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The Candymakers / Press

“The Candymakers started and finished the night with sets of inspired soul, funk, and blues songs. Despite having to leave a few of their own behind in the Quad Cities, the remaining six members of the band put on a stellar show. Lead Singer Alan Sweet's huge voice and James Brown dance moves, combined with the fantastic ensemble sound of the rest of the band, illustrated right away to the Gas Lamp crowd why this band won the Iowa Blues Challenge and the Mississippi Valley Blues Society's Blues Challenge. From covers of Buddy Guy, Bill Withers, and even Bob Marley, to their own original tunes, The Candymakers wowed the packed house with their "ear candy". Do not miss this band at the 2012 Winter Blues Fest in three weeks, and make sure you pick up a copy of their new CD (it should be out a couple of days before the festival)”

“Al Sweet's voice is in-between Otis Redding and Joe Cocker.”

“Leaning on the traditions of `60s Motown and Stax, together with the classic groove bands of the 1970s, The Candymakers make no secret of their desire to have some fun while making their music, and in turn, share as much of the joy as they can with their audience. I imagine live on stage, in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the Davenport, Iowa six-piece are damn near irresistible. It's to their eternal credit that they've managed to transfer all that bustling energy into studio recordings, and their songs leap from the speakers like timeless productions by Frank Wilson and Steve Cropper. At the moment the blues crowd have adopted them as their own, and they're beginning to win awards in that category, though for me, it's their soul side that marks them out from the crowd. Tracks like "Yet to Begin" and "No Music No Party" are bonafide floor fillers, and in Alan Sweet they've a singer with a voice which is powerful and utterly convincing. Which isn't to dismiss their other attributes.”

“Congratulations to The Candymakers, winners of the 2011 Iowa Blues Challenge held April 3 at The Muddy Waters in Bettendorf. This 8 piece Quad-Cities band received $500 cash plus $1,200 travel expenses to Memphis as our local representative at the International Blues Challenge in February, 2012. The Candymakers also receive 8 hours of studio time from Junior’s Motel as well as several paid gigs. The Iowa Blues Challenge features one of the finest prize packages, for a contest of this kind in the country. Prizes also include spots in the 2011 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA, 2012 Winter BluesFest in Des Moines, IA, 2012 BBQ’Loo & Blues Too in Waterloo, IA and, of course, the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee in 2012. ”