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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

2003 - YEAR OF THE BLUES...

In recognition of The Blues ongoing impact on music and cultural history, both in America and around the world, the United States Congress has proclaimed the year 2003 as the "Year of the Blues". For more information, visit: www.yearoftheblues.org on the web.

WIN FRONT ROW TICKETS TO SEE "THE KING OF THE BLUES"...

True Blue and QC Online will be awarding one lucky winner 2 front row tickets to B. B. King's concert at the Adler Theatre on May 20! To register online, go to www.qconline.com/win/bbk/ on the web now. Limit one entry per email; multiple entries will be automatically disqualified.

APRIL 2003

IOWA BLUES CHALLENGE 2003

Regional competition kicks off for this year's Iowa Blues Challenge, with the Q. C. area preliminary rounds on Friday, April 4 & 11 at Stars & Stripes in Davenport. The semi-finals will be held on Friday, April 25th, and the event is presented locally by Mississippi Valley Blues Society (www.mvbs.org). Competing this year in in the Quad Cities' area are Nasty Weather, The Tornadoes, Big Red & the Blue Deal, Grampa Jack & Smokehouse, Al "The Toe" Nache's All-Star Funky Blues Band, Gibbs Brothers Band, Magic Mike & the Blue Side, and Corporate Rock. The local winner will proceed to the state finals in Des Moines, where the state-wide competition is hosted by the Central Iowa Blues Society (www.cibs.org). The Iowa Blues Competition is presented through the cooperative efforts of MVBS, CIBS, Linn County Blues Society (www.lcbs.org), and Lizard Creek Blues Society (www.lizardcreekblues.org).

HAWKEYE HERMAN RETURNS FOR ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Michael "Hawkeye" Herman returns home the week of April 7th - 12th, for nine workshops and five free concerts open to the public. Hawkeye is the QC's own native son-of-the-blues, and it's a special treat that we will have him back home for this artist-in-residency during the "Year of the Blues." For a complete schedule of his appearances, visit the MVBS web site. For more information on Hawkeye, you will want to visit his personal web site at: www.hawkeyeherman.com .

DAVE CHASTAIN IS BACK, AND READY TO ROCK THE HOUSE

Dave Chastain will be returning to RIBCO (www.ribco.com) on April 19th with a brand new line-up. Dave took some time off during the past few years to spend time with his lady and their new son, and to get the right combination of band members together. Dave has front numerous incarnations of blues and house-rockin' ensembles, as well as co-fronting stints with Eddie King, Bernard Allison, as well as others. The new group is simply called (though not for the first time) The Dave Chastain Band, and features the strongest combination he's found to date, according to the fiery guitarist. The RIBCO show on April 19 starts at 10 p.m., and cover charge is only $4.00. Don't miss this one, folks!

SPRING PUB CRAWL IS JUST AROUND THE BEND

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society has taken over the reins of the annual Spring and Fall Pub Crawls in downtown Davenport, and Thursday, April 24th will find nine acts performing at eleven locations. This year's pub crawl features Ernie Peniston Band (Danceland), Twin Towers Band (Don's Big 10), John Resch and The Detroit Blues (Jimmy B'z), Shane Johnson's Blue Train (Mac's/Carriage House/Dalton's) band TBA (at Boozie's), Fry Daddies (Starting Line), Douglas & Tucker (Front Street Brewery), Pappy (Sam's River City Saloon), and band TBA (at Maddie Rose/Patriot Room). Pub Crawl runs from 4 - 11 p.m., and advance button are $4 from all participating downtown Davenport venues. Buttons are $5 each, evening of the Pub Crawl. For more information, phone MVBS at 563-322-5837, or visit their web site at www.mvbs.org.

NEW BLUES FER YOUZ

"Last of the Mississippi Jukes," Various Artists (Starz Encore Group/Sanctuary Records) This soundtrack, from Robert Mugge's documentary tribute, showcases the blues juke joints of the south, and includes tracks by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Chris Thomas King, Bobby Rush, Vasti Jackson, Patrice Moncell, The King Edwards Blues Band, and much more. From actor Morgan Freeman's unique Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale to the famous Subway Lounge in the historic Summers Hotel of Jackson, this CD serves up a more than fitting tribute to the juke joints of Mississippi. This new audio CD is just one format of Mugge's documentary, which also features a DVD of the film in 5.1 SurroundSound, and a 5.1 DTS with additional exclusive features. For more on this CD, visit www.bakernorthrop.com/artists/jukes on the web.

"A Woman Alone With the Blues," Maria Muldaur (Telarc) A sultry and soulful lady of the blues her ownself, Maria Muldaur pays homage to the legendary Peggy Lee, delivering a new CD destined to become a classic in its own right. Best known for her 1974 hit "Midnight at the Oasis," Muldaur has traveled far and wide - dishing out her own seductive and satisfying brew of blues, jazz, rock, folk and gospel. From a stellar rendition of Lee's signature "Fever," to the sassy "I'm Gonna Go Fishin," Muldaur doesn't miss a lick or trick in her reprisal of Peggy Lee's best numbers. This is one collection that definitely sets the mood for a hot summer night! For more on Telarc, visit www.telarc.com on the web.

TWO NEW CD'S FROM THE 'GATOR

"That's Right!" Roomful of Blues (Alligator Records) 17 albums down the road, this is still more houserockin' blues than the room can hold. Since the 1960's Roomful of Blues has delivered the big R&B sound reminiscent of the 40's, and this collection gets back to the big swing sound that made them a staple of blues fans far and wide. If you don't already have a Roomful of Blues CD in your collection, this one is a great place to start! Signature killer horns, Chris Vachon's hot licks on guitar, and stellar vocalist and harmonica man Mark DuFresne deliver the big sound, on the mark - one more time. Get yo'self some now!

"The Live One," Dave Hole (Alligator Records) The Australian slide-guitar wizard is back, with a brand new selection of live tracks. The ferocity of Dave Hole's over the top, over the neck slide guitar technique is best witnessed in live performance. This new CD captures the intensity and inspiration of this very unique guitarist and bluesman from 'down under'.

For more information on these, along with the many other fine Alligator releases and artists, visit www.alligator.com on the web.

FURTHER ON DOWN THE ROAD

Joanna Connor, Chicago's own Queen of the slide guitar, is scheduled for a special artist-in-residency at Monmouth College Department of Music, Monmouth, Illinois, April 8th through 11th. The residency will include a very special concert event, featuring Joanna performing with The Monmelodic Funkestra, formerly the Monmouth College Jazz Band. The concert is free and open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, April 10th, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Dahl Memorial Auditorium on 7th and Broadway in Monmouth. Joanna Connor's residency will also include lecture, demonstration, clinic, and various opportunities to meet the artist. For more information contact Thomas A. Blomster at Monmouth College, 309-734-9367. For more information on the artist Joanna Connor, visit her web site at www.dmamusic.org/joannaconnor .

That's gotta be way more than you can feed on all at one time, so I'm headed outa here for another month. Peace, love & blessings to all and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

Blues to 'ya!



trueblue@qconline.com

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