Thursday , February 22 2024
Matt Andersen, Grady Champion claim prizes as best unsigned blues talents...

Grady Champion, Matt Andersen Win 26th International Blues Challenge

International Blues ChallengeMatt Andersen and Grady Champion won the 26th International Blues Challenge Saturday night, performing before fans and judges at Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.

Andersen, sponsored by Harvest Jazz and Blues, won in the solo/duo division while Grady Champion, sponsored by the Mississippi Delta Blues Society, won the band division.  In addition to Champion and Anderson, Matt Kelly of Big Boy Little Band was named the Top Guitarist of the IBC finals.

The IBC is a competition to recognize the world's best unsigned blues talent.  Each years, blues societies from around the world send the world send representatives to Memphis to square off against one another.  In addition to the competition that emphasizes the live performance,  there is also an award for the best self-produced CD.  This year's award was split by two winners: Laurie Morvan Band's Fire It Up! and The Informants' Crime Scene Queen.

In the solo/duo category, second place honors went to Alphonso Sanders and Bill "Howl-n-Madd" Perry.  In the band category, second place went to Karen Lovely Band and third went to Cheryl Renne with Them Bones.

Previous luminaries who have participated in the IBC include 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.

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