I hate to start off by getting up on the soapbox, however it seems like prime time to make an essential plea for our sponsor...The Music. The blues and jazz scene in the Quad-Cities has no doubt had its ups and downs along the road. If we charted average attendance at most local blues and jazz gigs, concerts and events over the past ten years, the graph would look like Charles Manson’s lie detector tests. Then again, it was the trials and tribulations of everyday life that originally gave birth to the music long ago in the deep South. Though there is definitely a revitalized interest in (and support of) our local and regional blues and jazz community, patrons can do so much more to support live performances in the venues. It’s gettin’ mighty chilly outside, so turn out and keep the clubs hoppin,’ your fingers poppin’ and your feet stompin’. Join your local blues or jazz society, pitch in and do something to keep the music alive here in the Mississippi River Valley. We can all do more to support live music and entertainment in the Quad Cities. It will do your heart and soul (and The Music) a world of good!
TRUE BLUE NEWSFLASH!
11-7-97: Legendary blues guitarist JIMMY ROGERS is been hospitalized. The world-renowned bluesman and former Muddy Waters Band guitarist has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is currently undergoing surgery (11-7-97). More details as they are known...
"True Blue Spirit Award" of the Month: In true blues spirit, young blues prodigy Jonny Lang (now almost 17 yrs. old) was recently quoted by Jane Ganahl of the San Francisco Examiner as saying, "If just one kid who sees me play goes out and buys a B. B. King or Albert Collins record, then I’m really proud." Yeah, brother! When further asked about whether he viewed contemporary Kenny Wayne Shepherd (an old-timer now at 20) as a "competitor" Lang replied, "Hey, this isn’t sports! No, I consider him a friend." Jonny, it’s like the "Iceman" Albert Collins used to say when it came time for a fellow band member’s solo, "Take your time, son...take your time." True Blue wishes Jonny Lang much continued success and a long, long time to play the Blues. (For more information on Jonny Lang visit: http://www.amrecords.com/current/jonnylang/index.html)
True Blues News... "Blues Brothers 2000," the sequel to the original that spawned the Blues Brothers craze has reportedly completed filming in Toronto and Chicago. The Jon Landis/Universal Studios film is now in production for tentative release in February of 1998. "B. B. 2K" (as it has been nick-named on the web) has not been without it’s set-backs. Blues Brothers co-founder Dan "Elwood Blues" Aykroyd reportedly remains unhappy about fellow actor Jim Belushi’s exclusion from the film, due to studio disputes over Belushi’s other TV/film obligations. Aykroyd apparently had considered dumping out of the project at one point, because of Belushi’s exclusion, but chose to honor his earlier commitment to star in the sequel. Belushi has performed with Aykroyd for the past few years as "Brother Z", filling in for his late brother John Belushi’s original role as "Jake Blues." Jim Belushi none the less continues to hone his vocal and blues harmonica skills with the Sacred Hearts Blues Band, which appears at the various House of Blues venues across the country.
The plot of the new film, in which Elwood gets out of prison only to mourn the loss of his late partner Jake, centers around yet another "mission from God" - this one to save an ailing Chicago boy. The film co-stars John Goodman (as Mighty Max Blues), Joe Morton, Aretha Franklin, Nia Peeples, Paul Bartel, Evan Bonifant, James Brown, Steve Lawrence, Frank Oz, Kathleen Freeman and, of course, the original Blues Brothers Band featuring Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Willie Hall, "Blue Lou" Marini, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Steve Cropper, Tom Malone, Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin and Murphy Dunne. (The Blues Brothers Band has continued to tour the country and is the featured act at new House of Blues venue openings.) The latest scoop on "B. B. 2K" is that Jonny Lang will appear in the film to perform a number with Wilson Pickett. Another source reveals that Paul Shaffer, the film’s music director (and David Letterman’s resident musicmaster), has arranged for cameo appearances from The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and other name acts. The producers promise lots of wrecked cars, as in the original flick.
The Tom Principato Band pays a long overdue visit to the Quad Cities, when they fire up their set at the Club Sportsbar and Grille in the Blackhawk Hotel on Saturday, November 8th at 9 p.m.. A favorite at the 1990 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Principato has returned to the Quad Cities clubs a few times over the years with his fiery blend of blues ‘n jazz. This show is co-sponsored by The Club and the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. Principato has worked with a who’s who of blues artists, including blues greats John Lee Hooker, Freddy King, Big Walter Horton as well as on projects with contemporary artists including the late Danny Gatton and bluesrocker Jimmy Thackery. Admission is $5 at the door, and $4 for current blues society members.
Son of Iowa true blues icon Patrick Hazell, David Hazell must have inherited more than a little bit of his papa’s love for the blues. David operates The Blues Shop at 320 N. 4th Street, Burlington, Iowa and features live blues on a regular basis. David recently scheduled a very special reunion concert at the club for his father’s legendary Mother Blues Band on October 25th. For more information on The Blues Shop and upcoming shows, phone (319) 758-9553. Hats off to David for taking up the live blues cause, and to "Papa" Hazell, who should be very proud - this "blue blood" really is strong stuff!
Just imagine...The King of the Blues, "Lucille" and Corey Harris could be wailin’ the blues right there in front of you! You’ve still got until November 10th at noon to enter for a chance to win 2 front row tix for B. B. King with special guest Corey Harris at the Adler Theatre on Friday, November 14th at 8 p.m. Just e-mail us at email@example.com with your name, age, address, phone number and e-mail address, and we’ll toss your entry into the Get A Life Online "Treasure Chest" for a shot at the tix! Special thanks to Cloud Nine Productions for bringing B. B. King back to the area, and for their consideration in this contest promotion.
Even when B. B. plays his last note on Lucille, it’s still not over! My blues almanac predicts that same night (Nov. 14th) ‘bayou lightning’ will strike Rock Island Brewing Company, when Lonnie Brooks takes the stage by storm! If you work it right, you’ll be able to see both living blues legends on the same night in two different states (let me see...does yellow mean slow down, or hurry before it turns red?).
True Blue New Releases: This month’s CD releases include some very special holiday blues, new jazz from some of the Quad Cities’ finest and some more hot ‘n spicy new blues you’ll definitely want to add to your collection:
1. "Snapshots in Time," John Gere, Family & Friends (independent QC release) John Gere, a Quad Cities architect, is also an innovative jazz pianist/composer. This project, recorded at Keoni Studios in Davenport, features QC saxmaster Neal Smith, Joel Dick of the Kabalas on drums, Scott Stulir and the multi-talented Gere clan: Jennie on clarinet, Marji on violin and Cherie on alto saxophone. The First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir of Davenport guest on "Through the Mist," as directed by Steven Jobman and featuring organist Ruth E. Baker . This collection is top-shelf "new jazz," with classic and traditional jazz influences woven into the fabric. True Blue track: "Go and Tell Them" ...I can almost see Tom Waits, leaning against a lamp post somewhere in the bowels of the metropolitan region, spoutin’ street rhymes to this number. If True Blue were a radio show, this could be the theme song.
2. "Super Blue & Funky," Pat Boyack & The Prowlers (Bullseye Blues/Rounder) Rockin’ blues and R &B on a "solid gits and guts" foundation is the target, and Pat Boyack and the Prowlers hit the mark, and then split the arrow with another! This is no-nonsense, straight-shootin’ stuff from a bluesboy raised up in the "whistle-stop-coal-mining-town" of Helper, Utah. Boyack’s major influences include Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and whose credits include a serious stint with the Rocket 88’s. Former Fab T-Bird Fran Christina guests on drums. True Blue track: "Righteous Love"...this track aint nothin’ but the blues, and there aint no need to say no more!
3. "Live in Australia," Johnny Copeland (Black Top Records) The late, great Johnny Copeland pulled out the all the stops on these live cuts, leaving no doubt as to why he was and is still regarded as one of the most intense blues artists to have ever graced this planet. If there is one essential blues CD in this month’s batch, this is it folks! True Blue track: "Look on Yonder Wall" ...Elmore James’ classic - on fire!
4. "I Like Music When I Party," Robert Ealey with Tone Summer (Black Top Records) Robert "The Bluebird" Ealey has reigned as the Lord of the North Texas blues scene since the 1950’s. The pride of the New Bluebird Nite Club in Fort Worth delivers the real deal on this new collection of houserockin’ blues. This molten CD features producer/guitarist Tone Summer, Anson & The Rockets drummer Danny Cochran, Jim Milan on bass (from Doyle Bramhall’s band), Danny Ross on the Hammond organ and Johnny Reno on sax. True Blue track: "Too Many Ways"...does somebody smell something burning?!?! Hot! Hot! Hot!
5. "You’re All I Want for Christmas," The Persuasions (Black Top Records) A heart-warming selection of Christmas favorites from a stellar acapella group. For thirty-five years the Persuasions have blessed us with their golden vocal harmonies, this CD is a true blue holiday soundtrack for your home. True Blue track: "Do You Hear What I Hear"...this one has always been a favorite of mine, and it never sounded better than when these gentlemen sing it!
6. "Roomful of Christmas," Roomful of Blues (Bullseye Blues) Roomful of Blues doesn’t play the blues...they are the blues. With fat ‘n sassy horns that true blue dreams are made of, along with a punch bowl spiked by these world-class players, Christmas just aint never gonna be the same! 2, count ‘em, 2 True Blue tracks from this CD: (...you decide, don’t make me do it!) "Christmas Celebration"...Someone run and tell B. B.!...Santa done stole Lucille! "Run, Run Rudolph"...Chuck Berry always did play those red guitars...hmmm... This CD is guaranteed to keep your spirits bright, if the tree just don’t catch fire!
True Blue Lights in the Distance:
Sweet Home Chicago... If you haven’t experienced live blues in Chicago, you’ve really missed the boat! There’s Kingston Mines, The Checkerboard Lounge, Rosa’s, Blue Chicago, B.L.U.E.S, B.L.U.E.S, Etc., Blue Chicago on Clark, Buddy Guy’s Legends, The House of Blues and so much more. They don’t call it the "Home of Blues" for nothing, and you can always find out who’s playing in the Chicago clubs on the web at "Blues in Chicago" (www.nitescape.com/chicago/blues/index.html) or by visiting "The Blues X-plosion" (www.bluesexplosion.com). Bookmark both of these fine sites for all your Chicago blues information, locations and directions and links to more prime blues sites and resources. Hey, downtown Chicago is only two hours and fifteen minutes (whoops!) from the Quad Cities and... we’ve got a half ‘a tank of gas, half ‘a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark out and we’re wearing sunglasses... oh well, you know the drill. Hit it! (Our apologies to Illinois finest law enforcement officers...)
True Blue Destinations on the Web...
The Blue Highway
Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition
Mississippi Valley Blues Society
Central Iowa Blues Society
True Blue in December...
The Rolling Stones: true blue?...true or false?...e-mail us your thoughts. We will feature some of our readers’ comments along with various other opinions in next month’s column...plus great new blues CD’s from Junior Kimbrough, David "Honeyboy" Edwards and much more!
Tell us what blues and jazz artists you would like to see come to our area, and we’ll be happy to pass the information on to the folks that book the shows, sell the tickets and run the venues...they’ll listen! E-mail "True Blue" at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll keep your address on file for future contest drawings we might have for tickets, special events, etc. You can also "Snail-mail" us at: TRUE BLUE, c/o Quad-Cities Online, 1720 - 5th Ave., Moline, Ill., 61265. Until later, be good to yourself and to others... Blues to ‘ya!
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