Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

Champaign-Urbana IL

PCBS Monthly Meeting
6:30 pm Thursday March 12th
Po' Boys, 202 East University Ave., Urbana

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is looking for some new volunteers to step up and become more involved in our Society. Now's your chance to come to a meeting and learn what we're all about, our educational programs for area school children and the great variety of artists we bring to venues around the area. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow blues lovers.

Kilborn Alley at Red's Juke Joint

Kilborn Alley Blues Band
with special guest vocalist Jackie Scott
9:00 pm Saturday Feb. 14th
The Iron Post, 120 S. Race St.

What an amazing show! Jackie Scott is a fantastic singer with a sassy style. She brought along her mentor, a legend and a member or the Blues Hall of Fame, Eddie Shaw. The fans in attendance were thrilled with Jackie's singing and delighted when Eddie Shaw also joined Kilborn Alley on stage to blow some sax and add some vocals. Fans had a chance to have their picture taken with both Jackie and Eddie. PCBS helped bring Kilborn's guests to town by providing some funding. We love supporting the Blues!

Jackie is from the Virgina area and has advanced to the Finals of the IBC's, been nominated for several Blues Blast Music Awards and been a featured performer at the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest and Chicago Blues Fest. She was mentored by Eddie Shaw, saxophone player and leader of Howlin' Wolf's band who was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Jackie and the band played at BB's Jazz Blues & Soups in St. Louis, on Friday Feb. 13. Local fans didn't have far to travel though since they caught Jackie, Eddie and Kilborn at the intimate setting of The Iron Post on the evening of Saturday Feb. 14. What a treat, thanks to Kilborn for bringing these amazing performers to town.

Here's a press release about a previous Kilborn performance featuring Jackie Scott; Kilborn Alley anniversary show.

Monica Morris & Josie Lowder IBC Semi-Finals

Monica Morris & Josie Lowder make the
IBC Semi-Finals at King's Palace in Memphis

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is so proud of our IBC representatives, Monica Morris & Josie Lowder. The quarter-finals were Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Jan. 21 & 22. Their venue was the 12 Bar, the second floor of the Jerry Lee Lewis Club on historic Beale Street. They gave two outstanding performances, thrilling the fans and impressing the judges. The interplay of their vocals and guitars was superb. As Monica mentioned it was as if they were playing in your living room.

Monica & Josie were one of 32 acts to advance to the semi-finals out of the 100 Solo/Duo acts that began the challenge. Here's some quick words from Monica's Facebook Page.

We did it!!!!!
We are in the semi-finals.

Their semi-final venue was King's Palace on Friday, Jan. 23. Monica & Josie stayed out of the rain, and passed on attending the Women In Blues showcase as they prepped for the challenge that evening. Here again from Monica's Facebook page;

This has been quite a journey.
Tonight I sing for my beautiful mother looking down and smiling.
Heaven is on Beale street tonight!!!

Once again Monica & Josie raised their game and gave a superb performance. The competition was intense, unfortunately the judges chose two other acts to advance to the Finals. A few more reflections from Monica's Facebook page:

Another amazing wacky ride in Memphis.
Thankyou to Prairie Crossroads Blues Society and the many people who have supported us. We advanced to the semifinals two years in a row! This year we were in the top 32 out of over 100 entries. Josie and I are so proud of what we have accomplished over the past two years. Many adventures and changes ahead for the both of us. Life is about growth and change. Its also about following your heart and going where the music takes you.
So we are headed back today. Pointing the Subaru north....but first.....can you say.
— feeling accomplished.

Thanks again to Monica & Josie. The first PCBS act to advance to the semi-finals in Memphis! We are so proud that you are our representatives at the International Blues Challenge!

2015 International Blues Challenge – WINNERS

First – Eddie Cotton – Vicksburg Blues Society
Second – Noah Wotherspoon – Dayton Blues Society
Third – Nico Wayne Toussaint – Southern California Blues Society

Best Guitarist – Band (Gibson & Category 5) – Noah Wotherspoon – Dayton Blues Society
Lee Oskar Harp Award - Nico Wayne Toussaint

First – Randy McQuay – Cape Fear Blues Society
Second – Brian Keith Wallen – Dayton Blues Society

Best Guitarist – Solo/Duo (St. Blues Guitars) Ben Rice – Ashland Blues Society

Best Self-Produced CD
Cryin’ Mercy – Altered Five Blues Band – Grafton Blues Association

- See more at: IBC Winners

Back Pack Jones - Betsy's Kitchen

Best Self-Produced CD competition

Congratulations to Back Pack Jones,
their "Betsy's Kitchen" CD won our BSPCD competition

We announced the winners of our BSPCD contest on Saturday Nov. 1. We sent Back Pack Jones' "Betsy's Kitchen" CD to Memphis to compete in the Blues Foundation's BSPCD competition, which is held in conjunction with the IBC.

Congratulations to Back Pack Jones!

Here's a list of the Five Finalists in Memphis. "Cryin' Mercy" by the Milwaukee based band, Altered Five won the competition. They represented the Grafton Blues Association.

You can now earmark your donations specifically for our Education programs. It's a great way to help us achieve our mission of educating about the blues and be a part of bringing up the next generation of blues musicians and fans.

Your tax deductable donation to our Education Fund helps to keep these programs alive

This PayPal link will direct your donation in any amount directly to our educational efforts, including our "Blues In The Schools" (BITS) program.

Want to help support the blues?
Consider becoming a Member of PCBS

We support blues throughout our community and the world. Our mission is preserve, promote and educate about the blues. We support the blues in a variety of ways, bringing new blues artists to town, supporting local blues bands and venues and educating the community through our Blues In The Schools programs.

PCBS is a non-profit organization formed to promote blues music and artists in East Central Illinois. We're a proud affiliate of The Blues Foundation.

Thanks to all the bands and artists who have contributed to our prize pool of CD's that we give away at our monthly meetings. Locally we want to thank, Back Pack Jones, Benny Jenkins bloodline, Keith Harden, The Sugar Prophets and The Kilborn Alley Blues Band. PCBS members stick around till the conclusion of each meeting hoping their raffle ticket is drawn.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the bands!