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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist


June 2001

Congrats and kudos go out to the Quad Cities Own Elixir for taking the brass ring at this year's Iowa Blue Challenge finals in Des Moines on Saturday, May 19th. Claudie Smith, Bo Butler, Tony Carton and Joe Collins will no doubt now be woodsheddin' up 'til the International Blues Challenge convenes in Memphis in February, 2002. To all the bands, blues society staffs (Mississippi Valley and Central Iowa ), blues society members and fans who supported the challenge this year - True Blue salutes y'all!

A very special benefit is currently being planned in memory of Joy L. Seales, who passed away Friday, April 13th, after a long bout with liver disease. Joy was the wife of well-known Quad Cities musician Jack Seales. The benefit is scheduled for Sunday, June 10th, from noon - 6 p.m. at The Thirsty Beaver in The Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, and proceeds will go to offset medical and funeral expenses for Mrs. Seales. Joy Lee Seales was only 48 years old when she succumbed to the illness that had plagued her for over a decade. Most everyone in the Quad Cities area musical community is familiar with how Jack devoted virtually all his time, energy and resources to take care of her. It's never been Jack's way to ask for outside help, and that's exactly why I'm asking you all to roll out for this benefit. Jack has long been one of the area's finest and most-respected musicians, and he virtually put his love of music on hold for the past several years to care for Joy - the love of his life. If it sounds like I'm aiming for the heart on this one, you're damn right, 'cause that's what THESE BLUES are all about, brothers and sisters. A True Blue thank you in advance, and we hope to see you all there on June 10th. Find out more about the Jam for Joy

Hot New Summertime Blues.

"Along for the Ride," John Mayall & Friends (Eagle Records - WK 18474) John Mayall, the father of British Blues, along with a virtual 'Who's Who' of legendary and contemporary blues artists, unite on this fresh batch of hot-rockin' Blues. Mayall is joined by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Jonny Lang, Steve Miller, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, Gary Moore, Jeff Healey, Reese Wynans, Shannon Curfman, Andy Fairweather Low and other special guests. Otis Rush joins Mayall for a reprisal of "So Many Roads," a signature past recording for both artists.

"Presumed Innocent," Marcia Ball (Alligator Records - ALCD 4879) This is Marcia Ball's debut release on the Alligator label, and she brings along her own band and host of friends from Texas, Louisiana and Nashville for the ride. Marcia covers the spectrum from blues to boogie, and from Cajun to hot rockers. This new collection is co-produced by fellow Texan Doyle Bramhall, and features guest appearances by Delbert McClinton, Sonny Landreth and Casper Rawls. Make sure 'ya get yourself some of this!

More Brand-New Blues - Hot Off the Presses.

"Livin' On Love," Deborah Coleman (Blind Pig Records - BPCD 5070) Deborah Coleman is one of the hottest young Blues talents in the business, and this new CD shows that her blue flame is burning brighter than ever! Produced by Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV).
"Fire It Up," Bill Perry (Blind Pig Records - BPCD 5069) In this debut CD for the Blind Pig label, former Pointblank recording artist Bill Perry delivers industrial-strength vocals, molten guitar and go-for-broke energy and drive. Get outa the road - or this wildman will run 'ya down!

Further On Up the Road.

Riverfest returns to the Moline riverfront June 29, 30 and July lst, and will feature performances by The Classic Rock Allstars and John Kay & Steppenwolf on Friday night, with Riverz Edge, Firefall, Poco and Pure Prairie League on Saturday night. For more information, and special advance 2-day discount (online only), visit the Riverfest website at www.qconline.com/riverfest Due to this year's flood, main stage concert events will be held in the Deere Tech Center grounds on River Drive.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will be held downtown Davenport, also due to the clean up job left behind by this year's flood waters. According to festival organizers, ".because of the unusual length of this year's flood, it is possible that LeClaire Park will be damaged so badly that the Festival will have to be held somewhere else. If it is not in LeClaire Park, the Festival will be in downtown Davenport, within walking distance of LeClaire Park, the traditional Festival site." Nothing can stop the Blues though, and acts featured this year include: Anthony Gomes, Roy Book Binder, Kenny Neal, Honeyboy Edwards, Koko Taylor, Carey Bell, Rosie Ledet-"The Zyedco Sweethart," Roy Hytower, Big Bill Morganfield, Billy Branch and the Sons Of Blues, Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers, Jerry "Boogie" McCain, Charlie Musselwhite, Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, Joe Price, Campbell Brothers, Holmes Brothers, John Primer and the Real Deal, featuring Ken Saydak, Malachi Thompson and The African Brass, Sherman Robertson, Odetta, Buddy Guy, Corey Harris, Henry Butler, plus more artists and workshops. Last, but most definitely not least, our own Iowa Blues Challenge 2001 champions - Elixir, featuring Claudie Smith - will take the bandshell stage on Saturday afternoon! For more information on this year's blues festival, visit the blues society's official website at: www.mvbs.org

I've rambled on plenty enough for now, and there's more fish to gig than gigs to fish for. Peace and blessings to all and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

Blues to 'ya!


trueblue@qconline.com

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