The day started off with Michael “Hawkeye” Herman telling blues stories, including a couple of bluesmen who got paid a vast sum of money to play a single song, (Sittin’ on top of the World), for a young couple who turned out to be Bonnie & Clyde! Blues lovers were eating Ribs at various locations on Beale by the truckload as the streets filled with energy and blues poured out of a dozen halls and joints.
The Blind Raccoon Showcase gave a number of extremely talented acts a chance to shine to a packed house, as Levee Town, Mary Bridgett Davies, past IBC winner Grady Champion, and more fed fans a huge dose of the blues.
The competition was fierce, as the talented acts fought diligently for their places among semi-finals. Nobody envied the judge’s difficult decisions. Just as midnight cracked, the winners were announced, and among them were some musicians that had already generated a strong buzz on the streets. See the full IBC semi-finalist list here.
The music kept playing long after the competition. Jams at the New Roxy, Wet Willies, Alfreds, and a youth jam at Hard Rock continued to thrill eager listeners. At Wet Willies, surprise guest Tallan Latz threw the guitar behind his head and ripped through a screaming solo. At New Daisy, Sean Carney hosted an exciting jam on the big stage. Chicago powerhouse Nick Moss and his band the Flip Tops played a rockin’ set at Rum Boogie, electrifying the crowds with his much celebrated rock-twinged take on the blues.
Hey Matt – thanks for the updates. Did you happen to catch the solo/duo act “Roosterfoot?” They and the band “Bush League” are representing our blues society here in Norfolk, VA – The Natchel’ Blues Network. Wish I could be there in Memphis – I know it is rockin’ all this week!