True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

February 2008


The Mississippi Valley Blues Society continues to keep the blues alive by delivering their Blues In the Schools artist residency series to area schools and venues. Mojo's at RME is a regular stop for these free concert events, and the 2008-09 schedule will include: Guy Davis (Apr. 9), Billy Branch (Oct. 15), Corey Harris (Nov. 5), TJ Wheeler (Feb. 4), and Hal Reed (Apr. 8). These concerts in Mojo's @ RME start at 7 pm, and there is no admission charge - thanks to MVBS' supporting sponsors. Donations to support live music and educational programming at RME are always welcome. The MVBS artist residency program is made possible with the support of the Riverboat Development Authority, Illinois Arts Council, Kraft Foods, Alcoa, Sears Manufacturing, Lingui Systems, The Lodge, KALA-FM, WQPT and WVIK. For more information on these FREE performances, and all MVBS activities and Bluesfest updates, please visit on the web.



"West Side Strut," Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater (Alligator Records) Just can't say enough about this new collection from this legendary Chicago bluesmaster. Produced by Ronnie Baker Brooks, this new CD includes special guest appearances from Billy Branch, Lonnie Brooks, Otis Clay and Jimmy Johnson. True Blue track from this one is "A Time for Peace," and we applaud "The Chief" for carrying the message. 7 big blue stars for this one, blues fans!

"Born To Be Wilder," Webb Wilder and the Beatnecksi (Blind Pig Records) This is no holds barred houserockin' - a potent and proven blend of blues, rock, country, served up with a generous helping of humor and soul. Get yo'self some right now, while the boss is out to lunch!


"Deliveries After Dark," Popa Chubby (Blind Pig Records) This new collection features Popa Chubby's signature brand of heavy duty blues rock and boogie, with a few surprises - including an instrumental take on 'Theme from The Godfather'. Popa Chubby really delivers the goods again, on "Deliveries After Dark".



"Eden Road," The Andrew Landers Project (Independent Release) The Andrew Landers Project scores one to the heart with it's newest release "Eden Road". Andy Landers is Worship Arts Pastor at Calvary Church in Muscatine, IA - when he's not cris-crossing the country performing solo gigs or with his full band. The new CD, in Andy's own words, is "a collection of my thoughts and prayers as I've traveled in pursuit of God. It reflects the broken places and the hopeful spaces I've found along the way." Andy (vocals, guitar and Hammond B-3) is joined by the ALP regulars Jamie Hopkins (drums), Luke Noble (guitar), Joe Barton (bass), Jimmy Lee (trombone), David Mehaffey (mandolin and fiddle), and Jim VanWinkle (dobro and lap steel), with Ms. Valerie Allen on background vocals. True Blue track off this one is Andrew Lander's "Magnificent" - which has the all the ingredients to become a classic spiritual anthem. Each song carries its own life story - with homage paid to the classic spiritual in "Sweet By and By".


River Music Experience will celebrate the opening of The Sound Lab @ RME in March, offering recording arts classes in three eight-week sessions. For more information, visit - where you'll also find registration forms for download. (The RME is a registered nonprofit helping build the Quad Cities music scene - through diverse live music and educational programming.)


That should be more than plenty for ya'll to chew on for now, so until we meet again at these crossroads... peace, love & blessings to all, and Blues to ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in "True Blue", each month in the Entertainment section of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, online at and . He is Director of Programming & Education for the River Music Experience, a registered nonprofit helping build the Quad Cities music scene - through diverse live music and educational programming. He also hosts 'Currents at the Crossroads' musical segment of WQPT's Life & Times.

Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.

(More History)