Every year, the Cascade Blues Association submits a local performer’s recording into The Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition. Guidelines only allow recordings from artists who have not received a Blues Music Awards nomination or win, and is not released by one of the large, well-established labels such as Alligator, Delta Groove or Ruf for example. Recently, we have submitted CDs from regional artists such as Rae Gordon, Gabriel Cox and Joe McMurrian (whose disc Get Inside This House was named the overall winner in the Best Self-Produced CD competition in 2011). The recordings are judged by professionals from the international blues media on categories that include originality, blues content, sound quality, production, artwork and liner notes.
This year the CBA received eight entries to be considered, all with extremely well-produced recordings, making it tough to choose just one. But we’re only allowed one entry to send to Memphis, so we had to bring it down to one.
The runner-ups were: Big Steve & The Trainwreck’s Lost In The Blues; Holfar Blue’s Heard A Hound Dog Howl; Lady True Blue’s Soul Barin’ Blues; The Lightning Kings’ The Road Is My Throne; King Louie’s Blues Revue’s Live At Riverhouse Jazz; Rae Gordon Band’s Better Than I Was; and Timothy James’ Love = Chaos.
But when it came to making the final choice, we decided on Terry Robb’s Cool On The Bloom, with its tremendous performance, outstanding sound and clarity and originality. We’re obviously not alone in these thoughts about Terry’s disc as it was also recently nominated for the Acoustic Album of the Year by Blues Blast Magazine.
This year’s finalists will be announced prior to the 2018 International Blues Challenge and the winning disc will be named at the IBC finals at The Orpheum Theater in Memphis.
Good luck Terry!!