Archive for the ‘International Blues Challenge’ Tag

Looking Back To Beale Street, January 21, 2010   Leave a comment

Beale Street, Memphis (January 21, 2010) Image by kenne

The Houston Blues Society annually selects local musicians to participate in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
We were there in support of our good friend, Sonny Boy Terry. 

— kenne

Sonny Boy Terry — Image by kenne

Jonn Del Toro Richardson Is “The Real Deal”   2 comments

Diunna BenefitHouston Legend, Earl Gilliam and Jonn Richardson at the Big East, (February 15, 2009) — Image by kenne

Lately I have been listening to an Otis Taylor CD. Coincidentally, my friend Jonn Del Toro Richardson posts on Facebook a Otis Taylor, Gary Moore & Jonn Richardson video from 2006 — karma!

I’ve followed the musical career of Jonn over the last decade. The Blues world has a lot of great Bluesmen, but few as good, yet not recognized as Jonn. Yes, among Blues musicians Jonn is admired for his talent, but for many Blues fans he is under the radar. For years Jonn has toured with better known musicians, and collaborated on releasing CDs, but no solo CD — it’s time for his own CD!

Now there’s an opportunity to help Jonn reach his funding goal to produce his first solo album. Click here for more information. 

Here are three of videos of Jonn I have done — yes, he is the “REAL DEAL!”

IBC Blues Jam, 2010

The Real Deal with Rich DelGrosso at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project, 2011

Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy @ Rhythm & Roots Concert Series In Tucson, 2012 — Jonn and Diunna bring it on home in this video!


IBC Youth Showcase – The Jake Bishop Band   9 comments

Friday afternoon at the International Blues Challenge was the Youth Showcase, which turned out to be a real enjoyable experience for Joy and I.

Before going to the IBC, through my Blues connections, I had become a fan of the Detroit Blues Society.  So, when reviewing the Youth Showcase bands, I noticed the Detroit Blues Society sponsored one band, The Jake Bishop Band.  Remember the name, they are good!

The video audio doesn’t do justice to the band, which is why I have purchased an external mic for future use.


(Photo Set)

International Blues Challenge Jam   3 comments

Rich DelGrosso & Jonn Richardson

When you have hundreds of blues musicians around, what better time to jam into the early morning! So, not surprisingly, after the completion of the blues challenge on Thursday and Friday evenings, Houston’s own Jonn Richardson organized a blues jam at one of the Beale Street venues. Believe me, these photos and video do limited justice to the total of what took place. Enjoy!


(Photo Set)

DuPree at 26th International Blues Challenge   Leave a comment

Stevie DuPree and Travis Stephenson

If you like delta/New Orleans storytelling blues you have no choice but to love Stevie DuPree. Stevie was the Houston Blues Societies duo/solo entry at the International Blues Challenge this past week. Better known to his Houston fans as Stevie DuPree and The Delta Flyers, did good on Beale Street but lost to a very “bigger than life” blues man from Canada. Andersen is well known on the east coast and much of Canada. In the end, as was said often during the IBC event, all the musicians there were winners.


(Photo Set)

International Blues Challenge Report   Leave a comment

We arrived in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) midday, Thursday (January 21, 2010) not knowing what to expect, but with high hopes that the Houston Blues Society’s representatives (The Sonny Boy Terry Band and DuPree) would come back winners.

After picking up our tickets and IBC program, we attempted to check into our hotel, but the rooms were not ready, so we began walking down Main Street to Beale Street.  And, whom should we meet on the way, none other than KPFT’s Blues Hound and Baby Girl (James and Colleen Nagel). They were on their way to Alcenia’s, a soul food dining delight, and not lacking bravado we ask if we could go with them – of course, they welcomed our company.

After ordering from the menu and the usual casual conversation, the Blues Hound pulled out his “cheat-sheet” (my term) while asking, “ . . . have you done your homework?’ While feeling like I had missed the assignment, he proceeds to let us know that he had gone online and identified the bands he wanted to try and see during the IBC event. Now I know why the Blues Hound is such a musicologist and has a great blues show on KPFT – he does his homework! To say the least, the food and conversation was great, right down to the sweet-potato pie.

The Sonny Boy Terry Band was scheduled early in the competition at the Club Chill. So, after checking into the hotel and relaxing a bit, we walked the six blocks to Club Chill, arriving in plenty of time to help gather up support for the band and check out some of the other bands. Not knowing who all would be there from Houston, it was pleasant to see that a good number had made it up from Houston – I’m told it was one of the largest groups every. How nice!

The band did a super job in what I feel was a good venue for them.  (I will add however, the smoke was almost too much.) Good venue and great performance or not, the IBC process is strictly a “luck of the drew” call.  The IBC takes place in eleven clubs, ten bands in each.  Only the winner from each club goes to the finals and as it turned out for the Sonny Boy Terry Band, they were grouped with the IBC winner, Grady Champion – a group with a lot of style, but little more.

Although the process was questionable and easy to criticize, it’s a given when you decide to participate in the Houston Blues Society competition. Still, both the HBS entries are much better today because of having been part of the IBC competition. They made us proud to be from Houston.


(Photo Set)

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