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Since Apr 1, 1997

KBS Logo Banner
... to preserve, promote and perpetuate the Blues Tradition ...

KBS Blues Challenge Information
(Previous Winners Listed Below)

The Kentuckiana Blues Society presents:

The 2023 Annual Blues Challenge
for Bands, Solo/Duo, Youth
and Best Self-Produced CD


KBS is seeking Sponsors to help support KBS Blues Challenge winners. Sponsorships start at $100. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Gary Sampson at 502/724-9971 or gary@kbsblues.org.
KBS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations may be tax deductible.

NOTE: Deadline for Entry Extended to Monday, September 18, 2023

This contest is a qualifying round with an automatic berth in the Blues Foundation's Annual International Blues Challenge held in Memphis each year (Jan 16–20, 2024). KBS uses the Blues Foundation's rules and scoring as the basis for our competition. For the Blues Foundation's complete set of rules, visit the IBC Section of the Blues Foundation's Web Site

The KBS Blues Challenge is open to any Kentuckiana blues performer or act who is at least 21 years of age (see Youth Category for under 21 ), who have never received a Blues Music Award nomination and the act may enter the IBC a maximum of three (3) times after which they are ineligible. The act may not participate in the IBC in three consecutive years, so cannot have won the KBS Challenge the previous two (2) years or three (3) times total.

(The rule that all members of the Band and Solo/Duo Challenge must be at least 21 years of age is required in order to enter any venue that serves alcohol, which is where we hold the competitions. The youth category accommodates those under 21.)

Acts must submit a minimum of 20 minutes of music. We will accept Audio CD's or MP3's (which may be submitted electronically or via internet links).

We limit the geography of the acts to the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and areas close to Louisville (75-150 miles +/-). You must reside in or regularly play in Kentucky or Southern Indiana. In the event of a controversial entry or too many entries, final selection will be made by a committee of KBS Board Members. If you have any questions, please ask.






Band Sun Sep 24, 2023

Stevie Ray's Blues Bar

Sep 11 18, 2023 $25
Solo/Duo Sun Sep 24, 2023 Stevie Ray's Blues Bar Sep 11 18, 2023 $25

Winner selected by KBS Board from applicants

Sep 11 18, 2023 $0
Best Self-produced CD

Winner selected by KBS Board

Sep 11 18, 2023 $0

KBS follows the rules for the International Blues Challenge with the exception that all members of the
Band and Solo/Duo must be 21 years of age at the time of the competition because of the venues we use.

  • Band winner receives First Prize Money of $1,000 plus recording studio time *1

  • Solo/Duo winner receives First Prize Money of $500 plus recording studio time *1

  • Youth winner receives an automatic berth to the IBC Youth Showcase and $250 *1

  • Best Self-Produced CD winner is automatically entered into the IBC's Best CD category

In addition to the prizes listed above, the band and solo/duo will be hired to perform at the KBS Anniversary Celebration in November 2023.

NOTE: All cash prize money is intended to help cover IBC expenses.

*1 The awarding of cash prizes is intended to help cover IBC expenses in Memphis and is contingent on the Blues Foundation actually having the International Blues Challenge (IBC) at some point in 2024. In the event the Foundation cancels the 2024 IBC, the KBS will not distribute these funds. The band and solo/duo acts will still be proclaimed winners of the KBS 2023 blues competitions, receive studio recording time and will both be hired to perform at this year's blues society anniversary party, as long as that event is not canceled as well.

For the following links, please use your browser's BACK button to return here.
Documents are in PDF Format - Get the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader (link will open in a new window).

If you wish to apply and pay online:

  1. send your entry fee via the button below - be sure to include your band's name
  2. send internet links or mp3s of your music to contest@kbsblues.org and websmith@kbsblues.org
  3. send your complete information for the application form to contest@kbsblues.org, include a photo of your act or a link to one.
    Please, remember to identify everyone in the photo.

Pay your $25.00 entry fee (Band & Solo/Duo) below:

Select Contest Type:
Band Name:

If you have any questions, please contact our Contest Committee at contest@kbsblues.org

Get your act together and join the fun !

Previous KBS Blues Contest Results

Band Category Winners

Solo / Duo Winners

Best Self-Produced CD

Youth (< 21)





King Bee and The Stingers

Zeno Jones

The Butch Williams Band
"Mister B's Blues"
~ No Entrants ~


Blackjack Davey and The Rhythm Kings

Zeno Jones

"Alan Morris and Friends"

~ No Entrants ~


~ The KBS and IBC Blues Challenges were cancelled due to the CoViD-19 Pandemic ~


Blackjack Davey and The Rhythm Kings

Carnes and Shew

Screamin' John and TD Lind
"Mr. Little Big Man"

Jacob McDaniel


Amanda Webb Band

Mark "Big Poppa" Stampley

Laurie Jane and the 45s
"Late Last Night - Elixir of Sara Martin"

Jacob McDaniel


One Shot Johnny

Metro Bluz

Screamin' John & TD Lind
"Gimme More Time"

~ No Entrants ~

Laurie Jane & the 45's

Mark "Big Poppa" Stampley

da Mudcats
"Easy Does It"

~ No Entrants ~


Fistful of Bacon

Alonzo Pennington & Michael Gough

The Stella Vees
“Don't Tell Me Your Name”

~ No Entrants ~


The Beat Daddys

Randy Colvin

The KingBees
"HooDoo Moon"

~ No Entrants ~


Hoodoo Blues Band

D.J. Rice

Jimmy Davis

Baldwin Street Blues


Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof Blues

Joe Debow & Danny Henderson

Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof Blues

~ No Entrants ~


Little T & A

Jimmy Davis

Snakehandlers Blues Band
"Rock Plus Roll"

Rolling Rivers Blues Band


Bryant-Stevens Band

Jimi V & Screamin' John

"Soul Boost"

~ No Entrants ~


Dick & the Roadmasters

Jon Boy Slim

One Shot Johnny
"Times Like These"

Blues Rebellion


Cheryl Reneé & Them Bones

Tyrone Cotton / Danny Kiely

King Sonic
"Character Flaws"



Velveeta Jones


Harmonica Red
"I Was Born In Louisiana"



Stella Vees





~ No Entrants ~ Challenge Cancelled ~



Stella Vees





Rock Garden Blues Band





Michael "Blind Dog" Gatewood





Blues Kravin





Sofa King Deluxe





Jimmy Roberts Blues Band





Jim Diamond and the Blues Syndicate





Walnut Street Blues Band





Tyler Henderson Blues Band





Red Snapper Blues Band





Rude Mood





MR2 Blue




If you have any questions or problems,  please send e-mail to: info@KBSBlues.org

This site created and maintained by Debbie D. Wilson, KBS Websmith
First Published: April 1997 * Last Revised: 12 Sep 2023

© 1997-2021+
All rights reserved

V1.0 - 04/01/1997
V2.0 - 01/01/2008
V3.0 - Coming Soon

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Although we make every effort to ensure correct and accurate content, KBS Blues is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this web site. If you spot any errors or omissions please send e-mail with corrections to WebSmith@KBSBlues.org