Dani Franchi Band

A former winner returned to this weekend’s 22nd annual River City Blues Competition and played their way to the top prize once again.

First place in Saturday’s competition at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta went to the Tee Dee Young Band, of Lexington, Ky., which also won the Marietta competition in 2012.

The winning band was followed by the Noah Wotherspoon Band, from Cincinnati, in second place. The Dany Franchi Band, which traveled from Genoa, Italy, for the blues competition came in third.

Organized by the Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society of Marietta, this year’s competition began Friday night with a concert by two non-competing bands and continued Saturday afternoon and evening with 13 solo artists, duos and multi-piece blues bands.

All 13 bands were given 20 minutes to perform between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday before the six finalists competed in a second round of performances which ran late into Saturday night.

The performers were competing for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in 2015 in Memphis, Tenn. The cash prizes are $1,000 for first (with $500 more for registration for the International Blues Challenge), $500 for second and $300 for third.

The competition drew performers from Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan and Italy this year. The River City Ohio Blues Competition is the oldest and largest blues talent competition in Ohio, organizers said.

Organizes said the International Blues Challenge in Memphis provides valuable exposure to record label A&R representatives and blues industry professionals and festival promoters capable of real career advancement for a serious blues musician.