The International Blues Challenge (IBC) sponsored by the national Blues Foundation is one of blues music’s biggest events. This year’s 30th Annual IBC is Jan. 21 – 25 in Memphis, Tenn. Heading through the area on their way from Seattle to the IBCs is the Randy Oxford Band. Seen in Omaha previously as part of the Playing with Fire concert series, the band’s six-piece blues and funk is anchored by high-energy frontman Randy Oxford on trombone and sassy, sultry vocalist Jada Amy. Check them out at therandyoxfordband.com. The Randy Oxford Band plays The 21st Saloon Thursday, Jan 16, 6-9 p.m. Local BluesEd youth band Us & Them will open the show at 5:30 p.m.
Shadowboxers CD Release
Also getting ready to hit the road for the IBCs in Memphis is Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxers. The Lincoln band was selected by the Blues Society of Omaha’s 2013 Nebraska Blues Challenge to represent the BSO. The Shadowboxers hosts a CD/album release show Friday, Jan. 17, after 9 p.m. at Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre, $5 cover. Also on the bill are Funk Trek, A Ferocious Jungle Cat and DJ Relic. Hoyer and his band are a group of seasoned musicians. Hoyer has grown into a commanding vocalist who knows how to work the songs and infuses fresh, raw emotion into the vintage soul tunes in their repertoire. The band has a version of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World” in their set list that is jaw-droppingly powerful. On their way to Memphis, The Shadowboxers band has dates at Knucklehead’s in Kansas City (Jan. 18), BB’s in St. Louis (Jan. 19) and The Alamo in Springfield , Ill. (Jan 20) . If you have music-loving friends in any of those cities, send them to joshhoyerandtheshadowboxers.com for details and recordings of the band. For more information on the International Blues Challenge go to blues.org/ibc. (Full disclosure: I am an advisor to the BSO and to the Nebraska Blues Challenge event.)
40SINNERS plays Venue 51’s Friday Afternoon Club Friday, Jan. 17, 6-8 p.m. HearNebraska.org’s Take Cover Omaha fundraiser is Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 p.m., at Waiting Room with 15 local musicians covering a song by a Nebraska songwriter and performing one of their own songs. The roots-country-folk of Matt Cox and The Allendales is at the Zoo Bar on Saturday, Jan. 18, after 9 p.m. The gritty blues and roots music of Kansas-based Telarc recording artists Moreland & Arbuckle hits The 21st Saloon next Thursday, Jan. 23, 6-9 p.m.