On the 1st of September 2012 Tim ‘Gravelgutz’ Griffin achieved what many people thought would be impossible for a Solo Artist. Tim won The Blues Association of South East Queensland’s (BASEQ) “Memphis Blues Challenge.” Only Tim and “Mojo Webb” performed as Solo act’s in the Challenge. Both performed to a very high standard … as did the other 11 Bands in the Challenge. The audience was captivated from start to finish.
Some of the best Talent in South East Queensland was to be seen on the Mansfield Stage that night. It was this fact that the worried the Committee of BASEQ. How could they fairly pick a line up ! Eventually it was decided that the line up should be picked randomly from a hat at BASEQ’s ‘BOO Jam’ on the Sunday before the event. Every Committee member took one Artists’ name from the hat and after the Committee members had been exhausted, the remaining Artists were chosen by members of BASEQ themselves. The Line up was announced at the BOO Jam on that Sunday. It was furthermore decided that a Solo or Duo act be used to open each Bracket of 3 Artists.
The Lineup was an incredible one it included; Dee Lavell, Mike Frost and The Icemen, Mojo Bluesmen, Brodie Graham, Devil’s Kiosk, Mojo Webb (solo), The Andrew Baxter Band, Mick Diggles, MooMooPappa, Connor Cleary, RumbleFish, and Tim Griffin. (Not In That Order)
As one of the judges I can tell you it was a very hard job. If it wasn’t for the Individual Judging Criteria set down by the Memphis Blues Society for the International Blues Competition (which BASEQ adhered too) it would have been impossible to judge fairly. Each act was judged individually and had separate criteria that had to be judged upon. At the end of each Bracket the Score sheet’s were taken away by a Committee Member for tabulation. These were not to be returned, so there was never the opportunity to change your scores. Your judgement was to be made on their Presentation at that moment in time alone.
Criteria such as Talent, Originality, Presentation, and Blues Content had to be met . The different criteria was multiplied by 2 to 4 … the highest of which was the Blues Content. There was also a commentary space at the bottom of the Score sheet to explain your reason’s for scoring the way you did.
After the event now I can tell you I can’t remember scoring an act below 7 in any criteria. The talent was just that good !!! Those that I did mark as a seven were usually only marked down in The Blues Content and Originality Categories. I marked everyone highly in the Talent Category and everyone Presented well, showing an incredible dedication to Professionalism. No one, not even the judges had any idea of who won until the end of the night … It was as big a surprise !
So what made Tim ‘Gravelgutz’ Griffin stand out ?
One man, One ‘Gravelgutz’ Voice filled with Blues emotion, One Stomp Box, all original song’s (except for one Keb Mo Song), One Guitar with little or no FX on it, a great Presentation and Wardrobe. Truly professional ! From the moment Tim started his set he achieved something no other Band, Duo or Soloist achieved during the night … the audience went absolutely quiet ! I noticed this immediately and thought it strange. So looking away from the stage, (which was hard to do) I looked around at the Audience. All eye’s were on the Stage and every person in the room was under the Spell of ‘Gravelgutz’ ! It was incredible, at first I thought I might be wrong. However, at the end of the first song the audience broke out into an outrageous applause !
The silence followed by appreciative applause became a staple after every song in his set. No other Artist on the night achieved the appreciative connection Tim did with the audience. The other defining factor about Tim (Apart from the Mojo Bluesmen) was that his Originality and Blues content were very high !
The other Artists on the night were exceptional for what they do, but they were not as Original or had as high a Blues Content. Most were a fusion of Country, Jazz and Rock. However if you are to send an Artist / Band to represent South East Queensland in an International Blues Competition, you have to be thinking of sending those true to traditional Blues. Sociologically that is what the Memphis International Blues Competition Judges will be looking for ! And when it comes to Tim ‘Gravelgutz’ Griffin, he has what it takes to win in Memphis !
Tim Griffin has been performing for over 20 years.
All photo’s supplied by Phil Raggett ;
Liveactsphile (Liveactsphile Image)
The “Tim Griffin BASEQ Memphis Blues Challenge 2012 Winner Banner, which was supplied by “Black Market Music.”
Black Market Music – Home Page.
Get Tim’s CD “Castle Hill Blues” from ‘Black Market Music’ here !