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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

APRIL 2001


Just like ol' Gene Autry sang, ".from my home in the Mississippi Valley." the Blues Artist in Residency program continues with Dave Moore featured in April, and Roy Hytower featured in June. Dave Moore has been a featured artist of the Iowa Arts Council residency program since the early 1980s, sings and plays guitar, harmonica, and the accordion, and will be featured April 9 through 14 in numerous appearances throughout the area. Roy Hytower, performer and noted actor, will perform for the first MVBS thirty-day residency (June 1 - 30, 2001), and will also be featured at BlueSKool during this year's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. More new Blues you can use...

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival 2001 is virtually all booked and ready to go for July 6-8 in LeClaire Park, with scheduled appearances from: Carey Bell, Roy Book Binder, Henry Butler, Corey Harris, Anthony Gomes, Roy Hytower, Rosie Ledet, Jerry "Boogie" McCain, Big Bill Morganfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Kenny Neal, Joe Price, Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women, Koko Taylor, Joe Louis Walker and more to be announced!

Another worthy Blues society tradition, Downtown Davenport's Annual Spring Pub Crawl, is April 12, 2001 from 4:00-11:00 p.m. Pub Crawl buttons are available in advance at Pub Crawl locations, or at the DavenportOne-Downtown Partnership office at 130 W. Second Street. Buttons are $5.00 in advance or $6.00 the evening of the event Volunteers are needed for Spring Pub Crawl, and you can help out! To volunteer for Spring Pub Crawl, for more information on the Blues Artist in Residency program and this year's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, or to find out how you can become a supporting member of the blues society, visit on the web, or phone (319) 32BLUES (322-5837).


"Make It Rain," Michael Burks (Alligator Records) Michael Burks makes his debut on the Alligator label with a smolderin' collection entitled "Make It Rain." Mr. Burks began honing his chops some twenty years ago in the juke joints of Arkansas, and has become a favorite at major Blues festivals across the country. A winner of the Blues Foundation's Albert King Award, Michael Burks' mighty vocal and guitar attack continues to blaze a new trail on the contemporary Blues scene. His passionate and powerful approach pays royal homage to each of the Three Kings, Albert, B. B. and Freddy. With family roots deep in the Blues, via his grandfather and father, he blends southern spirit with his own refined stylings and high-energy delivery. Michael Burks and Co. are on a mission, and they aint takin' no prisoners! Get yourself a heapin' helpin' now, while the boss is out to lunch.

"Believe It," Larry McCray (ShoDown Records) Larry McCray has long been an area (and personal) favorite, and his newest release "Believe It" breaks new ground for the Blues powerhouse. These new tracks introduce a southern rock feel on some cuts, and a soulful new R&B feel on others. Drummer (and brother) Steve McCray is dialed in and locked down with bassists Noel Neal and Jerome Tucker. Hammond B3 contributions from Roosevelt Purifoy in Chicago, and Al Gamble on the Memphis sessions, add spice to the mix of this fresh Blues stew. Larry McCray was recently the recipient of Gibson Guitars' "Best Blues Guitarist" award, and will also receive a custom guitar designed by the company especially for him. He toured earlier this year with the Allman Brothers, and has also been invited to perform at B. B. King's birthday party later this year. Larry received his personal party invitation from "the King of the Blues" himself, after McCray's appearance with fellow bluesman Buddy Guy at King's club in New York City.


That should be more than enough for y'all to chew on for now, unless maybe (like ol' Muddy Waters), you just can't be satisfied. Peace and blessings to all and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

Blues to 'ya!

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