Blues Challenge Coming Up

2016 Connecticut Blues Challenge




The Connecticut Blues Society is once again hosting the Annual Connecticut Band Blues Challenge.  This is the Society’s 21st event, giving bands an opportunity compete at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge.  As an affiliate member of The Blues Foundation, the state winner is eligible to participate. The preliminaries will take place at Black-eyed Sally’s, 350 Asylum Street, Hartford, on Thursday evenings.

The winners of each preliminary round plus the highest scoring second place band, the wild card, will compete in the Finals.  The winner of the Finals will be sponsored by CTBS to participate in the 33rd International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Last year’s winners, The Mighty Soul Drivers, pose for a photo on Beale Street.

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The Connecticut Blues Society will award the winning Band $2,000 plus gigs at the Blues in the Park Festival and at Black-eyed Sally’s.

In accordance with The Blues Foundation rules, Blues Music Award nominees are ineligible to compete.  Acts are judged by a panel of writers, DJ’s, musicians and fans active in the Blues community.  Scores will be based on Blues Content, Instrumental Talent, Vocal Talent, Originality, and Stage Presence.

Ed Stack, Connecticut Blues Society President, welcomes fans to the 2015 Challenge.

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The Schedule of Bands:

April 21, 2016

  • 8PM    Rough Justice
  • 8:40     Richie and the Red Hot Blues
  • 9:20     Easy Baby
  • 10:00   The Redliners

April 28, 2016


  • 8PM    sayWHAT?
  • 8:40     Sadie & the Jumpcats
  • 9:20     The Coffee Grinders
  • 10:00   RIch Badowski Blues Band

May 5, 2016

  • 8PM    Washboard Slim and the Bluelights
  • 8:40     Kris Heaton Band
  • 9:20     Carl RIcci & &06 Union Ave Band
  • 10:00   The Touro Band
  • 10:40   East Coast Blues

May 12, 2016

  • 8PM    Bridgeport Johnny
  • 8:40     Whiskey Rebels
  • 9:20     Danny Draher Band
  • 10:00   Slim Hippo

The IBC has evolved into the nation’s biggest and most respected showcase for Blues musicians ready to take their act to the national stage.  The IBC is a judged “Battle of the Bands” in which competitors take the stage and play a short set for a panel of judges.  The acts are judged based on an established set of criteria, which are used here in Connecticut.

The International Blues Challenge represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations (mostly blues societies) for the Blues Band ready to perform on a national stage, but just need that extra break.  Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and solo/duo act to represent the organization at the IBC Semi-Finals on Beale Street in Memphis.

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Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at  BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella.  My weekly Blues Beat column appears in the New Britain Herald, Bristol Press, Middletown Press and Torrington Register-Citizen.

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.

One response to “Blues Challenge Coming Up

  1. Edward Stack

    Thanks for the promo for the CTBS Band challenge. And great pic of the Mighty Soul Drivers, on Beale Street.

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