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True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

February 2007

TRUE BLUE from Ellis Kell

The 2007 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival scheduled is now finalized, and has been posted online at www.mvbs.org . For those of you who still haven.t gotten 'caught up in the web' - as the source of your entertainment information . this year's festival includes fresh new faces and a unique and diverse roster of acts. The festival will be held June 29, 20 and July 1, and will include such notables as Albert Cummings, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Robert Belfour, Paul Oscher, Big Bill Morganfield, Nappy Brown with Bob Margolin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Mookie Brill, and that's just on Friday night! Saturday's fest card features Jason Ricci and New Blood, Big James & the Chicago Playboys, The Jackie Payne and Steve Edmonson Band, a Blues harp blowout featuring Mark Hummel, James Harman and Paul Oscher, Bad Luck City featuring Matt Woods and Michael Swanger, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Alberta Adams & RJ's Rhythm Rockers with CeeCee Collins, Ari Brown Quartet, Watermelon Slim, and Trudy Lynn with The Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings. Sunday the bandshell and tent stages come alive with the blues of Tom Principato, Ruby Wilson, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Drink Small "The Blues Doctor". Dave MacKenzie, Bruce Katz, and Henry Gray & the Cats. BlueSKool sessions will feature the QC's own Hal Reed, Catfish Keith, David Berntson (with free harmonicas and lessons for all the kids), David Horwitz on Blues Photography, Jason Ricci, Robert Belfour, Paul Oscher, Tom Principato, Bruce Katz, Catfish Keith and Dave MacKenzie. Union Station will also feature the 10th Annual Photography Exhibit on Saturday & Sunday, and the exhibit will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. New Blues Fer Youz....

"Painkiller," Tommy Castro (Blind Pig Records) Tommy Casto is an QC area favorite, and one of the most vital bluesmen on the circuit today. John Porter produces this hot new release. True Blue tracks from this collection include: "Big Sister's Radio" and the Albert Collins classic "A Good Fool Is Hard To Find", featuring Coco Montoya on guitar. Just can't help myself, but the later brings back memories of a very special evening at the Blues Fest back in 1993 - when the ol' Iceman himself graced the stage here in Davenport. Great new stuff from Tommy Castro!

"State of Grace," The Holmes Brothers (Alligator Records) The elder statesmen of blues, gospel and funky soul deliver again, and again, and again. This new collection proves why (as if there were any doubt.), The Holmes Brothers are an American root music treasure. True Blue track: a soulful remake of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?"

"Wish I Had You," The Rounders (Blind Pig Records) Country and urban blues flow with roots rock, in this unique new collection from the Rounders. The band says "If we had a band motto, I think it would be, 'We like to make old music sound new and new music sound old.'" That puts it in perspective very well, and True Blue tracks on this one include "Oh, My Dear Mind," and "Oh Why." The Rounders mix all the roots together in a new blue stew I know you'll enjoy partaking of. Get yo'self some of this real soon!

"Dirty Deal," Coco Montoya (Alligator Records) Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere produces Coco's hottest tracks yet on this collection. The honorable Mr. Montoya delivers hot blues licks, hypnotic grooves, hot house-rockin' and soulful ballads in this new and exciting release on the 'Gator label. True Blue tracks: just can't make up my mind on this one folks. they're all so tasty!

"Magic Touch," John Németh (Blind Pig Records) Molten blues harp playing in a fresh and unique blend of smooth blues and soulful strains. Mr. Németh is most definitely a force to be reckoned with in the new blues circles. True Blue tracks from this new collection include: "Blue Broadway," and "She Did Not Show". We will definitely have to keep our eyes (and ears) open for this young bluesman in the future.

That ought to be plenty for y'all to chew on for now, as we move on further up the road. Peace, love and blessings to all and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

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 also serves as a consultant for River Music Experience, a not-for-profit center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.


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