The CTBS sponsors an annual Blues Challenge with the winners representing CT at the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN. The CTBS holds three distinct competitions that match the IBC categories: band, solo/duo and best self-produced CD.
The band challenge preliminaries are held in the late Spring over multiple weeks at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford with the preliminary winners competing in a final session, usually sometime in June.
The solo/duo competition is held in a similar fashion in September or October at The Pine Loft in Berlin CT.
Our judging teams consist of past winners, accomplished musicians, producers, Blues radio DJs, and media folks. Each of the Connecticut band and solo/duo winners receives prize money to help finance their trip to Memphis, as well as an opening slot for the band winner at The Black-Eyed & Blues Festival.
The 2023 Band Challenge registration is finished.
The 2023 CTBS Challenge
2024 IBC Challenge
Band Challenge Winner
Solo Challenge Winner
James Limerick Kerr Duo
CD Challenge Winner
The 2022 CTBS Challenge/2023 IBC Challenge
Dr James Limerick Kerr
2022 Solo/Duo Winner
Carl Ricci & 706 Union Ave.
2022 Band Winner
The Mighty Soul Drivers
2022 Self-Produced CD Winner
|YEAR||BAND CHALLENGE WINNER|
|1998||D SMITH BLUES BAND|
|1999||MIKE CRANDALL BAND|
|2000||SWEET DADDY COOL BREEZE|
|2001||MIKE CRANDALL BAND|
|2002||RYAN HARTT AND THE BLUE HEARTS|
|2003||DW ARMSTRONG AND THE RENT PARTY|
|2004||RYAN HARTT AND THE BLUE HEARTS|
|2005||MIKE CRANDALL BAND|
|2006||THE HOODOO BAND|
|2007||RYAN HARTT AND THE BLU HEARTS|
|2008||WASHBOARD SLIM AND THE BLUE LIGHTS|
|2009||Jr KRAUSS AND THE SHAKES|
|2010||ERAN TROY DANNER|
|2011||PETEY HOP AND THE JACK RABBITS|
|2012||RICH BADOWSLI BLUES BAND|
|2013||DANNY DRAHER BAND|
|2015||MIGHTY SOUL DRIVERS|
|2016||DANNY DRAHER BAND|
|2018||JAKE KULAK AND LOW DOWN|
|2019||SWEET DADDY COOL BREEZE|
|2020||NONE - COVID|
|2021||NONE - COVID|
|2022||CARL RICCI AND 706 UNION AVE|