Musicians compete in Triangle Blues Challenge

Jul. 24, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

The Bull Durham Blues Festival arrives in September, but blues fans who need their spirits stoked can attend the Triangle Blues Society’s Blues Challenge on Saturday at Hayti Heritage Center.

About 12 North Carolina musicians – individuals, duos and bands – have signed up for the challenge, said Gary Messenger, president of the Triangle Blues Society. The winners get to travel to Memphis, Tennessee, in January for the 2015 International Blues Challenge, held every year on Beale Street. The winners also will get to perform at the 2015 Bull Durham Blues Festival, Messenger said. A portion of the proceeds from the challenge will help defray the expenses of musicians who go to Memphis in January, Messenger said.
Guitarist Rick Tobey took home last year’s award in the Triangle challenge in the individual-duo category. Red Dirt Revelators won in the band category. Sherman Lee Dillon, Jason Damico and the Charley Ward Band are among the returning challenge contestants (the Charley Ward Band were runners-up in the 2013 band challenge). The Tornado Blues Band and the band Lawyers, Guns and Money will be participating in their first challenge.
The Triangle Blues Society became a non-profit organization in 1992, and became affiliated with The Blues Foundation in 1996. The society sponsors blues jams at local venues in addition to the annual challenge.
“It’s going to be a full evening of really, really good music,” Messenger said. “There are touring bands, working bands coming together for this competition. It’s a serious blues competition,” he said.


WHAT: Triangle Blues Challenge

WHEN: Saturday. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the music begins at 6
WHERE: St. Joseph’s Performance Hall, Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville St., Durham
ADMISSION: Tickets are $10