True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

June 2008

I've said it many times before... when the river takes a notion to flood, it can leave you standing deep in the mud. The Sturgis on the River fest was already forced to move to higher ground this month, and whether or not the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival on July 3, 4 & 5 will have to relocate is pretty much up in the air right now. It does bring back some true blue memories of the Great Flood of '93, when the Blues Fest was forced to move to the airport in Mt. Joy. I can still see Patrick Hazell at the piano, playin' and singin' his heart out to the crowd that had circled around him in the center of the tent, as the rain poured down in sheets outside. I also remember seeing and hearing the late, great Albert Collins for the last time on the main stage of that '93 fest. "Travelin' South... workin' my way back home..." Those are indelible blue memories for me.

The Blues have always been a celebration of endurance and survival, of pain, suffering, floods and levees breaking. Although it was a major task to relocate the fest, MVBS pulled together and pulled it off - and you can bet your bottom dollar they'll do it again, if need be. That said, now would be an ideal opportunity to support the MVBS mission of 'keepin the blues alive' by making an investment in an annual membership. We encourage you to visit www.mvbs.org for details on how you can become a member of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.

And who says there aint no cure for the summertime blues? These new releases will serve as a true blue transfusion, and will help wash away those floodwater blues...

"Treat Me Right," Robin Rogers - Blind Pig Records (Release date: June 24, 2008) - 2004 International Blues Challenge finalist Robin Rogers delivers the blues with true blue passion and deep soul. This new collection features Rogers' "Color Blind Angel," a moving original composition that placed second in the 2007 International Songwriters Competition blues category. This lady sings the blues from the heart, and is here to stay. For more information on Blind Pig releases, including 'audiophile 180-gram LP releases' from Johnny Shines and Snooky Pryor, Charlie Musselwhite, and Jimmy Thackery, visit www.blindpigrecords.com on the web.

"Bluelisted," JW-Jones (Northern Blues) - A blistering guitar CD from JW-Jones with special guests Little Charlie Baty (Nightcats), Junior Watson, Richard Innes & Larry Taylor. "JW's pure, honest singing plus guitar stars make this record a yellow-dot must-buy addition to the catalog for his fans and new enthusiasts who are getting to know him." - Elwood Blues (aka Dan Aykroyd)

"No Paid Holidays," Watermelon Slim & The Workers (Northern Blues) - A brand new album of woolly wisdom from this worldly-worn Oklahoma truck driver. Watermelon Slim now has gotten 12 Blues Music Awards in the last two years - and he also won MOJO Magazine's Blues Album of the Year for the second year in a row.

"Pay Me No Mind," Homemade Jamz Blues Band (Northern Blues) - Three young siblings from Tupelo, MS who are on fire - wicked playing, original tunes and homemade guitars made out of car mufflers. "These young kids have got energy, talent and do the blues proud with their own flavor. I believe they've got a GREAT future ahead." -B.B. King "The Homemade Jamz have such a beautiful Blues spirit -- I really believe they're going to be a huge success." -Elvin Bishop

Finally... if you have any photos to share from the B. B. King concert at the Adler on May 31, please email them to us at trueblue@qconline.com . We will in turn share them with the new B. B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center for their archives. This unique new museum and educational facility opens in Indianola, Mississippi on Sept. 13. You can learn more about the B. B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center online at www.bbkingmuseum.org.

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", each month in the Entertainment section of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, online at www.qconline.com and www.wqad.com . He is Director of Programming & Education for the River Music Experience, a registered nonprofit helping build the Quad Cities music scene - through diverse live music and educational programming. He also hosts 'Currents at the Crossroads' musical segment of WQPT's Life & Times.



trueblue@qconline.com











Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014. There are 160 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rev. R.J. Humphrey, once a clergyman in this city, was reported killed in a quarrel in New Orleans.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Citizens Improvement Association held a special meeting to consider the proposition of consolidating Rock Island and Moline.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The home of A. Freeman, 806 3rd Ave., was entered by a burglar while a circus parade was in progress and about $100 worth of jewelry and $5 in cash were taken.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The million dollar dredge, Rock Island, of the Rock Island district of United States engineers will be in this area this week to deepen the channel at the site of the new Rock Island-Davenport bridge.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Argus "walked" to a 13-0 victory over American Container Corporation last night to clinch the championship of Rock Island's A Softball League at Northwest Douglas Park.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Immediate Care Center emergency medical office at South Park Mall is moving back to United Medical Center on Sept. 1. After nearly six years in operation at the mall, Care Center employees are upset by UMC's decision. The center is used by 700 to 800 people each month.








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