One act came from France and the other from Phoenix, but they both proved to be outstanding at this year’s International Blues Challenge finals, which took place May 9th in Memphis’ historic Orpheum Theatre.
The Wacky Jugs, representing France Blues, left Memphis with a first-place finish in the Band Division, while T.C. Carter Band took home the Gibson Guitar Award for Best Band Guitarist (Piedmont Blues Preservation Society.) Eric Ramsey from the Phoenix Blues Society triumphed in the Solo/Duo Division and also took home the Memphis Cigar Box Guitar Award.
Jhett Black from The San Angelo Blues Society picked up the Lee Oskar Harmonica Award for the Best Harmonica Player and also came in second place in the solo/duo division. Winning the Best Self-Produced CD was Memphis Lightning for their album, Borrowed Time.
Receiving recognition too at this year’s IBC Awards in the Band Division was Cros (Phoenix Blues Society), capturing 2nd place, and coming in third was Soul NIght featuring D.K. Harrell (Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola).
It’s been a great return for the IBC. Congratulations to all of the winners and everyone who competed. We hope that this year’s IBC was the launch of many amazing blues artists’ careers.
Judith Black President and CEO of The Blues Foundation
While the Challenge served as a centerpiece of IBC Week, The Blues Foundation also presented a varied line-up of unique events. This year’s recipients of the Foundation’s highly esteemed Keeping the Blues Alive Awards were celebrated at a special ceremony. Other highlights included screenings of the documentaries, Blues Trail Revisited, and Blues on Beale, the Jerome Brunet Into the Light photography exhibit, and the IBC Silent Auction.
On Thursday, May 5th, The Blues Foundation presented its other signature event, the Blues Music Awards.
The International Blues Challenge is sponsored by Americana Music Association, ArtsMemphis, Blues Festival Guide, Blues Matters, BMI, Canadian Consulate, European Blues Union, Folk Alliance International, Hohner Harmonica, Lancit Digital Media, Lansky Bros., Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Living Blues, Memphis Airport Authority, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Tourism, Rock n’ Soul Museum, Silky O’Sullivan’s, Ted Reed Productions, and the TN Arts Commission.
COMPLETE LIST OF INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE’S 2022 WINNERS
Winner: The Wacky Jugs
2nd Place Band: Cros
3rd Place Band: Soul Night featuring D.K. Harrell
Winner: Eric Ramsey
2nd Place: Jhett Black
GIBSON GUITAR AWARD (BEST BAND GUITARIST)
MEMPHIS CIGAR BOX GUITAR AWARD (BEST SOLO/DUO GUITARIST)
Winner: Eric Ramsey
LEE OSKAR HARMONICA AWARD (BEST HARMONICA PLAYER)
Winner: Jhett Black
BEST SELF-PRODUCED CD
Winner: Memphis Lightning – Borrowed Time
American Blues Scene Staff