Jim Trainer

Austin Competes For A Place at the 27th Annual International Blues Competition

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Last night was the first round of the International Blues Competition here in Austin.  Six bands played and plied their jumps&jives onstage at the heart of Austin’s blues scene, Antone’s.  20 minute sets were given to each band, leaving me to again marvel at all the distinctly personal types of blues there are.  And of course,  the many hats of its players…
The Stevie Ray Vaughn sideways jeffcap made an appearance as well as the rumpled Tom Waits’ fedora and a wide-brimmed black number that looked proper on Stray Dawg of Stray Dawg&the Wolves.  The judges seemed content tapping their feet at tables in front of the stage while fans and attendees sat&stood around casually drinkin’ and groovin’.
Lovely Ilsa at the door clocked 81 covers, significantly higher than the usual turn out at Antone’s for its Monday Night Blues Jam.
Ms.Julia&Her Cruzers took it.  They claimed first place and I was just completely floored by their rhythm section.  That crazy Pisan Alberto Telo on the skins brought fans to the floor for some hip grindin’ and gettin’ down.
While Ms.Julia belted out about it burnin’ down, Brother Magnum&the Razorbumps raised the dead.  Brother Magnum knows how to lead a band.  He set up his full front-line horn section within his allotted 10 minutes and represented some serious grind&bump to take the semi-finalist title.
The two winners from last night will spar with the finalist and semi-finalists from next week.  The winner, along with the winner of the solo/duet competition on October 24th, will be flown to Memphis in January to compete w/ blues bands from all over the blue world.
Stray Dawg did his funk-rockin’ Jimi thing and the Jake Levinson Band did they dirty-Nawlins Tom Waits’ thing but there could only be two winners.  That is, until next week.
I’ll be on the panel next week, representing the local Austin Bluesbat  Contingent and drinking bourbon.  I’m sure I’ll be just as astounded at the many interpretations of this most pure blueprint of our rock and roll.  Each band knows it, just like they know how very personal the blues is and should be.
We all know the blues is better incanted than imitated and about as fun to imitate as it is to act like you’re feeling bad.  The blues is a long road that we all walk down feelin’ bad.  Thank God we got the blues.  See you at the judges booth next week, blues Rocker&Rockettes.
whiskey c’est mon ami!
Bat Manor, TX
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