French Band The Wacky Jugs Win the IBCs Band Division

Phoenix Artist Eric Ramsey Triumphs in the Solo/Duo Division

THE WACKY JUGS
©Roger Stephenson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One act came from France and the other from Phoenix, but they both proved to be outstanding at this year’s International Blues Challenge finals, which took place May 9th in Memphis’ historic Orpheum Theatre.

The Wacky Jugs, representing France Blues, left Memphis with a first-place finish in the Band Division, while T.C. Carter took home the Gibson Guitar Award for Best Band Guitarist (Piedmont Blues Preservation Society.) Eric Ramsey from the Phoenix Blues Society triumphed in the Solo/Duo Division and also took home the Memphis Cigar Box Guitar Award.

Jhett Black from The San Angelo Blues Society picked up the Lee Oskar Harmonica Award for the Best Harmonica Player and also came in second place in the solo/duo division. Winning the Best Self-Produced CD was Memphis Lightning for their album, Borrowed Time.

Receiving recognition too at this year’s IBC Awards in the Band Division was Cros (Phoenix Blues Society), capturing 2nd place, and coming in third was Soul Nite featuring D.K. Harrell (Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola).

New President and CEO, Judith Black effused, “It’s been a great return for the IBC. Congratulations to all of the winners and everyone who competed. We hope that this year’s IBC was the launch of many amazing blues artists’ careers.”

ERIC RAMSEY
©Roger Stephenson

While the Challenge served as a centerpiece of IBC Week, The Blues Foundation also presented a varied line-up of unique events. This year’s recipients of the Foundation’s highly esteemed Keeping the Blues Alive Awards were celebrated at a special ceremony. Other highlights included screenings of the documentaries, Blues Trail Revisited, and Blues on Beale, the Jérôme Brunet Into the Light photography exhibit, and the IBC Silent Auction.

On Thursday, May 5th, The Blues Foundation presented its other signature event, the Blues Music Awards. The winners for the 43rd annual BMAs can be found at Blues.org.

The International Blues Challenge is sponsored by Americana Music Association, ArtsMemphis, Blues Festival Guide, Blues Matters, BMI, Canadian Consulate, European Blues Union, Folk Alliance International, Hohner Harmonica, Lancit Digital Media, Lansky Bros., Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Living Blues, Memphis Airport Authority, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Tourism, Rock n’ Soul Museum, Silky O’Sullivan’s, Ted Reed Productions, and the TN Arts Commission.

The Blues Foundation is a world-renowned Memphis-based organization whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 173 affiliated blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals worldwide. Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame inductions, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international hub of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music. The Blues Hall of Fame Museum, located in Downtown Memphis, adds the opportunity for blues lovers of all ages to interact with blues music and history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the global blues community with answers, information, and news.

T.C. CARTER
©Roger Stephenson

COMPLETE LIST OF INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE’S 2022 WINNERS

BAND DIVISION
Winner: The Wacky Jugs
2nd Place Band: Cros
3rd Place Band: Soul Nite featuring D.K. Harrell

SOLO/DUO DIVISION
Winner: Eric Ramsey
2nd Place: Jhett Black

GIBSON GUITAR AWARD (BEST BAND GUITARIST)
T.C. Carter

MEMPHIS CIGAR BOX GUITAR AWARD (BEST SOLO/DUO GUITARIST)
Winner: Eric Ramsey

LEE OSKAR HARMONICA AWARD (BEST HARMONICA PLAYER)
Winner: Jhett Black

BEST SELF-PRODUCED CD
Winner: Memphis Lightning – Borrowed Time

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