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 Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.

(More History)