Thursday was the second day of the IBC with the bands. It also has plenty of chances for other music as well. A couple of the clubs have showcase with acts performing all afternoon.
First an observation: Blues Outfits abound. Fans and band members as well have something special to wear to signify their blues. In some cases it is a shirt with a favorite club or festival or artist. Some have shirts for the band or the local blues society. And of course the blues hat.
The choice for the day was which showcase to attend. Because of the familiar names, the Nashville Showcase at BB Kings was the place to go. This one went from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. So we grabbed a comfortable table on the balcony.
Some of the music was provided by players with a Nashville connection. The first band I got to see was Bad Influence. They are out of the DC area and have played Mohegan Sun. They are also in the CD competition with Under the Influence.
One of the bands I have seen a number of times was the Scissormen. They play a high-octane fueled delta blues. With just a guitar and drum kit, they can fill a room.
The Bart Walker Band put on a good show before heading off to earn their way into the semi finals.
Trampled Under Foot took the stage with Jimmy Hall. Great set with Hall’s harmonica filling the room. TUF has been growing as a band and crowd favorites.
Anson Funderburg was there joining friends from Nashville. At this point I was a little disappointed because the playbill advertised Nick Nixon. I knew a Nick Nixon from the Blues Foundation board. As the performance wound down, one of the singers brought on her mentor, Nick Nixon. Unbeknownst to me Nixon was an original Imperial. He said he was sitting because he is old. Well once he started playing the idea was gone. He did some of his own songs and kept the audience’s attention. Got a chance to say hello and was reminded of the blues people you meet are not only talented but just downright good people.
While at BB’s ran into Paul and Jean Benjamin from the North Atlantic Blues Festival.
Now it was time for the second night of the quarterfinals. With so many bands, it starts at 5 pm.
On the way to see the Connecticut band, Petey Hop & the JackRabbits, I stopped in to see Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation’s Mikey Jr. A number of us have watched his career from performing back a few years ago. Saying he plays a strong harmonica doesn’t do him justice. He literally and figuratively blows you away. His CD It Ain’t Hard to Tell is a finalist for best CD.
As it was another friend, Steve Simon of Bluestock was judging there. Good to see him.
Next was a few hours watching the bands at the Hard Rock Café. Petey Hop put on a great show. One never knows how the judges score but may vote went to them. Bruce Iglaur of Alligator Records came in just before Petey Hop started.
Bill “Swamp” Shaka with Tony C were the last act at their venue. Their set has been drawing in the audience. They were getting a really enthusiastic response. Whatever they did, it got them to the semi-finals.
After the Shows jams were happening up and down Beale Street. I spent a little time at the Pig on Beale where Eric “Scrappy” Hughes had a jug band duo.
It is a long day of blues but oh so enjoyable.