Triangle Blues Society of Raleigh and Durham North Carolina.

Blue Challenge 2015!

Congratulations to our big winners of the night - Kelly Howerton (solo/duo) and Fat Bastard Blues Band (band)! They're on their way to Memphis in 2016. Stay tuned for information on upcoming Road2Memphis concerts to help raise the money to get our boys there and back. With so many people to thanks, it's hard to know where to begin. Bob Margolin and Tad Walters who generously agreed to participate as our opener and to our judges, Kitty Kinnin, Tess Mangum Ocana, and Charles Boyer hung in there through every note! And thank you to all who came and supported the event. It was one of our best ever and with your help we were able to send John Dee Holman and Boo Hanks away with a nice little donation.

Solo/Duo Acts

Andy Squint
Harvey Dalton Arnold with Darrell Young
Clark Stern & Chuck Cotton
Kelly Howerton
Big Hope and The Mystkdog
Smart Alec Blues
Spider Mike
Sherman Lee Dillon
Mudbones Double Trouble
Seth Williams


Fat Bastard Blues
Good Rocking Sam
The Groovynators
Lawyers Guns & Money

Image - Triangle Blues Society Blues Challenge 2015 in Durham, NC.


Judges for the competition were Charles Boyer, Kitty Kinnin, and Tess Mangum Ocaña.

Charlie Boyer is the owner/publisher of Jazz & Blues Florida. is Florida’s online guide to live jazz and blues in Florida, providing news blogs, club/show listings, event photos, spot lights of new Florida music, a monthly online magazine, and previews of upcoming shows across the state. The business is in its tenth year, (operating as print publication under another name previously) before going totally online in January 2009. His competition judging experience includes multiple International Blues Challenge local competitions in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, and multiple times at the IBC semi-finals in Memphis. In a good year he will attend over 300 live performances across the state.

Kitty Kinnin is a legendary Triangle radio personality, host/producer of longtime Sunday Brunch on WRDU in Raleigh for more than a decade, during which time Rolling Stone Magazine named WRDU the “Radio Station of the Year.” She got her start as one of the state’s first female rock jocks on Winston-Salem’s WKZL. Over the last five years, she continued her “Sunday Brunch” show on the former WRVA in Raleigh, as well as the “The Kitty Kinnin Morning Show.” She has interviewed celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Eric Rupert and Thomas Keller, as well as N.C. culinary stars, such as Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner, Nana’s Scott Howell, Vivian Howard of Chef and The Farmer and The Angus Barn’s Walter Royal. Her artist interviews are equally as varied–Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Amos Lee and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, among others.

Tess Mangum Ocaña is a Durham resident and seventh-generation North Carolinian. Though she grew up in a musical family (her grandmother, Kate Mangum, taught Randy Travis how to play guitar and and great-uncle Homer Briarhopper was fortunate to call Doc Watson a fan), she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes. She holds degrees from UNC-CH and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Ocaña served as Concerts Director & Facility Rental Coordinator of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, from 2002-2012 and developed the critically-acclaimed American Roots Series. A 2012 Indy Arts Award winner, Tess launched her own events, production and promotion company, Sonic Pie Productions in February. She lives with her husband, a citizen of Spain, and their two young, bilingual sons. When not talking, reading, writing or thinking about music, she likes to make a run for the nearest whitewater kayaking spot.

The Challenge kicked off with a special performance by local traditional artists Bob Margolin, Tad Walters, John Dee Holman, Boo Hanks, and special guest Nathaniel Pope. TBS would like to thank all of these blues musicians for a great show and helping us with this event.

TBS sponsors the annual Blues Heritage Challenge and works with winners to raise the money to supplement their travel to the IBC.

The Blue Note Grill    709 Washington Street    Durham, NC 27704    919-401-1979

Check out the Triangle Blues Calendar - We have Great Blues!

There is a lot more Blues going on in the Triangle.  Check out the Triangle Blues Society Calendar for a list area blues shows in that people have told us about! .

If you are a blues band/artist/group/venue, or whatever and you want to add your Triangle area show to the calendar please let us know by sending your events to with "BLUES CALENDAR" in the subject line, and we will gladly add your shows.

Please keep it to Triangle area Blues events only and remember to include Band Name/Date/Time/Location/Price etc. Feel free to pass this info on to your favorite blues bands!

TBS BluesNews Newsletter

Download the March 2015 TBS Newsletter (PDF).

Download the November 2014 TBS newsletter (PDF).

Download the October 2014 TBS newsletter (PDF).

Download the September 2014 TBS newsletter (PDF).

Download the August 2014 TBS newsletter (PDF).

Download the July 2014 TBS newsletter (PDF).

Triangle Blues Society on Facebook

Visit the TBS facebook page for photos and more information about blues music in the Triangle.