Hah hah bet that title got your attention!
Well no they did not go cannibal on the ‘kids’ but they did do a great job of showcasing many a fine young band and solo artists during the competition.
What stuck out for me and Blues411 was the level of the youngin’s in the main challenge. Some amazing artists there, and I selected three of them to follow and spend some time with while there. After the IBC’s we asked them what they were now up to and any thoughts that they would like to share with our readers.
So here goes, please welcome Matt Tedder (Nashville Blues Society), Matt Weidinger (Grand River Blues Society) and Micah Kesselring (Cleveland Blues Society). I guess i got stuck on the M’s?
MATT TEDDER Matt Tedder Web Site
Matt is an eighteen year old guitarist, singer-songwriter. He first picked up a guitar at age seven and began taking lessons, and soon decided that this way going to be his life’s pursuit. He first appeared on stage at age nine, at seventeen he moved to Nashville to further pursue the dream.
I first met Matt while listening to some artists at Silky O’Sullivan’s we were laughing about a super fun performance by John Carl Escue, from the San Angelo Blues Society. Silky’s is basically a piano venue so seeing a solo guitar cat there was unusual to begin with and when John Carl went off we just looked at each other and smiled.
Those smiles led to us talking and, as is the way with me, talking crap. He gave it right back and when he told me he was performing I threatened to come see him the next day, and he’d better be good. So making a note in my program of where he would be playing (King’s Palace) I figured I’d would stop by for a quick hit of him.
With the arrival of Thursday I went over to see the Galaxie Agency Showcase of Stars at B.B. King’s. They always put on a splendid line up and this year was no different. Featuring Markey Blue, John Nemeth and the Bo-Keys, plus many more I was hoping to catch some Andy T & Nick Nixon who have been good friends since my first visit to the IBC’s. These cats from Nashville took me in and made me feel welcomed so they get my support whenever and however I can.
The grapevine had Janiva Magness stopping by to jam with Andy & Nick so that’s a no brainer for me, but what to my surprise there up on stage with Janiva and band is, Matt Tedder. This kid was like VISA, everywhere I wanted to be!
His performance that night in the solo duo was good enuf to get him into the semi’s and further into the finals. I found him in the halls of the Orpheum theatre and honestly congratulated him and told him how proud I was to know him, and that he made a helluva lot of fans this week and to be encouraged and positive moving forward.
Here are his comments that he just sent us to share with you as to what he is up to and looking forward to doing.
“Hello! I’m thrilled to be a part of your article. Now I am just trying to get any gig I can. Nashville is treating me well, as it does to everybody. It’s a friendly town despite what most think. As far as a CD goes I don’t have one out but I’ve been really eager to get one out. So right now I’m looking for the right studio and things of that nature. I don’t have any mentors out here in Nashville.
I had a guitar teacher back home that I owe a lot to because he taught me a very strong foundation of the blues. His name is Dennis Dullea. My parents of course for all their support.
Keith Richards. Without him even knowing it he is my mentor. It inspires me to see someone so true to themselves and honest about everything. And the music, riffs, lyrics, he’s a giant. But out of all of that and after many years of fortune and fame he is a gentleman.”
MATT WEIDINGER Matt Weidinger Web Site
A twenty year old with who is an old soul. Matt takes his inspiration from Ray Charles, Leon Russell and cooks it up into his own brand of blues that satisfies. Working his way up through the southern Ontario music scene over the last five years, he is equally proficient on B3, piano and guitar. He easily connects with his audience and the joy he spreads is contagious – much like that Delta Crud!.
So it is another cold and grey morning in Memphis, and we are eating breakfast in the hotel lobby, next to us are two folks who are looking at tourist books and such so we start a conversation about Memphis – this leads to asking if they are here for the IBC? Well yes their son is performing and “oh, here he is” this is how Matt Wiedinger and us meet. We talk about going to the Stax Museum and the M3 that Booker T. Jones played on “Green Onions” and about our Canadian pals, Shawn Kellerman, and Lucky Peterson a B3 master. So there is that spark of connection and well, we might as well go see if this kid’s got the chops.
OK quick tie in here…remember earlier I mentioned meeting Matt Tedder at Silky’s, well we went there to see Matt Weidinger, such is the muse that guides us all.
Matt’s show was amazingly good. Well let’s say he had the balls to do Ray Charles “Georgia” and then Van Morrison’s “One Sweet Kiss” in the set, and had the crowd singing right along with him. He possesses a deep voice with a ton of texture, while his keyboard skills are worthy of their own paragraph.
We caught up with him and these are the words he shared for all of us.
“ Hey, Sorry for the late response, still getting myself back together after Memphis! Right now I am working on my songs and just trying to become a better singer and instrumentalist. I like to take the time and do this as often as possible.
Things end up getting busy and I find myself with no time to work on my craft so right now that is what I am up to, aside from some regular dates I have in my calendar. I would say if there is anything I would share based on my experience in the IBC its to just do what you do. I could have made my set bluesier but I didn’t feel like that was being me and I can walk away now saying that what I did was 100% me. And that feels good! Hope that works on your end! B3 Teacher: His name is John Lee. Thanks, Matt ”
Video of Matt doing a bang up Joe Cocker
MICAH KESSELRING Micah Kesselring Website
Micah Kesselring has performed blues music since he was 14 years old. Raised in the Appalachia foothills of southeastern Ohio, and starting out playing smaller venues, he quickly made his way onto the Columbus blues music scene, becoming acquainted with the Columbus Blues Alliance and eventually making his way down to Memphis, TN for the International Blues Challenge. Following a performance at the Blues City Cafe on Beale Street, he was awarded the first Youth Showcase Generation Blues scholarship at the age of 15 to the Centrum Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival & Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington, which was presented to him by Cassie Taylor at the IBC band finals. Micah later went on to perform as a special guest with the Otis Taylor Band at the Blues Music Awards in May of 2009. Micah is a three time IBC semi-finalist. Completely self taught combines unique aspects of Piedmont and country blues which he calls “Appalachia Blues”.
At last year’s IBC jam at the New Daisy – once again kudos to Jonn Richardson & Sean Carney for all they do in hosting this great event – I saw a young cat in a nice hat up there playing and just grooving on the whole scene. I later learned that it was Micah Kesselring, we sorta kept in touch thru facebook and he sent me his new release ‘ Log Cabin Blues’. This year as I was standing in whatever sun there was available, it was a cold sun too, this young cat comes right on up to me and gives a big hug and says hi and thanks and (let’s get biblical here) Lo! it was Micah. It was so great to see him. we chatted about his music and all those things and he was a very pleasant young dude, my only regret was that I didn’t have a cool lanyard to give him.
I promised that I would get over to his shows, which were way over at the Westin, and in this weather it was a freakin’ cold hike, but the good news was they had a quality stocked bar.
I was totally unprepared for what Micah putout from the stage. Huge booming voice, rhythmic alternate picking and a bass line that rocked that back bone, His sound is older than the words he sings, his presentation in one capable of making a large room small and intimate and his guitar skills are top shelf. I posted some quick photos from the Westin (lighting was so-so for a phone camera) but did a artsy-fartsy edit on one, and his mom loved it so that was a good result. He did not make it thru to the finals but he is still a winner, his new release is getting spun on A Baker’s Dozen of Blues Internet Radio and he is busy working on his craft, as his note to us says.
“Hi ! Currently I am riding the wave of my first album being released, which came out in the fall. I’m a completely self taught musician, and most of the time I am listening to old recordings and learning how to play them, always expanding and improving my repertoire.
I’ve also been writing a lot, I’ve got about 2 albums worth of material that I look forward to putting down soon. Sean Carney and I have been like brothers for years, he’s trying to get me over to Europe for some shows next year, which would be really great. Other than that I am staying busy playing shows in and around Ohio, and doing my best to keep the blues alive everywhere I go!”
Steady Rollin’ Man from Sean Carney’s Blues For a Cure
So that’s our dive into the up and coming pool of young blues artists, yes there were many more there, we met so many. Sometimes tho’ ya go with the connections and the feelings that happen on the street, the chance meetings and they take you where you should be. I am grateful to have met these young artists, they are all amazingly talented and driven to succeed. They understand what it takes and what it takes out of them to do what they do.
I always hear folks quoting the Buddy Guy song, “who’se gonna fill these shoes”, like it is gospel, well y’all there ain’t no gap out there you just ain’t looked for it- it won;t come to to you if ya don’t look for it. Get out there, hit them local clubs, see the local state run blues challenges. Go to festivals where many artists are showcased, yeh we can see Buddy, and Otis and Irma and Janiva, yeh but you need to open them eyes and ears up to the ‘others’. I used these known names as examples because I know they agree with me, and they do all they can to support up and coming artists.
I am grateful that we are not aligned with any state society really, it gives us a unique perspective to see whomever we want to see, to view with unaligned ears and see with eyes wide open and evaluate on an even level.
I want to thanks Matt, Matt & Micah for taking the time from their, indeed, hectic lives to spend time with us.
Keep playing the music that inspires you for it will inspire us all. Feed that Muse and she will allow you to shine.
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Photos by; Leslie K. Joseph
Where Blues Thrives