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Blues News You Can Use!
The Challengers!
Wednesday night marked the closing of registration for the 2015 Ozark Blues Society Blues Challenge.  The challenge will be held
on October 14, 2015 from 6-11:30pm.
Please come out and support your favorite act
as they try to win the right to represent
Northwest Arkansas at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2016!  You can find the bios and photos for some of the acts in the article below.  Keep an eye on for the most current information. Also there is an article below with information for anyone interested in submitting a CD for consideration for sponsorship in the Blues Foundation's Best Self Produced CD contest.  Lots of exciting things going on!

 As always the calendar is chock full of great opportunities for live music here in NWA.  Don't see your favorite band or venue listed?  Let me know! I harvest information from a variety of local listings and a few venues websites but I would love to add the ones you, the reader, wants to see listed. And remember as you look ahead to check the new "Mark Your Calendar" section at the end of the weekly calendar.  Keep me posted on events and bands you want to see listed.  You know the deal, e-mail me anytime at 
~Sandy McCann

Meet the Competitors
in the
Ozark Blues Society
2015 Blues Challenge
Check out the bios and photos below of your favorite
bands and solo/duo artists

Solo/Duo Category
Brother James
 Bio: James and Jeffrey "Fej" Cumpston have been playing music together on and off since they were teenagers. The current act consists of James on bass and Fej on guitar and vocals. They have always played a mixture of original and cover tunes and Brother James continues this format. Fej has competed in the challenge previously with JCBC, a duo act with long-time OBS member Bob Coleman. JCBC represented OBS in Memphis two times. 
The Dennis Brothers
 Bio: The Dennis Brothers are two brothers (Dalton and Dryden) who started playing music together in high school in Clearwater, Florida. They had an early passion for the blues and performed regularly on the boardwalk in Clearwater, Florida. Dryden plays a signature style of old blues Harmonica and modern licks reminiscent of John Popper. Dalton plays acoustic guitar that often features a Delta steel slide sound accompanied with soulful vocals. After they graduated high school, they began wrestling at the University of Oklahoma. Despite committing a lot of time to school and athletics they find plenty of time to write music and perform regularly. They currently perform at bars and festivals across the state. 

Jimmy Wayne Garrett
 Bio: Arkansas born singer/songwriter and blues guitar player with a passion for blues music from the American Art form's beginning, to it's current evolutionary status. Always growing up with music as a staple of life either from the radio, old records and tapes, or church, Garrett was drawn in to the piano at a young age. Tinkering around on a family members keyboard caused a fire to be lit. The black and white of the piano made sense, and it sounded good. It felt good. But, it wasn't until he began playing a century-old folk guitar at 13 that his grandfather bought for him at an auction, that the flame really started to do more than just flicker. A short time later, after discovering the Pentatonic Scale, a musical seed of blues feeling was delivered into another young soul. It has not been an easily acceptable way to go in choosing the guitar over some other career, as family, friends, teachers, and mentors have advised throughout the years. Different jobs have came and went in all the meantime. Same with friends. Still, Garrett believes in remaining true to one's genuine self and living through artistic expressions to make the world a better place.
Scale House
Bio:  Scale House is an acoustic duo, which focuses primarily on traditional Blues and the history and evolution of the Blues from its beginnings to today. The act consists of a mix of historical information presented along with musical examples representing the styles, regions, and/or musicians being discussed; and original material.

Walter Schmidt
Bio: I'm a singer/songwriter recently returned to NWA, having been away 35 years. I write in a variety of genres, with a blues tinge to many things I do. I released a CD, "Big Fat Moon," in 2014, just before moving to Arkansas from Denver. Since moving back, I've gathered friends for a loose-knit group called "Walter Schmidt and Arkansas Chowder" which, depending on who shows up that night, can be an acoustic act or electric, in which case it's "Electric Chowder."

Band Category
Buddy Shute and the Motavatas
Bio: Original and classic blues. Legendary bluesman Buddy Shute leads a line-up of veteran musicians playing a mix of Buddy's original compositions and some classic blues with an "Ozark Blues" spin. Real blues that will make you happy!
Divas On Fire
Bio: Divas on Fire is a super-group unlike any other -- a unique collaboration of ten of the most successful women blues artists in their respective region who have come together to create a powerhouse sound. The group's live performances give audiences no relief as their show ignites and burns red hot from first to final note. Their collective history includes a Memphis Sun Studios recording artist, several Northwest Arkansas Music Awards winners, several Arkansas competition winners for the International Blues Competition, an Arkansas Blues Hall of Famer. And yet a few others have more recently started their musical journey while quickly collecting awards, accolades, and fan loyalty. The name Divas on Fire is more of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that they have all been called musical divas, but in reality each puts the music and each other first.
The Old Fashioned
Bio:  Formed in 2013, The Old Fashioned are from Fayetteville, Arkansas and play blues and soul standards.
The Silvershakers
Bio:  Arkansas' music scene has a new voice: The one and only Tara Norwood. This sultry siren is equipped with drop dead stares, cool croons and a swinging band. Backed by guitarist Mike Rickard, drummer Matt Norwood and upright bassist Frankie Cadillac, The Silvershakers are here with their brand of Americana. They're talented, brassy, and bursting with an energy that defies the modern day standard of music. Beyond musical capabilities, The Silvershakers are rebels. Defining their own sound as rhythm and blues artists, The Silvershakers performances are marked by electrifying on-stage antics, ostentatious hip shaking, singing while dancing and gyrating madly. Nowadays, plenty of bands out there are adapting the sounds of classic 1950's rhythm and blues with modern pop, rock or jazz, but not many of them have as big a voice as singer Tara Norwood. With a rich, booming vocal style that recalls the talents of Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and Mahalia Jackson, Tara channels that early rhythm n' blues sound.
West Street Blues Band
Bio:  Amanda Rey and West Street Blues Band are back to take another run at the IBC, following their performances at last year's event. Along with Amanda and long-time bassist Bruce Bennett, there are a few new faces to the WSBB line-up for this contest - Nate Hancock (guitar), Mike Hanna (drums) and Daryl Brooks (vocals, percussion) to bring a new twist to WSBB 2.0...

Ozark Blues Society
Best Self Produced CD
for submission to the 2016
International Blues Challenge
As an affiliate of the The Blues Foundation Ozark Blues Society is accepting submissions of high quality blues recordings from “up and coming” artists that might not otherwise reach the International Blues market.  Entries will be judged locally by a team experienced in the rules and expectations of the Blues Foundation's annual contest.  Only one CD my be entered. Please see full rules below.

Best Self-Produced Official Rules:
* Entries for the Best Self-Produced CD are permitted by affiliated blues societies only.
* Each affiliate is permitted one entry.
* The CD entered does not have to be performed by the band entered in the 2016 International Blues Challenge.
* Compilations are not eligible.
* The eligibility period is the same as for the Blues Music Awards-the CD must have been released during November 1, 2014 - October 31, 2015 time frame.
* If an affiliate does not conduct a competition to determine who it will sponsor but instead appoints a CD, that CD may not include a board member or officer.
*A performer who has previously been nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition. A CD issued in the name of an otherwise eligible performer which also includes the contributions of a Blues Music Award nominee may be ineligible, depending on the extent of the contribution.

*A CD on a record label that has been previously nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition.
* Recordings with established or "known" producers within the industry are eligible as long as the recording is on the artist's independent label and NOT on an established blues label.
* Singer, band, society or local producer may produce the actual CD as long as the performer is a singer, band or other individual entity.
* Judging will be in three stages. There will be two rounds of judging by radio/print people leading to the final judging.
Ozark Blues Society of NW Arkansas is responsible for ensuring that their submission complies with these rules. If you have any doubts or questions, contact the Foundation office.
Judges will evaluate the following points. The following criteria are in order of importance.
(1) Blues Content (is this a Blues Music recording)
(2) Musical Performance (Musicianship)
(2) Audio Quality of the Presentation (Production Values, Levels)
(3) Cover Art and Design (Professional Packaging, Ready for the rack at your favorite music outlet?)
(4) Credits and Liner Information. (Informative, Professional)
The finalists will be announced prior to IBC weekend. Music professionals will judge the finalists and the winner will be announced at the IBC finals. Finalists are NOT required to attend IBC
Those interested must submit five (5) copies of their CD to Ozark Blues Society by October 7, 2015. Please contact for submission information.
Levon Helm 
Downhome Jubilee
Thank you Susan Porter for sharing the information on this upcoming event.

When: Oct. 24 7pm
Where: Downtown Marvell AR
What: The Levon Helm Downhome Jubilee
Music from The Band's songbook by the Lockhouse Orchestra. A benefit to restore and convert Levon's boyhood home into a museum. Free admission. 
More information can be found at the
Music Calendar 
  • Earl and Them and Mudhawk for Happy Hour at Georges Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville
  • Jim Mills at JJ's Grill and Chill in Fayetteville
  • Jim Mills at JJ's Grill and Chill in Fayetteville
  • Old Ties at Arsagas Expresso Cafe in Fayetteville
  • Ion Jazz Duo for Brats and BBQ at Ramo d' Olivo in Bentonville
  • Luke Pruitt for Play it Forward at the Walmart World Room/Museum in Bentonville
  • R.J. Mischo at The Founders Room in Alma
  • Earl and Them at Avas Vintage Pub in Fort Smith
  • Buddy Shute and Mark Bokun at Low Gap Cafe in Ponca
  • Nate Hancock/Randall Shreeve/Sarah Hughes at Georges Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville
  • Jed Clampit at Pesto Cafe in Fayetteville
  • "R&P" (Richard and Paul) and friends at the Chancellor in Fayetteville
  • NWA Blues Jam at The Big Chill in Rogers
  • Blues Therapy with Brick Fields and Friends at Bear's Place in Fayetteville
  • Isayah Warford at Foghorns in Springdale
  • "R&P" (Richard and Paul) and friends at the Chancellor in Fayetteville
  • Samantha Hunt for Notes at Night at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville
  • Leah and the Mojo Doctors and Bill Dollar and Loose Change for Happy Hour at Georges Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville
  • Crescent City Combo at Smoke and Barrel in Fayetteville
  • Brick Fields at the Tontitown Winery in Tontitown
  • Nate and the Declaration at Rowdy Beaver in Eureka Springs
  • Ruthie Foster at The Founders Room in Alma
  • Old Ties at Arsagas Expresso Cafe in Fayetteville
  • Jesse Dean at MJ Pizzaria in Springdale
  • Take Cover at The Big Chill in Rogers
  • Nate and the Declaration at Rowdy Beaver in Eureka Springs
Mark Your Calendar
  • 10.14 Ozark Blues Society Blues Challenge at Georges in Fayetteville
  • 10.16 Phonnies Territory Jazz Band at The Founders Room in Alma
  • 10.24 Levon Helm Downhome Jubilee Fundraiser in Marvell AR
  • 11.07 Eli Cook at The Founders Room in Alma
In this issue:  10/02/2015
The Challengers!
Meet the Competitorsin the Ozark Blues Society2015 Blues Challenge
Ozark Blues SocietySeeking Best Self Produced CDfor submission to the 2016International Blues Challenge
Levon Helm Downhome Jubilee
Music Calendar 10/02-10/10
On this day in Blues HistoryOctober 02
This Week's Quote
Check Out these regular local radio programs
Get Involved with the Ozark Blues Society

Links You Can Use

On this day
in Blues History
October 02

Fats Domino

Today’s show features music performed by Clara Smith and Sonny Thompson
This Week's Quote

"The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding."
Willie Dixon

Check Out these regular local radio programs

"The Generic Blues Show" hosted by Paul Kelso airs every Friday night at 9pm on KUAF 91.3FM

Rockin' Hog Radio presents "Sunday Morning Blues" from 8am to 10am every Sunday
Get Involved with the Ozark Blues Society

Annual membership levels begin at $15 and give you so much in return, including meeting new friends while enjoying the best blues artists in the area.  
By being a member of The Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas, you are helping to support the Arts and to preserve the Original American Art Form known as The Blues.
Membership Benefits Include:
Weekly E-newsletter
Opportunities to win tickets to events
VIP seating at events (when available)
Discounts on OBS merchandise
Social networking – meeting other people who also love the blues
Opportunities to volunteer on OBS committees and at events
Ability to attend board meetings and vote on upcoming organizational issues and elections
Visit our Website to renew or join!


Links You
Can Use
Arkansas Music Pavillion
Arkansas Music Works
American Blues News
The Big Chill NWA
The Blues Foundation
Blues For A Cause
Blues Festivals Guide
Blues Guitar News
Crystal Bridges
Downtown Bentonville
Free Weekly
George’s Majestic Lounge
Guitar Center
J L Sound & Lighting Productions
National Blues Museum
North AR Jazz Society
NWA Tunedin
Rockin' Hog Radio
Sherry L Speer Photography
The Founders Room
The Walmart Museum
Tom Mowry Photography


Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas  |  P O Box 2004  |  Bentonville, AR 72712  | 

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