonstrate to Nashville that continuing to ignore the diversity that exists within country music is a mistake.”

Over the last few years, the collective has continued to grow, its expanding roster of performers earning praise from Rolling Stone, NPR and more. 

“Black Opry is so powerful because it reflects not only this generation of artists, musicians, and songwriters, but also writers, critics, journalists, and fans who are interested in not just amplifying the work of Black country artists and other marginalized communities,” historian and author of Country Soul told Rolling Stone, “but also in creating networks and building a sense of community to avoid dealing with racist institutions.”

In advance of the Black Opry Revue’s visit to Jacksonville, here’s a quick primer on the artists performing.

Black Opry Revue performs on the WJCT Soundstage on Thursday, February 15. Tickets and more information here.

LAYNA

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Blending the colorful sounds of blues, pop, and soul, LAYNA’s music has been called “unique” and “intimate.” A storyteller at heart, LAYNA finds a voice for the voiceless and sings for change. Her songs have told stories about substance abuse, driving under the influence, capitalism, injustice and others yet to be told. Her voice, smooth like the fretboard she plays so well, has been compared to Tracy Chapman and Sara Bareilles.

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Lori Rayne

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Born in Birmingham, AL, Lori Rayne is anything but ordinary when it comes to her take on country music. With influences heavy in ‘90s hip-hop, blues and country, Lori Rayne brings her own twist to the music she creates. With her soulful voice, coupled with story-telling lyrics, and country beats and her music is truly unique. Lori recently released her debut EP entitled 1926, dedicated to her granddad and is continuing to write and record new music in Nashville.

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Mia Borders

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A native of uptown New Orleans, Mia Borders’ powerhouse vocals and compelling songwriting have made her a perennial figure in the regional music scene. Heralded locally and nationally as one of the city’s best talents, Borders has shared bills with B.B. King, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lee Fields and Marc Broussard, among others. Her live shows are regularly praised as “deeply funky” (USA Today) and “confident and cool” (The Times-Picayune). Her expansive catalog includes six LPs, various live albums, five singles, and three EPs – including 2019’s “well-steeped in classic soul” Good Side of Bad (Offbeat Magazine). Borders’ latest self-produced singles include, “Sweater Weather” and “Right on Time,” all released under Borders’ own label, Blaxican Records.

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Jared Michael Cline

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An active performer, musician, and songwriter in Wilmington, NC, Jared Michael Cline aims to connect with his audiences on a level that digs deep below the surface of each and every person in attendance. Citing influences of “life, love, and pain,” Cline’s music addresses subjects often thought of as taboo, or plainly, unspoken.

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Black Opry Revue performs on the WJCT Soundstage on Thursday, February 15. Tickets and more information here.

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