Winners Announced for this Year’s Blues Challenge 

Good Rockin' Sam

Good Rockin’ Sam

Congratulations to this year’s winners, Ruth Wyand in the solo/duo category and Good Rockin’ Sam in the band category. TBS will play a part in sending this talent to the national competition in Memphis early next year. The Blue Note Grill and TBS will host a fundraiser for that purpose, so we hope everyone will come out and support that effort.

Ruth Wyand

There was a large turnout of music lovers—many who joined TBS for the first time. The competition began at 2:00 and closed the night with a fabulous blues jam, open to everyone.

Below is the full list of this year’s competitors and a bit about them.

Good Rocking Sam 

Dave Sword (drums & vocals)

Mike Conway (guitar)

Chuck Taylor (bass, vocals)

David Mozier (Hammond organ, piano)

Good Rocking Sam plays what they call “modern blues with deep roots.” Most of their songs are originals, drawing inspiration from Memphis soul to Chicago and Texas blues artists of the 1950’s and 60’s. Highly dance-able and a pleasure to listen to.

Handsome Al & the Lookers featuring Emma Davis


Emma Davis (vocals)

Alan Heckle (guitar, vocals)

Dave Youngman (keyboard, sax, guitar, vocals)

Steve Boletchek (bass)

Richard Gates (drums)

“Mixing Rhythm and Blues flavors with a hint of southern roots rock, this band gets people out of their seats and on the dance floor. In addition to his sterling good looks, Handsome Al has sizzling Texas-style blues licks for days. Backed by a stellar rhythm section dropping the groove deep in the pocket. Sealing the deal are the sultry stylings of Emma “Big Mama E” Davis on lead vocals.

Snake Malone & the Black Cat Bone 

David Russell (guitar/vocals)

Jared Highlen (bass)

Max Levy (tenor saxophone)

Aaron Lane (trumpet)

Sean Meade (alto saxophone)

Matt Smith (drums)

Hailing from Wilmington, NC, Snake Malone & the Black Cat Bone is a 7-piece vintage avored blues band. Playing his self-styled “big city blues with a down-home feel,” Snake Malone and his band rip through fiery, real life originals and covers from blues legends. When joined by the Black Cat Bone horn section, they produce a big sound that has even the most casual blues listener shaking and moving, and leaves die hard blues lovers hungry for more.

Solo/Duo Category

Dominique Amarante 

Dominique’s musical accomplishments include directing a contemporary choir and receiving a degree in music composition. His influences are Son House, Mahalia Jackson, Albert King, Doc Watson, and Merle Travis.

Seth Williams & Terry V.

Seth Williams is a young blues player with tons of talent. He has a new CD and has already been to the IBC in Memphis in the Youth Division. Terry VunCannon is a seasoned blues player who has been to the IBC four times—twice in the semi-finals.

Smart Alec Blues
Alec Feinberg has been playing guitar and harmonica style blues for over 30 years.

Ruth Wyand

Ruth performs a range of originals, classics, and blues to acoustical versions of Jimi Hendrix songs. Drawing on American roots music to frame her lyrics, she demonstrates her strengths as a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist.

Photos courtesy of The Blue Note Grill.