Teen blues musicians head to International Blues Challenge1/4/2017
At the end of the month, three Iowa acts will compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s an expensive trip to make, for both the musicians and the fans. On Jan. 28, you can save a bit of cash by seeing Jeff Banks Band, Bare Bones and Juliana & A Soul Purpose perform their Memphis sets at Lefty’s and help them fund their trip to the home of the blues.
Juliana & A Soul Purpose are the youngest musicians from the Iowa cohort of bands, being chosen from a youth showcase to represent the state in Memphis. Singer-guitarist Juliana Logan is just 18, a high school senior from Davenport. The band is looking to raise around $5,000 to cover expenses for the trip.
“I write my own songs and draw inspiration from life,” Logan said. “Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it is happy, sometimes sad, sometimes triumphant. All experiences in life are beautiful, and music is how the feelings sound. The words I write, and the music I play, reflect a feeling from a particular moment in time the song is created.”
A Soul Purpose has had an impressive 2016, playing the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Dawn and On Festival and River Roots Live, as well as opening for Toronzo Cannon, Anthony Gomes and Lissie. Logan has also made a few trips to Des Moines as a solo act for a few jams. The fundraiser at Lefty’s will be her first Des Moines show with A Soul Purpose.
In addition to Logan, the band includes Justin Wanfalt on lead guitar, Matthew Diulo on drums, Cloey Schultheis on bass and Ethan Good on keyboard.
Logan got her start performing at age 11 and fell in love with the blues after being mentored by Ellis Kell at River Music Experience. From there, she started participating in the Winter Blues Camp, Rock Camp, open jams and songwriters workshops.
She’ll have a chance to see some great musicians perform in Memphis, but Logan also sees it at a good networking opportunity.
“I entered the Blues Challenge as a way to open more doors of opportunities and to rub elbows with the best in the biz, hoping to learn from them,” Logan said.
In addition to performing at the International Blues Challenge and finishing her senior year of high school, Logan hopes to head into the studio with A Soul Purpose in the new year.
“We hope to get into the studio to record and to continue writing new material,” Logan said. “We’ll be on a world stage in Memphis, and the hope is a label or producer will notice us.” ♦