Once again, one of our favorite bands in the Southwest Michigan area is Kev Nichols and Blue Tuesday. Known for their fun, engaging and energetic shows, Kev Nichols and his excellent band, continue to win awards, and fans from all over the area and beyond.
This January, Kev will be embarking on his 9th trip to the International Blues Challenge that will be held in Memphis, TN. His 8 previous trips (which include 2 appearances in the event Finals) have been in the band category but this time around he'll be trying his hand in the solo / duo category. He and his Blue Tuesday band mate Mike Crupi (guitar and harmonica) will be representing the Capital Area Blues Society out of Lansing, MI.
"It always seems to come back to blues," says bandleader Kev Nichols. "We're a group of musicians who really just enjoy being on stage with each other, and it starts with that, and it just kind of goes from there." Kev Nichols has been around the blues music scene in one band or another for 15 years. Around 2012, Kev had hosted jam sessions in his basement, this evolved into his band Blue Tuesday.
This Jackson area four piece power house of a Blues band consists of Kev Nichols – Guitar and vocal, Rex Hambone -Drums as well as Heather Kulaga –Bass then finishing out the band is Mike Crupi on guitar, lap steel, harmonica and saxophone. “We try our best to sound like an eight-piece band in a four-piece body”.
Kev also is involved as a music worship leader at the church he attends in Jackson (Westwind’s Community Church). “I play Blues on Saturday night at juke joints and worship music just as hard on Sunday morning with my guitar. Some say the Blues is the devils music, but music that is as good as the Blues has to come from God!"
Kev is really looking forward to being back in Memphis for the 34th Annual International Blues Challenge in 2018. The competition will be running from January 17th to the 20th, 2018.
“It’s a madhouse, completely crazy,” Nichols said. “You have 900 or so musicians from all over the world and then a ton of Blues fans having a great time soaking up the Blues on Beale Street, and hopefully you can get some new fans and get your music in other people’s hands.”
The bands are competing for prizes. However, Nichols said that’s secondary to what it means just to be part of the challenge and be in Memphis this week. “The cool thing about the IBC is that it makes the Blues world a small world,” Nichols said. “It’s really all about the networking, meeting new fans and Blues lovers as well the camaraderie.” “It becomes a Facebook, Twitter kind of party. You will start to see your videos and pictures of people take of you, it’s a great networking opportunity to get festival work and, hopefully, it will just open up to other musical opportunities for us.”
Nichols has been to the IBC eight times previously:
2004 -- The WhooDoo Band -- IBC Semi-Finalist (representing the Detroit Blues Society)
2005 -- The WhooDoo Band -- IBC Top Ten Finalist (representing the Capital Area Blues Society)
2008 -- 6 Hands Down -- IBC Semi-Finalist (representing the Capital Area Blues Society)
2009 -- 6 Hands Down -- IBC Top Ten Finalist (representing the Capital Area Blues Society)
2011 -- 6 Hands Down -- IBC Semi-Finalist (representing the Capital Area Blues Society)
2014 -- Kev Nichols & Blue Tuesday -- IBC Semi-Finalist (representing the Capital Area Blues Society)
2016 -- Kev Nichols & Blue Tuesday -- IBC Semi-Finalist (representing the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association)
2017 -- Kev Nichols & Blue Tuesday -- IBC Quarter-Finalist (representing the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association)
When asked about the state of the Blues genre, Kev said, “The Blues, compared to other genres, definitely has a smaller following; but that following is a very, very dedicated one. So, as long as there are still people out there loving and supporting what musicians like myself are putting out there, I think the life of the blues will go on and on!"
If you are a fan of the Blues like I am as well a fan of live music, do yourself a favor, go check out and support Kev Nichols and Blue Tuesday, and please go support live music at your local venue!