tee dee on beale street

tee dee young.

It’s only Wednesday and already Tee Dee Young has had a full week.

On Monday night, the Lexington-based blues guitarist was onstage at the Lyric Theatre helping Michael Johnathon and Mayor JimGray celebrate the 700th taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour.

The next morning, he was enroute to Memphis to take part in the International Blues Challenge, an annual competition that will bring over 200 blues acts to clubs all along Beale Street. The event is promoted as “five days of blues and schmooze.”

This is the 29th year of the IBC, which bills itself as the world’s largest gathering of blues-related artists. Young will be among the acts whose showcase performances will be judged in competition over the next four evenings. Susan Tedeschi, Michael Burks and Tommy Castro are a few of the star acts that have competed in the IBC in years past.

If Young gets past preliminary rounds, he will proceed to semi-final competition on Friday and possibly the finals Saturday at Memphis’ Orpheum Theater.

Cash and prizes go to the winners. But they pale alongside the most coveted trophy – visibility. Winning acts often receive bookings for blues festivals, cruises and other high profile performance events.

This will be Young’s second visit to the IBC. He competed previously in 2011. The Musical Box wishes him the best of luck this week as he squares off against blues talent from Australia, South America, Germany and all over the globe. For more information and IBC updates, go to http://blues.org/ibc.

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