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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

January 2002


This just in from Memphis, Tennessee. Des Moines premiere Blues venue 'Blues on Grand' is slated to receive the 2002 Keepin' The Blues Alive Award for 'Blues Club of the Year' from the Blues Foundation in Memphis. This prestigious award will be presented on Sunday, February 10th at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Memphis, as part of the annual W. C. Handy Blues Awards week. Blues on Grand's proud owner and manager Jeff Wagner credits the entire Des Moines blues community, his staff, the fans, area media and the Central Iowa Blues Society for the success of this fine blues venue. Jeff Wagner also offered his special thanks to Kim McNeely, Jerry Glenn and fellow CIBS member Lynette Webster for their continued support and assistance. For more information on this great blues club, please visit their website at: .


With the arrival of 2002, Iowa's own The Blue Band moves a little further on up the road. In a special holiday message, accompanying the band's "20th Anniversary Christmas" CD, Blue Band helmsman and KUNI personality Bob Dorr summed it up as follows. ".I will be taking on added duties at the radio station. This will also effect The Blue Band in many ways, primarily in that I will have less time to play dates. I expect to still play 60-70 shows a year, primarily during the summer festival season, and hope we can continue working together." Yo, Bob - we'll gladly take whatever Blue Band we can get, just don't give it up! In addition to this memo from Bob Dorr, Blue Band alumni Molly Nova and Turk Krause have recently announced that they plan to perform together in a new ensemble called "Molly Nova & Hawk."

Molly & The Hawk's new CD, "Another Shade of Blue," is available now from Nestling Park Productions, and may be ordered by emailing . These new tracks also include backing from Tom Bruner, Jeff Petersen and Sam Salomone. This is Molly & Turk's first solo effort - so don't miss out on it!

The Blue Band is a true blue midwest tradition, and annual highlights include band's appearances at the Iowa State Fair, as well as their legendary New Year's Eve mega-blowouts at Hotel Fort Des Moines. The new enhanced Christmas CD includes a special Iowa Public Television segment and interview celebrating the band's 20th anniversary in 2001. To Bob, Molly, fellow-founding member and guitarist Jeff Petersen, drummer Turk, guitarist Bryce Janey and saxman Heathcliff Pattschull - we offer a true blue salute for 20 years of the finest blue boogie 'n houserockin' the midwest has to offer. For more on the band, their schedule and complete catalogue of their recordings, please visit: on the web.

Brand New Blues fer Youz.

"Preachin' the Blues" - The Music of Mississippi Fred McDowell (Various Artists - Telarc Blues) An assembly of contemporary blues notables pay tribute to legendary bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell. From the relative obscurity of the rural south, to his being 'discovered' by the historians of the 1950's, and his eventual exposure to the masses in the folk-blues revival of the 1960's - Mississippi Fred McDowell was the definitive delta bluesman, and he inspired so many along the blues highway. He passed on from this world in 1972, and now thirty years later brings new interpretations and fresh performances of his songs on this unique collection by Paul Geremia, Anders Osborne, Colleen Sexton, Brian Stoltz, Charlie Musselwhite, Tab Benoit, David Maxwell, Sue Foley, Kenny Neal, Steve James, Johnny Sansone, Scott Holt and other notables. This is a virtual blues stew. get yourself a good mess of it, while the boss is out to lunch!

As long as you're here, check out my review, JIM LINDSAY'S HEARTLAND SINGS OF THE SCOTS-IRISH

I've unraveled enough here to hold you all for another month, so I'll be headin' down the tracks to the next station. Peace & blessings to everyone for a blue new year and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

Blues to 'ya!

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