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See the 2013
Road To Memphis Challenge
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The Understudies
The Understudies
Quin Simmons, Tom Bush, Colin Campbell and Zach Avery

"The Understudies" Represent Minnesota
As Youth Showcase Act
At 2014 International Blues Challenge

The Understudies is a Minneapolis based blues band with a guitar rocking bent. Each member has extensive performance experience in prior bands ranging from straight up blues, to rock, to jazz and gospel. The Understudies are a guitar forward band built around dual leads. While their shows feature a musical humor and an occasional sensitive side they never stray far from the principle Loud is Good! The Understudies are Colin Campbell and Zach Avery on guitar/vocals. Tom Bush and Quin Simmons comprise the rhythm section on bass and drums. All are 17. Each is the understudy of a great local musician. The music causes each to occasionally "understudy" for an upcoming test. In both cases it pays off in performance. — from The Understudies

You can help The Understudies offset their travel expenses to Memphis, TN by making a tax-deductible donation to the Youth Showcase Fund:


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Road To Memphis Fundraiser January 12, 2014


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Road To Memphis 2013 October Fundraiser Poster

Annie Mack
Annie Mack

Tampa Spatz
Tampa Spatz

the Winners Are …

Annie Mack Band (Band)
Tampa Spatz (Solo)
2013 Road To Memphis Challenge

Actually, there were a lot of winners in Sunday's Road To Memphis Challenge competition at O'Gara's Pub in St Paul. The Annie Mack Band was judged best out of the nine acts in the Band category with first runner-up, Soulmates and second runner-up, Ken Valdez. The honors for the Solo/Duo category went to Tampa Spatz followed by Mark Cameron & Bill Keyes and Nigel Egg. It was a joy to see veteran bands like Inside Straight Blues Band and the Soulmates in the competition. All of the acts were top-notch and the competition was very close.

Kudos to Jim Pinckney, Chairman of the Road To Memphis Committee, and to MnBS President, Richard Schaefer, along with Christina Hoglund, Volunteer Coordinator and the many volunteers including the judges, time-keepers, scorekeeper, merchandise-handlers and door-donation-collectors who pitched in to make this event a success. Thanks to O'Gara's Bar & Grill and their staff for hosting the event. Special thanks to American Guitar & Band and Tim O'Brien for providing and transporting the back-line equipment. Also, thanks to Roger Kozel for supplying and running the PA system for the Solo/Duo room. Likewise, thanks to Ken Zieska and Ted Wilebski for keeping things moving as emcees in each room. To all the acts who played their hearts out, thank you so much. And finally, thank you to all of the blues fans who showed up to support the music on such a beautiful Sunday afternoon. — Jake Jacobson


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Help Send Annie Mack
& Tampa Spatz To Memphis

You can show your support for the two acts that have been selected to represent Minnesota at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN by making a tax-deductible donation to the funds to help offset their travel expenses. Participating acts are not compensated for their performances at the IBC. — Road To Memphis Committee

Click Button To Make A Tax-Deductible Donation

2013 Road To Memphis Challenge
Sunday, April 28, 12:30 pm
@ O'Gara's Bar & Grill
164 N Snelling Avenue, St Paul, MN

Slide Show of
2013 Road To Memphis Challenge

Annie Mack
Click For Slide Show

2013 Road To Memphis Challenge Poster

10 Bands & 5 Solo/Duo Acts
Tim "Mr Bone" Reigstad & the HeadhuntersMark Cameron & Bill Keyes
Willie B Blues Band Canceled "Duckshack Dave" Florine
Annie Mack BandTampa Spatz
MooseKnuckle BrothersJohn Rogers
Pat McLaughlin & Tony HouleNigel Egg
Roy Rogers & the Bluzzers
Inside Straight Band
The Swamp Kings
Ken Valdez


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