In less than 2 weeks The Lauren Mitchell Band will be on “the bus” and on the road to Memphis to compete at The 30th International Blues Challenge (IBC)! Lauren and the boys will spend the weekend before they leave performing for their hometown fans at their favorite venues in Englewood, Sarasota, and lastly St Petersburg. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.
I’ve been keeping up with Lauren and all that’s going into making this trip, and she’s had her work cut out for her! In order to even GET to Memphis, The LMB first had to compete at a regional IBC round in Tampa held by the Suncoast Blues Society (SBS). After they won, the hotel and travel arrangements had to be made, songwriting had to be finished (original material is encouraged and showcased at the IBC’s), rehearsals had to take place, and of course a few fundraising efforts had to be organized (The LMB is still accepting contributions … If you’d like to help, CLICK HERE). Sending 5 people on a tour for an entire week isn’t cheap!
I talked to Lauren a couple days ago about what she and the boys are doing in the last few days to make sure they’re ready. “The first, and most important thing is our performance. We’ve been rehearsing like crazy! We want to make sure we do our best for Sarasota, and the Suncoast Blues Society! They do so much to support us, so the LEAST we can do is go up to Memphis and make a good showing.”
“We have also decided to partner for one last show with The Suncoast Blues Society before we leave. The SBS is throwing us a Send Off Party next weekend. It’s a great opportunity for us to show the SBS how we’ll represent them in Memphis, and hopefully recruit some new members for them too!”
I also had an email conversation with James M. Randolph, the Vice President of the SBS. James writes “The Suncoast Blues Society of Tampa Bay kicks off our member band “Spotlight” efforts with our 2014 International Blues Challenge winner, The Lauren Mitchell Band performing Saturday January 18th at the new Ringside venue in St. Petersburg. We’re combining this Spotlight show and our 2014 Membership Drive. In conjunction, Ringside management has agreed that All SBS card carrying members will enjoy Happy Hour drink prices from 10pm – 2am.”
So if ya haven’t seen The Lauren Mitchell Band recently, get on out to The Ringside next Saturday! They’re gonna show you their stuff! You’ll get to hear some great live music, meet some great people and have an opportunity to join the Suncoast Blues Society! Not to mention all the money you’ll save on drinks that night after you join the SBS … Heck! Ya might even want to use those extra dollars to put in the band’s tip bucket!