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True Blue from Ellis Kell

Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

MAY 2005

RME & MVBS Present “Spring Fling” with The Blue Band…

bobdorrband200 (17K)On May 7th River Music Experience and Mississippi Valley Blues Society will co-sponsor a special “Spring Fling” in the RME Performance Hall, featuring Iowa’s premier party band – The Blue Band. The event starts at 6:30 pm, and The Blue Band performs from 7-10 p.m.. Cash bar is available, along with Centro pizza by the slice. This special event will also mark longtime MVBS official Karen McFarland’s birthday and retirement from Scott Community College. Everyone is invited to help celebrate Karen’s birthday by wearing a hat of any kind. Wear your favorite hat and make a statement in Karen’s honor! Admission is $10 per person, and $7.50 for RME or MVBS members. Tickets are available online at, or at the RME customer service desk, 2nd and Main Streets, downtown Davenport.

torontohummel150 (4K)Mark Hummel rolls into Blueport Junction…

West coast Blues harmonica master Mark Hummel will deliver his proven brand of blues to Blueport Junction on Monday, May 16, from 8-11 pm. Blueport Junction is one of the area’s hottest new live music clubs, and is located at 6605 West River Drive, Davenport. Tickets for the show are $10.00 for the general public and $9.00 for MVBS members. For more information on upcoming shows at Blueport Junction, phone (563) 326-3251.

New blues fer youz…

al4903 (15K)”Live! Down the Road,” Marcia Ball (Alligator Records) Austin’s own queen of the blues piano brings it altogether on her first live CD, with her road-tested brand of blues n’ boogie-woogie. This is her first ever live CD, featuring three new tunes as well as favorites from throughout Marcia Ball’s 30-year career. Old friend Angela Strelhi guests on vocals. Ms. Ball has been a blues fest favorite here for quite some time, and this new collection will show you why. Don’t miss out on this new one from Marcia Ball!

al4902s (6K)“Nine Lives,” Little Charlie & The Nightcats (Alligator Records) This is Rick Estrin, Charlie Baty and the Nightcats ninth release on the ‘Gator label, and they are back in full force with a diverse mix of new originals, including some humorous and some serious blues numbers. These guys never let up for a second, and the band includes some of the finest blues musicians working today. These new tracks will make you laugh, dance and above all will serve to sooth your soul. Get yo’self a mess of this one right now!

For info on all the fine blues from Alligator, visit their web site at .

Further on up the road…

logo (26K)

If you haven’t heard yet, RME will present it’s first annual River Roots Live Music Fest on August 19 and 20, in Davenport’s LeClaire Park – home of the Blues and Bix Fests. Friday night’s card will feature local favorites Jim the Mule, Iowa’s own Greg Brown, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter. Saturday’s card will features Muscatine’s favorite sons The Andrew Landers Project, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Groovin’ Ground, Split Lip Rayfield, Junior Brown, Umphrey’s McGee along with the recently proclaimed ‘jam bands jam band’ Little Feat. The new festival will also feature after-fest performances at RIBCO and Quad Cities Live nightclubs. Tickets will be $20 per day, and special weekend passes will be available for $50. The weekend passes include admission to all after-fest performances, and admission to the Austin City Limits 30-year retrospective exhibit opening in August at RME. For information on River Roots Live Music Fest, email or phone 563-326-1333.

That’s all she wrote, and there aint no more. It’s time to quit hopin’, and time to quit wishin’… this old boy is headed out fishin’. Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love and blessings to all, and…

Blues to ‘ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in ‘True Blue’, running the first Sunday of each month in Entertainment. He is also on the staff of River Music Experience, a not-for-profit center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.

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