28th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Next week, between Jan. 31st through Feb. 4th, several well deserved and talented acts will be going to Memphis to perform in the world's largest gathering of Blues musicians. Blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition.
The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues acts ready to take their act to the international stage. In 2011, 110 bands and 83 solo/duo acts entered, filling the clubs up and down Beale Street for the quarter-finals on Wednesday and Thursday, the semi-finals on Friday and the finals at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday. They will have at least that many in 2012.
The Washington Blues Society (WBS) will be sending The WIRED! Band and Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely, along with the South Sound Blues Association who will be sending Red Hot Blues Sisters and Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia Agrelius.
I thought you might like to read a little about these blues artists, so this post is dedicated to the 2012 Washington delegation heading to Memphis. Good luck!!!
The WIRED! Band -
The WIRED! Band" return to the IBC this year having just
won the Washington Blues Society Best Blues Act Award, with front man
Kevin Sutton taking home Best Songwriter and Best Performer awards.
Perennial Pacific Northwest rhythm kings Rick (the stick) Jacobson is on
drums, with his uncle and Seattle legend Kieth Bakke on bass.
Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely -
Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely, an eclectic blues duo, at times acoustic, always electric. Randy has spent much of his life guitar slingin' on the road, blending soul, rock, New Orleans rhythm and delta blues with dynamic vocals, living by the credo: "If there's no feeling, you're just wasting your breath". Randy also spent 10 years in LA doing sessions and sideman work. Taking his vast repertoire north, he joined Jeff in fronting a popular Seattle area blues band at the turn of the century. Jeff is well traveled with his harmonicas, playing everything from loose pickin’ parties to tight funk ‘n soul shows, forever capturing the true rhythm and soul of the blues.
The Red Hot Blues Sisters -
Red Hot Blues Sisters have successfully toured US,
Europe, and Canada for 8 years.
Founded by Teri Anne Wilson–guitar and Suze Sims-vocal, they have taken
the Blues industry by surprise with the depth of their performance,
songwriting & superb musicianship.
This 7-piece band represents the Northwest Blues cream of the crop,
resulting in numerous awards!
2011/’08 Best Band - SS Blues Association, 2011/'09 Best Vocalist, '09
Best Band WA Blues Society.
Their one two punch of burning vocal genius & blazing sweet blues
guitar captivates audiences who love the innovative original songwriting
& fresh unique soulful style of blues they bring to live
performances and recordings.
Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia -
Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia Agrelius This Dynamic Duo will be representing the South Sound Blues Association at the 2012 IBC. Felicia (15) has been playing drums since the age of 8. Despite being prominent in the school’s band, and an unwarranted infatuation with Pink Floyd, Felicia always knew that her real love in drumming was of Blues and Jazz. She and Josh have been playing music together for several years know. Jumpin’ Josh Violette (14) has been playing guitar since the age of 8. Josh is a true blues entertainer at heart and has been performing all around the Northwest at festivals and shows from the age of 9. This dynamic Duo has the talent, and maturity of playing, that rivals that of any seasoned entertainers!