So last weekend 230 Blues bands from around the world converged on Memphis for the 29th International Blues Challenge. The bands play in Blues Clubs up and down Beale Street with the grand finale held in the Orpheum Theater. Here’s Matt Marshall’s recap of the winners as posted at the American Blues Scene:
After a powerful fight between finalists, Suncoast Blues Society’s Selwyn Birchwood Band was crowned the Best Band winner of this year’s IBC. German Blues Network’s Michael van Merwyk and Bluesoul received the second place honor, and third place was awarded to Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band w/ Erica Brown of the Colorado Blues Society. The Solo/Duo winner was Atlanta Blues Society’s Little G Weevil. From Spain’s Barcelona Blues Society, the Suitcase Brothers were crowned second place. Best Guitarist Award for band went to Selwyn Birchwood, who received an incredible custom Gibson ES-335 guitar emblazoned with The Blues Foundation’s logo, as well as a Category 5 amp. Best Guitarist Award for Solo/Duo went to Little G Weevil, who received an incredible St. Blues Cigar Box Guitar. Best Harmonica Player was the Alex Wilson Band from the Grafton Blues Society, who received a gold-plated Lee Oskar harmonica. Steve Hill from the Montreal Blues Society won Best Self-Produced CD for his album Solo Recordings.
Tonight I listened to the Selwyn Birchwood Band’s début release Fl Boy and I came away impressed. Selwyn’s guitar playing is really great. I love the tone and he plays a mean slide guitar. The Band made it to the finals last year and of course the were the big winners this year. According to their website they are putting the finishing touches on a new release. The band calls Orlando home and has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker Jr., and Joe Louis Walker. The members of the band have solid resumes that include the following:
Selwyn Birchwood (guitar and vocals) got his start with Texas blues legend Sonny Rhodes touring throughout the U.S. and Canada at the age of 19. Curtis Nutall (drums) traveled internationally with many bands including The Blind Boys of Alabama and a 5 year stint with Joe Louis Walker. Bass player Huff Wright and Regi Oliver (saxophone) have found themselves backing several notable blues artists all over the world including Lucky Peterson and Joey Gilmore.
You can check out the band at
Facebook: Selwyn Birchwood Blues Band
cdbaby: Selwyn Birchwood
Ourstage: Selwyn Birchwood Blues Band
Here’s the band performing “Lazarus” from Fl Boy