Monday, December 10, 2012

International Blues Challenge

International Blues Challenge

Alabama Music goes to Memphis, TN to attend the 25th International Blues Challenge. The world's largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Act ready to take their act to the international stage.
The Blues Foundation held its 25th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis from February 4th-7th, 2009. This year's challenge features 100 bands and 64 solo/duo acts from 36 states and 9 countries, including Canada, Australia, Israel, Italy, Norway, and, of course, the United States.
IBC winners are chosen in two categories - Blues Band and Solo/Duo Act - and the competitors are chosen by The Blues Foundation and affiliated organizations (mostly local and regional blues societies). Winners are chosen by their performances; IBC semi-final performances were held on Thursday and Friday at local Memphis clubs, and final competitions were held at The Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, February 7th.
To come out on top in the International Blues Challenge can be a real career-maker. The list of current blues artists who have participated in, or won the IBC is impressive, and includes such critical faves as Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Watermelon Slim, Jason Ricci, Albert Cummings, Eden Brent, and the late Sean Costello, among many others.
Prizes, including cash, gigs, instruments, and publicity services are awarded to the top three Blues Band and the top two Solo/Duo finalists, along with categories like "Best Guitarist" and "Best Self-Produced CD."
Blues-rock trio JP Soars and the Red Hots took first place in the Blues Band category. Sponsored by the South Florida Blues Society, Soars also took the IBC's "Best Guitarist" Awards.
Piedmont blues guitarist Little Joe McLerran earned first place for Solo/Duo with his old-school, acoustic-style approach to the country blues. Sponsored by the Blues Society of Tulsa, Little Joe is a young 24 years old chronologically, but the guitarist possesses an old soul with an undeniable blues heart. This was his fourth IBC appearance.

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