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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist



The votes have all been tallied, and there is no dispute, manual re-count, or dimpled chads to deal with. Congrats and kudos, on the other hand, do go out to Patrick Hazell on being selected as the 4th member to be inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame for the year 2000! A very special induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 17 at Blues On Grand in Des Moines to honor Mother Blues Band founder Hazell, along with the three other inductees for 2000 - Louis McTizic, Stephen Miller and Rose Marie Webster.


In celebration of their 30th anniversary as an independent label, Rounder Records recently introduced the first installment of their new Heritage Series, which includes four reissued and remastered collections from Johnny Adams, Champion Jack Dupree, Roomful of Blues and Boozoo Chavis. The entire new series is scheduled to run through October of 2001, and also features planned releases from Irma Thomas, Norman Blake, Charles Brown, Bessie Jones, Beausoleil, Del McCoury and others.

The first four CD's of the series debut include Johnny Adams' soul-dripping "There Is Always One More Time," the world-class piano stylings of New Orleans piano man Champion Jack Dupree on "A Portrait Of.", the original road-kings of swing Roomful of Blues with "The Blues'll Make You Happy, Too," and the Creole stomp master himself, Boozoo Chavis, delivering "Johnnie Billy Goat."

These are all definitive collections of truly legendary artists, and each CD features new, expanded liner notes, enhanced graphics, artwork and, in many cases, re-mastered tracks from original taped recordings. Previously unissued tracks have also been included from the Rounder archives, which in the past thirty years have grown to include over 4,000 albums. For more information on this essential new heritage series, and other releases available from Rounder Records, visit on the web.


Bernard Allison's new release "Across the Water," on Tone-Cool Records, delivers a fine mix of blues, rock, funk, and a fusion of stylistic influences that blend and flow together exceptionally well for this versatile and vital blues artist. Whether it be a hot rocker, a soulful blues ballad, or a funky strut, Bernard shows that he has put together the best of all he's learned along the way. This ambassador of the new blues makes it crystal-clear that will not be limited, or channeled into a pre-conceived mold or blues format. We admire that about him. For more on Bernard Allison, visit his web site at


True Blue reminds you one more time to support "A Blue Zoo Christmas," coming up Dec. 16 at the RiverCenter in Davenport. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society and the RiverCenter are co-presenting this charity event, with a little help from River Cities Sound & Lights and the local/regional bands who have agreed to perform leading up to headliner Anthony Gomes set. This special fundraising concert will benefit the Fejervary Zoological Society's efforts for a new children's zoo, as well as the In From the Cold folks who help serve our area's homeless and hungry. In addition to headliner Gomes, Shane Johnson's Blue Train, The Bluefins, The Unidynes, and my own band and special friends will perform. The event starts at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of the RiverCenter complex. Advance tickets are $10 per person through Dec. 1st, and are available at the Adler Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at (309)326-1111. Admission after Dec. 1st will be $12.50 per person, either in advance or at the door. Media co-sponsors for 'A Blue Zoo Christmas' include Quad-Cities Online, The Leader, KWQC-TV 6, and WXLP 97X FM.


Like the song says, "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you." and I couldn't have said it better myself. Our thanks to all the readers of True Blue in The Dispatch, The Rock Island Argus and The Leader, as well as here on the web at We appreciate your support, and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Remember, we always welcome your ideas and suggestions, and feel free to write us at: True Blue at Quad-Cities Online, 1720 -5th Avenue, Moline, Illinois 61265, or email us at:

Peace & blessings to you all and, until we meet again at this crossroads.

Blues to 'ya!

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