The best of Connecticut’s blues performers are coming to the Pine Loft over the next few weekends. The local pizzeria and cafe is hosting this year’s Connecticut Blues Society’s ninth annual Connecticut Solo/Duo Blues Challenge.
As part of the contest, blues artists from around the state complete in preliminary rounds on Sundays, October 21 and 28, 2012. Five solo or duo acts perform 25-minute sets each evening. The highest scorers come back on November 4 to compete in the final round.
Each evening’s competition begins at 6 p.m. and should end by 10 p.m. Admission is free.
A panel of musicians, blues radio DJs and fans will judge each act, following the criteria used at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Judges will award each act a score of 1 to 10 in the following categories:
- Blues content
- Stage presence
The winner of the challenge, to be announced on November 4, will receive a $600 cash prize and go on to represent Connecticut in the Solo/Duo Division of the International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn., January 30 - February 2, 2013. The International Blues Challenge, entering its 29th year in 2013, is the nation’s largest showcase for undiscovered blues talent.
This year’s lineup of Connecticut Solo/Duo Blues Challenge contestants is:
October 21: Hollis Long, Shawn Taylor, Jay Ames, Mike Bloomer, Mark Crofut
October 28: Missy T., T.C. Malo, The Hustlers, Lara Herscovitch and Mark Zaretsky, Manko and Beebs.
The winner of last year’s challenge was the duo Bill Shaka and Tony C. from Chester.
The Connecticut Blues Challenge is organized and run each year by the Connecticut Blues Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the blues as a unique musical form and supporting Connecticut’s community of blues fans and musicians.