International Blues Challenge Winners

- Press Release

Each year affiliates of The Blues Foundation send their areas best Blues acts to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in the International Blues Challenge. January 26-28, 2006 marked the 22nd year that the best of the best Blues acts from around the world converged on Memphis. This year saw record numbers of musicians, volunteers and fans. As the numbers grow, so does the talent.

The Blues Foundation and it’s over 140 affiliates (and growing) works hard to insure that the music we love is preserved and promoted to the next generation of Blues fans. This year saw talented musicians from around the world, many are the next generation. They where represented in every venue and at both solo/duo and band finals. Besides the next generation, the present generation of Blues musicians where indeed alive and kicking!

The acts played for two nights in one of 16 venue’s on Beale Street. Acts saw two different sets of three judges. The panels of judges were selected from society officers, all forms of Blues media, Blues promoters, and Blues performers. The entire spectrum of Blues professionals judged and toiled over a specific set of criteria set by The Blues Foundation. Each venue sends one act to compete in finals. The venues as well as finals are separated into two separate divisions. Both are judged by the same set of criteria. Solo/duo Finals where held Saturday at 2:00 pm at the sold out Center for Southern Folklore and Band Finals stared at 8:00 pm at the sold out New Daisy Theater.

Musicians from around the world have commented that just getting the chance to play on historic Beale Street is worth the trip. But after the event they are amazed with the amount of friendships that where formed, not only with other musicians, but with global fans and Blues industry insiders. The networking opportunities for the professional Blues musician at IBC are priceless. Watch your local Blues festivals not only for the winning acts, but for any of the 130 acts that played on historic Beale Street.

And the winners were:

Eden Brent, sponsored by, Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola MS, was judged best in the solo/duo competition Saturday afternoon.

Joey Gilmore, the South Florida Blues Society representative took first place honors in the band division Saturday night.

Aunt Kizzy'z Boyz, with the Blues Lovers United of San Diego finished second.

Jill West and Blues Attack sponsored by The Blues Society of Western PA placed third.

The Albert King Award for most promising guitarist was awarded to Zack Weisinger with the Jill West and Blues Attack.

The solo/duo finalists at the sold-out Center for Southern Folklore Saturday afternoon where:

1. Ben Prestage -- Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast FL- Kings Palace

2. Julien Brunestaud & Gullaume Nouax -- Blues Sur Seine - The Pig on Beale

3. Eden Brent -- Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola MS - Blues Hall

4. Noah Earle -- Kansas City Blues Society KS- The Shake Shack

5. Joe Price -- (Iowa Affiliates)- Celebrities

6. Tommy Keys -- Long Island Blues Society- The Tap Room

The Band Finalist at the sold out New Daisy Thearter where:

1. The Mercury Brothers -- (Iowa Affiliates)- Club 152

2.Lil Cliff and the Cliffhangers -- Downstate NY Blues Association - Blues City

3. The Forty Fours -- Southern California Blues Society - Rum Boogie

4. Michael John & The Bottom Line -- Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society- New Daisy

5. A.J.& the Two Tone Blues Band -- Sonny Boy Blues Society - Wet Willies

6. Mr Nicks Blues Mafia -- Boston Blues Society

7. Aunt Kizzy'z Boyz -- Blues Lovers United of San Diego- Alfreds

8. Jill West and Blues Attack -- Blues Society of Western PA- Pat O’Briens

9. Eoff Brothers Band -- Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas- Club 152 3rd Floor

10. Big Robert T & the Scene of the Crime -- Atlanta Blues Society- BB Kings

11. Joey Gilmore -- South Florida Blues Society- Hard Rock Cafe

Check out Joey's site at http://www.joeygilmore.net/

More on the IBC at http://www.blues.org/

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