BFG friend Selby Miner shared this light-hearted recap from Rachel Fields of the Brick Fields Blues Therapy band who represented the Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas at IBC in Memphis.
“Hello Good People!
We made it back from the International Blues Challenge in Memphis on Sunday and it’s taken a few days to wind down.
First I want to say thank you with all of my heart The Ozark Blues Society and to those of you who supported our trip, to those who came to show your support, to those who reached out with words of encouragement and prayers and to those who have reached out with love since we’ve been home.
Although we did not make it to the Finals, we did make it to the semi-finals!
Considering that Brick Fields Blues Therapy does not fit the standard “blues band” image which is set very high at the IBC’s, this is truly a great feat! I have been to the IBC’s 5 times (including this time). One of those times, Larry and I went to showcase but the others we were competing. We have never made the semi-finals.
I literally ran down the hotel hall in my pj’s at 2am to go tell the guys when I found out. It was very exciting! I’m so very proud of the band and all that we accomplished while we were there by just doing what we do and doing our best! The talent that we were within our venues was mind-blowing. I would not have wanted to be a judge. I believe!
I believe we will see some good fruit from the experience. Hearts were touched, CD’s were requested and two new bookings have already come in since we’ve been home. So I would say we accomplished our mission of sharing more of Northwest Arkansas homegrown music with even more people! There’s always that hope of playing at the Orpheum for the finals but I am happy for the 9 bands who did make it there.
I am especially excited and happy for our friend Hector Anchondo who won 1st Place in the Solo/Duo division this year! How cool is that? Hector has brought us to his hometown for the “In The Market For The Blues” blues festival in Omaha Nebraska in the past, this year we will see him at The Rhythm and Blues Festival in Eureka Springs, AR!
While attending a master class hosted by the legendary and Grammy winning Bobby Rush, some of the folks got into a heated racial debate. It always breaks my heart to hear division of any sort but especially with-in the walls of music. Bobby handled the entire situation like a pro and I of course had to speak my mind and got a big hug out of it. Also, when Bobby asked the question, “Who do you think the first blues singer was?” and I said, “King David!” He said, “That is absolutely right!!” “The book of Psalms is full of it!” This was a disagreement I’ve had with some very influential blues artists in the past and to have Bobby Rush back me up on this was a huge sha-bang for me!
During my regular daily bowl of “Larry’s Greens” (that’s what they are called) at Blues City Cafe I got to see Derek and Rooster (two BCC fixtures who have always been there for as long as I remember). Chris and I found out during a conversation with Derek this week that he was one of Albert Kings last guitar players. We found a video online. If you look up Albert King concert 1992 up on You Tube, you can see a young Derek holding his own in the band.
Everywhere we turned were blues musicians, blues legends, blues DJ’s, lots of blues friends and blues history. I saw Shemekia Copeland at the cafe while eating dinner one night and did the total “fan girl” thing. She told me that she would be at The Rum Boogie sitting in with JP Soars and wow, I must say after hearing that 20 min set on Thursday night I was filled up! Kevin did the “fan guy” thing with Bob Margolin… lol. Here is proof:
While running late and with wet hair to The Holiday Inn for a radio interview with Whit Hubner of WMOT Roots Radio Friday morning I crashed into a big mud hole. Once in the lobby covered in mud and wet headed I was surprised to find that I had walked in to a special invite of very well dressed and put together blues music stars just to name a few Shaun Murphy, Amanda Fish, my friends RB Stone and Prez of Alligator Records, Mr. Bruce Iglauer (who charmingly told me I looked younger than the last time he saw me). Yes! Oh.. and can I just say… anywhere you see Shaun Murphy you can expect DJ Gil Anthony to be close by. Why is that Gil?
The very best part about this entire trip besides having a heap of support, incredible crowds, memorable experiences, seed planting opportunities, is that I got to share it with people I love including my dad, my good friend Lynda, my band, my manager Andy and more good friends who made sure we were all taken care of.
There are videos posted on social media of some of our performances by folks who attended. I am sharing what I find on our Brick Fields Facebook page and you can see them there along with the Blues Foundations Semifinalist Highlight video where they included some great shots of Chris and Hunter.
One more month of preparing for season and then we will be off and running into another great year!
Looking forward to seeing you all and sharing more music.
Also, just a reminder, you can now download our new album at www.BrickFieldsMusic.com/store
May God Bless You and Yours!