What better way to spend a blazing hot June Sunday than to perform at H20 in Anacortes among some of Washington’s best blues bands in the 2016 IBC Semifinals. The competition started with the duo and solo categories followed by the bands with my group consisting of Don Wilhelm, bass and Chris Leighton, drums and me on lead & slide guitar and vocals leading off the band performances. Standing before an enthusiastic audience, some of the best musicians in the area, and in front of a panel of six judges was thrilling and nerve-wracking. We gave it our best shot and got a great response from the audience and the judges. Audience members asked me when and where they can see us again. I was approached after our performance by judges who told me they had never heard of me, and where had I come from, and where had I learned to play the blues like that. That afternoon, the CD Woodbury band was the well -deserved winner – decked out in matching red and white suits with hats and shiny shoes to match. It was a competition among some of Washington’s best, but there was a spirit of camaraderie in the room with musicians who are often too busy playing to check out each other’s shows, together in one room hooting and cheering for each other. We didn’t win, but I walked feeling that I’d won – new fans, new friends and a warm welcome into the Washington blues family. We’ll definitely be back and who knows maybe next year we’ll try some matching outfits.