Tribune-Star staff report
Terre Haute-based Dicky James and the Blue Flames weren’t the big winners at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., last week, but the group did win accolades and made contacts that should help it raise its profile nationally.
The band qualified for the Memphis event by winning the Indiana Blues Challenge in October, playing at the Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis.
“We didn’t win [in Memphis],” drummer Will Cox wrote on the band’s website Tuesday, “but we did have fun and, I think, impressed a lot of people. We also connected with a ton of great blues people, did some interviews and learned a wealth of information about the blues world. We are already looking forward to next year.”
The band played Wednesday and Thursday in the quarterfinals, but did not advance to the semifinals, Cox told the Tribune-Star — largely because vocalist and band namesake Dicky James (Wagster) lost his voice after a pre-Super Bowl show in Indianapolis on Jan. 30 and, as sometimes happens to singers, was not in top form for the first show in Memphis.
The WIRED Band, a group based in Seattle that bills itself as a rockabilly blues band and features slide guitar and old-style delta blues, won the challenge.
James’ voice was back in shape on Friday when the band played an afternoon gig its publicist had arranged. “That went great,” Cox said. “Super gig. We were good and played with some big-name blues players.”
The Flames are scheduled to play four times in Terre Haute this month: Friday, Saturday and Tuesday (Valentine’s Day), 9:30 each night at the Apple Club in the Holiday Inn; and 9 p.m. Feb. 25 at The Event, 3631 Wabash Ave.
The performance at The Event also includes a canned-food drive for Catholic Charities. Anyone bringing canned goods will get $2 off the price of admission.
Tickets for the show are $10 at the door. Anyone with a military ID or a student ID also will receive $2 off at the door. Children 12 and under are $5, with children 3 and under admitted free.
Besides James and Cox, other players in the band are Bob Freeze on blues harp, John Beeson on keyboards and Mark Ford on bass.