This huge Blues event kicked off on Beale Street last night with the International Showcase where bands from all over the world filled the clubs. All of the acts in the challenge are nominated from their local Blues societies, so we are getting the top rated talent from all over the world. Such awesome Blues last night and more to come through Saturday. We get to go to the Orpheum Theater for the Finals on Saturday. We have never been inside yet, but have heard how beautiful it is, so looking forward to that.
Last night, we grabbed some dinner from DeJaVu creole soul and vegetarian restaurant. This was our second time there. We were first introduced as a recommendation from our new friend Bianca who has a vegan blog and maintains a great Memphis Vegan Dining Guide. Memphis is a great food town and we have so many options when we need to grab something to eat on the go (unlike small town Michigan where we came from).
From there, we walked down to Beale Street to pick up our guide and check out the International bands. We listened to Phil Bee's Freedom from the Dutch Blues Foundation at Club 152. We headed over to Pig on Beale to catch the last few songs from the duo Mick Kidd with Dave Blight from the Adelaide Roots and Blues Association who were followed by another duo Wayne Holden and Mikey Ethelston from the Great Lakes Blues Society. Felt like we were back in Michigan again...oh wait, that would be the Ontario side of the Great Lakes, hence the International connotation for this duo. (Sorry, for some reason, I didn't get into my band picture taking groove until after seeing these acts.)
This was just a sampling of the over 30 international acts who played last night. For many of these bands, it's their first time to Memphis and Beale Street. I can only imagine how cool that is for them to be surrounded by mountains of Blues talent, legend, and history. Oh how I love the Blues!
The real competition starts today. Quarterfinals are today and tomorrow. Friday includes a Youth Showcase, a special Women in Blues event, and Semifinals. The finals are Saturday at the Orpheum. Since our rock star life days sort of expired a while ago, we are going to give it a rest tonight. We had plans for a vegan get together, so we will have a quiet night with healthy vegan food. Not sure about Thursday, but we will definitely be checking out the Youth Showcase, Women in Blues, and some Semifinal action on Friday. Looking forward to our first event at the Orpheum Saturday as well.
Please pray for my liver. (Kidding. Sort of.) I am not very good at going to Blues gigs in bars and saying No to beer. Simon drove last night, so he had mostly water. Smart man. He also had to get up early for work and didn't want to feel bad. Not this girl... enjoyed 4 beers with all of that great entertainment. And I'm paying for it today, got a bit of a headache and feel a bit fuzzy. I may go get a detox juice from City Market soon to cleanse my system a bit. When will I ever learn??
The good thing is we certainly drink a lot less than we did in our 20s or 30s. I know my limits and 4 drinks over the course of a night is about my limit. I am a lot healthier and wiser these days, but I still have my vices ;-) What is that Homer Simpson alcohol quote? "To Alcohol! The cause of and solution to all of life's problems." Tee-Hee.
I hope you enjoyed my overview of the International Blues Challenge. Just part of living the life we love here in Memphis.