2018 Road To Memphis Challenge
Donate To 2019 IBC Funds
|Travel Fund For
Tony Cuchetti & Joe Filipovich
|Travel Fund For
Dee Miller Band
|Travel Fund For
Both IBC Acts
|Travel Fund For
Youth Showcase Act
Dee Miller Band with Boom Boom Steve V
Road to Memphis Fundraiser
at Minnesota Music Cafe
Review and Photos by Michael Border
Minnesota musicians headed to a competition, near the Delta that spawned the blues, got a boost at Minnesota Music Café on Sunday, September 30, with the first of several fundraisers.
Sugar Chuck of Gopher Tones
‘The Road to Memphis’ event sponsored by the Minnesota Blues Society attracted veteran blues musicians and hopeful newbies. Six bands each played 45-minute sets. The vets came to play and lend drawing power to attract a donor audience which packed the house. Donations will help cover travel and lodging expenses for the three local blues acts headed to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming January.
The Dee Miller Band, headed up by its veteran namesake, won the 2018 RTM Band competition in April as the Minnesota group chosen to vie in the international competition.
Tony and Joe, bringing their own twist to a more classic style of blues, earned the judge’s recommendation to represent in the Solo/Duo category.
Izzy Cruz of The C-Notes
The C-Notes, a Youth Showcase entrant, was designated to perform in Memphis. Youth bands are not eligible to compete, so the C-Notes are invited to perform. They gain an important opportunity to display their skills and seek advice from established blues performers.
Erin McCawley of Harrison Street
The Minnesota Music Café attracted an appreciative throng of fans who soaked up the six-band sampler platter of blues. Tony & Joe led off the sets, and then came the funky pounding notes of Harrison Street, powerfully fronted by a kinetic Erin McCawley. The C-Notes poured out their fresh takes on blues standards, adding new directions.
Boom Boom Steve V
Commandeering the stage in support; Boom Boom Steve & the Knockouts charged the airwaves and then filled the dance floor. Annie Mack with the Gopher Tones changed the tempo to put down bittersweet, soulful ballads.
Dee Miller and her band kept the buzz going with their bluesy, driving style. Their set impelled energy that brought many to their feet. Dee’s potent sound is brought to life by Craig Clark, guitar; Eric Meyer, bass; Jesse Mueller, keyboard; and, Mike DuBois on drums. Like the cross-cultural ingredients in a Creole recipe, Steve Vonderharr’s harp added extra spice to the already piquant set.
A bake sale was in perfectly sweet character as a positive contributor to the cause.
If you’d like to help a trio of Minnesota bands offset travel and lodging to be our ambassadors of Blues, please click a button to donate. And, be sure to watch for and support coming Road to Memphis fundraisers.
Wilebski's Blues Saloon, Sunday, April 29, 2018:|
The Dee Miller Band was announced as the winner in Sunday afternoon's Minnesota Blues Society’s Road To Memphis band competition at Wilebski's Blues Saloon in St Paul. The Dee Miller Band was judged best of the eight acts competing. The band is composed of Dee Miller on vocals, Craig Clark on guitar and vocals, Mike DuBois hittin’ the drums and Eric Meyer on bass guitar with Jesse Mueller on keyboards. Included in the competition were Doghouse Jon and The Misbehavers, Pimps and Preachers, Bluedog, Mark Cameron Band, The Starlite Five, Paul Barry & The Ace Tones and Brother Jon Band. It was great to see a full house and supportive fans enjoy the competition. All of the acts were full of enthusiasm and energy.
The Dee Miller Band
Congratulations to Steve Leutgeb, Chris Brauer and Kathy Krauter for driving the Band competition and making the event a success. Also, hats off to Linda Tannenbaum, Volunteer Coordinator and the many volunteers including the judges, time-keeper, scorekeeper, merchandise-handlers and door monitors who pitched in. Thanks to the Wilebski's Blues Saloon (Rich, Duke, Alex, Kendra and staff) for hosting the event. Special thanks to Connor Hammergren for his drum tech skills. Also, thanks to Kent Kapitan for keeping things moving as emcee. To all the acts that 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.
Coon Rapids VFW Post #9625, Sunday, April 8, 2018:|
The duo act of Tony and Joe (Cuchetti/Filipovich) prevailed in this year's MnBS Road to Memphis Solo/Duo Challenge competing against Phil Kitze Acoustic Band, The Wain & Kurt Show, Donnie Sauve and Tim Reigstad.
Joey Filipovich & Tony Cuchetti
This year's judging was handled by past International Blues Challenge participants; Mike Munson, Javier Matos and Donna Dahl; along with longtime blues fan, MnBS member and spouse of a musician (you have our sympathy,Terri) Terri Tremblay.
Thanks to the RTM Committee headed by Steve Leutgeb with Kathy Krauter and Chris Brauer; Scorekeeper, Barry Tannenbaum; Timekeeper, Tim Flanagan; Soundman, Roger Kozel; Emcee, Mark Halverson and to volunteers, Linda Tannenbaum, John and Laura Segala and Charlie Johnson. Also, special thanks to the Coon Rapids VFW staff for hosting this event.
The 2018 Road To Memphis Band Challenge will be held on Sunday, April 29 @ Wilebski's Blues Saloon .
— Jake Jacobson
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