Capital Region Blues Network’s Big Battle of the Blues Bands on Saturday @ The Linda

August 5th, 2016, 11:00 am by Greg

The Capital Region Blues Network.

The Capital Region Blues Network’s International Blues Challenge concert pits three Greater Nippertown blues bands against each other for a chance to win a prize package worth more than $2000 and the right to represent the Local 518 in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.

The local concert/competition will be held at The Linda in Albany at 7pm on Saturday (August 6). The grand prize winner will be selected by combining the scores of the judges with the audience’s vote, so be sure to show up and cast your ballot for your favorite act of the night.

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Tickets are currently available online, from any of the competing bandmembers or at the door for $12.

Here’s a round-up of who’s competing in the 2016 blues battle on Saturday:

THE ANDREW WHEELER BAND crafts new interpretations from American blues and roots. Guitarist-vocalist Andrew Wheeler recently released his debut CD, Stone Cross, and has played hundreds of gigs, including opening for globally known musicians Tinsley Ellis and Elliot Murphy. His band includes vocalist Donna Marie Tritico (who opened for Robin Trower and Kenny Wayne Shepherd); drummer Matt Carey (who toured the UK and US on Polydor Records); keyboardist Sonny Speed (a NYS Blues Hall of Fame inductee); bassist David Bacheldor (who opened for Richie Havens and Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson; and harp player Michael LaPorte (who has performed extensively in the US Southwest). In 2015, Wheeler represented the Capital Region Blues Network in the solo/duo category at the Memphis International Blues Challenge.

Witnessing Amy Ryan’s solo performances at open mic sessions around Greater Nippertown, guitarist Richard Green saw an opportunity to combine his own blues guitar chops with a gutsy female singer with the potential to lead a great blues band. THE AMY RYAN BAND was soon born. Melding together Amy’s country blues mojo and Richard’s urban blues sensibilities, this musical partnership has been rounded out with the addition of bassist Steve Dietemann and drummer Al Bauman, whose jazz, funk and rock capabilities complete a great band. Last year, the Amy Ryan Band represented the Capital Region Blues Network in the band category at the Memphis International Blues Challenge.

SILVER CHAIN has played throughout Greater Nippertown, as well as famous Beale Street clubs in Memphis, and they’ve opened for Squirrel Nut Zippers founder Jimbo Mathus. The band builds on a solid foundation of folk and Chicago blues styles and adds influences from Texas blues, including inspiration from such artists as ZZ Top, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King, Albert King and Bill Perry, among many others. Silver Chain is competing in the International Blues Challenge for the first time this year.