Within the first 10 minutes of stepping into a club on the corner of Beale Street, I heard TWO Otis Redding tracks back to back over the sound system. I knew this week would be great, since this was the first time I ever heard this happen outside of my apartment. It was exhilarating to be so close to the places where so many of my favorite albums were recorded. Other than the overwhelming amount of great music, one of the things I’ll remember most is dragging my guitar through crowds of people to go play for the night. Occasionally, I would look down to see my feet slipping on the brass notes stitched into the stone commemorating so many songwriters and performers that I have been influenced by (from Frank Stokes to Sam and Dave). I was happy to see Mississippi Fred McDowell get his name added to the sidewalk on Thursday, who wrote one of the songs I performed at the blues challenge in Pittsburgh last April. In closing, I would like to thank everyone in the BSWPA for giving me this opportunity; hopefully this won’t be my last time competing in the IBC.
~ Chris Yakopcic