They want to spread the message “that we all ‘raise the roof’ by becoming a world-wide community of the blues just like in the old days where everyone would help build a neighbor’s house.” Here is how vocalist/guitarist Kevin Sutton explained the band’s generosity:
While studying history as a young man at the University of Hawaii, I fell in love with the sound of the steel guitar. Later, as I completed my studies at the University of Missouri at St. Louis to become a history teacher, I fell in love with the blues. While learning to teach history during the day, I was, at night able to perform with, and promote shows featuring artists such as Johnny Johnson, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, and many other blues greats. After moving to Seattle, I met Tony Frederickson and Eric Steiner with the Washington Blues Society. Their support and our mutual love for blues music pushed me to go further with music than I thought I ever could.
This journey has culminated in placing first in the band category of the International Blues Challenge this month. After hearing from you about the direction we all need to take as we look to the future, it became clear to me what I had to do. We need to all step up and make this Hall of Fame a reality. Every day that I stand before my students, I ask them to remember the past and to remember the contributions of those who have come before us. I must also back up my words with action. On behalf of myself, band mates Rick and Keith, and the Washington Blues Society, I would like you to please use the first place award of 2,000 dollars to go towards making the hall of fame a reality.
Kevin was moved by The Blues Foundation’s presentation at the IBC finals to make the cause his own.
This was an impressive act of kindness from the WIRED! Band, which American Blues Scene interviewed immediately after winning IBC.