Asheville’s AL Coffee & Da Grind, a self-described high-energy, up-tempo blues quartet, will travel to Memphis, Tenn., in late January, joining more than 200 musical groups in competition at the International Blues Challenge. The soul- and dance-inspired band has scheduled a series of hometown fundraising gigs to cover the musicians’ trip to this “blues heaven” event. “Hopefully we can increase awareness of the blues music scene in the Asheville area,” says AL Coffee, “and win this competition for North Carolina.” AL Coffee plays Isis Restaurant and Music Hall on Thursdays, Jan. 8 and 15, at 9 p.m. for $8/$10, isisasheville.com, and Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m. for a $15 donation that includes light refreshments, tressas.com. Photo courtesy of the band
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