More than a week has passed since local bands returned from the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, time enough for the experience to marinate in the minds of musicians.
"It was really cool," said 12-year-old Logan Layman, bassist and powerhouse vocalist. "It was amazing and the talent around us was wonderful. All the lights on Beale Street were pretty and we learned a lot about the history, like
Logan said their showcase set at the International Blues Challenge (youth bands don't compete as do their adult counterparts) came off without a hitch. She said she also enjoyed the casual jams that took place around Memphis that night. "I already loved blues jamming, but I learned blues jamming in different keys I would have never imagined playing in."
Her guitar-playing older brother Cole said he had a blast in Memphis. "It's probably the most fun thing I've ever done," the 15-year-old said. "All the music was good wherever you went. Everywhere was blues and that's my favorite style of music ... The restaurants were all good. I thought of it like a theme park. It was really cool."
As far as the band's performance goes, Cole said the highlight was the band's very first song, a version of the classic "I Can't Quite You, Baby," penned by
"People think we're going to play like young kids, then we get up and rock it. I felt really good when everyone stood up after the first song. It was really awesome. Everyone was like, 'Oh gosh, they're good!' "
Rosano's band, which includes Hampton's Paul Warren on bass as well as Southsiders Jack Campbell on harmonica and Dion Davis on drums, was one of about 40 acts that made it past the initial round and into the semi-finals of the competition.
"I feel really good about getting there on our first try," Rosano said. "I feel like it was a win. I got to meet record label people, attend a marketing session. As far as winning, we didn't win a prize, but the exposure and contacts we made, to me that's just as good as making the finals."
He said he was surprised to find other bands so supportive. "I'm originally from New York, so I'm a little jaded," said the 38-year-old guitarist who has lived in Norfolk since 1996. "I usually don't believe that people are going to be that way."
But lo and behold, the bands the Conqueroos had conquered in the earlier round all showed up to cheer them on in the semi-finals.
"It was unbelievable to have that much support from people you had just met and who were really super-talented musicians."