Monday, August 23, 2010

IBC Update

There are four preliminary rounds in Denver’s International Blues Challenge competition this year, and three of them are finished. My band Roadhouse Joe won the first prelim, beating some solid local blues acts with good credentials: Catfish Cray, Teresa Lynn, Eef and the Groovy Blues Express, Another Kind of Magick (an amazing group of young teens from Cheyenne WY) and a couple other bands.

The second prelim was won by Papa Juke, with harp player/band leader Mad Dog Friedman. Lionel Young won the 3rd prelim round. I was there at the Outlook in Boulder to watch and it was one helluva show.

Lionel Young won it all in 2008. He entered as a solo/duo act and took top honors in Memphis. The band he put together for this year is tight and talented, with a polished stage presence. He beat some great bands yesterday in Boulder, including Taylor Marvin, The Mighty Jivesters, and Eric Boa and the Constrictors.

Now, my band has to face Lionel in the regional finals on Sept 12, and we’ll need our A game (and then some) to advance to Memphis.

Interesting note: All of the winning bands so far in the prelim rounds have harp players, and harp players have been rather scarce among the competitors.

The last of the prelim rounds is next Sunday at the Toad Tavern in Littleton. There are some really strong bands in this round, including The Informants, Doc Brown, and Rachel Jane & The Hurricane.

I’m excited about the finals. It’s fun to play and compete against such talented bands. The Denver metro area has about 3 million people and a surprisingly robust blues scene. The quality of players at my blues jam is impressive, and the number of good blues bands is remarkable when you get them together to compete.

UPDATE: Here is the band that won the last prelim round of the local IBC, The Informants.

UPDATE II: The Lional Young Band won the finals. We kicked ass, took names, had a blast, and settled for second best.

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