International Blues Challenge

International Blues Challenge 2010 Locator map

Day 1

Day 2
What a Challenge

Day 3
More and More Music

Day 4
The Best of the Best is Good

Day 5
From Blues to Country

January 24, 2010
After breakfast at an old restaurant I sure should have known about, I took US-70 to Nashville with stops in Brownsville and Dickson.

January 23, 2010
Two fabulous finals sessions inside a fabulous theater topped by a top three finish by Cincinnati's entry. Great boogily moogily!!

January 22, 2010
An afternoon of showcases with another night of competition following. I'm tired but ready to watch the finals on Saturday. Especially after learning that Cincy Blues Society's band entry made it.

January 21, 2010
I did the Gibson factory tour with a co-worker from "a while" back and got myself an A. Schwab wooden milk can. Then it was a dizzying evening amongst the largest gathering of blues musicians in the world.

January 20, 2010
It was a rain filled drive to Memphis and a neon filled stroll on Beale.

Prelude - January 15, 2010
For the past twenty-five winters, up and coming blues musicians have gathered in Memphis, Tennessee, for a little friendly competition. All are unsigned and most have won a local competition for the honor of representing some blues organization. I've attended the event where the Greater Cincinnati Blues Society representatives are chosen but I've never attended the big show in Memphis. I've heard wonderful things about it and knew it would be something I'd enjoy but it hadn't really worked it's way onto my schedule. However, a pair of posts to the Cincinnati Blues Yahoo group did just that last week. One offered a ticket to the multi-day event and the other a hotel room. The ticket was an extra one whose purchaser wanted to cut his losses and help someone out by selling at a discount. The room was part of a block reserved at a reduced festival rate but now not needed. I could, of course, attend with neither of these bargains but they are what got me to act. I did secure the hotel room and will be spending four nights in the Doubletree on Union; the event's headquarters hotel. The extra ticket found a home before I got my act together but I was able to order a ticket at the regular price to be picked up in Memphis plus I learned that the fellow selling that spare ticket was someone I had worked with in the 1970s. We haven't connected yet but expect to in Memphis. A nice little surprise.

This won't be a typical road trip since it will be one with the focus on the destination. Travel to and from Memphis will pretty much be on expressways. I'm actually giving some thought to trying the Greyhound for something completely different. It's not all that likely but it is a possibility. In some respects, I suppose the outing doesn't belong on this site at all. If that appears to be the case as it progresses, I'll just delete this. However, I believe there's a good chance I'll want to tell somebody about some of the doings in Memphis.

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