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True Blue from Ellis Kell

Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

FEBRUARY 2005

bernston150 (5K)The Mississippi Valley Blues Society (MVBS) continues to deliver top-shelf performers through its Artists in Residency series, with The Westbrook Singers coming up this month, and harmonica wizard and blues educator David Berntson visiting the Quad Cities April 4 – 9. David Berntson originally hails from Galesburg, and went on to found the Tulsa Blues Club in 1986. He was the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive In Education award for his work on the Blues in the Schools program (1991). For a complete schedule of the MVBS artist in residency programs, visit www.mvbs.org on the web, or contact the MVBS office at: (563) 32-BLUES.

clip_image002 (4K)The American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area is proud to announce a River Music Experience Premiere Event, Grammy Night. I am very proud to be serving as co-chair with Jennifer Pascua for this very special Red Cross event, on behalf of RME. The event will coincide with the 45th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 13th to be broadcast on CBS from 7-10:30 p.m. Cost for the event is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. RSVP by calling Jamie at the Red Cross at (309) 743-2166. A pre-Grammy jam will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at River Music Experience, hosted by yours truly, and featuring special guests and friends: Mike Frank, Detroit Larry Davison, Rick Stoneking, Terry Hanson, Tony Hoeppner, Anthony Catalfano, and Neal Smith. Following the pre-Grammy jam, guests will be able to view the Grammy awards broadcast, dine on hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Centro Restaurant of Davenport, and a cash bar will also be available. Throughout the evening, Jennifer Pascua, event co-chair, will conduct various raffles and contests for great prizes from area organizations and merchants. 50% of the proceeds raised from this event will benefit the American Red Cross International Response Fund to aid victims of the tsunami. The other 50% will benefit the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area to provide relief for local victims of disaster. If you are interested in making a cash donation, please send it to the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area, c/o Grammy Night, at 1100 River Drive, Moline. If you are interested in making a cash donation, or donating a raffle item for this event, please phone the Red Cross at (309) 743-2166, or email trueblue@qconline.com. Any donations will be greatly appreciated, and I hope you will come join us for Grammy Night at RME - to help the Red Cross replenish their relief funds.

Fresh Tracks…

Alligator Records President Bruce Iglauer has this to say about Charlie Musselwhite’s special new release “Deluxe Edition,” which is due out this month.:

al5612 (15K)“For this collection, Charlie gave us an unreleased track "Lotsa Poppa," from the IN MY TIME sessions. He also donated an early 1960s home recording of Will Shade giving him pointers on guitar and then singing with the teenage Charlie accompanying. As Charlie recalls: "Will Shade lived near the corner of 4th and Beale St. He played guitar and harmonica and I loved hanging out at his place. We would spend the day talking and passing the Golden Harvest Sherry wine around as musician visitors would come and go all day and into the night. They were all stopping by to pay their respects, have "a taste" and jam. Will was an important harp player, one of the first to start playing blues harp as an instrument instead of a toy to make sound effects. I feel very privileged to have known and learned from Big Walter Horton and Will Shade. It's like getting the "transmission" or the secret handshake."

Sounds like a very significant release for the legendary Memphis harmonica man, and one that Charlie Musselwhite fans will definitely want to add to their collection! We’ll have to tell you more about it when we get our copy. For more on the Alligator catalog, visit www.alligator.com on the web.

Further on up the road…

That’s all she wrote for this month, and we’ll see you all somewhere ‘round the bend. Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love and blessings to everyone, and…

Blues to ‘ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in ‘True Blue’, running the first Sunday of each month in Entertainment. He is also on the staff of River Music Experience, a not-for-profit museum and center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.



trueblue@qconline.com

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