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 Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.

(More History)