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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

September 2001

Welcome back my friends - to the show that never ends (even though we did find it necessary to take a short hiatus in August). We’re back in the saddle with Blues news, and plenty of new summertime Blues for ‘ya to feast your ears on.

Farewell to a ‘True Blue Leader’ in the QC Arts Community…

QC Arts leader LLOYD SCHOENEMAN passed away on August 17. An artist and an arts administrator, Lloyd was was Director for Public and Visual Arts & Community Liaison at Quad City Arts, Rock Island, Illinois. He had been an integral part of Quad City Arts since 1978 as a resident artist, and taught art to various groups including children, the elderly, the disabled and the incarcerated. He was instrumental in founding The Open Cities Film Society, Kaleidoscope (an art program for children at Augustana College), A Very Special Arts Festival and the Quad City Presenters Group. He also helped to create the Metro Arts summer youth employment program and the Arts Dollars/Access re-granting program, which funds individuals and groups for creation of community arts projects. He was administrator for the Face the River sculpture project, as well as many other projects. His work also led to the establishment of the first ever bi-state conference for Iowa and Illinois artists - Tools of the Trade. Lloyd was a vital and passionate player in our local and regional arts community, and he will be dearly missed by all of us who knew him. Memorials may be made to Quad City Arts for a sculpture project or to Ballet Quad Cities.

In Chicago Blues News:
"Shuffle Master" Sam Lay was featured during an interview Sunday, August 19 on CBS SUNDAY MORNING. Sam Lay is an inductee into the Jazz, Rock, Blues, halls of fame, and has over 48 recordings on the vintage Chess Records with most of the major blues artists. He performed with Howlin’ Wolf, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and is still the featured drummer with Siegel-Schwall. Sam will be appearing with Siegel Schwall, along with Chamber Blues, at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music on November 16th. There are two shows, but the hall only seats 400 - so we suggest that you get your tickets soon. The concert is sponsored by WXRT Radio Chicago. Call 773-728-6000 or visit for more information. You can also find more about Siegel-Schwall and Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues on their website at:

Hot New Summertime Blues…

"ALLIGATOR RECORDS - 30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION" - Various Artists (Alligator - ALCD 112/13) Since its humble beginnings back in 1971 with Bruce Iglauer’s initial recordings of Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers, Alligator Records has evolved into the premium American Blues label and stable. With hot studio performances by (to name just a few) young bluebloods as Shemekia Copeland and Michael Burks, as well as veteran bluesers like Koko Taylor, Cephas & Wiggins and The Holmes Brothers, to steaming live selections from Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Saffire, Delbert McClinton, Hound Dog Taylor himself and more, this collection is as essential as the Blues can be. A virtual Who’s Who from the prominent Alligator stable of yesterday and today, this brings it all together in a jam-packed double CD set. ‘Ya just gotta get yourself some of this real soon! For more on the Alligator story, the artists and their recordings, visit on the web.

"HOW’D A WHITE BOY GET THE BLUES?" - Popa Chubby (Blind Pig - BPCD 5071) Great hoogly-moogly! This big boy is dangerous! From the git-go, with "Daddy Played the Guitar and Mama Was a Disco Queen," to the fiery "Black Hearted Woman," and jump ‘n jive of "Goin’ Down to Willy’s," this new CD bridges Blues, punk, funk, rock and rap into a gritty blend of fresh Blues for the new millennium. Top shelf new Blues!

"THE ESSENTIAL TOMMY CASTRO" - Tommy Castro (Blind Pig - BPCD 8004) Molten guitar and gutsy vocals from one of the hottest bluesrockers on the scene today. Castro is currently touring with B. B. King, and September finds him on the east coast, moving to Texas and the west coast in October. For more on Tommy Castro visit the Blind Pig website at:

"I GOT A RIGHT!" - Francine Reed (CMO Records - CMO 1010) Chicago-born Francine Reed always says, "I was born singing," and that’s exactly the way it sounds, as each and every song is delivered with pure passion, pride and punch. This collection features a guest appearance by Willie Nelson, for a duet with Ms. Francine on Nelson’s classic, "The Night Life." She also delivers a soulful rendition of Percy Mayfield’s signature anthem, "Please Send Me Someone to Love." A jazzier piece, "Out of the Clear Blue Sky," which Francine performs regularly while on tour with Lyle Lovett and his band, is also included on this CD. (To follow Francine Reed’s tour schedule with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, we suggest a visit to; just enter "Lyle Lovett" in the search field.) For more on the CMO Records label and its artists, visit

We also highly recommend these new releases…

"DEALIN’" - Joe Beard, featuring Cuke Robillard and friends (AudioQwest Music - AQ-CD 1055)



Further on up the road…

SJ’s Blue Train is back on track with strong new lead voice J. C. Thompson, while former members John Resch, original SJBT drummer Tony "T.C." Carton and "Detroit" Larry Davison have reunited. The three are out and about with Will Gustofson on guitar in their new ensemble, John Resch & The Detroit Blues. Our best to both bands in their new efforts.

On December 1st, ‘A Blue Zoo Christmas’ returns to the RiverCenter’s Great Hall in Davenport, featuring performances by Chicago’s own Howard & The Whiteboys, Tab Benoit, and local houserockers The Bluefins. Proceeds from this second annual event will again go to benefit the Fejervary Park Zoo fund. More details on this year’s concert will be forthcoming as we know them.

Mama’s yellin’ "give it up, baby, or I’m down the road," so I’m outa' here for another month. Until we meet again at this crossroads, Peace and blessings, and…

Blues to ‘ya!

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