Woah, what a crazy month! On April 11 I left Minnesota to travel to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi. My dad was my copilot, and it was great to have him along for company and to help fix the motor home when things went wrong. Despite the front brakes, the alternator, and one of the belts failing, we managed to get to all of our performance obligations!
I flew home from Memphis on Sunday April 15, the morning of the final battle of the blues bands competition at Famous Dave's. My dad started driving the camper home the night before and somehow made it back to Minneapolis with time to spare before we took the stage! There was stiff competition that night, but Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders took first place! Huge thanks to all my fans and family for coming out to support us!
The following weekend, both Crankshaft and Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders competed in the Minnesota Blues Society's annual Road to Memphis Challenge. There was a band category and a solo/duo act category and I decided to enter both to have a better chance of winning one of them. When they read the results at the end of the night, I was honored and amazed to find that Crankshaft had won in both categories!!! We earned the chance to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February 2013. I decided to take the band with me to Memphis and let the runner up in the solo/duo act have my slot because the IBC rules say that you can only compete in one category there. There will be plenty of MN Blues Society events between now and then to try and raise some money for the trip down to Memphis.
On top of those big wins, I have been playing like crazy and trying to coordinate the recording of my next album, which will be recorded in the hay loft of an old wooden barn in St. Francis early in June. Pete Hennig and Keith Boyles will be the rhythm section for the recording along with special guests Bruce McCabe (of Johnny Lang and Lamont Cranston, also recorded on Junkyard Rhythm) and Zach Lozere (of the Jack Brass band) will be a couple of the many guest musicians. Be sure to mark your calendars, on June 8th we'll be filming a music new music video at the same location! It is going to be a black tie optional event, so please dress your best! More details and a reminder will be included in the June update, but you can join the event on Facebook right now: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/277948025629389/
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