Seattle's "The WIRED! Band" won the 2012 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE on Beale Street in Memphis playing the HISTORIC DAISY THEATER, HARD ROCK CAFE and B.B. KINGS before winning the Finals in front of a packed house at THE ORPHEUM THEATER. The Wired! Band features Washington Blues Society Performer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year Kevin Sutton with perennial Pacific Northwest rhythm kings Rick 'the stick' Jacobson on drums and his uncle Seattle legend Keith Bakke on bass. Get out and see the WIRED! Band for their sweet and soulful take on the American art form we call "THE BLUES".
"Outstanding showmanship and blues content...highly recommended...I've been telling everyone" Big Bill Morganfield, IBC judge and son of Muddy Waters.
For booking contact:
Charles Sutton Management
Kevin Sutton - Guitar and Vocal
Rick Jacobson - Drum and Vocal
Keith Bakke - Bass and Vocal
'Washington Blues' - release December 31, 2011
'In Like Flynn' - released April 2008
The WIRED! Band wins the International Blues Challenge
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Local band WIRED! has won the hugely prestigious International Blues Challenge this weekend, beating...Local band WIRED! has won the hugely prestigious International Blues Challenge this weekend, beating out over one hundred other acts representing nearly every state and over sixteen countries. The band won a huge prize package, including nearly a dozen headlining positions in prominent blues festivals across the country.
WIRED! represented the Washington Blues Society in the challenge.
Each local blues association, which number into the hundreds, hosts a local competition to determine one band and one solo/duo act to send to Memphis to represent their organization in the International Blues Challenge (IBC), which takes place on the legendary Beale Street.
Starting mid-last week, 110 bands and over 80 solo/duo acts from sixteen countries and forty states entered the four day long competition, sponsored by the blues Foundation, a Memphis-based non-for-profit that is dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of the uniquely American art form that is the blues.
All acts compete and are judged in two days of quarter-finals. Three judges, using a standard form, select several acts from each of the venues to compete in semi-finals. From the remaining competitors in the semi-finals, nine acts were chosen to compete in the finals at the giant Orpheum Theater in Memphis. During the finals, the theater was packed with nearly 2,000 blues fans and industry leaders.
Sister news magazine American Blues Scene covered WIRED! back in November as the band prepared to head to the International Blues Challenge. “The Wired Band is one of the most power-packed bands, trio or not, in the Northwest,” proclaimed American Blues Scene — a testament that now holds more validity than ever.
Kevin Sutton is a High School teacher by day, and the WIRED! Band’s front-man by night. With his infectious personality and grand stage performance, it must be just as thrilling to go back to school for a day to attend one of Kevin’s classes.
As with all IBC winners, the WIRED! band has been essentially guaranteed a professional career as blues band. While the newly found prestige may seem like it came in a whirlwind overnight, like any other talented, top-tier act, the band doubtlessly spent long, hard hours honing their craft.
Band from Seattle, singer from Arkansas win Memphis blues battle
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Seattle group The WIRED! Band and Arkansas-based singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville were the big winne...Seattle group The WIRED! Band and Arkansas-based singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville were the big winners in the 28th International Blues Challenge.
The five-day blues competition and event culminated Saturday night with finals at Downtown's Orpheum, capping a week of shows in and around Beale Street. Staged by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation, the challenge brought about 230 acts from across the country and around the world to the Bluff City, with thousands of fans flocking to be a part of the festivities.
Blues Foundation president Jay Sieleman did not have final numbers, but based on crowd projections from Saturday's Orpheum final, he said this year's edition clearly surpassed all previous attendance records.
It was a packed house that saw The WIRED! Band, representing the Washington (state) Blues Society, perform a lively interactive set that bested second-place finishers the Bart Walker Band, from Nashville.
"The WIRED! Band in terms of audience participation, they had the place going in a call and response thing," said Sieleman. "Both the guitarists and the drummer leaped off the stage into the audience. But it wasn't just the entertainment value; the judges obviously felt that they had the right musicality as well."
Meanwhile, it was an eclectic mix of finalists in the solo/duo category. "When you get down to solo/duo category finals it can be a little like judging apples and oranges," said Sieleman. "You might have a singer-songwriter, a classic solo blues guy, a piano and drum combination all competing. So it's a tough call sometimes."
Canadian-born, Arkansas-based Ray Bonneville clearly swayed the judges with his set, taking the top honor over Australian act Dr. Don's Double Dose.
In addition to the two main categories, several other awards, including best guitarist and best self-produced CD, were handed out as part of the finals.
The bigger development, perhaps, was the changing shape of the challenge, which has expanded its scope from a simple amateur competition to a must-see event on the blues circuit, for both fans and professionals.
"Most of that growth has been organic," says Sieleman. "As the quality of the competition has increased you've started seeing blues fans from all over attend. And now more and more industry folks -- labels, producers, booking agents and managers -- are coming on scouting expeditions. The last and the most recent aspect that we're seeing is musicians who are not involved in the competition per se, but who are still coming to network and to perform in (noncompetitive) showcases. That's all good for the challenge."
The 29th International Blues Challenge is set for Jan. 29 through Feb. 2, 2013. For more information, go to blues.org.
-- Bob Mehr: (901) 529-2517
Washington Blues Society names 2011 'Best of the Blues' winners
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The Washington Blues Society handed out its 2011 "Best of the Blues" BB Awards at the Triple Door Su...The Washington Blues Society handed out its 2011 "Best of the Blues" BB Awards at the Triple Door Sunday, April 17. The awards are for excellence in the blues by Northwest musicians. Winners included Sammy Eubanks for male vocalist and Charles White for lifetime achievement. Kevin Sutton won in both the performer and songwriter categories.
Mark DuFresne Male Vocalist Award: Sammy Eubanks
Female Vocalist: Suze Sims
Electric Blues Guitar: C.D. Woodbury
Slide Blues Guitar: Mark Riley
Bass: Lissa Ramaglia
Chris Leighton Drummer Award: Andrew Cloutier
Horn: Scotty Harris
Paul Green Harmonica Award: Jeff Herzog
Piano/Keyboard: Eric "Two Scoops" Moore
Acoustic Guitar: Son Jack. Jr.
Blues Act: The WIRED! Band
Traditional Act: Little Bill and the Blue Notes
Solo or Duo Act: Back Porch Stomp
New Band: James King & the Southsiders
Performer: Kevin Sutton
Songwriter: Kevin Sutton
Washington Recording: "Teach You A Lesson," The Randy Oxford Band
Club: The Oxford Saloon
Writer: Malcolm Kennedy
Image: "Women in Blues" October 2010 "Bluesletter" cover
Graphic Artist: Dennis Hacker
DJ: Jonathan "Oogie" Richards, KSER-FM
Keeping the Blues Alive: Tim and Michelle Burge
Lifetime Achievement: Charles White
Hall of Fame: L.J. Porter
Non-Festival Event: Blues Vespers
Open Jam: Madison Pub Unbound Jam
Blue to the Bone: Dave Nichols, Dean Jacobsen
Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Guaranteed to Entertain
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WIRED! is bringing entertainment back to the music scene in the PNW! From their big swinging blues t...WIRED! is bringing entertainment back to the music scene in the PNW! From their big swinging blues tones, to their rockabilly originals and a twist of Frank to swoon the ladies for good measure; they will have you dancin’ and swingin’ all night long……and wait until you see the crowd pleasing Minnie the Moochier! You are a guaranteed to be entertained and satisfied with WIRED!
Jonathan “Oogie” Richards
DJ - The Blueshouse
KSER 90.7 FM Everett
Coorporate Party Entertainment
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My business guests have come to expect top musical entertainment at my bi-annual business mixers. WI...My business guests have come to expect top musical entertainment at my bi-annual business mixers. WIRED! brought a new level of entertainment for my guests! From professional lighting and audio equipment to their Zoot Suites, they presented a first class product. Their performance naturally pulled the audience into the act and at the end of the night our guests and WIRED! formed a Congo line singing, dancing and making it a night to remember!
PNW Sales Manager
NetVersant Solutions, Inc.
CD review - The WIRED! Band - Washington Blues
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“Authentic,” that is the first word that comes to mind upon hearing the new release Washington Blue... “Authentic,” that is the first word that comes to mind upon hearing the new release Washington Blues, from The Wired Band. The ten song set recorded live in two sessions at Butter Sound studios, is real unadulterated blues at its best. This veteran trio has since gone on to capture the crown at the 2012 international Blues Challenge, and this disc is proof positive why they deserve the honor. The nine original tunes written by front man extraordinaire Kevin Sutton and Wired, sound like choice gems from the annals of rhythm and blues history. These fellas are carrying the torch for Muddy, Wolf, Hooker, T Bone and King into the next millennium. Each tune has an immediate familiar flair, delivered with sincere homage but without sentimentality. Beginning with the classic twelve bar title track that should be candidate for the new Washington state song, then on to the Rollin’ n tumblin remake” I’m a Train,” Sutton delivers authentic growling slide and convincing vocals, that invite all to sing along on “Woe is Me.” The bitter sweet “Still Aint Got The Blues,” stings as it hits close to home, and the band shows they aren’t afraid to speak their mind delivered with some clever swing of the “Politician’s Song.” The sweet boogaloo hook of “Loser,” is an immediately infectious groove that no doubt fills dance floors everywhere. On “Find the Blues in You,” Sutton challenges all of us to look inside ourselves, find some perspective and maybe, just maybe through the blues, achieve some peace and understanding.
That brings to mind the second word, “Brave.” The Wired Band are absolutely just that, brave , to put out and album that presents themselves raw and uncut, live and unbridled , exactly how the blues is meant to be played, and just how champions should be.
Local Blues Band Makes It Big
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After performing at local clubs and festivals for years, a Snohomish County blues band has finally m...After performing at local clubs and festivals for years, a Snohomish County blues band has finally made a name for itself – in the nation and the world.
The Wired! Band recently won the 2012 International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn., aka “the birthplace of blues.”
Blues musicians from around the world performed in about 20 clubs on Beale Street, competing for cash, prizes and industry recognition at the 28th International Blues Challenge from Jan. 31-Feb. 4.
In the band is Mukilteo’s Keith Bakke, a legend on the West Coast, who played bass for 23 years with a local favorite, the rock and soul band The Lost Vuarnets.
Also in The Wired! Band is lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Kevin Sutton, of Everett, who is a teacher at Mariner High School, and drummer Rick Jacobson, of Snohomish.
About 120 bands and 90 solo/duo acts – from as far away as the Philippines, Australia, Norway, South Africa, Germany, France Italy and Spain – were judged in The Blues Foundation’s “battle of the bands” in an international search for the best of the best.
“It hasn’t quite hit home yet,” said Jacobson of their win. “It’s the best of the best down there, so you don’t really go expecting to win.
“When we made finals, we were just overwhelmed with happiness, and when we won, we were speechless.”
Wired! played at the Historic Daisy Theater – where Elvis Presley first played – as well as the Hard Rock Café and B.B. King’s before winning the competition in front of a packed house at The Orpheum Theater.
“You just go from bar to bar watching all of these amazing bands,” Sutton said. “It’s like a big, giant carnival for people who love blues music.”
The band performed all original songs written by Sutton, who was the 2011 Washington Blues Society Performer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.
Wired! beat 43 other bands in the regional Washington Blues Society competition last summer at the Snohomish Taste of Music, earning the right to go to Memphis.
“Everyone gets together every year and gets really invigorated,” Sutton said. “It’s like a trip to Mecca.”
The band made it to the IBC semifinals last year and to the finals in the regional competition in 2010.
As the winning band, Wired! won $2,000, a promotional package and invitations to about 12 different blues festivals throughout the nation, including the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.
The band donated its cash prize back to The Blues Foundation to create a Blues Hall of Fame.
“We wanted to pay homage to blues,” Bakke said. “We’re grateful to the Blues Society, and we wanted to see the Blues Hall of Fame become a reality.
“It was a great experience and a great honor, and it was a really good time.”
Jacobson said the band scored high in all categories, but that it was most likely their score in the entertainment category that made them winners.
At The Orpheum Theater, during one of their songs, the three band members came to the front of the stage so that they were inches away from the audience.
Jacobson strapped a snare drum on, and Sutton played his solos on a wireless guitar. Then both guitarist and drummer jumped into the audience and continued to perform off stage.
“We are very entertaining,” Jacobson said. “I think that’s what really put us over the top.”
The Wired! Band was formed in 2006, after the threesome started playing together at the Wired and Unplugged Internet Coffeehouse in Snohomish as the “house band.” The coffeehouse was a venue for local musicians, particularly high school bands.
The band calls itself a “Snohomish County band,” since its members are from Mukilteo, Everett and Snohomish.
Wired! plays often at the Oxford Saloon in Snohomish, Highway 99 Club in Seattle and the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville.
The band is having a homecoming party with two shows Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at the Oxford Saloon. Both shows start at 9 p.m.
For more on The Wired! Band, go to http://wiredbandinfo.com.
|Dec 31, 2013 Tuesday||9:00 PM||The Oxford Saloon||Snohomish, WA, US|