In one variation or another, BlackWater has been playing together for the past three to four years. The band consists of HHS seniors Eli Marshall and Luca Morpurgo and RBHS seniors Bradley Snyder and Seth Hodder. Through the Darkroom Academy of Rock, the band was able to perform at Roots n Blues after winning the Battle of the Bands, which gave them free tickets to the festival. Blackwater entered a competition to play at Roots n Blues, but since the musicians already had tickets another band, Violence of the Violets, was selected instead.
Hodder said his favorite part of performing at the festival was when BlackWater was busking and a sizable crowd gathered to hear them play even though a more well known group was on stage near by. Marshall credits their prime location near the food stands to part of the band’s busking success. The “open minded” musical atmosphere, Hodder said, invites listeners from all walks of life to enjoy the band’s sound.
Although BlackWater said the people at Roots n Blues are not the band’s “usual crowd,” an appeal to busking the musicians noted is the close proximity to the artists. This closeness allows for a more personal experience than that of a large concert or more formal event. Unlike the regular following the band members said they typically have at their shows, festival goers included a wider variety of new faces. BlackWater’s time at Roots n Blues allowed it to gain exposure to a more diverse demographic of people from Columbia and around the country than simply with the listeners who hear them play at Cafe Berlin.