Thursday, January 28, 2010

Memphis and upcoming events

First, a report from Memphis, from Lua Wells: Our own Lowcountry Blues Club had two groups, plus fans, who went to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this past weekend, and it was a blast! Dan Wright and the New Beat played in the Band category, and The Sarah Cole band was in the Youth Showcase. In the band category, there were more than 100 bands from the U.S., Canada, and all over the world! What an amazing event! There were about a dozen clubs and theaters on Beale Street hosting the bands for the semifinals on Thursday and Friday nights, and the music was outstanding. Dan and the band (including Landon Moore on bass guitar, Quentin Ravenel on drums, and a friend of Landon's on keys) put on two amazing performances and the crowd loved them!! The fans who came from Charleston were whooping and hollering, proud to call them our own. Though they didn't get a chance to play in the finals this year, the band that won in their venue went on to achieve third place status (and that's out of 100-plus pretty awesome bands) -- so not too shabby, I'd say. . .

Then there was the Sarah Cole Band, which played in the Youth Showcase, and also wowed the crowd (including Wyatt Garey on guitar, Chris Cool on bass, and Quentin on drums again). They too made us proud!! Everyone who went had a great time, and made lots of new friends. I hope to go again next year, and hope we'll have an even bigger crowd of LBC friends going, too.

Now back to your regular blog, this week from SAM:

Hey Blues Babes!

As the Lowcountry gears up for the Blues Bash, I thought the local scene would slow down so that we can be well -rested when the Big bash Blues comes callin' next week. Silly MOI!! We have some good shows coming up that will likely mean you are hoarse by the time the Bash starts, and your voice won't recover from the singin' and cheerin' until some time this summer... maybe May??

Okay, now the upcoming weekend's activities -- Every Friday, don't forget to check out the jam with Smoky Weiner at Bowens Island, 6:30-10 pm.

From Jojo Wall: This Saturday January 30th, we announce the return of Momma to the Lowcountry. She and the newly formed Redemption Band will be playing at Centre Point Bar and Grill (in the Tanger outlet area, across from the N. Charleston Coliseum) from 8-12. There will be no cover charge at one of N. Charleston's finest venues. Come see your Momma!

On Sunday night at Home Team BBQ in West Ashley, come support our own Dan Wright and the New Beat as they put on an early show, 7pm, featuring their hard-driving funk and soul sounds, for only $5. If you missed them in Memphis, come see them here!

Another option on Sunday is the Pour House which announced a big local band showcase aimed at raising money for Haitian earthquake victims. Your $10 gets you performances by Gaslight Street, Stratton & Moore (members of Po'Ridge, featuring City Paper contributor Stratton Lawrence), Classic Woodies, Skye Paige, and more. The Passionistas perform early in the adjacent El Bohio space at 6 p.m.

And far too exciting for us, not only can we hit the Tuesday Jams at the Dough, but if you miss it (or want to walk down memory lane) you can catch some videos on Youtube at

And see if you can guess what upcoming event has me dancing on the tables and swinging from the chandeliers...???? You got it, the 20th annual LOWCOUNTRY BLUES BASH IS (almost) HERE!!! Our Shimp City Slim has worked long and hard to bring together the best bunch of blues beaters the world has ever known - or at least, the best bunch *I* have ever encountered! Go here: to get more information and to find the schedule. Last years Blues Bash was my baptism into the blues brotherhood, and I have enjoyed every bit of it.

Drink Small will be celebrating his elventy-hundredth birthday this weekend. His actual age depends on who you ask - we will just call him 21 and leave it at that. His birthday is a city holiday in Columbia. Being that Charleston is far cooler and altogether a better place to be than Cola, mayhap we shall petition to make it a COUNTY-WIDE holiday? Naturally, official approval isn't necessary - or forthcoming. Have your own celebration and drink a toast to the "Blues Doctor"!

Back to news from Memphis:

Band winner: Grady Champion of the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola.

Second place: Karen Lovely Band, Cascade Blues Association.

Third place: Cheryl Renee with Them Bones, Cincy Blues Society

Top Guitarist: Matt Kelly of the Big Boy Little Band, of the Washington D.C. Blues

Major Congrats to Canadian Blues-boy Matt Anderson who won top honors in the Solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis last week! Wonderful job, wonderfully done. Other winners are as follows:

Second Place: Alphonso Sanders and Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry from Mississippi’s Crossroads Blues Society

Best Self-Produced CD: Fire It Up! by the Laurie Morvan Band, and Crime Scene Queen by The Informants.

And if you have time on your hands, you might want to check out this website:

It features a Blues Club Index that ensures no matter where you roam, the blues will make you feel at home.

SAM, January 28, 2010

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