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True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

June 2007

TRUE BLUE from Ellis Kell

IHMV BLUES FEST ’07 RIGHT AROUND THE BEND... The Blues will again fill the air here along the banks of the Mississippi, Friday, June 29th through Sunday, July 1st, in Davenport’s LeClaire Park. Friday night features Damon Fowler, Albert Cummings, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The tent stage features Robert Belfour , Paul Oscher. Big Bill Morganfield, and Nappy Brown with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, and Mookie Brill. Saturday features Kelly Richey, Jason Ricci, Big James Montgomery and the Chicago Playboys, Jackie Payne and Steve Edmonson Band, as well as Mark Hummel’s Blues Harp Blowout, with very special guests James Harman and Paul Oscher. Traditional blues will be featured in the tent on Saturday with Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winners, Bad Luck City, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Alberta Adams with RJ’s Rhythm Rockets and Cee Cee Collins. The Ari Brown Quartet adds a taste of jazz to the mix, and new blues sensation Watermelon Slim & The Workers also makes their IHMV Blues Fest debut. Trudy Lynn with the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings rounds out the tent bill on Saturday. Sunday’s bandshell stage card features Dońa Oxford, Tom Principato, Ruby Wilson, and Little Charlie & the Nightcats. Sunday kicks off in the tent with Drink Small “The Blues Doctor”, Dave MacKenzie and Bruce Katz. Henry Gray and the Cats headline Sunday’s bill in the tent. For complete information on the fest, including all workshops, BlueSKool and after-fest showcase at the The Lodge, visit the Mississippi Valley Blues Society web site at www.mvbs.org.


"Ain’t Just Temporary" – Hamilton Loomis (Blind Pig Records) New blues-blood Hamilton Loomis delivers a soulful new collection, featuring a duet with mentor Bo Diddley on the co-penned track "You Got To Wait". Hamilton blends blues, Motown, Texas swing, soul into his own signature brew, while paying homage to the old school legends that tutored him early on. This is an excellent example of where the blues is heading, from an artist that knows where it all came from. (For more, see www.blindpigrecords.com)


"Day By Day" – Harper (Blind Pig Records) Harper brings rock, blues, soul, and world music together with stellar harp performances, hypnotic grooves, and tunes that will hook you from the git-go. A gifted tunesmith and visionary, Harper blends unique instrumental pairings with heart and soul, and takes you on a new blues voyage from down under to worlds beyond. (For more, see www.blindpigrecords.com)


"Train Rolls On" – The Mississippi Mudsharks (NorthernBlues Music) All Music Guide describes the Mississippi Mudsharks' sound as “no-nonsense punk blues with pedigree and attitude”. Molten slide guitar, gut-bustin’ vocals, and pile-driver rhythms are delivered by a power trio that ain’t takin’ no prisoners. Not for the faint of heart, meek nor mild. (For more, see www.northernblues.com )


"The Best of Paul Reddick" – Paul Reddick (NorthernBlues Music) Paul Reddick did his homework, and has studied the blues masters since an early age. Reddick says “This blues landscape is where I go to write and perform songs. Every song, every performance is a journey far and away.” This retrospective includes tracks from Reddick’s stints with The Sidemen, Colin Linden, and the Rhythm & Truth Brass Band. Highlights include Paul's arrangements of Johnny Cash's "Train of Love" and the Son House song, "Am I Right or Wrong", two unreleased songs from his first album with The Sidemen, three songs with Paul Neufeld's Rhythm & Truth Brass Band, as well as tracks from his Rattlebag and Villanelle recordings. This one is a must-have for Paul Reddick fans, and a top-shelf introduction for those new to the fold. (For more, see www.northernblues.com )

"After The Storm" – The Twisters (NorthernBlues) The Twisters are the prime purveyors of today’s new jump/blues. This new collection of tracks includes the band’s signature jump/blues, but also explores fresh new grooves along the way. Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne guests on piano. The Twisters are one of Canada’s most exciting new blues acts, and are back on track after the tragic death of their original bass player James Taylor in October of 2005. Keith Picot joins the group on bass to deliver a brand new batch of originals with the Twisters. (For more, see www.northernblues.com )

That’s more than a’ plenty for ‘ya to chew on for now. Until we meet again at this 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. He is also Director of Programming & Education for River Music Experience, a not-for-profit center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music, and hosts ‘Currents at the Crossroads’ music segment of WQPT’s Life & Times.


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