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[Solo / Duos] [IBC]

Good Time Willy Blues Band Wins the Road to Memphis 2005 Band Competition

(or "Some Gotta Win, Some Gotta Lose,
Good Time Willy's Got the Blues")

Article by Dwight Christensen - Drummer for Good Time Willy Blues
Addendum by Judy Cedar
Photos by Pete Izmirian
August 2, 2005

At least five bands paid their entry fee last spring. Two bands dropped out and at showtime, Sunday June 26th at the Narrows North, it was down to three bands.

Michael James and the Headliners

Michael James and the Headliners

The first band, Michael James and the Headliners, wasted no time in making their statement. This is a four-piece band that has seasoned players and a good feel for R&B. They played some original Blues and a danceable version of Johnny Rivers' "Seventh Son". After that, I knew this was going to be a tough competition.

Jake's Obsession

Jake's Obsession

The second band that hot afternoon was Jake's Obsession, another four-piece band that plays Texas-style blues. Their choice of cover songs by Kenny Wayne Sheppard and Hadden Sayers is encouraging after hearing a lot of standards. Their strongest contribution is their cleverly arranged originals that have a crossover appeal.

Good Time Willy Blues

Good Time Willy Blues

Now it was time for Good Time Willy to play. We don't have original material, but we pay our respects to the blues greats and try to build on what they've given us. One thing we have going for us is our inimitable front man, Mark "Willy" Williams. His background as a bar bouncer shows itself in his aggressive guitar work--he throws each note to the audience like a drunk through the back door.

After playing, we packed up prepared to leave. It had been a great experience to play for the judges and with these other bands. We thought our work was done. When they announced that the band which would represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge was . . . Good Time Willy! We had to chase Willy down in the parking lot, where he was loading his amp and guitar into his truck.

We hastily gathered back together to hear them say that again! One of the judges explained that he was impressed with our straight-forward approach to the blues and that we weren't "flashy". For once it paid off playing in the clothes I'd slept in.

Judges and Audience

Judges and Audience

Winning this contest has challenged us to take our music to the next level. We appreciate the support of Judy Cedar and the entire Greater Twin Cities Blues Society, and hope to make Minnesota proud when we play in Memphis in January 2006. Check our website, www.goodtimewilly.com, for further developments!

ADDENDUM

Volunteers
Volunteers

Thanks to Narrows North, the fine musicians, and volunteers who participated in this event. Volunteers include our judges Dave Lawrence from the Coffee Grounds, Tom Asp (fan & photographer), Jon Pederson (musician & former instructor), David Merrill (musician & former instructor), Pat Casello (life coach), Nancy Walton (lifetime fan) and Steve Faison (McNally Smith instructor); timekeeper MaryKay Harcus; scorekeeper Dave Holmgren; photographer Pete Izmirian; organizer Judy Cedar; and emcee Gregg Harcus.

Good Time Willy Blues

Good Time Willy Blues

Good Time Willy Blues Band includes Mark Williams (guitar/vocals); Dan Wiseman (guitar); Kirk Landskov (bass); Dwight Christianson (drums) and Paul Wigin (keys). Jake's Obsession Band includes Jake Catterson (guitar/vocals); Tyler Grind (lead guitar); Tim Courtier (drums) and Steve Anderson (bass). Michael James & the Headliners Band includes Michael James (vocals/guitar); Mick Zampagna (piano & B3), Bob Heili (bass); and Bill Mague (drums).

Thank you corporate members!

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page last updated: Friday, August 21, 2015

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