Written by Gretchen Gregory
Photo by Brooke Shanesy
ATHENS — Duke Junior & The Smokey Boots, a country folk quintet based band out of Athens, has been selected to compete in Billboard Magazine’s Battle of the Bands.
As the only band selected in Ohio, and one of three selected to represent the Midwest, Jess Kauffman, vocalist with the band, says it’s an honor.
“We are so excited to be able to represent Ohio in this competition,” she said Wednesday. “We’ve already received so much support from our fans and we are incredibly thankful for that. It’s a great opportunity to get our name out to new people, especially because we will be releasing a new album very soon.”
The first round of the competition includes online voting, which will continue through midnight, April 8, at www.billboard.com/battle. The finalists in each region will roadtrip to Las Vegas and go head-to-head at the Billboard Battle of the Bands. The winner will Perform at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22.
Duke Junior is a country-swing band, with steely country rock sound and jazz twist of sorts.
Their new mp3 “Penny” is on Billboard’s Web site, and is a rough cut of a song on their new album, soon to be released.