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 The 2005 IBC
Joey Gilmore
Each year in Memphis, a gathering unlike any other in the Blues World begins. Known as the IBC - International Blues Challenge - this musical magnet draws blues bands from all over the world to perform in front of those in the 'industry', and compete for the chance to make the finals, win $25,000 in cash and prizes and the title of “Best Unsigned Blues Band” and “Best Unsigned Acoustic Act.” This year drew 85+ bands, and the competition began throughout the clubs of Memphis. As a Blues Foundation affiliate member, STLBlues wanted to nominate a St. Louis band. Unfortunately, STLBlues isn't a "Blues Society", so we can't nominate, but the St. Louis Blues Society can! So contact the St. Louis Blues Society, and let them know you want to have a local Blues Challenge next year, and send a St. Louis band! We'll do what we can to help!

STLBlues was pleased to attend the finals, and bring you these results. It was a tough show to judge, with some world-class competition showing their best. Here's the official word from the Blues Foundation.......

"Joey Gilmore Awarded First Place in Band Finals. The results of Saturday's finals can now be announced to the world. The 21st International Blues Challenge saw 84 bands from 32 states and 8 countries performing in the semi-finals in 10 Beale Street clubs Thursday and Friday. Every band is a winner because they performed before blues industry and society folks from around the world. Good things happen when that occurs.

The 10 Band Finalists were:

Debbie Ritter and 4-40--Yesterday and Today's Rhythm & Blues Society
Teeny Tucker Band--Columbus Blues Alliance
Kory Montgomery Band--Yazoo Arts and Cultural Alliance
Whoodoo Band--Capital Area Blues Society
Cheryl Renee and T-Bone Blues--Cincy Blues Society
Johnny Reed & Houserockers--Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society
Lady Sunshine and the X Band--Detroit Blues Society
Breeze Kings--Atlanta Blues Society
Diunna Greenleaf & the Blue Mercy Band--The Blue Shoe Project
Joey Gilmore-Blues Society of Taiwan

After 20-minute sets, the seven judges--Handy nominee Paul Oscher, XM's Bill Wax, Severn Records' David Earl, Blues Review's Ken Bays, Producer and Musician Jimbo Mathus, 2005 KBA recipient Terry Currier and Mississippi Valley Blues Society's Bob Covemaker--awarded the following:

1st Place: Joey Gilmore -- Blues Society of Taiwan

2nd Place: Diunna Greenleaf & the Blue Mercy Band -- The Blue Shoe Project

3rd Place: Lady Sunshine and the X Band -- Detroit Blues Society

The Albert King Award with its Flying V prize for best guitarist among the finals bands went to John Richardson of the Blues Mercy Band.

Jimi Hocking takes 1st Place in Solo/Duo Finals

The results of Saturday's finals are in. The 21st International Blues Challenge is now history with 42 solo/duo acts participating in the semi-finals in 5 Beale Street clubs Thursday and Friday. Rave reviews and tough decisions for the judges.

The Solo/Duo Finalists were:

Scott Miller--Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society
Moreland--Wichita Blues Society
Howie Haber and Lou Carollo--Downstate New York Blues Society
Jimi Hocking--Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society
SmokeDaddys--Long Island Blues Society

The five-judge panel--Jan Austin, Hawkeye Herman, Rich Del Grosso, Darrell Bridges and Richard Johnston--selected Jimi Hocking from the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society as the first place winner at the Saturday afternoon finals before a standing room only crowd at the Center for Southern Folklore.

Congratulations to Jimi, all finalists and to each of the participants. The quality has never been higher."

We hope you enjoy our photo gallery, next year visit the IBC for yourself!

Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
Band Finalists
IBC Finals
Band Finalists
Band Finalists

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