The 2002 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will be just another blue memory, by the time this one hits the newsstands in print. Even so, Lonnie Brooks dishing up the blues live from LeClaire Park bandshell, as part of ABC's "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration" broadcast, will no doubt go down as a shining moment in the history of our blues festival. For a recap of this year's festival, and for more information on upcoming blues society-sponsored events and performances, check in from time to time at www.mvbs.org on the web.
Special Sneak Previews:
"In the Pocket: A Taste of Blues Harmonica" Various Artists (Telarc) - This one isn't due for official release until July 23, but it's a tasty compilation featuring tracks by James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Matthew Skoller, Annie Raines, Billy Branch, Carey Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, Kenny Neal, Jerry Portnoy, Junior Wells, Lazy Lester, Snooky Pryor and others. This one's essential for the blues harp fan's collection, and the only thing I'm worried about is how I'm ever gonna keep ol' Detroit Larry from snatchin' it from me! For more blues from Telarc, visit their web site at: www.telarc.com
"In the Morning" Joe Louis Walker (Telarc) - This bluesman covers the entire spectrum of blues flavors and passions, including acoustic blues, smoldering electric blues, gospel, soul - you name it. Joe Louis Walker always comes back to the blues, but continues to invent, explore and create new expression within the genre. Also due for release on July 23. Get yo'self some, soon as it hits the stands! For more blues from Telarc, visit their web site at: www.telarc.com
"Storms of Life" Bernard Allison (Tone-Cool Records) - In his second release for the Tone-Cool label, Bernard Allison mixes it up real good, with funk, reggae, rock and blues numbers, and leaves his own indelible mark on each cut he plays. The tracks just plain become Bernard Allison songs, no matter who originally authored them. As Bernard himself says, "I tell everyone I'm not a bluesman. I'm a musician." That, in itself, says more about his passion for (and philosophy of) the music than anything. He is his own man, and this CD showcases his versatility and range of talent. Stay back from the flames! For more blues from Tone-Cool, visit their web site at: www.tonecool.com
"Blue Magic" Magic Slim (Blind Pig Records) A brand new collection from the legendary Chicago bluesman is due out July 9th, and was recorded in Blind Pig's vintage Chicago warehouse. This promises to be the real thing, folks - no nonsense blues from a man whose name is synonymous with the Chicago Blues. Be patient, child - good things come to those who wait! For more blues from Blind Pig Records, visit their web site at: www.blindpigrecords.com
"Back In Love Again" Liz Mandville Greeson (Earwig Music Co.) Love is the lesson, and Liz Mandville Greeson is back to teach you something real about love lost and found, through her passionate and burning delivery of each and every potent track on this disk. Nobody does it better than Ms Liz, and you best listen to what this woman has got to say - 'cause she aint just messin' round!
If I gave you any more than that to chew on all at one time, you just might hurt yourself. It's sad but true, Blues Fest is over for another year, but that ol' Blues Highway just rolls on forever. Get out and support the clubs and bands on the local music scene, 'cause it's just plain good for your soul. Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace and blessings to all, and.
Blues to 'ya!