Thursday, March 1, 2012

Memphis Blues Around the World

The International Blues Challenge is just what it says--international
--and there were some good acts from outside of the U.S. One was guitarist Fred Chapellier and his trio, who made the semi-finals representing the France Blues Society. Born in Metz, France in 1966, Chapellier started playing guitar in 1981. After experimenting with different styles for a while, he formed a blues band in 1992. Roy Buchanan is a major influence of his and the inspiration for his 2007 album A Tribute to Roy Buchanan. We concluded that Chapellier has a large fan base: this video we made of him picked up over 600 views in three weeks time: Here's an encore performance from Chapellier: I have to admit I personally really liked Pristine, the group representing Norway's Norsk Blues Union. I thought they had a good lead singer in Heidi Solheim, and their style--how do I put this--kind of looks at the traditional through a slightly different lens. They made the semi-finals. This video is a little out of focus, but the music comes in clear, thank God: This next group, the Bleu Rascals, made it to the quarter-finals representing the Phillipines Blues Society. The group, consisting of Paul Marney Leobrera, 18, on guitar/vocals; Spencer Rymonte,19, on bass and Darwin Quinto, 19, on drums first started making their mark on the Manila music scene last year. Here is their version of "Little Wing:" We're going to end this post with some hot blues from the good ole U.S.A., specifically Texas by way of Massachusetts. Willie Laws is a Texas bluesman in the spirit of Phillip Walker who ended up in Massachusetts, which he was representing when he made the semi-finals in Memphis. Here's the Willie J. Laws Band once: And here it is again: We'll have more from Memphis in the days ahead. Remember: represent! Become a member of Beldon's Blues Point!


  1. Kirk, thanks for capturing the performance of the Bleu Rascals at Hard Rock. I accompanied the boys from Manila to Memphis for an incredibly memorable adventure for all of us.

    I'm amazed that in your posts you feature the very same bands that we ended up following through the IBC. So your Memphis series is a great album of memories for us.

  2. Yes, don't know why it turned out like that. Guess we just have the same tastes! :)