Memphis Bound Blues Challenge
About the EBS Memphis Bound Blues Challenge
Each year since 2012, EBS has hosted a competition to find the best local blues band and solo/duo act to represent northern Alberta at the international competition. In addition, EBS selects the best self-produced blues CD to submit to the International Blues Challenge.
The MBBC competitions include qualifying rounds and a grand finale. The events are held over several nights at local venues and a panel of celebrity adjudicators rate each performer and choose the winners in each category.
The winning acts will receive $750 per musician (up to 5 members for bands) to help defray the costs of attending the International Blues Challenge competition in Memphis, TN.
The 2019 MBBC performer applications will be accepted until 8:00 pm on September 4th!
Complete details are listed in the application. At least one performer of each act is required to be a member (in good standing) of the Edmonton Blues Society. Cost of annual membership is $20. Cost to enter is: $60 per band and $20 for Solo/Duo Acts.
Performer Application Link: /files/406097/mbbc-performer-application-2019.pdf
CD Submission Deadline is September 15, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Best self-produced CD application: /files/406099/mbbc-cd-app-2019.pdf
At least one recording artist on the submitted CD must be a member of the Edmonton Blues Society. Submission cost is $20 to cover the cost of shipping the CD's to Memphis.
Membership application link: Memberships
Accepted payments: E-transfer to https:/Edmblues@gmail.com We also accept cash, personal cheques or money orders. We accept Credit Card payments through paypal. Please ask for details.
We are looking forward to another exciting Memphis Bound Blues Challenge.
About the International Blues Challenge (IBC)
Each year The Blues Foundation holds the IBC as a worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. In addition, an award is given to the best self-produced blues CD.
Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act and best self-produced blues CD to represent its organization at the IBC. EBS has been an Affiliate since 2012.
The IBC, which is held in January in Memphis, Tennessee, is judged by blues professionals from across the world who have years of experience in listening to, producing, and creating blues music. The Blues Foundation, which runs the competition, has established a set of criteria by which all acts are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC.
Prizes Awarded by IBC
The winners of the IBC in Memphis receive cash and prizes, such as professional consultations and assistance, gigs at some of the country's best festivals, as well as a slot on the annual Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise.
Six prizes are awarded at the International Blues Challenge. In the Band Division, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place are awarded, each of which includes a cash award and other goodies. 1st and 2nd place prizes are awarded in the Solo/Duo Division. The Best Guitarist among the acts competing in Band Finals Saturday afternoon is also recognized, with the winner receiving a custom-built ES-335 guitar, generously donated by Gibson Guitars.
1st Place Band
- First Place International Blues Challenge plaque
- $3000 cash
- 1/4 page color ad in the Blues Festival Guide annual print magazine
- Double banner size banner ad on its website for 6 months
- Two songs in mp3 format (for 12 months duration) on their Jukebox
- Four Facebook postings on Facebook.com/Blues Festival Guide (145,000 Likes) with link to the band’s site
- Gigs at some of the best blues festivals including:
- Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise
- Heritage Blues Festival Wheeling, WV
- Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Telluride, CO
- King Biscuit Blues Festival , Helena, AR
- Hot Springs Blues Festival, Hot Springs, AR
- Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, Eureka Springs, AR
- Gladstone SummerTime BluesFest, Gladstone, MO
- Levitt Shell Concert Series, Memphis,TN
- Big Blues Bender, Las Vegas, NV
- Bottleneck Blues Bar Ameristar Casino, Vicksburg. MS
- Daytona Blues Festival, Daytona, FL
2nd Place Band
- 2nd Place International Blues Challenge plaque
- $2500 cash
- Blues Festival Guide – Double banner size banner ad on its website for 3 months and two songs in mp3 format (for 6 months duration) on their Jukebox
- Gigs, including:
- Canal Bank Shuffle, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
- Bottleneck Blues Bar Ameristar Casino, Vicksburg. MS
- Daytona Blues Festival, Daytona, FL
3rd Place Band
- 3rd Place International Blues Challenge Plaque
- $1500 cash
Best Guitarist Award (in Band Finals)
- Gibson Custom ES-335 guitar with Blues Foundation logo
- Category 5 Amp
Best Guitarist Award (in Solo/Duo Finals)
- Saint Blues Cigar Box Guitar with a hemp gig bag
Best Harmonica Player sponsored by Lee Oskar Harmonicas
- Autographed Lee Oskar gold plated limited edition Lee Oskar harmonica
- Set of Lee Oskar harmonicas
- Additional set of Lee Oskar reed plates & accessories
- An opportunity to perform with Lee Oskar & friends in Seattle, WA at the famous Highway 99 Blues Club & Restaurant.
Best Self Produced CD
- Personalized Plaque
- $1000 cash prize
- Radio airplay on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville; Music Choice, your cable and satellite TV Blues channel, Blues Breaker status on The House of Blues Radio Show with Elwood Blues, PLUS additional airplay on radio shows hosted by our deejay judges around the country.
Past MBBC Winners
2018 MEMPHIS BOUND BLUES CHALLENGE FINALISTS:
Samantha King & The YEG Trio
Edmontonian Samantha King was born to sing the blues, with her fiery, yet emotional delivery of every song she sings. Over her 20 year career she has been nominated for a Juno and three Canadian Country Music Awards, as well as being the grand prize winner of the 2006 John Lennon Song Writing Competition (Country Music Category). Samantha has put together a dynamic trio consisting of drummer Sandro Dominelli who was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and a Juno; Marc Beaudin whose compositions and arrangements have been recorded by many great artists; and Jimmy Guiboche who has spent almost two decades earning a reputation as one of Canada’s premier blues figures.
Lynne Chwyl Band
For 25 years this powerhouse was a closet singer, singing secretly and alone until she won a vocal contest earning her a spot on the Calgary International Blues Festival stage. Since then, she has performed at festivals, fundraisers, and most recently, recorded background vocals on Kenny Blues Boss Wayne’s current CD. Lynne’s voice is dynamic, rich with grit and power. The musicians who back her are guitar player Percy Marshall who has played in over 30 bands and is an Edmonton Legends of Music Hall of Famer; piano player Dennis Meneely who has played and recorded the blues for over 40 years; Jeff Bartlett who has been playing his smoky grooves and touring professionally for years; and drummer Dean Pierno who is a huge fan of every genre including big band, swing, blues, dixie land, rock n’ roll, jazz, funk, and R&B.
The Rooster Davis Band
Using only piano, drums, trombone, saxophone, and vocals, The Rooster Davis Band achieves a unique, full-band sound and an exciting blues experience each time they perform. Steeped in the blues and funk tradition of the New Orleans piano greats, the band is anchored by Rooster Davis' driving, rhythmic piano style. The horn section is comprised of two of Canada's finest players, trombonist Audrey Ochoa and saxophonist Dave Babcock. Peter Hendrickson, a second line snare specialist, rounds off the band on drums.
Rott'n Dan and Lightnin' Willy
This acoustic duo focuses on Pre-war, Piedmont and Country Blues. In doing so they are paying homage to many the great blues men such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller and Mississippi John Hurt. If you have a hankering for some old time blues roots music that'll take you out onto the front porch and caress you like a warm southern breeze, this is for you.
AV (Ann Vriend and Arun Bhaumik)
Ann Vriend (a.k.a. “A.V.") is known most for her soaring, evocative, Aretha-eque vocals, and not far behind that for her abilities as a songwriter and piano player. With a compelling combination of defiant resilience and heartfelt vulnerability she delivers her unique brand of gritty, inner-city soul. As an award-winning performer and songwriter, she contributes her own Canadian brand of RnB in stunning recordings and performances. Ann is a winner of the Canadian Cobalt Contemporary Blues Composition Award. A consistently critically acclaimed artist, she is also known for assembling a live band that is the admiration of all "musician's musicians". Joining AV on stage is esteemed Edmonton guitarist Arun Bhaumik, who regularly performs at live venues, such as Blues On Whyte, with many local bands and is also the lead guitarist for the Calgary-based soul band, the Mocking Shadows.
Miss Rae and Zander
Miss Rae (Cheyenne Rae Bruneau) belts out blues songs with sass and sensitivity. Following two-years singing in Paris, she returned to Edmonton she reprised The Midnight Ramblers and released her sophomore album, Wild Rose in 2018. Her throwback sound embodies her Métis/African spirit. While riding the freight train lines, guitarist Zander fell off the top of a tank car in an attempt to evade railroad police. Falling onto the tracks claimed four fingers but not his life. Zander's taste for Roots and Rockabilly developed from dive bar Blues jams and now fronts The Van Dangos.