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Darren Watson (www.darrenwatson.com) has been selected by The Auckland Blues Club (http://www.aucklandbluesclub.co.nz) as its representative at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee, USA (www.blues.org).
The singer-guitarist and his band will be performing with over 200 other up-and-coming blues acts from around the world over five days in the southern US blues capital in February 2012.
In the twenty-five years that The Blues Foundation has held the International Blues Challenge a number of the event's participants have gone on to significant careers.These include Tommy Castro, Susan Tedeschi, and the late Sean Costello.
No stranger to international success himself, Watson was awarded first place for blues in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition in Nashville in 2008.
He also picked up a third placing in 2009, and has had a clutch of 'honourable mentions' as a finalist in every year since.
Darren Watson's latest album Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy has been critically acclaimed both in NZ and the USA. The Dominion Post raved, “This is world-class. We are lucky to have him.”
While respected US blues music critic Bill Mitchell said, “Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy gets better every time I listen to it.”
Watson says he will be looking to funding agencies and sponsorship opportunities, along with fundraising gigs, to help raise the estimated $15-25,000 he needs to get the band to the event and back.