Preparing to go to Memphis is a thrill, but a LOT of work- especially if you have a goal.
And we Do. Our goal is to conquer Memphis!
Right, us and the 260 other bands. So, What is that supposed to mean?
Not sure. Winning the caboodle would be fabulous, but it could simply mean making a good business deal, making the right connection, or it could mean an expansion of booking. Bottom line- it means more stages in more places. We’ll shoot for the moon and take the harvest that comes.
The truth is, whoever wins anything in Memphis does it long before stepping onto the stage in front of the judges. The battle is fought in training and preparation. Once we get there, anything can happen and there are so many things that we have zero control over. That’s where professional experience, technique, and skill kick in. So here’s a little insight into our preparation.
First things first,
we made this stellar demo CD of our winning competition set, Demon St Rations. Thanks to the Kentuckiana Blues Society we didn’t have to fund this entirely out of pocket since it was a part of our award! We are going to make sure to get this music is heard by and into the hands of as many lovers as we possibly can. We also printed up a ton of marketing material- business cards, T-shirts, coasters, pins, and other stuff to get our name out there to everyone.
Secondly we did a ton of fundraising. We talked to everyone who supports us and asked them to fund us as they could. This trip ain’t cheap! (We’re not even international!) The hotel alone for the band and our spouses was $2,300. Luckily we’ll have one with a kitchen so we can save a bit on meals while we’re there. We also played a ton of shows and every penny went toward the trip. It’s such a blessing to have a totally committed group of people (I’m counting spouses here too) that all want to add to the pot at every opportunity.
Practice, practice, practice in and outside of rehearsal. We continued to perform our competition set at all the shows we had because live play is different than studio. The music is king. There was also lots of timing of the set, and making adjustments. The devil is in the details, right.
We Listened and watched a multitude of videos. All of us individually researched as many of the past winners as possible. These are the Best Blues players in the World! So much to learn from their stage presence, talking points, song transitions, means of dressing, how they interact with the audience, song structure, and arrangements. We found little elements that we felt were so important that we needed to emulate and add to our own act. If you look closely you will see the influence of past winners in our performance, just with our own unique spin.
Finally we interviewed as many people as we possibly could who had been to the IBC before. We are first timers and it’s bound to be a whirlwind. We need to have our ducks in a row so we don’t get blindsided by something everyone else may see coming. We interviewed past performers, long time attenders, past judges, and fans. We are so thankful for the amazing insight that comes from previous experience. One thing is for sure….. whatever success we have in Memphis comes from standing on the shoulders of the great blues lovers that have come before us.
Thank you so, so very much to EVERYONE who’s helped us in all the different ways.
We’re as ready as we’re going to be. The rest is up to God, so send a prayer.