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International Blues Challenge Finalists Announced

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International Blues ChallengeThe finalists have been announced for the 26th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee and by tonight there will be two new champions, one in the solo/duo category and the other in the band category.  The IBC began in 1985 as a competition to find the world's greatest unsigned blues artists.

Competitors come from all over the world to compete in the competition.  Participants are chosen by local and regional blues organizations and then descend upon legendary Beale Street in Memphis.  Each finalist will play a short set at the Orpheum Theatre today and a panel of judges will crown a new champion.

Past participants in the IBC have gone on to become some of the biggest names in the blues since the competition's inception.  Among those who have participated are Slick Ballinger, Barbara Blue, Fiona Boyes, Eden Brent, Keith Brown, Michael Burks, Sean Carney, Albert Castiglia, Tommy Castro, the late Sean Costello, Albert Cummings, Delta Moon, Larry Garner, Joey Gilmore, Diunna Greenleaf, Zac Harmon, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, Richard Johnston, Joe Moss, Jason Ricci, Robin Rogers, Matthew Skoller, Super Chikan, Patrick Sweany, Susan Tedeschi, Teeny Tucker, Watermelon Slim, the late John Weston and Michelle Wilson

The solo/duo finalists are (sponsoring blues organization in parentheses):

Matt Anderson (Harvest Jazz & Blues)
Alphonso Sanders & Bill "Howl-n-Madd" Perry (Crossroads Blues Society)
Becky Boyd & Tim Matson (Cleveland Blues Society)
Jimi Lee with PB Shane (Austin Blues Society)
Sherman Lee Dillon (Central Mississippi Blues Society)
Tom Walbank & Arthur Migliazza (Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation)
Ken "The Rocket" Korb (Long Island Blues Society)
Steve Cohen (Grafton Blues Association)

The Band finalists are:

Mojo Theory (Pomeroy Blues & Jazz Society)
R&K Brew Co (West Virginia Blues Society)
Big Boy Little Band (DC Blues Society)
Cheryl Renee and Them Bones (Cincy Blues Society)
Grady Champion (Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola)
Sonny Moorman Group (Columbus Blues Alliance)
Jesse Greene Band (Ottawa Blues Society)
Karen Lovely Band (Cascade Blues Association)
Jackie Scott & the Housewreckers (Baltimore Blues Society)
Labron Lazenby and LA 3 (Smoky Mountain Blues Society)
The Avey Brothers (Iowa Blues Societies)

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