Right at home: Conrad Oberg’s Friday Night Rock Revival at Mojo’s

photo: Madison Gross

Conrad_Oberg_photo_4For most of his young life, words like child prodigy, guitar phenom, and musical genius have often been tossed around to describe Conrad Oberg. The musician, blind since birth, tears through a repertoire ranging from Beethoven to B.B. King with polished precision. Beginning this month, Oberg adds “artist-in-residence” to his impressive list of distinctions.Oberg, 22, will begin his Friday night residency April 8 at Mojo Kitchen in Jacksonville Beach. Billed as Conrad Oberg’s Friday Night Rock Revival, it’s an exclusive opportunity for local fans to experience Oberg in a free, local environment. The shows will begin at 9:30 and are open to the public.

“It’s going to be an All-American rock ‘n roll show,” says Oberg. “All the different types of rock and years of rock ranging from Chuck Berry all the way down to Hendrix and Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers and just about everything in between.” As a touring musician who has played across the country since the age of 10, Conrad Oberg’s Friday Night Rock Revival offers Oberg a unique platform to demonstrate the wide berth of his exceptional musical abilities. One night might lean more toward rockabilly while the next week could be blues-based or focus on southern rock or classic rock to keep the show fresh.

While his guitar prowess is astounding, Oberg will incorporate everything from gypsy jazz music to classical piano and organs into his shows. A self-taught piano player at the staggering age of two, Oberg is a musical marvel. He received his first guitar and recorded his first album “Decade” at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis backed by Jerry Lee Lewis’ band. Oberg began performing at regional festivals and clubs before receiving the honor of opening the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in 2009 at the age of 15 at the site of the original 1969 festival, performing for an audience of 35,000.

Conrad-Oberg-photo-3When developing the concept for Oberg’s Friday Night Rock Revival, Oberg says the partnership with Mojo Kitchen was a natural fit. He has literally grown up playing the venue and when it came time to find a hometown stage for the next few months while he completes his latest, as-yet-untitled, it was a no-brainer. “We’ve been playing at Mojo’s off and on for at least 10 years or so. They’ve always been real good to us. We decided because they’ve been so good to us and the crowds are always so supportive that it would be a good choice,” says Oberg, noting that he plans to test out some of the new material on a live audience. “We’re definitely going to try and throw some of that stuff in there.”

Oberg is locked in every Friday night through June at Mojo’s and will release his new project in late summer. “It’s going to be a mixture of all the stuff I’ve been writing over the years,” Oberg says. “It’s going to be the first all original record we’ve ever done, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.” Mojo Kitchen is getting back to its roots as a live music venue and is excited to have Oberg establish himself as its first artist-in-residence to help accomplish that.

Oberg has generated an international audience of nearly 4 million YouTube viewers and has performed with bands such as The Blind Boys of Alabama, Mofro, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. He recorded his first live album at the world-famous Iridium Club on Broadway in New York City as part of the Les Paul Centennial Celebration. Oberg was voted the most talented teen musician in the country by 12 million Cartoon Network viewers in 2008 and was featured in an episode-long spot on their show Props. Oberg’s extraordinary musical abilities have been covered by media outlets such as CNN, USA Today, Rolling Stone, NPR, and Premiere Guitar Magazine.

Conrad will also be performing at Sunday’s Springing The Blues Music Fest opening on the Main Stage at noon and again at 4:00 on the Blues Lounge stage.

About Liza Mitchell

april, 2022

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