After an incredible afternoon of excellent live blues at Wicked Twisted in Nashua last Sunday, the Granite State Blues Society is proud to announce the winners of our 2014 IBC (International Blues Challenge) competition:
The solo/duo winner this year is Arthur James! Arthur has been a veteran of the New England blues scene since the 1980’s and a multiple IBC winner. His lively, foot-tapping acoustic blues style features his soulful vocals and passionately inspired guitar work.
This year’s winner in the band competition is the Mike Crandall Blues Band! This high energy blues-swing harmonica band from Connecticut blew us away! Mike’s powerful voice and blistering harp work is something to behold, and with a stage presence to match. His band is tight and polished and features some amazing guitar playing from Sam Gentile.
All our competing performers were incredibly good this year, making the judges’ job the most difficult it has ever been. A huge thank you to all who participated and to all who came out to enjoy the shows! Be on the lookout for a future GSBS fund-raising event to help us send our winners to Memphis for the final IBC competition.
Form available on the competition tab
Come help us welcome Erik Ray to New Hampshire! Erik has just moved to the Mount Washington Valley area from a small ranch town in Montana, and is enjoying getting to know many musicians and fans in the New Hampshire area.
Erik recently won the 2013 Granite State Blues Society Challenge granitestateblues.org in the Solo/Duo category. He competed in 30th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and was selected as one of eight finalists, out of 101 of the best solo/duo blues acts in the world.
As you will see, Erik is somewhat of a musical anomaly. Over the last 30 years as a professional musician and entertainer he has, among other things, built up his “one-man-band” act. He plays the guitar, mandolin, harmonica, kick drum, high hat, upright bass and accordion – mostly simultaneously.
It is hard to label his style of music. Although he usually advertises it as honky-tonk Blues, it really encompasses many more genres. In his own words he says “I love Delta Blues,Chicago Blues, Jump and Swing, old Country from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, 1960s rock, zydeco, a smattering of Jazz and Folk, polkas and anything else that moves me at the time”.
When Erik isn’t playing music, he is busy as a high school math teacher. He’s currently teaching at Bishop Brady, a private catholic high school in Concord, NH. He has an agreement with his students, as an incentive for high achievement, that if they average an A on their quiz he will play them a song on his guitar. It works!
Nelson’s Candies and the Granite State Blues Society are presenting an intimate evening with Erik Ray on March 22, 2014 at 7:00 at Nelson’s Candies, Main Street, Wilton, NH.
Admission is $12.00 which will be used to help offset the costs of the GSBS Barnful of Blues Festival which raises money for children’s charities in New Hampshire. Tickets are available at Nelson’s Candies, at the door the evening of the show, or via Paypal
Check out our calendar on a regular basis for up and coming Blues shows in New Hampshire. There are surprising venues with great acts – this Saturday, February 22nd the Skip Philbrick Blues Band will be at Nelson’s Candies in Wilton, NH
Granite State Blues Society is hosting our Road to Memphis Fundraising event at Pitman’s Freight Room on January 5th between 2pm and 6pm. Lots of great music, food, fun, raffles and dancing. Best of all, you can help send Granite State to Memphis in 2014 with your donations. Come join the fun!
Download printable file of this poster…spread the word! Memphis_Small_Poster
December 8th the Blues Tonight Band is hosting a Fundraiser to help raise funds to send the Granite State Blues Society winners to Memphis! A great show is planned at the Wicked Twisted Bar & Grille on E Hollis Street in Nashua, NH. Great music! Blues! Raffles! The event starts at 1pm!
The Granite State Blues Society is honored to have 3 entries representing New Hampshire in Memphis at the International Blues Competition. The winners are:
The Blues Tonight Band – Band Category -This band is a hard driving “true” blues band, playing a mix of original compositions and cover songs. Blues Tonight Band has been playing New England regularly for the past couple of year and have released their debut CD “Zombie Blues”. The members of Blues Tonight Band are not only talented but truly enjoy what they are doing, their energy is contagious and gets people dancing.
Erik Ray – Solo Artist – Erik Ray has been playing his brand of Honky Tonk Blues throughout the Northwest for the past 30 years. He has recently relocated to the White Mountain region of New Hampshire and is looking forward to finding a niche in the music scene of New Hampshire. Erik Ray arrived in his cowboy hat and collection of instruments that took overwhelming high scores from the judges in presentation, content, and quality.
The Riddle’N'Blues Band – Youth Category – This dynamic youth Blues quartet is fronted by 19 year old Alex Brackett. Three brothers Michael, Jacob and Adam Lemieux provide bass, drums, saxophone and clarinet. Yes, clarinet. The boys are all home schooled and are close friends with the Blues. It was a joy to listen to Riddle’N'Blues perform!