Friday, June 4, 2010

King of The Blues Competition

This past Thursday I happened to go to the local music store. I needed a new set of strings for the Hummingbird Gibson guitar I have that is on loan from my guitar buddy Jim. The place is Guitar Center. I had the pleasure of working there for 30 days. In those thirty days I sold over $15,000 in merchandise. I received a whooping three hundred dollar commission. In my first week there I knocked the top salesman off his perch. He wasn't too happy about the competition and even had the nerve to tell me that I was selling the wrong way.  Mind you after I sold more product than he did. He should have asked what I was doing instead of criticizing. It turned out his job was to help me increase sales, he was certainly a. "Misguided Individual".  At the time I was making more money on Ebay, so I quit.

Before I continue with this report I must say that I listen to a lot of blues, traditional delta blues. With that said let's take a look. (in order of appearance)

First up was Nick Galik. I have known Nick and his family for about three years. Nick is an outstanding player that leans towards Jazz fusion with a spattering of blues Rock. I have suggested that he stick with the blues, because that is what he does best. He needs some strong management behind him.
Above 17 year old Mackenzie Ryan who was the only woman in the competition and my favorite. She can play the blues with the best of them. She has a very laid back approach and in my opinion was the best example there of traditional blues. Mark my words with more seasoning Mackenzie will burst through as a top female blues player. I did not hear her sing, but I hope I get the opportunity to in the future.
I also had the pleasure of meeting her parents. They are great people and very supportive of their daughter.  Good job Mackenzie. One additional note she studies guitar with a teacher that I studied under by the name of David Stone. David is undoubtedly one of the best guitarists I have ever heard. he can play any style at any time. He can comp with the best.
Next is Jim Lerose. I could not get a real good picture of Jim cause he was moving too fast for the camera. Just kidding I screwed it up sorry Jim. Jim was great and well seasoned. He hails from Dyer Indiana. Very nice player.
This is Jim Kroak from Mokena , Illinois. Jim-is another very seasoned player who did an outstanding job. I do not know much about him, but I can tell you this he is an awesome guitarist.

Jim Karones hails from Oak Lawn , Illinois. he is about the same age as I am and it turns out we grew up not too far from each other small world. He and I even knew some of the players from the old neighborhood. Jim's style does lean more towards rock and not blues. that is not a bad think because the world needs rock musicians too.Great Jjob jim, but I feel the judges were too traditional. 

Here is Michael Flynn. Mike is from Orland park. Mike won the competition and is moving on to the regionals. He played a straight style with no effects and overdrive. He has a very nice clean tone. 
Great Job Mike and good luck with the next stage.

All of the players were awesome and I believe the judges are the ones that had the most difficult task. 
Picture Left to right are Fernando Jones, Sammy Fender and Jimmy Johnson.