Mississippi Valley Blues Festival June 29-July 1

Posted Online: May 24, 2012, 3:19 pm
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Press release submitted by Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

DAVENPORT -- The 28th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will be June 29-July 1, 2012, in downtown Davenport.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society (MVBS) has announced the festival lineup of 24 acts including blues legends, up-and-comers and award winners performing on two stages at LeClaire Park on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. Produced by MVBS, this event is one of the longest-running blues festivals in the nation, and the only major blues festival in the U.S. produced entirely by volunteers.

The festival kicks off with "Let's Party" Friday and a new start time 6:30 p.m, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Revving up the fun is young phenomenon Matthew Curry and his band The Fury on the Bandshell stage, while Earnest "Guitar" Roy takes us down to river on the tent stage. Blues Music Award nominee and Roomful of Blues alumnus Sugar Ray Norcia on harmonica leads his band the Bluetones next on the Bandshell, followed by Baton Rouge's award-winning guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Kenny Neal. Over in the Tent, International Blues Challenge semi-finalists Liz Mandeville and Donna Herula show why they represented the Windy City in Memphis, and Super Chikan with his band The Fighting Cocks will be crowing Mississippi style.

"High Octane Blues" Saturday offers an eclectic mix that's sure to stir the blues-loving soul. Canada's Terry Quiett Band kicks it off on the Bandshell at 2 p.m., followed by Ohio's Ray Fuller & the Bluesrockers, the Memphis soul of "The King of Beale Street" Preston Shannon, and Guitar Shorty, a one-time brother-in-law of Jimi Hendrix, and ending up with headliner Coco Montoya, protégé of legends Albert Collins and John Mayall. First up in the Tent is Bryce Janey from Marion, Iowa, who represented the state of Iowa at the International Blues Challenge in the solo-duo category in Memphis. Next is Blues Music Award nominee Doug MacLeod, who will also present a free workshop about slide guitar. The Ernest Dawkins Quartet from Chicago adds jazz to the mix, followed by the deep blues of Kansas harmonica-guitar duo Moreland and Arbuckle. Sure to blow the roof off the Tent is headliner piano powerhouse Kelley Hunt and her band.

On "RiverRoad" Sunday, the festival honors Mississippi soul-blues icon Bobby Rush at 8:30 p.m., whose show in the Tent will be part acoustic and part his usual party with dancing girls. Legendary guitarist Lonnie Brooks will also receive a RiverRoad Lifetime Achievement Award on the Bandshell at 7 p.m., before a long set with his sons, stars themselves, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Wayne Baker Brooks. Rounding out the Bandshell performances are Oakland, Cal., pianist Lady Bianca and Kansas City siblings Trampled Under Foot. The Tent performances start with the River Music Experience's Winter Blues Kids led by Hal Reed and Ellis Kell, followed by the country blues of Paul Geremia (who also gives a workshop on 6 and 12-string guitar styles), and the smoldering soul of Mississippi's Johnny Rawls.

On Saturday and Sunday starting at 2:30 p.m., the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival offers free workshops for adults in the Freight House (located next to LeClaire Park), a free photo exhibit of blues artists and past festivals also in the Freight House, and BlueSKool for children in the afternoon in LeClaire Park. The workshops and BlueSKool give participants a chance to learn from the masters.

One-day tickets will be sold at the gate for only $15 each day. Children ages 14 and under will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. For information about the festival, lodging and the complete schedule of artists, visit www.mvbs.org


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