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Thursday, August 16, 2007

West Virginia Blues Society Blues Challenge

Just got this from Illinois blues. It is a press release for the West Virginia Blues Society. If you live in the area and play the blues then sign up for a chance to go to Memphis and win the big prize.

Call for Blues Performers

The West Virginia Blues Society is calling for Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts to compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Appalachian Blues Competition will be conducted October 6, 2007 at the Holiday Inn-Charleston House Hotel in Charleston, WV. The West Virginia Blues Society has 18 competition slots to be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. As the competition grows, so does the level of talent. If your band has the Mojo this could be your ticket to Memphis for the Big Show. This is the ONLY Blues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation. So, tune up and show up with your best Blues.

While the competition cannot be considered a purely "amateur" contest, the goal of The International Blues Challenge is to seek out the best "undiscovered" Blues band and the best "undiscovered" solo/duo Blues performer in the United State and beyond. The IBC is a real opportunity for discovery to musicians that are truly unknown and unsigned to a record company.

The International Blues Challenge in Memphis is restricted to acts representing an affiliated organization of the Blues Foundation, of which WVBS is one. The IBC is the largest gathering of blues bands in the world (around 150) and has evolved into the Nation's most respected showcase for Blues musicians ready to take their act to the national stage. Each affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band or a solo/duo act to represent the organization at the IBC Semi-Finals on world famous Beale Street in Memphis. The list of blues greats that have competed in the IBC over the years is impressive indeed: Slick Ballinger, Michael Burks, Tommy Castro, Albert Cummings, Delta Moon, Larry Gardner, Dianna Greenleaf, Zac Harmon, Richard Johnston, Matthew Skoller, Susan Tedeschi, John Weston and Michelle Wilson. Musicians from around the world have commented that just getting the chance to play on historic Beale Street is worth the trip.

The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2008, where they can gain valuable exposure to record label A&R representatives Blues industry professionals, and festival promoters capable of providing real career advancement for a serious blues musician. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash. The big winners, however, are the Blues fans who enjoy a day of Blues entertainment.

Winners at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, the city considered by many as the home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, receive cash and prizes such as professional consultations and assistance, gigs at some of the country's best festivals, interviews in the world's leading Blues publications, free website design and hosting, and even a slot on the "2009 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise."

CONTACT PERSON FOR COMPETITION PARTICIPANTS: Complete information, application & rules are available online at

Deadline for application submission is September 1, 2007. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1439 or e-mail: or Assistant Competition Director, Steve Criner at 304-549-2486 or e-mail:

ABOUT WVBS: The West Virginia Blues Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the history and heritage of Blues music as an American art form through education, activities and events.

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