apologies to Mark Cohn . . . .
So after one day of laundry and re-grouping, it’s off to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.
With over 250 bands from around the world competing for the top slots in two categories, this event truly turns Memphis into Blues Mecca.
Uneventful flights down but did enjoy the company of Don Montana, drummer from The C.D. Woodbury Band out of Seattle area, was his first visit and he was looking forward to the networking opportunities as well as jamming into the hours of weeeee while here.
After sharing a cab downtown, we parted and I got my self together and headed down to Beale to see the FedEx International Showcase. This featured around 16 bands from all over the world ranging from South Africa, the Philippines, Spain – pick a nation and they most likely had a band representing them. Exciting stuff, it is always interesting to hear other countries artists take on the Blues. We had hard rocking, fiery lead singing by Heidi Kristine Solheim of the band Pristine (Norway), to the tuba bottomed Big Daddy Wilson Duo from Germany and all stops in between. – very exciting !
While at the New Daisy Theater was great to meet some new friends who are fans of here and re-acquaint with old friends. Roomful of Blues was there and was great to finally meet Phil Pemberton the lead singer for them – they are one hard working band folks. Got to meet several competitors a super musician and gentleman Willie J. Laws representing the Massachusetts Blues Society – a pretty good cook too ! Also made friends with young Trent Romens the nineteen blues-rock guitar player who seemed very comfortable and courteous as he worked the crowd. I look forward to hearing him throw down on the guitar and chatting with him some more. He and other youngin’s are the future of the blues folks.
Everywhere I looked there seemed to be Canadian Bluesfolks, from the stunningly talented Dawn Tyler Watson & Paul Deslauriers, to the booty shaking 24th Street Wailers – heck they even have a showcase sponsored by the Ottawa & Montreal Blues Societies scheduled with goodie bags and stuff, eh! Had a great talk with Kirby Sewell of the eponymous band about music and the ever existing delineations of genres (my favorite topic).
So as if that was not enough, Tas Cru hosted a big jam at Rum Boogie late 0r shall I say early into the morning hours. Always a great jam host, there were way to many great folks jamming down to go mention but it was a super event and the music was over the top. But if you felt the need to ramble Brando Santini was holding court just a few doors away – and that’s a good thing !
Overall it was a great first night here in Memphis, super weather, friendly people and absolutely great music. Hope to keep y’all informed and updated. Remember to check us out on Twitter ‘blues411dotcom’ is our handle (old CB slang LOL) for updates and tweets, and on FaceBook.
Here is a link to some photos from last night to enjoy….
Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease