Southern California, June 2018, 6 String Showdown – Trade Licks with the Best!

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Presenting the Summer’s Biggest Event: A head-to-head blues guitar competition, New Blues Festival Presents 6 String Showdown

This summer the Long Beach Blues Society, Orange County Blues Society, and the New Blues Festival have teamed up to present the 6 String Showdown, a series of regional guitar competitions to crown Southern California’s all-around best blues guitar player on the Main Stage of the New Blues Festival Sunday, September 2nd.

This is not a battle of the bands. This is a head to head blues guitar competition; an authentic guitar celebration.

Judging will be based on skill, not speed. Criteria are tasty licks played with feeling, phrasing, personal expression, tone, timing, dynamics, reflection, and solos that tell a story.

Judging will be based on three criteria:

Technique 30%

Showmanship 30%

Audience responses 40%

There are only 20 spots available in each regional (60 total) and they are filling up fast.

“I’m judging at Harvelle’s, and I’ll tell you how to get the best marks from me: Play the blues!” says Bernie Pearl, our Chief Judge at the Long Beach regionals. Other regional judges include; Artur Menezes, Joey Delgado, Kenny “Big Daddy” Williams, Johnny Main, Diana Rein, Betty Rose, KK Martin, and Lightnin’ Willie.

Orange County Blues Society President, Papa J, Long Beach Blues Society President, Bob Barr, Los Angeles Blues Society Representative, Ricky Z. Rip Cat Records A&R representative,

Kay Kay Jagger and blues guitarist Steve Artea will be judging the Semi-Finals.

With Gregg Wright, Ray Goren, Anthony “Fingers” Naranjo, Mark Sells and Oklahoma Ollie as Chief Judges at the Finals.

Bracket rounds to determine regional winners will be held at:

  • Campus Jax, Newport Beach, CA, Sat 7/21 3 PM – 11 PM
  • Harvelle’s, Long Beach, CA, Sunday 7/29 3 PM – 11 PM (21 & older)
  • Arcadia Blues Club, Arcadia, CA, Sat 8/4 6 PM-midnight

Remember. Audience response counts for 40% of the judging. Get your Tickets Now and Cheer Loud!

Three semi-finalists will face off on the Golden Groove stage at the New Blues Festival on Saturday, 9/1. Two finalists will go head to head on the Main Stage on Sunday, 9/2, before a crowd of 8,000 including bookers, club owners, A&R execs, record label owners and radio personalities who will be on hand for meet and greets.

One winner will walk away with over $5,000 in cash and prizes, including a guaranteed paid spot on the Main Stage at the 2019 New Blues Festival.

Semi-Finals Judge, Papa J believes The 6 Sting Showdown is a great way for players to get out and showcase their love of the blues. A way to tell their own story. I do not think of this as a competition but as a way to highlight the different styles and techniques of playing the blues.

OC Regional Judge K.K. Martin concurs: “I’d rather hear somebody make a soulful mistake than play expertly with no soul. Sign up, let me hear what you got.”

AND each night immediately following the Main Event the evening’s judges and the winner will open the stage to all musicians for an open jam and a once in a lifetime opportunity to trade licks with the likes of great blues guitar legends.

Bring your axe, your keys, your bass, and your horns, these are bound to be the open jams of the summer!

“I think that it will make me a better player after seeing everyone giving everything they’ve got to win this competition,” says Arcadia judge Diana Rein. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. I hope it creates a nice bond between all of us out there that are dedicated to becoming one with our guitars.”

The enthusiasm engendered by 6 String Showdown has grown contagious.

“I would love to … pay special homage to John Lee Hooker. I owe him much for putting a guitar in the hand and the blues in the heart of that little five-year-old kid.” Says ABC competitor Teddy Lee Hooker.

LB Regional participant Duane Stinnett signed up because, “I just want to play with other good players, get out in front of people, and have some fun.”

And Eric Shen, an ABC competitor adds: “I think what I am pursuing now is to not only keep blues alive but also bring back the golden age of the blues music.”

When you sign up, what else is in it other than the sheer joy of playing with other great axe-men and women?

6 String Showdown has partnered with The Sweet Relief Musicians Cancer Fund and will be donating a portion of the registration fees making this truly an event by musicians for musicians.

Each entrant will be provided with personalized PR for the length of the competition, including print, radio and a personalized web page on the 6 String Showdown site.

All competitors will receive professional publicity shots from well-known blues photographer Rebecca Bogdanoff.

Plus performance video for promotional use by acclaimed music videographer Casey Reagan of MusicUCanSee.

Semi-finalists and finalists will play before 8,000 and be privy to a meet and greet with bookers, club owners, A&R execs, blues record label owners and radio personalities.

One winner will walk away with over $5,000 in cash and prizes, including a guaranteed paid spot on the Main Stage at the 2019 New Blues Festival

Reserve your spot now at the 6 String Showdown web page before the regional events fill up.

And fans, purchase your tickets before these events sell out!

Campus Jax: Tickets!

Harvelle’s, Long Beach: Tickets!

Arcadia Blues Club: Tickets!

As OC Chief Judge Kenny Big Daddy Williams says, “Sign up for a chance to prove all that practice does pay off.”

New Blues Festival Presents 6 String Showdown is online at Facebook and 6 String Showdown.



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