Student band headed to blues festival

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- An international music competition will feature some local faces; a group of metro students have been selected to play among the best-of-the-best.

The band Voodoo Vinyl is one of six bands in the Blue's Society of Omaha's Youth Development program Called “Blues Ed” It’s a program that matches young musicians with similar musicians. Coached by professionals, they get to perform at music venues around the metro, but not without a lot of discipline.

"It's a lot sometimes, but honestly it's just a lot of fun to kind of get out there. And yeah, it's a lot of work but it's really rewarding at the end of it," said junior vocalist Elyse Davis.

Program Director Chris Shouse says there is something special about Voodoo Vinyl's chemistry. She said, "When they're on, I mean you can really hear it."

This weekend, they'll be heard all the way in Memphis.

"They were selected to perform at the International Blues Challenge which is held in Memphis every year -- it's a huge event. There are over 240 acts that go down to this," said Shouse.

Each band member is looking to take a little something different away from the experience. Eighth grader Carmel Hemphill is soft spoken, but not with a mic in her hand.

"I've always had trouble with like being in front of people and performing so it's great to have that experience," said Hemphill.

Bassist Thomas Palensky plans to scope out the competition.

"I'm going to be definitely listening to some of the other people, see what they do right, do wrong and see what I can take from these people," said Palensky.

Their interpretation is a little rock, mixed with a little soul. Those in the Blue's Society say the other five bands in Blues Ed are just as good and have played on many metro stages, including for Jazz on the Green.

Voodoo Vinyl is headed to Memphis on Thursday for their performance on Friday.