True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

November 2008

Essential New Blues Stocking Stuffers...

"Shot the Devil," GravelRoad (Uncle Larry's Records/Indie Label) These are dark blues from the backing band for alternative blues legend T-Model Ford. This is new blues, folks, and doesn’t fit into the old categories or labels. GravelRoad features Stefan Zillioux on guitar and vocals, Marty Reinsel on drums, and Kirby (John Newman) on bass. If you want to get a sample of where the blues is heading, taking it off road, off the beaten path, and beyond the tried and true, this new CD is a good indicator of where things can go from here. The blues continues to evolve, and that’s key to its survival. For more on these new bluesers, visit: www.gravelroadblues.com on the web.

"West Side Strut," Eddy 'The Chief' Clearwater (Alligator Records) If you missed his recent concert at the Redstone Room, this newest collection from ‘The Chief’ will show you why the legendary bluesman is back and at the top of his form. Eddy is a top-shelf blues showman in all respects. He plays homage to the traditions, but is doing his part to carry the blues into the future. He continues to rock the house from coast to coast, with his hybrid blend of rock, blues, rockabilly, country and gospel. Eddy’s debut on the Alligator label is produced by Ronnie Baker Brooks who also guests on guitar. Lonnie Brooks, Otis Clay and Jimmy Johnson are also featured on these hot new tracks from Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater. For more info, visit www.alligator.com on the web.

"SugarBird," Paul Reddick (Northern Blues) Paul Reddick’s latest release cuts a wide swath in styles and themes, from love ballads to no nonsense blues, and poetic fantasy and imagination set to music. Produced by co-writer and guitarist Linden, this new and definite work from Paul Reddick also features Garth Hudson (The Band) on accordion, Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt) on bass, Bryan Owings on drums (Emmylou Harris and Shelby Lynne), as well as Gary Craig on drums and John Dymond on bass (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), and bassist Dave Roe (Dwight Yoakum). Chris Carmichael and Darrell Leonard guest on strings and horns. For more info, visit www.northernblues.com on the web.

"Steady Movin'," Carlos del Junco (Northern Blues) Kevin Breit (Norah Jones) guests on guitar on several tracks on this new collection from world-class harmonica player Carlos del Junco. He won the Maple Blues Award for harmonica player of the year four times, was a gold medal winner at the Hohner Harmonica championships in Germany, and has been nominated for a Canadian JUNO Award for Blues Album of the Year. Carlos is a pioneer of the ‘overblow’ method, which allows the diatonic harmonica to be played as a chromatic instrument. Playing a 10-hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed a unique ability to play chromatically through a technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. For more on this unique artist, visit www.northernblues.com on the web.

Support MVBS with your donations and membership...

Don’t forget to do your part to keep the blues alive right here in the Quad Cities, by becoming a member or simply making a donation. Your tax-deductible donation to the Mississippi Valley Blues Society will help enable MVBS to continue providing a wide variety of quality programs that help keep the Blues alive. These programs include the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, our Blues in the Schools artist residencies and a variety of live blues performances. Together, these programs bring many nationally recognized performers into our region and expose a wide segment of our community to Blues music and the rich history and heritage of that music. Visit www.mvbs.org to find more on how you can help keep our award-winning blues festival alive, right here on the banks of the Mississippi. This July, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival celebrates its 25th year, and we want to make sure it’s the biggest and best blues fest yet!

Mama's calling me to the table, so I can’t just be hangin’ ‘round here no more! Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love and blessings to everyone, 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, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)