International Blues Challenge – Finals and Home


Okay, so I have finally got to the end of my IBC trip.  It was hard for it to end as so much went on.

Saturday was the Finals.  While, no Connecticut band was in the running, I had a friend, Bobby Black Hat and his band playing,


10DSCN0272The Orpheum is a classic building.  Looks like WPA era, maybe not.  I never took Architecture.





aDSC_0153So, I get to the Finals and the doors open at 11 am, show at Noon.  The line started before 10 am.  Plenty of seats but people looking to get close.  Me I prefer the balcony.




I will supply a little taste of the acts.  The program alternates between the Solo/Duo and the Bands.

The Lobby

The Lobby













Joe Whitmer welcomes the crowd.


Bobby Black Hat

Bobby Black Hat







bells on his toes

bells on his toes







cDSC_0127Barbara Newman thanks the judges.





Memphis Band

Memphis Band

Sis on Drums

Sis on Drums







BAND – 1st Place  -The Delgado Brothers  Ventura County Blues Society








SOLO/DUO – 1st Place -Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons -Washington Blues Society










In SOLO/DUO, 2nd Place went to InnerVision from Columbus Blues Alliance.  I had met them earlier.







Well you don’t go to Memphis for Pizza but if you want a taste of the Northeast with a slice, try Aldo’s Pizza Pie.  In looking at the menu last year I noticed a sandwich called “The Trenton Makes.”  So I asked if the owner was from New Jersey.  Yes.


This year I stopped in and met one of the Northeast connections, Quinto.  We had a nice talk and I took some food back including the Trenton Makes.







fDSC_0004Sunday morning time to head to the airport.  Alonzo picked me up and the trip back home started.




I met Terri Robbins at the airport as we were on the same plane to Charlotte.  As we were talking, a friend of Terri’s Franc Robert came by and chatted.  He had competed in the  Solo/Duo.


Then he took out his guitar and was playing.  It attracted some onlookers.

One was Radka Kasparcova who played in the Youth Showcase.




Together they made the wait pass rather quickly.










Looking forward to my next trip.  BMAs in May?


About bluesbeatnews52

Blues columnist writing a weekly column dedicated to the Blues. The only column of its kind in a commercial (paid subscription) newspaper. Column appears in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press, Torrington Register-Citizen, and the New Britain Herald. Forcella has served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation representing the Journalism constituency. Served on the Board of Directors Connecticut Blues Society as Past President and Past Editor of newsletter. Recipient: Keeping the Blues Alive award in Journalism from the Blues Foundation. Has contributed both writing and photos to nationnal blues publications.

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