The International Blues Challenge ended with a lot of energy and enthusiasm last night, and although our representatives didn’t win, they did very respectably, with Benton & Townsend (Solo/Duo) advancing to the semifinal round, and The CD Woodbury Trio getting eliminated only by the band that went on to win that competition, The Keesha Pratt Band from Houston (check them out). Polly O’Keary‘s Black Crow Callin’ was the runner-up for Best Self-Produced Album. There was a showcase of NW blues artists on Wednesday, and CD booked a separate gig on Beale Street, where he brought the other Washington players up on the stage to join him. It was an impressive showing for the NW blues community, and these musicians will be getting wide recognition now. Congratulations to all of them, and hats off to the Washington Blues Society for making this possible.