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2015 International Blues Challenge
Memphis, TN, January 2015

The 31st International Blues Challenge will begin Tuesday night (Jan. 20) with the International Showcase. Wednesday and Thursday night (Jan. 21-22) quarter finals will be conducted. Youth Showcase and Semi Finals will be held Friday night (Jan. 23). Saturday (Jan. 24) IBC will conclude with Finals in the beautiful Orpheum Theater. For further updates regarding the Memphis IBC, please watch this page, and The Blues Foundation's 2015 IBC web page at www.blues.org/international-blues-challenge/2015-international-blues-challenge


Congratulations to The Lucky Losers !! who won the TGGBS Wild Card Round on September 14, 2014, at the Poor House Bistro in San Jose. They will compete in the Band Final on Oct. 5 at the Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont. Other bands competing at the Band Final will be Daniel Castro, Terrie Odabi, and Ron Howard. It's going to be a fun. Thank you also to Eugene Huggins and to the Bannon/Baker group for competing on 9/14. And to the Poor House Bistro and our many volunteers. These events couldn't happen without all of you!!

Big congratulations to Ron Howard and his band for winning TGGBS IBC Round 3 on Sunday, 08/24/14, at Little Lou's BBQ in Campbell, CA. They will go on to compete in the Band Final on Oct. 5 at the Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont. 

Twice As Good received the next highest score (from Judges & Fan voting), and would normally go on to compete in the Wild Card Round on Sept. 14 at The Poor House Bistro in San Jose. But they have respectfully declined to compete further in this year's events. So the next runner up for Round 3 -- the Bannon/Baker Band -- will be moving to the Wild Card Round in their place. The winner of the Wild Card Round will also compete at the Band Final on Oct. 5 at the Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont.

There will also be a SOLO/DUO competition on Oct. 12 at the Smoking Pig BBQ. The winners of the BAND FINAL and the SOLO/DUO event will be sent to Memphis in January to compete as TGGBS' (and the Bay Area's) representatives in the Blues Foundation's 2015 International Band Challenge (IBC). This is their 31st IBC. Thank you to all the people who are making these events work, and go so smoothly. Thank you also to Little Lou's for hosting Rounds 1 and 3 this year! 

IBC week is a huge event in Memphis, and many people make the trek just to hang out and enjoy the happenings. You may want to consider doing so also. More info at http://www.blues.org/international-blues-challenge/ 

Ron Howard Band
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
First Place Winners, TGGBS IBC Round 3
Will compete in Band Final on Oct. 5 at Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont
Bannon/Baker Band
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
Runner Up, TGGBS IBC Round 3
Will compete in Wild Card Event on Sept. 14 at Poor House Bistro, San Jose

Congratulations to Terrie Odabi and her band, who won 1st place at TGGBS' IBC Preliminary Round 2 on Aug. 10, 2014. They will compete again in the Band Final on Oct. 5 at the Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont, CA. Eugene Huggins' band won 2nd place of Prelim Round 2, and will compete again at the Wild Card Round on Sept. 14 at the Poor House Bistro, San Jose, CA. The winner of the Wild Card Event will also compete in the Band Final on Oct. 5.

Thank you also to Ed Earley and to Kally Price for competing. And thank you to the Smoking Pig BBQ for hosting this event, and to all the great blues fans and volunteers who helped make the day a big success.

Terrie Odabi Band
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
First Place Winners, TGGBS IBC Round 2
Will compete in Band Final on Oct. 5 at Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont
Eugene Huggins Band
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
Second Place Winners, TGGBS IBC Round 2
Will compete in Wild Card Event on Sept. 14 at Poor House Bistro, San Jose

Big congratulations to Daniel Castro and his band mates, who won 1st place at TGGBS' IBC Preliminary Round 1 on July 20, 2014. They will go on to compete in the Band Final on Oct. 5 at the Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont, CA. The Lucky Losers (Cathy Lemons & Phil Berkowitz) won 2nd place and will compete again at the Wild Card Round on Sept. 14 at the Poor House Bistro, San Jose, CA. The winner of the Wild Card Event will also compete in the Band Final on Oct. 5.

Thank you very much, Bad Boy Bruce & his great band for competing also. And thank you to Little Lou's BBQ, and to all the great fans and volunteers who helped to make this happen.

Daniel Castro Band
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
First Place Winners, TGGBS IBC Round 1
Will compete in Band Final on Oct. 5 at Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont
Lucky Losers (Cathy Lemons & Phil Berkowitz)
Photo by Bobbi Goodman
Second Place Winners, TGGBS IBC Round 1
Will compete in Wild Card Event on Sept. 14 at Poor House Bistro, San Jose

Congratulations to our TGGBS Artists at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis!!

They made a great showing for The Golden Gate Blues Society and we're extremely proud of them. Terrie Odabi and her band received standing ovations everywhere they played, and Wendy DeWitt and Kirk Harwood made it to the Finals on Saturday, 01-25-2014, at the Orpheum Theatre. Thank you also to the many Bay Area friends who went to Memphis to support our bands, and to Myron Mu (The Saloon, SF), who received a "Keeping the Blues Alive" award for his work in booking, recording, and supporting San Francisco Bay Area blues. Here are some of the final results for the week in Memphis. For more info, please visit the Blues Foundation's website at http://blues.org/.

IBC Band Category
  • 1st Place: Mr. Sipp - Vicksburg Blues Society. Gibson Guitarist (top guitarist among band finalists): Mr. Sipp. He won a beautiful Gibson guitar featuring The Blues Foundation's logo. He also took home a Category 5 guitar amp. Each band member received a Reactor watch.
  • 2nd Place: Ghost Town Blues Band - Memphis Blues Society.
  • 3rd Place: Billy the Kid & Regulators - Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania.
IBC Solo/Duo Category
  • 1st Place: Tim Williams - Calgary Blues Music Association. St. Blues Guitarist (top guitarist among solo/duo finalists): Tim Williams was awarded a cigar box guitar by St. Blues Guitars.
  • 2nd Place: Lucious Spiller - Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas Inc.
Other Categories
  • Lee Oskar Harmonica Player (top harmonica player among semi-finalists): Jerome Godboo - Toronto Blues Society.
  • Best Self-Produced CD: Account to Me - Hank Mowery - West Michigan Blues Society.

2014 TGGBS IBC Results: BAND Finale Winner!

Congratulations to Terrie Odabi & Evolution Blues! They won the Finale at Biscuits & Blues, San Francisco, on 9/29/2013, and will represent TGGBS in the Band category at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. This huge event spans the week of January 21-25, 2014. More info available at http://blues.org


We'd like to extend our sincere appreciation to Scarry Larry & the Monsters, Amy Lou, and the Bornia Boys Blues Band for giving everyone such great performances. It was a great night for blues, and we're looking forward to more shows from all of these bands. And thank you to Biscuits & Blues for hosting the Band Finale again this year!

2014 TGGBS IBC Results: SOLO/DUO Finale Winner!

Congratulations to Wendy DeWitt & Kirk Harwood! They won the Finale at Bobby G's, Berkeley, on 11/9/2013, and will represent TGGBS in the Solo/Duo category at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. This huge event spans the week of January 21-25, 2014. More info available at http://blues.org


We'd like to extend our sincere appreciation to Mighty Mississippi, Coyote Slim & Colin Teurfs, The Fritz Brothers, and Cleome for their participation and great performances. And thank you to Bobby G's for hosting this fun Finale!

2014 TGGBS IBC Results - Wild Card Round Winner!

Congratulations to The Bornia Boys Blues Band for winning the Wild Card Round of this year's TGGBS IBC series! They will compete with the three other winning bands at the Biscuits & Blues finale 9/29/13. The winner of the finale will represent TGGBS in Memphis for the 2014 International Blues Challenge (IBC).

We appreciate Blind to Reason, and the Sky O'Banion Blues Band, for their excellent performances. And much thanks to McGovern's Bar for stepping in quickly to host this event when another venue had to cancel.

2014 TGGBS IBC Results - Round Three Winner!

Congratulations to Amy Lou for winning Round 3 of this year's TGGBS IBC series! They will compete at the Biscuits & Blues finale on September 29, 2013. Round 2 Second place winner, the Sky O'Banion Blues Band, will compete in the Wild Card contest on September 8 at McGovern's with our other # 2 winners. The winner of the Wild Card contest will also compete at Biscuits & Blues on Sept 29.

We sincerely appreciate Cathy Lemons & Her Blues Xcentrics superb performance and their original tunes. And much gratitude goes out to The Poor House Bistro for hosting this very fun event on 8/13/13. See you again in a couple of weeks.

2014 TGGBS IBC Results - Round Two Winner!

Congratulations to Terrie Odabi & Evolution Blues for winning Round 2 of this year's TGGBS IBC series! They will compete at the Biscuits & Blues finale this fall. Round 2 Second place winner, Steve Studebaker & Blind to Reason, will compete in the Wild Card contest later this summer with other # 2 winners. The winner of the Wild Card contest will also compete at the Biscuits & Blues finale this fall. The difference between first and second place is so close sometimes, and this helps make up for problems that sometimes arise with a particular show.

We appreciate The Groove Objective's great performance, and much thanks to Neto's Market for their generosity in hosting the event!

As IBC Coordinator Susan Preece said after Round 2: "It's such a pleasure to work with all our IBC bands this year. What a great group of generous musicians. Congratulations Terrie Odabi and Evolution Blues. A huge thank-you to the rest of our 9 bands: Scary Larry and the Monsters, The Bornia Boys , Joanne LeBlanc, Blind to Reason, The Groove Objective, Amy Lou, Cathy Lemons and the Xcentrics, and The Sky O'Banion Blues band. This year is full of talented bands!"

2014 TGGBS IBC Results - First Round Winner!

The Golden Gate Blues Society held the first of four preliminary rounds on July 21, 2013, to select a band to participate in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in 2014 in Memphis, Tennessee. Congratulations to Scary Larry & The Monsters on winning this round! They will go on to participate in the Final which will be held on September 29, 2013, at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco.

The Bornia Boys Blues Band
placed second and will go on to our 'Wild Card' contest which will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, 4-8 pm at the Grand Dell Saloon in Campbell. The winner of this event will also participate in the Biscuits & Blues Final on September 29.

We offer our appreciation and thanks to Joanne LeBlanc and her great band for participating in this first IBC event of the year. We also thank McGovern's Bar in San Mateo, California for their wonderful hospitality. We had a great turnout of blues fans, several new members signed up, the raffles were a big hit, and a lot of fun was had by all!

2013 TGGBS IBC FINAL RESULTS

The Golden Gate Blues Society would like to give a big shout out and thank you to HowellDevine (!), who made it into the top nine bands at the Memphis International Blues Challenge, February, 2013. Think of what an achievement that was. They were competing with 125 of the best blues bands from all over the world and they made it into the top nine finalists! We couldn't be more proud of them.

Thank you also to all the supporters from the Bay Area who went to Memphis and cheered them on. Bands! Don't delay in entering the contest each year. It's great exposure, the events are really fun, plus it will get you on top of your game. Get your buzz going - or 'up your buzz' if you already have it going!

2013 TGGBS IBC - Third Round Winner!

On August 19, 2012, The Golden Gate Blues Society held the third of four preliminary rounds to select a band to participate in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. We want to congratulate HowellDevine, the winners of this round. They will participate in the Final.

We thank the band members of the David Landon Band and Cathy Lemons & Workman$ Comp for their powerful performances. We also thank Poor House Bistro in San Jose for hosting this event. It was an incredible day of great blues with an enthusiastic audience.

2013 TGGBS IBC - Fourth Round Winner!

On September 15, 2012, The Golden Gate Blues Society held the fourth & last preliminary round to select a band to participate in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. We congratulate Nancy Wenstrom & Blues Kitchen as the winners of this round. They went on to participate in the FINAL at Biscuits & Blues, San Francisco, on October 28. Photo by Bobbi Goodman.

We want to thank Jake Nielsen's Triple Threat and the Eddie Neon Band for their great performances. We also thank The Standby Club for hosting this event. It was a great day of music!

2013 TGGBS IBC - Second Round Winner!

The Golden Gate Blues Society held the second of four preliminary rounds on August 4, 2012, to select a band to participate in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. Congratulations to the Feral Moon Band on winning this round! The went on to participate in the Final which was held on October 28th, 2012, at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco. Photo by Angelo Rossi.

We offer our sincere appreciation to the band members of the other two participants, The Lovelight Blues Band, and Papa's Garage, for their fun performances. We also thank Neto's Market & Grill, in Santa Clara for hosting this event. Everyone had a great afternoon enjoying the blues, and cheering on their favorites.

2013 TGGBS IBC - First Round Winner!

The Golden Gate Blues Society held the first of four preliminary rounds on July 15, 2012, to select a band to participate in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. Congratulations to Pinkie Rideau & Blind Resistance on winning this round! They went on to participate in the Final which was held on October 28th, 2012, at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco.

We offer our hearty thanks to the band members of the other two participants, Scary Larry and the Blues Monsters, and Smokin' Kingsnakes, for their dynamic performances. We also thank the Grand Dell Saloon in Campbell, California for their wonderful hospitality. It was indeed a good day for blues enthusiasts.

CONGRATULATIONS TO TGGBS' 2012 IBC ENTRIES!

We'd like to express sincere pride in both of our 2012 entries. Paula Harris & Blu Gruv finished third overall in the 2012 International Blues Challenge (IBC) finals in Memphis (held 2/4/2012). What a great showing! With 110 bands in the challenge, this was no small feat. Wendy DeWitt and Kirk Harwood were impressive and talented professionals in the solo/duo category. Great job everyone. You made us proud!

Comments From International Blues Challenge Contestants

"Exhilarating....humbling.....and overwhelming...but you'll be SO glad you did it!"
~Paula Harris
TGGBS band IBC Challenger, 2012 (3rd place overall)

"What a great week! A chance to check out quality music by bands from throughout the world, meet some very interesting people, and play in front of enthusiastic audiences who really support the blues. Lots of fun, plus the fringe benefit of digging into some serious southern barbeque! Highly recommended."
~Doug McKeehan, (Paula Harris and Blu Gruv)

"Memphis welcomed us with open, BBQ stained arms! The number of years the IBC has been going shown through in how well organized the events were. I don't remember a snag in the rug!"
~Joey Fabian, (Paula Harris and Blu Gruv)

"Going to Memphis opened our eyes, our ears, and our hearts and not only did we learn a lot and make incredible contacts but we had a blast! The experience is a game changer."
~Wendy DeWitt
TGGBS solo-duo IBC Challenger, 2012

ATTENTION BANDS !!

Thru the month of June, 2014, TGGBS was accepting band applications for the 2015 International Blues Challenge. If you have questions, Richard MacLaury, our IBC Coordinator, can be reached at ibc@tggbs.org. Rules and applications are available below. More information about the International Blues Challenge can be found at The Blues Foundation's website at http://blues.org.

TGGBS-IBC-RULES-2015.PDF
TGGBS-IBC-APPLICATION-2015.PDF