2015 IBC Winners

Courtesy DeChamp Records

Eddie Cotton, the band representative from the Vicksburg Blues Society, took top honors at this year’s International Blues Challenge. It is the second year in a row the representative from the Vicksburg Blues Society won the band portion of the IBC, following a win by Mr. Sipp the Mississippi Blues Child in 2014.

Here is video of Eddie and his band performing at the finals, courtesy of Chris Canas.

Eddie’s 2014 album, Here I Come, was featured prominently in episode 1503 of our show. Click Here to Listen On Demand The episode also features music by Solo/Duo 2nd place Brian Keith Wallen, IBC Band 3rd place Nico Wayne Toussaint, and the winner of the Best Self Produced CD of 2015, Altered Five Blues Band.

Courtesy Blues Foundation

Courtesy Blues Foundation

Randy McQuay, who had previously won Best Harmonica Player at the 2012 IBC, won the Solo/Duo competition. Dayton Blues Society representative Brian Keith Wallen took home second. McQuay will ride that momentum to his upcoming debut album release in 2015.

Other top honors included this year’s Lee Oskar Best Harmonica Player, Nick Wayne Toussaint (IBC third place Band,) and Altered Five Blues Band won “Best Self Produced CD” for their album Cryin’ Mercy. Ben Rice was named St. Blues Best Guitarist for the Solo/Duo’s. Wallen’s fellow Dayton Blues Society rep, Noah Wotherspoon, won the Gibson Best Guitarist Award for Band competitors. His band finished second in the overall IBC.

Winners receive cash prizes, top gigs, enhanced publicity and inclusion in an exclusive class of Blues performers. There were more than 250 acts in total competing, this year; and everyone was a winner just by making it through their local competition to ear the trip to Memphis. Congratulations to everyone who competed, and to the Blues Foundation for holding another successful competition. Visit them online at Blues.org

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