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!