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True Blue from Ellis Kell

Argus/Dispatch blues columnist


2004-05 MVBS Artists in Residency Series…

Mississippi Valley Blues Society has announced a stellar line up for the next round of its Artists in Residency Series. Pianist, guitarist, vocalist Ann Rabson visits the area from October 18 through 23. Rabson is also a founding member of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, and has performed at four Mississippi Valley Blues Festivals. Guitarist, vocalist and blues educator Fruteland Jackson returns November 15 through 20. The Westbrook Singers return, after their highly successful residency earlier this year during Black History Month. Blues harmonica master and educator David Berntson has conducted his popular harmonica workshops for children at the last three Mississippi Valley Blues Festivals, and returns for a MVBS residency April 5 through 9. Major sponsors for the MVBS Artists in Residency Series include Scott County Regional Authority, Alcoa, Lingui-Systems, and additional support is provided by Iowa Arts Council, Humanities Iowa, Oscar Mayer Division of Kraft Foods, Moline Foundation, Riverboat Development Authority and Hampton Inn of Davenport. For more information on these public performances, visits on the web.

New Blue Tracks…

“Have A Little Faith” – Mavis Staples (Alligator) The legendary Gospel and soul singer debuts on the Alligator label with a soulful, funky mix guaranteed to ignite your soul. No one delivers Delta Blues and Gospel quite like this lady, and contemporary arrangements serve to embellish and not detract from the traditional roots of the music. Top shelf.

“True to Yourself” – Albert Cummings (Blind Pig Records) This new CD features some fiery blues rock guitar on Cummings’ debut on the Blind Pig label. The collection was produced by former SRV and Santana producer Jim Gaines. Not for the faint of heart. There is some real serious blues rockin’ goin’ on here.

Further On Up the Road…

River Music Experience is very proud to welcome The Westbrook Singers for September 12th Gospel Brunch. The brunch is served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., and seating is on a first come – first served basis. Advance tickets are $12.50 per person for RME Members and $16.00 per person for non-members. Tickets are available now online at, or by calling 563-326-1333.

That’s all she wrote, and there aint no more. Mama’s fryin’ chicken, so I just can’t be dawdlin’ around here no more. Peace, love & blessings to everyone and, until we meet again at this crossroads…

Blues to ‘ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in ‘True Blue’, running the first Sunday of each month in Entertainment. He is also on the staff of River Music Experience, a not-for-profit museum and center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.

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