Being in the same room with a group of blues musicians trying to outdo each other is analogous to ear candy for those of us who appreciate this genre. Just being in that room would more than likely push non-believers over the edge to blues addiction like the rest of us. The site was Neil’s Bar and Grill on Madison Avenue in midtown Memphis.
The event was the first night of the two-night 2010 battle of the bands sponsored by the Memphis Blues Society. Winners of the solo/duo category and the band category go on to represent the Memphis Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge, also held in Memphis. See the winners of this competition on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. Click here to go there. We’ll wait here.
Second and third place winners were:
- Solo/duo, second place: Brandon Bailey
- Solo/duo, second place: Dr. Dudley and Michael
- Band, second place: Redd Velvet
- Band, third place: The Ghost Town Blues Band
This is one competition where the difference between first, second, and third is a thin line. All of these were fine performers and practitioners of blues music. A lot of feet were tapping and the atmosphere in Neil’s is appropriate and conducive. It is nice and well taken care of, the food is good, and the service is excellent. It is not fancy and that is a good and appropriate thing. The combination is just right. Fancy and blues don’t play well together.
Blues musicians, though they follow the cachet and panache that makes blues music what it is and what it means, are as different as a Fedora and Rastafarian locks, as was clearly demonstrated in this competition. It is this difference which makes this competition so much fun. You kinda know what to expect. And then, you kinda don’t. And being bored is not in the tea leaves.
I had a yummy and crunchy chicken-fried chicken sandwich and an order of hand-made onion rings so the rest of my body could be in tune with what I was seeing and hearing. Bean sprouts and tofu won’t hack it in a blues venu.
We shot more than 900 exposures of these bands and narrowed the picture collection down to 42. See pictures of all the competing bands and acts in our picture-only gallery, click here to go there.
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more | Tagged: blues, blues musicians, Brandon Bailey, chicken-fried chicken sandwich, Dr. Dudley and Michael, Gladys Knight, Harmonica, International Blues Challenge, Jam band, Joe Dempsey, Madison Avenue, Mahalia Jackson, Memphis Blues Society, Midtown Memphis, Neil's Bar and Grill, Neil's Memphis, Redd Velvet, The Ghost Town Blues Band, Weekly Grist | 2 Comments »