Thanks Chris Davis - Great -I re-read and saw Chris H only POSTED video's of the Folk Alliance - but did not write reviews of the Folk Alliance.. But still, there is quite a lengthy write up in the Memphis Flyer regarding the Folk Alliance compared to the INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE which started on the previous Tuesday through Saturday evening in February (one extra day this year). This was quite a year for Blues on Beale Street during the week of IBC, best yet (well, last years was quite impressive too especially w/ the Indian Blues band representing India). The Blues Foundation did an exceptional job at presenting/organizing and all of the above. Wish there was more advertising in papers or billboards from the airport around town via the Memphis Convention & Vistors bureau. Hope to see you at the Juke Joint Fest on April 16 in Clarksdale for some real blues - not mannish boy redux (yikes/ not good). Maybe you listened to the wrong IBC competitors - A person at the IBC must be quick and move quickly from place to place during the IBC as Dennis Brooks did and was an amazing example to see/hear and tell others of whom to see during the IBC (or at any festival). A must see at the Juke Joint Fest is John-Alex Mason - New album.."Jook Joint Thunderclap" (vinyl available) featuring Cody Burnside, Cedric Burnside, Fara Tolno, Fasinet Bangoura, Alya Sylla, Lionel Young, Gerry Hundt, Andy Irvine and Lightin' Malcom! Maybe I'll see you in the Blues World. :-D
Chris' article in the Memphis Flyer regarding the IBC is definitely not a good review and out of line and did focus too much on Valerie June. His comments regarding Valerie as adding a "demographic elements to the IBC stage Saturday night that it sorely lacked" has nothing to do with the finals -- it's about music and being original -not being a female or an african american representing in the finals. Valerie did an AMAZING job at the IBC and made some very important contacts along the way. I was the one who convinced her to do the competition w/ the Memphis Blues Society because I knew she needed more exposure to others in the world. Her music is very unique and not many understand her sound; but now they do - Organic Moonshine Roots Music
Also, Chris' comment regarding Vince Johnson & the Plantation Allstarts, "During my quarterfinals wanderings, I can't judge whether Memphis' other IBC entry, Vince Johnson & the Plantation Allstars, deserved to be there." I wasn't very pleased to read this from Chris..... The crowd of dancers and everyone else at BB Kings were going WILD to Vince's set - and when Vince asked how much time he had left, the time keeper said "2 minutes," but the crowd yelled "TWO HOURS!" Vince and the band smiled reallllllly big after hearing the comment. Vince and the band had an awesome time and experience at the IBC! They were glowing for days after the competition at the Tap Room and still talking about their great IBC experience.
Oh well, the Memphis Flyer needs less of a "hipster" to write reviews of the IBC in my opinion. Chris' wrote a very long and extremely FAVORABLE review on the Folk Alliance. The Flyer needs a Blues writer for next years IBC or someone who really understands the International Blues Challenge.
By Leonard Gill
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