UofM Talent Will Perform in Blue TOM Music Festival This Is Memphis

October 1, 2015 - Blue TOM Records, the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music's student-run label, will present its fall music festival, This Is Memphis, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Levitt Shell, 1928 Poplar Ave. Free to the public, the concert will feature just a few of the talented artists who attend the University, including Drew Erwin, Ben Callicott, Mary Owens and the Bluff City Soul Collective.

Drew Erwin, a native of Arlington, was a finalist on America's Got Talent in 2012 at the age of 16. Most recently, he opened for Kelly Clarkson in a concert in Little Rock. Because of his overwhelming love for music, Erwin turned down scholarships to play football to pursue his singer-songwriter aspirations at the UofM. For his This Is Memphis performance, he will perform with his close friends and UofM classmates.

With influences from classic soul to today's modern indie, Ben Callicott is bringing his versatile mix to the stage. His easygoing, bluesy style can be compared to John Mayer and Jack Johnson, but with his own Memphis-infused style.

Blue TOM's most recent signee, Mary Owens, has been labeled an "emerging star" from David Porter's Consortium MMT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a viable music industry in Memphis. She will be serenading the crowd with songs from her recently released album Sweet Soul. According to a local review, Owens has "a voice that hovers over the chords until it strikes like lightning."

Bluff City Soul Collective is a newly assembled band formed by students from the Scheidt School of Music. The 12-piece group consists of five top vocalists, a three-piece horn section and a rhythm section. Although it is their first year playing together under Bluff City, each member has years of musical experience that, combined, creates an energetic fusion of talent.

Blue TOM, a division of the UofM's blues label Highwater Records, was founded in spring 2005 by Music Business and Recording Technology majors enrolled in the School of Music's Record Company Operations class. Students are responsible for every aspect of the company's operation, including A&R, recording, production, marketing, artwork, manufacturing, distribution, retail, press and radio promotion.

For more information about Blue TOM, contact Ben Yonas, visiting instructor in Music Business, at 901.678.2567. For more information about the performances, contact Emily Moses at 901.486.0896 or visit www.memphismusicindustry.com. For more information about the Music Industry program at the UofM, contact Jeff Cline at jwcline@memphis.edu or visit www.memphis.edu/music/Academics/musind.php.

Contact: Kimberly Rogers