‘Road to Memphis’ blues challenge seeks acts

Detroit Johnny performs at a recent Port City Blues Society event in Pine Bluff. Blues artists will compete in a regional contest in the city and the winners will proceed to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. (Special to The Commercial/John David Pittman)

The bands that do the best at tearing up the blues will be chosen to participate in the 2024 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

The Port City Blues Society will host the regional competition, The Road to Memphis, at 7 p.m. July 22 at RJ's Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The regional round is free for patrons to attend.

An impartial panel of judges will select the winning acts to advance to The Blues Foundation's worldwide competition in January 2024, according to a news release.

Interested solo/duo or band acts must submit an application to Port City Blues Society by July 7 in order to be eligible to compete in the regional round July 22. Applications and regulations are available on the organization's website, pc-blues.com.

"The International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for blues bands and solo/duo blues performers ready for the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. The world's largest gathering of blues musicians will take place on Beale Street, with more than 20 clubs hosting the challengers and fans," according to the release.

"In addition to featuring these final rounds of the blues music competition, the IBC event week will offer seminars, showcases, master classes, film screenings, networking events, book signings, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals," according to the release.

Port City Blues Society, an affiliate member of The Blues Foundation, seeks to preserve and promote blues music, the culture of Delta blues, and educate the public about the history of the blues in the region. Port City Blues Society also hosts a free weekly blues jam from 8-11 p.m. Wednesdays at RJ's Grill & Bar.

Details: pc-blues.com or facebook.com/PCBluesSociety.