The results are in! Each of the Kansas City Blues Society's competitions for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) Solo/Duo have produced two first place and two second place winners who will compete for the opportunity to represent the Kansas City blues scene at the IBC in Memphis, Tennessee for a chance for the international title and all of the fame and glory that goes with it.
Other great competitors included Stovepipe Perkins, who played some nice originals and sported a stunning humidor-cigar-box guitar; the Red Tails, who brought a bass drum, hi-hat, guitar, harmonica, and harmony vocals with just two players; and Michael Lundgren, who played some soulful acoustic blues at the Hideout.
The winning performers at Gigi's were a thrill to see. Kevin Kraft is renowned for his diddley bow and cigar box guitar workmanship, and he did his show entirely on instruments of his own creation. His soulful croon and heart warming slide style. His is a Delta blues feel. Kraft packed plenty of warmth and history into his set. Tom Tipton is well known as a bass player about town, appearing often with Penelope and the Unusual Suspects and, more recently, Cross Eyed Cat. It was a pleasant surprise to hear his inspired originals, chock full of unique, bluesy chord progressions and sweetly arranged guitar/vocal harmonies, and to hear Tipton at the forefront.
The winners at the Hideout were Pharaoh Tarot (Skaught Patterson) and Jason Vivone. The Pharaoh received high compliments for “Great vocal diversity and songwriting; excellent showmanship and guitar playing,” and “Very creative use of instruments” from one judge. Another said of the Pharaoh Tarot's performance, “This guy loves to play, and it shows... Good, big voice, very fluid changes... the most entertaining act of the evening.” Jason Vivone put on an incredible performance as well, employing his signature audience participation and improvising humorously to keep the audience entranced. His performances are always enchanting. Time seems to stop while Vivone holds the stage; there is always something magical going on during his shows.
Here's what's coming up in the schedules of these winning performers:
Pharaoh Tarot (Skaught Patterson):
September 29 7PM Pharaoh Tarot-Hideout Acoustic Jam with co-host Jason Vivone
October 9 2PM Pharaoh Tarot-Knuckleheads Saloon – International Blues Challenge Finals
Novermeber 26 8:30PM Pharaoh Tarot-Hideout Bar & Grill – Pharaoh Tarot blues band
The Pharaoh Tarot band will be hosting a rollicking, wild, fully electrified night of music the day after Thanksgiving at the Hideout. The band includes renowned drummer Jaisson Taylor and the high energy blues bass guitar of Jeremy Isaacson.
October 9 2PM Kevin Kraft-Knuckleheads Saloon – International Blues Challenge Finals
Kevin Kraft is a filmmaker, and you can find out more about his work at tekproductions.org. His films center around his musical lifestyle, and there is plenty to try out online at TekProductions website.
September 29 7PM Vivone-Hideout Acoustic Jam with co-host Pharaoh Tarot
October 9 2PM Vivone-Knuckleheads Saloon – International Blues Challenge Finals
Also look for Jason Vivone gigging with Paula Crawford. He is on her latest CD as well. His band, the Billy Bats, is adding a bassist and more drums, percussion, and banjo! They're still doing what Vivone describes as “two man skronk sessions, and now also a string band bit.” His new solo album, MY ROARING 20's, is slated for release by the end of 2010 and features one of the songs Vivone is best known for, “Calendar.”
September 17 9PM Crosseyed Cat-Lewellyn's Pub, 6995 W 151st, Overland Park, KS
September 19 6PM Crosseyed Cat-Fat Fish Blue, Zona Rosa
October 9 2PM Tom Tipton-Knuckleheads Saloon – International Blues Challenge Finals