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2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

A Note from Ticket Information


the MVBS Advance tickets for the 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival are available
at all IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union locations, the River Center/Adler Theater

President Box Office, and through Ticketmaster. The price of an advance weekend pass
for the Fest is $25. Individual Fest tickets at the gate will cost $15 on Friday,
July 2, and Sunday, July 4. Saturday, July 3, is a special free-admission day in
Greetings, and welcome to the 26th- association with the Red, White, & Boom celebration in Davenport.
annual IH Mississippi Valley Blues IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union and Mississippi Valley Blues Society
Festival! members can purchase individual advance Fest tickets at a discounted rate of
We at the Mississippi Valley Blues $12.50 each only at IH Misssissippi Valley Credit Union locations.
Society are proud of our accomplishment Children 14 and under will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult with
of producing this nationally acclaimed a ticket. Tickets are good for admission only on the day printed on the ticket.
festival for more than 25 years. We now
embrace the challenge
of continuing on
this tradition by
bringing you quality
entertainment for at
least another 25 years.
To do this we will
continue to provide
features that our fans
have come to expect:
world-renowned blues
acts at both of our
main stages, interactive
BlueSKool programs
on-site for the young
and young at heart, and
a free photo exhibit
and workshops for one and all at the
Freight House.
In addition to this, we will now feature a
blues/patriotic performance by the Quad
City Symphony Orchestra in conjunction
with a massive firework display over the
mighty Mississippi River. You might ask
what these changes have to do with our
mission of “keeping the blues alive”; I
know I did. By adding features such as the
Quad City Symphony performance and
the Red, White, & Boom fireworks show,
we hope to broaden both our fan and our
funding base. Accomplishing that will
allow us to continue to bring you to the
blues for at least another 25 years.
So please relax and enjoy all that the
Fest has to offer, and remember the old
saying: “There are only two kinds of music:
good music and bad music.” Here at the
Fest, I can guarantee it will all be good.

Thanks,
Bob Covemaker
President, Mississippi Valley Blues Society
| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA


by Mike Schulz
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Daughter of the Blues


Shirley King: Friday, 10:30 p.m., Tent Stage

“I
started gravitating toward the blues in Lemme!!!’” – King was finally given her chance on
about 1969,” says 60-year-old vocalist the venue’s stage in 1990, and chose, as her debut,
Shirley King. “What happened was I’d to cover Muddy Waters’ blues classic “Got My Mojo
moved to Chicago from California – I’d been staying Working.”
with my dad and came back to stay with my mom “It was this basic song that I had heard them
– and I was supposed to be getting married to a playing there over and over,” she says, “and so I kind
boyfriend I’d been liking ever since I was small. So of felt like, ‘Okay, I can do this.’ And I busted up
I pretty much followed him here to Chicago to get there – I was so happy to be on the stage – and all I
married ... and he decided he’d had a change of mind, could do was see the way people were looking at me.
and wanted to marry my girlfriend. They told them who I was, and that really made ’em
“So I think that must’ve pushed me over to the ready for me. ‘B.B. King’s daughter?! Oh, Lord! Yeah!
blues!” exclaims King, with a deep laugh, during our I bet she can get down!’
recent phone interview. “Because, man, I got it then!” “And I got up there on the stage, and I couldn’t
Did she ever. For nearly 20 years now, the remember no words,” King continues, laughing.
Chicago-based King has been a staple at area blues “I just kept singing, ‘Got my mojo working, but it
clubs; a popular touring artist who has performed in just don’t work on you!’ over and over. And then,
Canada, Italy, France, and even Iceland; and a darling when I was just too far from getting the song, I just
of blues fans and critics, with Prevue magazine started dancing and shaking my hips and moving
describing her as “a musical gem” and the Web site fast. And the crowd went crazy! I don’t know what I
MNBlues.com lauding, “King sings with passion, did right!”
energy, and power.” Clearly, though, she did something right. “When
But what’s surprising about King’s reminiscence is I got through,” says King, “people told the owner,
everybody was here in Chicago, coming through
that she didn’t get the blues before that heartbreak of ‘Doc’ Pellegrino, ‘You’ve got the hire her. This
to perform, and I’d always be one of the regular
her youth, considering that her dad is the King of the woman is good.’ And of course, people saw the
dancers.”
Blues himself – B.B. King. advantage of having me there, what with the name
Laughing, she continues, “I was even part of the
“I was like most kids,” says Shirley, who was born and stuff. So he came over and talked to me, and
little go-go team that was the opening act along with
and raised in West Memphis, Arkansas. “I didn’t like he said, ‘Well, I don’t fire nobody to hire nobody
another warm-up act – the Jackson 5. When they
the blues. It was a music that I felt had nothing to do – that’s not my rules here – but if somebody leaves
took off and became that famous, I was like, ‘How
with me. For young people, we thought blues was or something, I will call you.’
did that happen?! We was on the stage side by side!’”
old-folks music, and when you heard your parents “Well, somebody must’ve wanted to leave,” she
Realizing, though, that show dancing was
listening to it, you were like, ‘Ye-e-e-ech!’ adds with a laugh, “because I got a call maybe a
“nothing you can do for a lifetime,” King says that
“And I doubly hated it,” she continues, “because it month or two later to come to work. And I pretty
“after 21 years, I figured, ‘Hey, I’m ready to do
kept taking my father away from me” whenever the much had a steady gig there for about three years.”
something else now,’” and began considering a career
legendary musician was called on tour. “So I didn’t That gig subsequently led to many, many more.
as a vocalist in the genre she had previously shied
have any attachment to the blues. At all. None.” “In those days, anybody who was anybody would
away from.
That changed, however, both with the loss of come to the Kingston Mines. So by me working
“I went to clubs,” she says, “just watching different
King’s beau (and, one presumes, her girlfriend), and there, I was getting exposure almost like a booking-
blues people. And I saw that you can do the blues
with her gradual immersion in Chicago’s blues scene, agent set. I was able to go to Europe, get a record
’til you pass on away. I would follow Koko Taylor
following her late-teen years spent pursuing an deal, and do a CD [Jump Through My Keyhole] all in
around, I would be up with Lonnie Brooks, Buddy
acting career in California. my first year of singing, you know?”
Guy ... you know, all the blues people. I just hung
“Here in Chicago, there were blues clubs all over And while King acknowledges that having B.B.
around clubs seven nights a week – just sit there until
the freaking place,” says King, “and that was the way King as a father certainly hasn’t hurt her career any
the clubs closed – just to figure out what to do.
to work if you wanted to make some money. So I (“With the Kingston Mines situation,” she admits, “it
“Because I wasn’t developed as a blues singer,”
stayed on in Chicago, and started making friends, helped like crazy”), she believes that what audiences
King continues. “I didn’t know a lot of words to
and started getting involved in the nightlife.” respond to in her blues performances isn’t heritage
different blues songs, I didn’t know how to end songs,
Yet despite her lineage and musical talents – “All so much as presence.
I didn’t know how to tell people my key ... . Man, I
growing up,” she says, “I always knew how to sing” “I’m able to maintain a stage like nobody’s
didn’t know a lot of stuff. I was very much learning.”
– King didn’t initially set out to become a blues business,” says King with a laugh. “I control the stage.
And most of her blues education, she says,
vocalist. Instead, “I started dancing professionally. I And people like that, you know? They’re used to
came from the famed Chicago nightclub Kingston
was a regular dancer for show clubs and everything people getting up there singing, but when you can
Mines. “That was a late-night place where everybody
all over the city of Chicago. In those days, every actually perform on that stage – dancing, shaking it
was at that time,” says King. “All of the people that
cabaret club, every social club, did their own shows. – that tells people, ‘Hey, I’m here for you to watch.’
were trying to make a name for themselves, they
“And I had a bomb of a body,” says King with a “I wasn’t a seasoned singer when I started,” she
would work the Kingston Mines. And the crowds
chuckle, “and people liked that, so I was able to do continues. “I was very new to it. But I was able to be
were just fantastic in those days. They loved the
pretty good.” an entertainer. And that’s what I still am today. I tell
entertainment.”
While dancing in blues and R&B clubs, King says people all the time, ‘If you come to see me, you’re
After months of soaking in the styles of Kingston
she “got the chance to meet all the bigger stars that not coming to hear a record. You’re coming to see
Mines performers – months spent, says the vocalist,
I hadn’t met” via her famous father. “Joe Tex, Little a show. So buckle your seats, ’cause I’m gonna take
“like a little hungry dog with his tongue stuck
Milton, Bobby Bland ... . I mean, during those days, you for a ride.’”
out: ‘Can I sit in and sing a song? Can I? Can I?!

by Jeff Ignatius

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
“Pretty Close to Pop”
Mud Morganfield: Friday, 7 p.m., Bandshell

M
ud Morganfield has this to say inside of me or is sitting right next to me,”
about being the son of Muddy he said. “Always. I can’t hit those kind of
Waters, who also sired (in a less notes and do that kind of blues like that ... .
literal way) Chicago blues: “It’s a curse, It has to be God and my dad.”
and then sometimes it’s a blessing. Because In reviewing Fall Waters Fall,
people begin to Morganfield’s
compare you.” debut, STLBlues.
Don’t feel net noted that
too sorry for he “possesses a
Morganfield, singing voice that
though. His career is very reminiscent
is built on re- of his father’s,
creating the Muddy especially when
Waters sound, and singing in a lower
he’s almost begging register. Mud
for the comparison. can definitely
“I wanted to channel the elder
represent my dad’s Morganfield’s
music, and what enunciating, of the
he stood for,” way Muddy would
Morganfield said ‘hit’ (or stress)
in a recent phone certain syllables
interview. “It came for emphasis or
natural to me. ... emotional impact.”
People think maybe I was somewhere in The CD of his own songs, Morganfield
the basement studying it, and listening to said, was an attempt to craft an identity
recordings. You can’t get that close with that. distinct from his father’s. “My dad came up
I do what I do because I’m his son. That’s in one era, and I came up in another era,” he
just all there is to it.” said. “I have my own blues, too.”
Although he’s played music most of He also has a live album, and he’s
his life – starting with the drums his preparing for a new studio CD. “I’m
father bought him each Christmas, and trying to establish myself now as my own
then graduating to bass – he only began bluesman,” he said. But he stressed that
a professional career in the past five Muddy Waters will always be a touchstone:
years, when he was already past age 50. “Quote me on this: There will always ... be
Morganfield said that after Muddy Waters something in my work pertaining to my
died in 1983, he began visiting his son in dad. Always. ... I’m going to always put some
his sleep: “It started with me having dreams of my dad’s stuff somewhere in there.”
about my dad – reoccurring dreams, same But Muddy Waters hasn’t returned to his
thing. [He] never would talk to me, but [he dreams, Morganfield said. “He hasn’t done
was] always just there playing and singing. that,” he said. “Since I started this career,
... Maybe he wanted me to do something. actually. Sometimes I look for that.
And here I am.” “My dad was always on the road. And he
When he appears at the IH Mississippi didn’t get a chance to really be right there.
Valley Blues Festival, expect a mix of old I saw more of my Pops going to work to
and new. “I try to mix it up, with a few of support us than I saw him in his face.
mine and a few of Pops’,” Morganfield said. “I wish he could come to me sometimes
He declined to name his favorite Muddy now still. Kind of explain to me. Sometimes
Waters songs. “All of ’em,” he said. “He I get discouraged. I get blues like anybody
was my dad. Even on them that some else. I need that kind of guidance and
people think he didn’t do well on, I love talking.”
’em. Anything that came out of my father’s But Morganfield said he doesn’t doubt
mouth, I loved ’em. I love him.” that he’s effectively capturing his father’s
Morganfield said that when he’s spirit: “I’ve heard way worser, and I’m going
performing his father’s music, he feels close to leave it at that. I’ve been told it’s pretty
to him. “Unbelievable. It’s just like he comes close to Pop.”

by Mike Schulz
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Harmon-izing
Zac Harmon: Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Bandshell

G
rowing up in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s to join my band.’” concentrate solely on music.
and ’70s, guitarist and vocalist Zac Harmon That opportunity, however, wasn’t in the cards. “The “I was very, very lucky,” he adds. “Having that blues
says, “The thing about the blues is that it deal that I brokered with my mother,” says Harmon, base really helped me a lot because a lot of guys wanted
wasn’t something you heard and said, ‘Oh, I like that.’ “was if she would just let me go out on the [Dorothy me playing on their records because I had that feel, that
It was part of the culture, so when I started playing, it Moore] tour, then I promised, when the tour was over, Southern-blues kind of feel, which worked for what
was only natural that that’s what I played. I would go to college. So when Little Milton called me, they were doing musically in L.A. at that time.”
“Blues was like air,” he adds. “And if you breathed, I had to tell him that I couldn’t play because my mom From his tenure as a studio musician, Harmon
you was gonna get it.” wanted me to go to college. And the first thing he said went on to a career as an L.A.-based songwriter and
With JazzNow.com lauding his “soulful vocals and was, ‘By all means, you go to college. If I had known producer, collaborating with such blues and R&B
breathtaking showmanship” and the Edmonton Sun that that’s what you were going to do, I never would’ve artists as Karyn White, Freddie Jackson, and Black
describing him as “the closest the blues gets to a heavy- called you.’ Uhuru, whose Harmon-produced Mystical Truth
metal star,” it’s clear that Zac Harmon got it good album received a Grammy nomination in 1994.
... even if it did take a while for people to realize it. And while the musician says he was grateful for his
Following two decades as a Los Angeles-based studio success during the late ’80s and through the ’90s,
musician, writer, and producer, Harmon released his “the only thing I wasn’t really happy about was that
first solo CD – Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn – in 2002, my own career as a blues artist was kind of on hold.”
and four years later, at age 49, received the Blues That changed, says Harmon, when “the
Music Award for best new blues artist. landscape of music changed” at the beginning of
“It’s kind of funny,” says the musician, during our the 21st Century. “The whole session scene was
recent interview, of his relatively late emergence in pretty much gone because rap music came in and
the blues spotlight. “Folks sometimes say, ‘Oh, wow took over, and it was either you were gonna get with
– he’s an overnight success!’ But overnight in the that, or find something else to do.
music business can sometimes be 20 years.” “And at that time in Los Angeles,” he continues,
He laughs. “That’s a lo-o-o-ong night.” “gangster rap was real popular. And because, I
The son of a blues-harp-playing father and pianist guess, of my Southern roots and the fact that I’m a
mother, Harmon says he began his own musical Christian, I just could not bring myself to be part
education on the violin at age six, and became of some of the things that they were saying. It just
fascinated with the guitar at nine, much to the didn’t work for me. I couldn’t be on a record that
annoyance of one of his siblings. “And that kind of encouragement from him kind of had to have the tag of ‘Parental Advisory,’ you know?
“My sister had a guitar, and I would wait until she sealed the deal for me,” he continues. “To go ahead and “So in 2002, I finally said, ‘You know what? I’ve
went to sleep at night, and I would slip her guitar and finish college before I went out to pursue my career.” played on or written or produced or been a part of
play. And she finally caught me one night, and the Majoring in economics and accounting, Harmon over 100 records. Not one have I done on me. So I’m
house exploded,” he says with a laugh. “So my mom received his degree from Jackson State University in going to do a record on me. I’m gonna go into a club,
decided she would buy me one.” 1980, even though, as he says, “I had no intentions of and I’m gonna do a show, and I’m gonna record the
And it wasn’t long after securing a guitar of his doing anything other than music.” Happily, though, show. And I’m gonna put it out – no overdubs, no
own – “around 1968 or ’69” recalls Harmon – that his when he decided to seek employment in music rather nothing – and just be who I am and what I am. And if
adoration for the blues was solidified. “My mother than finance, he did so with his parents’ approval. nobody buys the record, that’s fine. But I’m gonna do
took me to a show at the Mississippi Coliseum,” he “My mother and father said, ‘This is what you want what I came here to do.’”
says. “I think Bobby Rush was the opening act, but to do? Okay. But you cannot do it here, because the The result was Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn
the show featured Little Milton Campbell, B.B. King, industry is not here. The industry is in Los Angeles – described by MNBlues.com as “an excellent debut
Albert King, and Albert Collins. And I just left there and New York. So if you’re going to do this, that’s CD” – and as Harmon says, “The record really took
scarred for life.” where you need to be.’” off, you know? Blues folks were digging it, and one
Yet while he continued to hone his blues skills, New York – or rather, near New York – was thing led to another, and two years later I won the
Harmon says that, as a youth, he didn’t seriously Harmon’s first destination. “I went to Philadelphia,” he IBC [International Blues Challenge] award” for Best
consider pursuing a career in music. “I didn’t know says, “because I had a girlfriend who was good friends Unsigned Blues Band. “And here I am today.”
what a professional musician was,” he says. “It wasn’t with some of the folks at Phila International Records. Harmon’s busy touring schedule, which he says
like I knew successful musicians or anything, you “But when I got there, it was in the middle of keeps him on the road roughly 30 weeks per year, has
know? I just wanted to play, and it didn’t make any winter, and there was snow, and cars were sliding also found him in Canada, France, Italy, northern
difference where I played, or who I played for, or everywhere ... . I was just not accustomed,” Harmon Africa, and Iraq, where the musician performs blues
whether I was getting paid or not. I mean, money was says with a laugh. “I’m a Southern boy, you know? So I standards and compositions from his post-2002 CDs
kind of like a secondary blessing that happened to was like, ‘You know what? Uh uh. I can’t do this.’” The Blues According to Zacariah (2005) and From the
come along.” California’s climate, says the musician, proved Root (2009). And while he says that he’s “so excited
The first of such blessings came, says the musician, much more fitting, and between 1981 and 1985, he and so happy” to be in this year’s IH Mississippi Valley
“when I graduated high school. I went on tour with worked a day job, spent evenings playing guitar as Blues Festival lineup, Harmon hopes, and expects, that
Dorothy Moore, who had a big hit record then called a studio musician, and even found time to earn an his audiences might be even more excited and happy.
‘Misty Blue.’ And then, when the tour was over, I got a MBA from Malibu’s Pepperdine University. “I had a “The only thing I can say,” states the musician, “is
call from Little Milton Campbell, who was one of my full plate of things,” says Harmon. “And around 1985, I that people need to get there on time, and they need to
idols. He called because he had heard me out on the finally started making more money playing that I was take a good, deep breath before we start. Because they
road and was impressed, and he was like, ‘I want you working my job, so I was able to stop the day job and won’t be able to exhale until we finish.”
Reader_RWBoom:Layout 1 6/15/10 1:30 PM Page 1

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
GIMME’ THAT

OM
BO
BO
B O
O
O
M
M
S at u r d ay
! 2010

July 3
America’s Birthday Party

Davenport and Rock Island Riverfront

Events begin at 1 p.m.


Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

FREE!
HOSTED BY:

For more details, go to www.redwhiteboom.org



by Jeff Ignatius
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Boundless Blues
Ana Popović: Saturday, 2:45 p.m., Bandshell

I
t might seem strange for a European to be born That’s partly reverence for her blues elders, but
into the blues, but that was the case for Ana she also considers covers complementary to her
Popović. own songwriting. She featured Snooky Pryor’s
“This is the only thing that I remember as “How’d You Learn to Shake It Like That?” on
far as music growing up in Serbia,” said the 2007’s Still Making History because “I don’t even
Belgrade-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist think I can write that song that way,” she said.
in a recent phone interview. “We never listened Popović isn’t giving herself enough credit.
to Serbian music, and basically none of the Blind for Love has a wide breadth and deep skill,
European stuff ... .” and she never sounds
The blues came like she’s stretching or
both from albums – “I beyond herself. It’s rare
learned a lot of English that a singer and guitarist
from the records,” she doesn’t out of necessity
said, and “I sang those lean heavily on one or the
songs way before I other skill, but both her
could imagine and instruments are capable
understand what they of carrying any song, and
were talking about” – the result is an album
and home jam sessions with a lovely balance
led by her father. (She between hard and soft,
eventually wormed fast and slow, emotion
her way into those and technique.
sessions because she Cautioned by her
learned slide guitar.) father about the perils of
Her first concert betting on a music career
(at age 13) was Tina – specifically of reaching
Turner, and one middle age still waiting
can hear the vocal for a big break – Popović
influence in the fiery learned graphic design,
defiance and soul of “Wrong Woman,” from her and she studied jazz for three years at conservatory.
2009 album Blind for Love. Pair that with the The goal, she said, was to develop her own sound
subdued, quiet confidence of the same record’s rather than just copying her forebears. She got that,
“More Real,” and it’s evident that this is an artist but she quit her studies before they were finished.
capable of nearly boundless blues. It’s overstating “I went really far from where I came from,” she
her skills, but think Turner paired with Stevie said. “I was starting to play too many notes. And it
Ray Vaughan and you’ll get some sense of this didn’t really make a lot of sense with where I came
woman’s multifaceted attack. from. It was stopping to be groovy and bluesy,
The 34-year-old Popović – a nominee for “best because that’s what these studies do to you.”
new artist debut” in the 2003 W.C. Handy Blues Many performers go to conservatory as hard-
Awards – said that the aim with her albums is rock or blues players, but “at the end, they were
to provide a well-rounded batch of songs over a all mixed up,” Popović said. “Not good enough
variety of genres. to become great jazz guitar players, but these four
“I like to have a little bit of each style on the years they lost what they were actually good at. I
record ... ,” she said while on vacation in France. promised this wasn’t going to happen to me.”
And while her own songs have increasingly While her performing schedule contributed to
dominated her albums – she wrote or co-wrote her choice to abandon her studies, Popović appears
all the songs on Blind for Love – she plans for to have a healthy awareness of herself and the
her next studio album to be split evenly between music business. “Don’t waste your four years [at
originals and covers. (She’ll be recording in conservatory] trying to be John Scofield,” she said.
November, and in the meantime a live CD/DVD “The most important time of your life and your
filmed at a medieval Italian castle is due this career is actually the 20s. That’s when you really
summer.) need to make your sound and style. Don’t waste
She said she’s now going through recordings by it on style you’re not going to be making money
Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, and Elmore James, with.”
looking for relatively obscure tracks that she could And she said that she has always been willing to
do for the next album. She called her approach give up her music career if it didn’t work out.
“going a little bit back to the roots.” But, she noted, “that point never came.”
| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA

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by Mike Schulz
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Just Keep Saying “Yes”


Ruthie Foster: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Tent Stage

T
he numerous plaudits for singer/songwriter was her first serious exposure to the genre she’d later decision. “You know, I didn’t want to run away from
Ruthie Foster include O magazine calling her “a make her name in. “I had no idea what the blues really music anymore, and New York was definitely where I
blues powerhouse” and Paste magazine raving, meant,” says the musician of her early performances needed to be.”
“There’s no denying the power of Foster’s monstrous with the group. “But I learned that it’s what Buddy Guy Foster admits that New York “kicked my butt”
voice,” and she received a 2009 Grammy Award used to say – blues is about feelings. And the older I but adds that “I kicked back,” and she was eventually
nomination for her CD The Truth According to Ruthie got and the more I sang, the more I could put my own contracted as a songwriter for Atlantic Records.
Foster – which is about as confident a title as one could feelings into singing blues.” “Atlantic was a great umbrella to be under while I
imagine. She stayed with the band through graduation, but figured out what I wanted to do, genre-wise,” she says.
Yet during our recent phone then decided to do something “If I wanted to play guitar, or just sing in front of a
interview, the Austin, Texas- unusual for a newly minted band, or what. So I did that for three years, and I wrote
based musician admits that graduate with lead-vocalist with some great people.” Foster also continued to
power and confidence were by credentials and an adoration of perform, frequently playing small clubs and venues in
no means inherent traits. music: She enlisted in the Navy. Greenwich Village, “in places that Bob Dylan played
“I knew early on that I wanted “I was so immersed in music in. It was beautiful. I was livin’ the dream.”
to be in music doing something,” from a young age,” she says, In 1993, though, she opted to relocate yet again
says Foster of her professional “and in college, you know, – this time, back to her home state. “My mother [who
goals, “but being a singer out forget about it – when you’re in passed away in 1996] wasn’t doing too well,” Foster
front was not my idea of what music school, that’s all you do explains, “but I was also homesick. Really homesick.
I wanted to do. I wanted to be is practice and perform. And I So homesick that the only thing I wrote about in New
support. For anyone. I was kind think I wanted a break. I wanted York was Texas.”
of shy, so I didn’t really see myself a break from music, and I had And it would be hard to argue that her return hasn’t
doing what I’m doing now. always wanted to be in the been a boon to Foster’s professional success, as her
“So yeah, I wanted to be in military.” 1997 debut CD Full Circle – and the three albums that
music, but to this capacity?” she During her first year in followed – were all produced there.
continues. “I just kind of learned the Navy, which Foster spent “For a first project,” says the musician of Full Circle,
how to be out in front of people stationed in San Diego, “I think it was great. You know, it was all home-done. I
and how to entertain. You know, you just keep saying the musician says she “kind of floated around at a had friends to take the [CD cover] picture, I had friends
‘yes,’ and all these opportunities come up.” helicopter squadron, ordering parts. Kind of like Radar do up the artwork ... . It was done well, and it was a
Foster (who doesn’t reveal her age) says her first on M*A*S*H, where you’re kind of a do-it-all person relatively easy process ... although the people behind it
opportunities arose during her upbringing in the because you don’t really have a destination as far as would probably say it wasn’t, because they know how
central-Texas town of Gause – estimated population: what you want to do yet.” Yet while Foster may have much I really don’t like going into the studio.”
400 – where the future blues headliner’s love of music enlisted, in part, to escape the world of music, it wasn’t Foster laughs. “When it’s my project, I kind of have
developed through piano and guitar lessons and long before music found her. to be dragged. I love doing projects with other people;
“mostly the church. My mother, and her mother, and “My company commander had a party,” she says, it’s just when it comes time to making decisions, it’s
all my aunties and uncles, they all sang and worked in “and there was a band there, a makeshift band, where really good for me to have a great producer.”
the church.” he played guitar, and a couple other guys played Which, says Foster, is exactly what she got in Chris
Her solo debut, at age 14, even took place in her drums. They were doing a blues number, and I was Goldsmith, who produced her fifth CD The Truth
uncle’s church choir. “That was intimidating,” Foster like, ‘Well, you know, I sing a little bit ... . Can I do According to Ruthie Foster, described by Blues Revue
says, “because I grew up around all these great singers something? magazine as “a full-on blast of soul and blues.”
– lots of cousins – and I didn’t want to be a solo singer. “And I did Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Red House,’” Foster “I don’t know how it happened,” she says of the
But I kind of got pushed in that direction. It was kind of continues. “And my company commander pulled me CD, Foster’s first to be produced outside of Texas, in
my turn to do it.” aside the next day, and he demanded that I go try out Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios. “I have to give
Following that performance, says Foster, “I knew for the Navy band. He said, ‘Why are you here?’” it all to Chris. How he managed to get [the late blues
that going to school for music was a major part of what Laughing, Foster adds, “So I was busted.” pianist] Jim Dickinson to come up was just beyond
I wanted to do, because I was really kind of excited Her tenure with the Navy band (for which she me. But he did. He wasn’t feeling very well, but he
about teaching.” And after high-school graduation, she served as a percussionist) found Foster stationed in got in there, and he gave everything that he was. And
enrolled in Waco’s McClennan Community College, Charleston, South Carolina, touring the southeast, and Robben Ford played guitar. He only had about two
and took courses in music, audio engineering, and traveling to such locales as Puerto Rico and Iceland. days he could spare before going off to Italy on tour.
voice, where she was “immersed in every genre there She also joined, as a vocalist, the Navy ensemble And Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns came in
is. I was actually classically trained, learning how to Pride, which Foster describes as “a top-40, funk-band and just laid down some brilliant stuff.
sing in French and German, doing arias and all of branch of the military band. Those guys are the best “It was just incredible,” she says. “A really good
that.” musicians I have ever played with, and I’ve played with experience. And that’s what keeps me doing [music].
Her evenings, however, soon became focused on a lot of great musicians. They’re very, very sharp, and It’s really about just getting up and creating, you know?
an altogether different style of singing, after friend Joe can read and write their asses off.” Even if it’s just journaling – that turns into a song for
Silva asked her to join his ensemble as a lead vocalist. Armed with a newfound passion for music, Foster me a lot of times.
“I went to school and ended up in this blues band, of all finished her four years in the military and, after a “Music is very much still exciting for me. And if it
things,” says Foster with a laugh. “That definitely kept brief stay in Charleston, set off for New York City. “I doesn’t get that way, I just stop, and I do something else
my voice teacher on edge.” wanted to do music on my own terms,” she says of the for a while.”
Foster’s stint with the Waco-based Joe Silva Band
11
by Karen McFarland

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
Right Place, Right Time
Kim Massie: Sunday, 7:30 p.m., Tent Stage

“Y
ou know the saying that the group I have now is absolutely
you got to be in the right perfect for what I do. I have keyboard,
place at the right time?” bass, drums, guitar, and saxophone.
singer Kim Massie asked in a recent We know enough music to keep our
phone interview. “It wasn’t until I audience happy.”
came to St. Louis where it was like, Make no mistake, most of the genres
‘This is the place I’m supposed to be!’ Massie plays are blues-related. In 2003,
Everything started to happen. One Kim was one of seven lead singers in
thing led to another.” a St. Louis production of the musical
Kim Massie is not a household showcase It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues –
name, even in the context of the giving the history of the blues through
blues. She has become an institution song – and the next year she joined
in the great blues and jazz city of St. the Kansas City cast. The experience
Louis over the past 10 years, twice gave Massie a new appreciation for the
winning the Riverfront Times’ female- blues: “It was so exciting to be a part of
vocalist-of-the-year award, and she’s telling the story of where blues came
the featured artist twice a week at from. That’s something that the young
the blues club Beale on Broadway. folks need to learn about.
Yet she rarely performs outside of there told her to go to BB’s Jazz, Blues, & Soups, a “The executive director ... , he heard
her hometown – trips to Hungary, Seattle, San club near the Soulard district famous for its blues. me at the Beale in 2002. A production was coming
Francisco, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C., but That’s where Kim met Oliver Sain, the Mississippi- through and he needed one more singer; I was
no tours. St. Louis is a place like Chicago or New born saxophonist and bandleader who came to St. the one he contacted. ... We did songs from Ray
Orleans where blues musicians can find enough Louis in 1959 and never left. Charles and Howlin’ Wolf, and the list goes on and
work that they don’t have to leave. “Oliver Sain asked me to sit in and sing a song on.” There are actually more than 40 songs in the
Mike and Nanci Livermore of the Mississippi or two with his band, and I met all the musicians. production., from field hollers and spirituals to the
Valley Blues Society’s Entertainment Committee It just kinda snowballed, where someone told me electrified blues of the postwar era.
“discovered” Massie in St. Louis and were so go sit in with this band or go sing over there. And Yet one of Kim’s fondest memories is of a
impressed with her show that they suggested I was just amazed at how close-knit the whole different stripe: singing with Cyndi Lauper. “In
the committee get her for the 2010 festival. The family was in St. Louis to let me come in and be 2007 on the Fourth of July I opened for her,”
committee loved her powerful, soulful singing, a part of this. In St. Louis people come into town Massie said. “Well, she heard me singing and
which STLBlues.net described as “the voice of God on business, and of course they want to hear some asked me if I would sing with her. We had a quick
with growling nuances of Etta James.” blues. Even the hotel people and the food-service rehearsal, and I sang some of her number-one
Although Kim lived in the St. Louis area until people were telling them to come see me!” songs like ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun.’ We did
she was nine, she spent the next three decades in One of the people who heard Kim singing ‘Time After Time’ and we actually sang ‘At Last’
Lorain, Ohio, a town west of Cleveland. In both with Oliver Sain in 1999 was Bud Jostes. He – we did that together. It was a lotta fun!”
places she participated in gospel and school choirs. opened Beale on Broadway in 2000 at the same Of course, “At Last” is a song made famous by
“I’ve been singing since I was two years old, and intersection as BB’s and asked Massie to play Etta James. But Kim is particularly fond of the
always loved music,” she recalled. “I started singing there one night a week. Now she performs twice Queen of Soul. “My favorites are Aretha Franklin’s
in church like a lot of black entertainers. But I had a week, finally making a living from her singing. ‘Drown in My Own Tears’ – that’s a song I found
such a passion for the music it went farther than “He’s very supportive of me, very protective of me, out was originally done by Ray Charles, but I first
just gospel music.” treats me very well,” Kim said of Jostes. “I don’t heard Aretha sing it – as well as ‘Chain of Fools.’”
She was a single mother of three in the ’80s stay anyplace that I’m not treated well. And he has Kim has a live CD that’s a tribute to Aretha, in
and hit the karaoke circuit, winning a state and enabled me to do whatever I want to musically addition to a live jazz album, her latest (A Lady
a national competition by the mid-’90s. But she speaking.” While her specialties are blues, gospel, by Choice) that features blues-related fare, and an
was never able to make a living from her music. and R&B, Kim also sings some pop, rock, and upcoming gospel CD titled Inspired.
“Cleveland had its own things going on,” she country tunes, depending on her audience. But despite citing Aretha and Ray Charles
said, “but I don’t think that was the right place Kim has a regular backup band that gives her – soul artists coming from a gospel tradition
for me. Lorain is 25 minutes west of Cleveland. I the freedom to switch gears musically. They’re – as her major influences, the blues played a key
lived there for 33 years, and nothing ever seemed called the Solid Senders, named by Jostes. “I never role in Massie’s development. “I remember as a
to actually work out there. When I moved back have a song list on stage – you will never see young child my father playing Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
here to St. Louis [in 1999] – when I moved back that,” Kim said. “I have a song list like a reference records and B.B. King,” Kim said. “I’ve heard
to this area to live with my mom – that’s when list, because we’ve done so many songs I can those songs over the years and they always stuck
things really started happening for me musically hardly keep up with it. During the course of an with me. I’ve sung those songs for so many years,
speaking.” evening I will be asked to do the whole gamut of and now as an adult I get to honor those people
A friend heard Kim singing karaoke and different genres of music. So over the years I’ve that have enabled me to make a living singing. It’s
suggested she go to a certain club, and the people gone through my share of musicians to where just awesome!”
12
by Jeff Ignatius
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

“I’ll Take All the Help I Can Get”


Tommy Castro: Sunday, 8 p.m., Bandshell

A
t the 2010 Blues Music Castro won the contemporary-
Awards in May, Tommy blues-album and B.B. King
Castro and his bandmates accolades at the Blues Music
walked away with four awards: band Awards in 2008, and Hard
of the year, contemporary blues Believer earned strong reviews.
male artist, contemporary blues About.com called it “a white-
album (for Hard Believer), and the hot collection of spirited,
big one – B.B. King Entertainer of unpretentious performances, each
the Year. song approached by Castro and
In a recent phone interview, his flamethrower band with the
Castro sounded genuinely grateful ferocity of a hungry heavyweight-
and surprised. “You need a shot class prizefighter.”
in the arm,” he said. “It was a big Half the songs on Hard Believer
night for us.” And with a charming are originals, and I generally prefer
lack of vanity, Castro offered two those to the covers. “Monkey’s
explanations for his four-for-four Paradise” has a particularly
night specifically, and for his success strong groove, “Make It Back to
generally. Memphis” is joyous roadhouse,
“I got opportunities to have a and “Trimmin’ Fat” has a light
career playing blues, I think, before touch with the sad realities of the
I was really ready for it,” he said. economy as well as the live-music
“When Blind Pig signed me [in the business: “He could hardly even
mid-1990s], I didn’t have any songs. look me in the face / And he said,
... I’ve been learning how to do this ‘Karaoke really packs this place.’”
while I was doing it. ... I think that Castro and his band nail
over a period of time we’ve gotten a Allen Toussaint’s “Victims of the
little bit better at making records.” Darkness,” with great alchemy
He credited having a good band, a between the horns, the guitar,
good producer, and good songwriter and Castro’s roughly warm voice
partners. “My talent might lie in – which the All Music Guide
surrounding myself with all the compared to “a cross between
watching cliff-diving, or any other dangerous
right people to help me do what I do best,” he Delbert McClinton, James Brown, and Bob
sport? ... That element of danger involved. ...
said. “I have my little thing that I do. I’m a fairly Seger.”
“I saw the look on people’s faces when the jam
proficient songwriter, I’m a good singer, and a And there’s no denying that Castro and his
would happen [on the cruises], especially when
good guitar player. I don’t think I’m great at any band play the covers with conviction, whether
the really great shit would happen. I thought,
of those things. ... I’ll take all the help I can get.” the lounge-jazz strains of Jeff Turmes’ “The
‘There’s got to be a way to create something like
The California-based Castro will have plenty Trouble with Soul” or the Godfather of Soul-like
this on the road.’”
of help at the IH Mississippi Valley Blues treatment of Wilson Pickett’s “Ninety-Nine &
The tours started a few years ago with Magic
Festival, as the Tommy Castro Band will be One Half.”
Dick, pianist Deanna Bogart, and guitarist
backing separate sets by its leader, guitarist Castro admits that many people – including
Ronnie Baker Brooks. Castro said the goal is
Debbie Davies, harmonica player Magic Bruce Iglauer, head of Castro’s new label
always “a well-rounded show. Everybody did
Dick, and shouter Sista Monica as part of the Alligator – advised him against doing Bob
something different, but when we jammed
Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue. That closes Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” because it had
together, there was some magic there in that
the festival’s bandshell stage on Sunday and will been overdone. But Castro was undeterred.
original lineup.”
culminate with a jam featuring all the artists. “I remember hearing Bob Dylan do it, and
While Castro’s band gets quite a workout, he
Jams have long been a part of the Legendary thinking to myself, ‘Look at those big gaping
said it’s simply good business. “It adds dates to
Rhythm & Blues Cruise and its earlier holes there where there should be a ... big Albert
the calendar, basically,” he said. “You have a kind
incarnation, but it was Castro’s idea to try it on King guitar lick in between those choruses.’”
of music that appeals to a pretty small section of
land as part of a tour. The singer and guitarist has certainly earned
the population. Not everybody in the world is a
“Some of the best stuff out of people happens the deference to make records however he
blues fan. You’ve got a strong following, a faithful
under those circumstances,” Castro said. “And pleases. And in Alligator, he’s found a label
following ... . We offer people a lot – a really
also there’s the possible train wreck that could with a refreshingly artist-centric attitude about
strong show to get them to come out. ... They get
happen at any time. We’re all professionals, and the music business. Castro said that Iglauer
a chance to see four national acts at once, one
it’s not likely to happen, but it can happen at understands that concerts are the lifeblood of
night. We’re giving them a lot for their money.”
any time. ... There is a chance, the possibility not only performers but also their labels: “The
Make no mistake: Castro is a draw all on
for things to go terribly wrong at any second. way to sell the most records is to get people to
his own. In addition to this year’s awards haul,
That makes it exciting. Why do people enjoy my shows.”
13

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
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2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Friday, July 2: Bandshell (“Blues in the Blood”)


Every act on both stages Friday is a descendant of a blues legend.

The Kinsey Report, 5 p.m. names “Mud Jr.” and “Little Mud.” Now 56, Mud and there are thousands
MySpace.com/kenkinsey Morganfield has a voice that’s uncanny in its of great musicians, but
The Kinsey brothers – guitarist/vocalist Donald, resemblance to his father’s. Luther Allison is in my
drummer Ralph, and bassist Kenneth – developed Similar to the early life of Muddy Waters, Mud opinion the greatest blues
their funk-oriented Morganfield was a truck driver with a passion for performer that has ever
blues sound from a music. In his spare time, Mud Morganfield would graced a stage! Bernard
lifetime of working sing with local soul groups. But it wasn’t until after has definitely inherited
together on stage the funeral of his father in 1983 (where he met his some amazing genes
and in the studio. half-brother Big Bill Morganfield for the first time) from his father, and even
Their father and that Mud Morganfield immersed himself in the though he doesn’t like to be compared to his father,
musical mentor, the blues. He performed in the clubs of Chicago’s South he doesn’t have to be, because he is getting great on
late Mississippi-born Side but has otherwise kept a low profile. his own! – Steve Heston
Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, introduced his sons to In July 2007 Mud stepped out into the limelight
gospel and blues early on. As youngsters, they saw playing a show with Big Bill Morganfield at the Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, 11 p.m.
firsthand the emotional power of music in their Muddy Waters Memorial Festival in Westmont, LilEdAndTheBluesImperials.com
grandfather’s church in Gary, Indiana. By the time Illinois, and then went on to his own set at the Lil’ Ed, although small in stature, is a true
Donald was 13, he was an accomplished guitarist Chicago Blues Festival in 2008. This was followed giant of the blues, and among the very last
who performed with Big Daddy around Gary. by sold-out tours of Europe and South America. authentic West Side Chicago bluesmen. His band
During the late 1960s, Big Daddy began taking Mud Morganfield takes pride in re-creating the includes himself on lead guitar, his half-brother
the family act on the road. In 1972, Albert King sound of his father. So be prepared for a set of deep James “Pookie” Young on bass, Mike Garrett on
recruited Donald as his rhythm guitarist. Chicago blues when Mud Morganfield hits the rhythm guitar, and Kelly Littleton on drums. Lil’
In 1975, Donald and Ralph formed the heavy- stage. He’s bringing a great band of bluesmen from Ed’s storybook rise in the blues world has taken
metal group White Lightning, cutting an album for Chicago to play with him, including Eddie Taylor him from working in a car wash to entertaining
Island Records and touring nationally. At an Island Jr. on guitar, Harmonica Hinds, and Kenny “Beedy thousands of his fans all over the world, leading to
Records reception in New York, Donald met reggae Eyes” Smith (son of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith) on an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien
superstar Bob Marley, who in turn introduced drums. – Karen McFarland (in a hilarious film with Lil’ Ed teaching Conan
him to Peter Tosh. Tosh invited Donald to sit in how to play the blues).
on the recording of Legalize It. After touring with Bernard Allison, 9 p.m. Lil’ Ed was born in Chicago on April 4, 1955,
Tosh for a year, Marley asked Donald to overdub BernardAllison.com and was surrounded by the blues growing up. He
some guitar parts for Rastaman Vibration. Donald In keeping with our “Blues in the Blood” theme was playing guitar, drums, and bass by the time
moved to Jamaica in 1976 and toured with Marley. night, Bernard Allison is the son of the late, great he was 12. Along with Pookie, Ed received lessons
The Kinsey Report came together in 1984, Luther Allison. Bernard was born in Chicago on and support from his famous blues-playing, slide-
with Donald returning home to join Ralph in re- November 26, 1965, the youngest of nine children. guitarist uncle, J.B. Hutto. Ed says that J.B. taught
forming the family band with Big Daddy. Youngest Running around the stage as his father played had him everything he knows and wouldn’t be where
brother Kenneth took over the bass slot. The band, a profound effect on Bernard. He states that he was he is today without him. Ed met up with Alligator
Big Daddy Kinsey & the Kinsey Report, combined about seven years old when he decided he wanted Records President Bruce
the sons’ rock-influenced sound and their father’s to be like his father. He didn’t start playing ’til he Iglauer at a time when
Mississippi Delta-blues roots. The Kinsey Report’s was roughly 10 years old. Iglauer was looking for
debut album for Alligator Records, 1988’s Edge Bernard made his first appearance on record local talent for an anthology
of the City, led to three Blues Music Award at age 13, when he played on a live LP his father of some of Chicago’s
nominations. Downbeat declared: “The band is recorded in Peoria, Illinois. Luther bought Bernard younger blues musicians.
telepathically tight, and its impact is devastating.” his first guitar, a Fender Stratocaster, but also told The band showed up
And that description stands true today for the him to get an education first. Bernard joined his expecting to cut two songs;
Kinsey Report – the brothers plus guitarist Nick father on stage at the 1983 Chicago Blues Festival. they had never been in a
Byrd – with their mix of fiery guitars, funky One week after graduating from high school, recording studio before. After doing those songs,
rhythms, streetwise lyrics, and boundless energy. Bernard got a call from Koko Taylor asking him to the place was jumping with excitement. Lil’ Ed had
– Karen McFarland be the lead guitarist in her band. He played with the engineer and all of the Alligator staffers begging
Koko’s band for three years. Then in 1989, Bernard for more, and Iglauer offered the band a full-album
To read a 2008 River Cities’ Reader article on the recorded with his father in Europe and lived there contract on the spot. The end result was 30 songs in
Kinsey Report, visit RCReader.com/y/kinsey. for a while, playing in his father’s band. Luther and three hours with no overdubs and no second takes.
Bernard both can be heard tearing it up at the 1989 If you want to see a band that is guaranteed to get
Mud Morganfield, 7 p.m. Chicago Blues Festival that was released on Luther you up on your feet dancing, then you don’t want to
MudMorganfieldSite.com Allison’s album Let’s Try It Again on Ruf Records. miss Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials! – Steve Heston
His real name is Larry Williams, but this One year later, Bernard released his first solo
firstborn son of blues icon Muddy Waters album, appropriately entitled The Next Generation. To read a 2005 River Cities’ Reader article on Lil’
(McKinley Morganfield) was raised with the I don’t mean to slight any other blues performers, Ed, visit RCReader.com/y/liled.
15

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
Friday, July 2: Tent (“Blues in the Blood”)
Every act on both stages Friday is a descendant of a blues legend

Alvin “Little Pink” Anderson, 5 p.m. very original slide guitarist who influenced artists Blues series. Lurrie’s guitar talent and knowledge
LittlePink.20m.com such as B.B.King, who once claimed: “Johnny of different blues styles was noted by publications
Alvin “Little Pink” Anderson is the son of Shines was the best guitar player who ever lived.” such as Rolling Stone and the New York Times. At
Piedmont blues giant Pink Anderson. Alvin was Johnny Shines performed at the 1989 Blues Fest 20, Lurrie was asked to join Koko Taylor’s band,
born on July 13, 1954, in Spartanburg, South right here in LeClaire Park, which is one of the and he traveled with her for several years.
Carolina, and by the age of three was performing reasons the MVBS can rightfully claim that this Battling and defeating some personal demons
with his father as a tap dancer and singer in the blues festival is “where legends come to play.” kept Lurrie out of the studio and off the road for
medicine shows that traveled throughout the South. Growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Caroline a period in the ’80s and ’90s, but he returned with
It was also at this early age that Pink Anderson Shines says she learned about all types of music four CDs for Delmark and then an Alligator release
started teaching Alvin to play the acoustic guitar. By and how to sing from her father. Early on, Caroline in 2004 – an acoustic duet with his father that
the time Alvin was 13, he was touring with Clarence and her mother sang in the choir at Morning Star was nominated for a Blues Music Award for best
Carter – until his age was discovered! Baptist Church, which Johnny attended when he acoustic album.
Over the next few years, Alvin assimilated his was not traveling. The year 2007 was a hard one for Lurrie; he lost
father’s guitar style, and Little Pink was making a Caroline’s first professional singing was for the his life partner, photographer Susan Greenberg,
name for himself on the local scene playing both Tuscaloosa Talent Search. When she auditioned, to cancer in January, and then Carey Bell passed
electric and acoustic blues. But by 18 he was in after hearing her sing only one verse, the person in in May. But also that year, Lurrie was nominated
prison for the first of two times; he was 20 and still charge hired Caroline on the spot! Now Caroline for a Blues Music Award for guitarist of the year.
in prison when his father died in 1974. In 1994 spends quite a bit of her time performing and – Karen McFarland
Alvin was back in prison for three years for an conducting Blues in the Schools workshops with
illegal-driving charge, but that stay helped him to Debbie Bond and the Alabama Blues Project Shirley King, 10:30 p.m.
put his life in perspective. He was determined to begun by Willie King. Caroline performed with the MySpace.com/theshirleykingband
follow in his father’s footsteps Alabama Blues Project during a week’s residency Being the blues-singing daughter of B.B. King
by devoting his life to playing in the Quad Cities in November 2006. At Mojo’s has earned Shirley King the title “Daughter of
and writing about the blues. during that visit, Caroline let it all hang out and the Blues,” but she is an outstanding singer and
After interviewing Little showed blues fans how to holler the blues! This is performer in her own right. And she’s bringing a
Pink, Ray Stiles of Blues on what blues fans can expect to hear when Caroline topnotch band from Chicago with her to our fest
Stage had this assessment: “In Shines takes the stage in the Tent on Friday night. – so you don’t want to miss this set!
the short time I spent with – Jimmie Jones Her father’s career exposed her to the company
Anderson I found him to be of great singers. Born and raised in Memphis,
very honest and open in expressing his feelings. He Lurrie Bell Chicago Blues Band, 8:30 p.m. Shirley began singing in the church choir at age
is also totally committed to the music he grew up Lurrie.com nine. When she was 13, she met another music
with. ... Anderson said he is an Albert Collins freak When the Entertainment Committee heard legend: Etta James. Young Shirley was so impressed
and showed us what he meant with his scorching, Lurrie Bell’s latest release, we agreed unanimously by Etta’s performance that she made Etta her
staccato-like licks on guitar. He is an excellent that we wanted him to play the musical role model. Ruth Brown and Mahalia
musician with a powerful, soulful blues voice. His Fest. Guitarist/vocalist Lurrie Jackson were also influences.
playing combines both traditional and modern is the son of famed Chicago When Shirley was growing up, she studied
blues, and he played an electrifying version of ‘The harpmeister Carey Bell, who’s acting and dancing as well as singing, giving her
Sky Is Crying’ that left the late-night audience often compared to harmonica the skills to be a dynamic singer. She’s an all-
screaming for more.” powerhouses Little Walter and around entertainer, which comes from her years
Anderson will also present a workshop at 2:30 Sonny Boy Williamson. Be as a stage baby watching such talents as James
p.m. on Saturday. – Karen McFarland prepared to be mesmerized by some deep Chicago Brown, Jackie Wilson, and Sam Cooke. From all
blues when Lurrie and his band take the stage. of them she learned that there’s more to being an
Caroline Shines, 6:30 p.m. Born December 13, 1958, Bell was raised in a entertainer than just being a singer or musician.
Chicago household steeped in blues, with regular Shirley came late to performing the blues, first
CarolineShines.com
guests to the house including Eddie Taylor, Eddie trying it on in 1990. Within six months she was a
Friday at the Blues Fest is called “Blues in the
C. Campbell, Jimmy Dawkins, Eddy Clearwater, regular at Kingston Mines in Chicago. And once
Blood,” because sons, daughters, and relatives of
Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, and Muddy B.B. caught Shirley’s act, he lent her his full support
blues legends will be performing.
Waters pianist Lovie Lee. Lurrie started playing to her carrying on the blues tradition. Shirley’s noted
There is no better example than
guitar at the age of six; when he was eight, he went for her high-energy stage presence, and her blues
blues and gospel singer Caroline
to live down South with his grandparents and range from traditional to gospel to R&B to soul.
Shines, the daughter of blues
played in the church. Shirley has sung at major blues clubs and
guitarist and singer Johnny
Back in Chicago in his teens, Lurrie joined up festivals worldwide. She has performed with her
Shines, best known for the three
with Billy Branch and Freddie Dixon to form the father, Bobby Bland, Albert King, Little Milton,
years he spent performing and
Sons of Blues. They performed at the Berlin Jazz Tyrone Davis, Otis Clay, Jerry Butler, Koko Taylor,
touring with Robert Johnson (whom most blues-
Festival in 1977, and then recorded three cuts for Lonnie Brooks, Eddy Clearwater, Billy Branch, and
music historians argue is the most celebrated figure
Alligator’s Grammy-nominated Living Chicago many others. – Karen McFarland
in the history of the blues). Johnny Shines was a
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2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Saturday, July 3: joined artists such as Bernard Allison, Eric Burdon,


Walter Trout, Popa Chubby, Jimmy Thackery, Taj
are no boundaries to the music.” – Art Tipaldi (Blues
Revue magazine)
Bandshell Mahal, and Buddy Miles on a Jimi Hendrix tribute
CD titled Blue Haze. In 2001, Ana appeared as a
“Vasti is one of the most talented and creative
bluesmen of the younger generation. He is a
Steady Rollin’ Blues Band, 1 p.m. special guest on tour with Bernard Allison, and in masterful guitarist with a deep knowledge of blues
Just five weeks after winning the Quad Cities 2002 Ana was part of the European Jimi Hendrix roots, and a terrific live showman.” – Bruce Iglauer
round of the Iowa Blues Challenge, the Steady Rollin’ tribute tour with Walter Trout. (Alligator Records)
Blues Band emerged victorious from the final round In 2006 Ana was invited to be on the Legendary If you’re ready for some soulful, down-home blues,
of the state challenge in Des Moines on May 22. The Rhythm & Blues Cruise, the first European artist to make sure you catch Vasti Jackson’s set! Maybe you’ve
prize package includes studio recording time and a be offered a spot on the cruise with her own band, already heard him live: He was the leader of Louisiana
slot at the IH Mississippi and in 2009 she was invited back to the Legendary pianist Katie Webster’s band in the 1980s and early
Valley Blues Festival for Rhythm & Blues Cruise again. We feel very honored ’90s. Vasti grew up in McComb, Mississippi, and he
July 3, as well as money to to have this talented musician on our stage. – Steve played his first professional gig at 15. In the late ’70s
help support the band’s trip Heston he moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he studied
to Memphis next January, music at Jackson State. Once in town, Jackson began
when they will represent Zac Harmon, 4:30 p.m. working with gospel groups
Iowa in the International Blues Challenge. including the Williams Brothers
ZacHarmon.com
Steady Rollin’ is made up of seasoned pros who and the Jackson Southernaires
The Entertainment Committee is made up of
have been part of the Quad Cities music scene for and soul and blues artists Geater
members with varying tastes in blues. So it’s rare for
more than 15 years. The Steady Rollin’ Blues Band Davis, Tommy Tate, and Sam
us to agree when we listen to solicitations for the Fest.
plays every Thursday night at Rascals in Moline. Myers, as well as his own funk
But that’s what happened – we agreed! – when we
Their music is good to dance to and features different and R&B group, Wisdom.
listened to Zac Harmon.
After a short stay in L.A.,
styles of blues, from jazz to funk to R&B, Memphis Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Harmon Jackson returned to Jackson, where he became the
to Chicago, with covers of artists such as Tyrone is a disciple of the Farish Street blues sound. (Farish musical director for Z.Z. Hill just on the cusp of Hill’s
Davis, Bobby Bland, and Marvin Sease. Craig Bentley Street is universally recognized as the home of many huge success with Down Home on Malaco. Jackson
is on guitar, Perry Hultgren on keyboards, Jimmy great blues legends, including Elmore James.) During played guitar on the Malaco records of Latimore,
VanHyfte on drums, Tom Norman on bass, and the ’50s and ’60s, Harmon hung out at his father’s Denise LaSalle, Bobby Rush, and Johnnie Taylor. He
Jimmie Lee Adams on vocals. pharmacy on Farish, soaking up the aura and sounds also drew on his formal musical training in writing
Five bands from across the state competed in the of the musician customers while developing his skills horn and string arrangements for the label, and co-
final round of the Iowa Blues Challenge. Trouble as a guitarist, organist, and vocalist. Like many, he produced Rush’s Grammy-nominated CD from 2000,
No More, the Bob Pace Band Featuring Steve E. honed those skills while at church. Hoochie Man. Jackson recently worked on records
George, Bella Soul Blues Revolution Featuring Tina Harmon’s early years included stints as guitarist for by Cassandra Wilson and Michael Burks, as well as
Haase Findlay, and Stoney Ground were the other Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore, and Sam Myers. Sam along New Orleans-based Henry Butler and John Cleary.
performers that gave the Steady Rollin’ Blues Band with Mel Brown played a significant role in Harmon’s – adapted from VastiJackson.com
a run for their money. Steady Rollin’ follows in a development, guiding his progress through rock and
tradition that has seen the Quad Cities entrants in the roll to the true blues. Quad City Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m.
Iowa Blues Challenge walk away with the top prize, Moving to Los Angeles in 1980 to pursue a career QCSymphony.com
including the Avey Brothers Band in 2008 and 2009. in music, Harmon worked as a studio musician At first blush, the pairing of the Quad City
– Karen McFarland and began to make a name for himself as a writer/ Symphony Orchestra and the IH Mississippi Valley
producer, crafting songs for such varied notables as Blues Festival seems reminiscent of The Odd Couple.
Ana Popović, 2:45 p.m. Evelyn “Champagne” King, the Whispers, and the Neat and pristine, typified by tuxedos and centuries-
AnaPopović.com O’Jays. He produced songs on the Mystical Truth old compositions, the symphony appears a stark
Ana Popvić was born on May 13, 1976, in Belgrade album for Black Uhuru that received a Grammy contrast to blues – a genre derived from African-
in the former Yugoslavia, the first daughter of Milutin nomination in 1994. American work songs, spirituals, and field hollers.
and Vesna Popvić. Her father is a guitar/bass player, In 2002, Harmon decided to pursue his longtime
But passion, with all its infectious qualities, has a way
and Ana grew up listening in on many blues and soul dream of recording his first blues project. The
of smoothing out the differences.
jam sessions he hosted. Inevitably Ana was bitten by result, Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn, was an electrifying
Quad City Symphony Orchestra musicians travel
the guitar bug. Her parents paid for private lessons testimonial to the blues, featuring eight original songs
from Denver, the Twin Cities, and throughout the
when her father realized that her natural gift of that truly embody the Mississippi blues sound.
Midwest to perform. If a 1,600-mile round trip
playing went beyond his own abilities. Sponsored by the Southern California Blues
doesn’t speak to dedication, then the countless hours
In 1995, Ana formed her first band, Hush, and had Society of Los Angeles, Harmon & the Mid South
of rehearsal and years of practice required to reach
frequent appearances at festivals and on television Blues Revue went on to win the Blues Foundation’s
this caliber of musicianship do. In the same vein, the
in her home country. With the fall of communism, 2004 International Blues Challenge as “best unsigned
blues band.” – adapted from ZacHarmon.com IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is the longest-
musicians were allowed to travel more freely, and running volunteer-produced festival in the country.
they start playing blues festivals in Greece and For the core group of organizers who make up the
Hungary. In 1999, Ana was studying music at The Vasti Jackson, 6:15 p.m.
Mississippi Valley Blues Society, this isn’t a day job
Conservatory in the Netherlands and formed a Dutch VastiJackson.com
but rather one they do on nights, weekends, and
band that became popular on the Dutch and German “Vasti Jackson is the real deal! He plays the blues,
holidays. They’ve survived floods, rain, sweltering
blues scenes. he sings the blues, he writes the blues, he produces
the blues, and yes, he feels the blues. When you heat, and budget constraints to produce one of the
In October of 2000, Ana traveled to Memphis to
understand the blues, the blues like Vasti has had most highly respected blues festivals in the nation.
record Hush!, her first release for Ruf Records. She
since his Mississippi childhood, you know that there Both the symphony and the Mississippi Valley
17

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
Blues Society strive to enrich people’s cultural lives
through performance, education, and enhanced
Saturday, July 3: Tent
appreciation of their respective art forms. “This is a Little Brother Jones, 1:30 p.m. blues. As an instrumentalist she’s mastered
great opportunity for us to introduce new fans to the LittleBrotherBlues.com guitar, piano, and violin to name a few, and
blues,” said blues-society President Bob Covemaker. I must start out this bio admitting I as a vocalist she has a soulful voice. Among
“For us, the fest has always been about diversity, have not witnessed this gentleman in her many early influences are such notables
and what better way to diversify than to include the person. Sometimes it is better that way. I as Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Junior
symphony?” do know by listening to Kimbrough, and Memphis Minnie. A more
The symphony, led by Conductor and Music his CDs and reading his recent friend and mentor was the late, great
Director Mark Russell Smith, will include in its blues- stories that this guy is Jessie Mae Hemphill, whose likeness graced
inspired Patriot Pops set “St. Louis Blues,” composed going to be the real deal. the front of last year’s Fest shirt.
by W.C. Handy – the “Father of the Blues” and among This guy is a bluesman Joining Olga for both her Tent-stage and
the most influential American songwriters. in every sense of the workshop performances
The Quad City Symphony performance is word. This is going to will be none other than
presented by Red, White, & Boom! and its sponsors: Memphis resident Cody
be another one that you will be saying,
Genesis Health System, the Riverboat Development Dickinson. Cody, best
“Where do they find these folks? Little
Authority, and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union.
Brother Jones is great!” Well, thank Bob known for his role as the
– Laura Ernzen
Covemaker for this one. drummer with the driving
It seems Doug Jones was drawn to beat behind the North
Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, the early blues style from the beginning. Mississippi Allstars, is a
10:30 p.m. He has studied his craft very well, and multifaceted artist as well.
RosieLedet.net it shows in his songs that he writes and In addition to his work
Rosie Ledet is definitely worth waiting for, so performs. He combines exceptional with the Allstars, he is an accomplished guitar
be at the Bandshell at 10:30 for the Saturday-night lyrics with an authentic tone that he has player, songwriter, and producer. Much in
finale and wear your dancin’ shoes! I have been a developed and honed over time. This is a demand, Cody somehow finds time between
huge Rosie Ledet fan for many years, since the first guy you possibly could hear on the corner the 180 or so live shows he performs each year
time I saw her perform at Gumbo Ya Ya. Rosie’s if you went back in time and walked down to work on several studio projects as well.
show was hot! She had the entire crowd dancing the street. I think I would just sit on down Together these two “newcomers” bring a
and partying to her zydeco beat. What a party band! vast variety of talent and influences that will
and listen for a while – probably for a
Those of you who saw Rosie Ledet on the Tent Stage not only prove to be entertaining but will
long while. Little Brother Jones plays to
at our festival a few years ago know what I mean.
your soul. He plays that old-time country show that the blues can be both unique yet
She had the Tent crowd worked into a frenzy that
blues while keeping with Piedmont style. respectful of the traditional artists of the past.
night!
I usually don’t compare these guys to one Their workshop at 1 p.m. on Saturday will
At the age of 16 Rosie Ledet
another, but to give everyone an idea, it focus on the hill-country blues of northern
heard Boozoo Chavis play at a
zydeco dance, and her fate was has been written by Cora Mae Bryant that Mississippi. – Bob
sealed. She taught herself to play “he plays that song just like I heard Tampa Covemaker
the accordion, began writing Red play it. He’s got it right.” Be looking
music, and started playing around to hear some great music from the old Little Joe McLerran
Louisiana and Texas. Soon Rosie’s acoustic-guitar collection this guy has. Quartet, 5:30 p.m.
accomplished accordion playing And don’t forget that Little Brother LittleJoeBlues.com
and her sultry, bluesy voice combined to make Jones will present a workshop on Sunday I first heard Little Joe
her a rare gem in the zydeco world. Affectionately at 5:30 p.m. He’ll concentrate on Georgia McLerran as the winner
referred to as the “Zydeco Sweetheart,” Rosie fronts pre-war blues. – Michael J. Livermore of the solo/duo competition at the 2009
the Zydeco Playboys: Andre Nizzari on guitar, International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Pernell Babineaux on bass, Kevin Stelly on drums, Olga Wilhelmine with Cody But he also comes highly recommended by
and Damon Dugas on rubboard. Dickinson, 3:30 p.m. Blues Sis Jeanie Webster of Tulsa, Hawkeye
Rosie’s dance-friendly tunes, like all authentic
LaOlga.com Herman, and Vicki Price. Bob Kieser of Blues
zydeco, are rhythm-oriented and continue the
Two newcomers to the Fest this year Blast notes: “Little Joe plays Piedmont blues
zydeco-party-music tradition of Clifton Chenier and
will be Olga Wilhelmine and since the death of John Cephas may be
Queen Ida. Rosie has said that she thinks of zydeco
and Cody Dickinson. the heir to the crown of ‘the best’ around. For
as “sped-up blues,” and bluesy heartfelt zydeco
music is what this singer and accordion player While it is true they are a guy that is only 25 years old, he oozes with
knows best. She is one of the few younger zydeco new to our fest, they are not talent.”
musicians today who still writes and sings much of new to the blues. Besides winning at the International Blues
her own material in Creole French. One of only a Olga, originally hailing Challenge, Little Joe (he stands six feet tall!)
handful of women in zydeco, Rosie Ledet’s warm from San Francisco, has issued four albums, toured throughout
stage presence combined with her infectious zydeco currently resides in New Orleans. A multi- the U.S. and Europe, and recently was listed
beat make her irresistible to audiences everywhere. talented artist, she is equally adept as a by Roots Music Report as the most-listened-
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, you can see Rosie at a musician or as an actress. As a musician to blues player in America. Even at age 25,
free workshop, where she’ll demonstrate zydeco she has proven herself a writer, any style Joe is a veteran of blues music; at age nine
accordion. – Ellen Clow from pop to straight-up hill-country he was playing the blues with his brother
18
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Jesse in Boulder, Colorado, shopping malls.


When he was 15, the McLerrans moved to
was recorded in Memphis with a small city
of notable musicians who began work on the
Sunday, July 4:
Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Joe took the name
“Son Piedmont” and his brother became
day of Isaac Hayes’ funeral, trying to convey
the energy of Ruthie’s performances, cutting
Bandshell
“Washboard Jesse.” A regular Sunday- almost everything live, going for feeling above The Jimmys, 2 p.m.
afternoon gig at the River’s Edge Bistro in all else. Blues Revue notes that “the truth, JimmyVoegeli.com
Tulsa led to more restaurant jobs and private according to this remarkable album, is that As luck would have it, when the
parties, as well as the Oklahoma Blues Ruthie Foster is one of America’s finest soul- Entertainment Committee was looking
Festival. blues artists.”– Karen McFarland for a
But Jesse died in an accident in 2003, and regional
that devastated Joe. Eventually Joe returned band for
to performing, working his way up through Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues, the opening
coffeehouse jobs to blues festivals and tours – 9:30 p.m. slot on
sometimes solo, occasionally fronting groups. BillyBranch.com Sunday at
This spring, the Little Joe McLerran Quartet Billy Branch has performed for MVBS the Fest,
(Little Joe on guitar, his dad Robbie Mack on at two festivals and four blues educational across our
bass, Ron McRorey on drums, and BlueSKool residencies during the past 10 years and has collective
star David Berntson on harmonica) toured the proven to be a most exciting, dedicated, blues- desk came
Saudi Arabia peninsula for three weeks as part loving performer and educator. a disc by The Jimmys. Not only was the
of the U.S. State Department’s Rhythm Road William Earl Branch was born in Great music rollicking, dance-worthy blues, but
program bringing American music abroad. Lakes, Illinois – just the band had horns – something missing
They performed concerts as well as playing in north of Chicago from other acts at the Fest.
schools. I’m sure they’ll have many stories to – on October 3, The Jimmys are a powerhouse, nine-
tell! – Karen McFarland 1951. However, piece band influenced by different styles
he was reared from raw Chicago blues to second-
Ruthie Foster, 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. line New Orleans funk. With touring
RuthieFoster.com Billy returned to experience throughout the U.S. and
If you’ve never seen Ruthie Foster live, Chicago to attend Europe, this Madison, Wisconsin-based
here’s your chance to catch the “it” singer of the University of band has garnered international acclaim.
the blues with her band. Her 2009 release, Illinois, where he The heart of the band is Jimmy
The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, eventually graduated with a degree in political Voegeli, who is probably best known for
was nominated for a Grammy for Best science. Billy spent a great deal of time at his keyboard work with the Westside
Contemporary Blues Album. Last year she was legendary blues clubs such as Queen Bee’s Andy/Mel Ford Band but has been a
on tour with the Blind Boys of Alabama, so and Theresa’s Lounge, where he learned from mainstay on the Wisconsin music scene
that should give you an idea of what Ruthie’s all-time-great harp players such as Big Walter, thanks in large part to his supreme skills
all about. Ruthie’s music has been called a James Cotton, Junior Wells, and Carey Bell. on Hammond organ. Voegeli is also a
hybrid of blues, gospel, roots, and folk; her Billy first gained recognition for his songwriter and arranges the horn charts
strong, pure, soulful voice has actually been harmonica playing in 1976 as the result of a for the band.
compared to that of Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha harmonica battle at the Green Bunny Club, Good vocals, horns, Hammond B-3 –
Franklin. when he beat Chicago legend Little Max the blues will be jumpin’ early on Sunday,
Geoffrey Himes in the Washington Post Simmons. Not long after, Billy replaced Carey so make sure you’re there for the fun!
gives this description of seeing Ruthie live: Bell in Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars, – Karen McFarland
“When Ruthie Foster performed at the South a real blues-education gig for Billy that lasted
by Southwest music conference two weeks six years. The Shawn Kellerman Band, 4 p.m.
ago, the short, dreadlocked singer demanded During the ’70s, Billy formed the “Sons of ShawnKellerman.com
attention with the sheer power of her mezzo- Blues” featuring Lurrie Bell (son of Carey) and The Shawn Kellerman Band is the
soprano. With an acoustic guitar strapped Freddie Dixon (son of Willie). They toured ultimate power trio! Toronto guitar
around her neck and singing the Lucinda Europe, played at the Berlin Jazz Festival, and wizard Shawn Kellerman is truly the
Williams song ‘Fruits of My Labor,’ Foster recorded for Alligator Records’ Grammy- hardest-playing blues guitarist around!
resembled a folk singer on the verses. But nominated Living Chicago Blues series. Those words are not exaggeration to
when she tilted back her head and belted out For more than 30 years Billy has been those who have seen the band live. Shawn
the chorus, she revealed her background in passing on the blues tradition through his continues to build on his past experiences
the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Blues in the Schools program. During that and push the boundaries of traditional
in Caldwell, Texas.” He also points out that time he has taught in the Chicago school blues into modern territory by adding
Ruthie’s blend of singer/songwriter folk music system as part of the Urban Gateway Project. some soul, funk, and rock influences. The
and African-American gospel is similar to Billy will display his blues-educational skills band has become a Quad Cities favorite
what distinguishes Odetta and Richie Havens. and Chicago harp playing at a free workshop after all its road visits here, and now we’re
On The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m.; harps will be proud to bring the Shawn Kellerman
the heat of soul music burns at its core. It provided to attendees. – Jimmie Jones Band to the 2010 Blues Fest.
According to his MySpace page – citing
19

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
20
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

as influences Albert King and Albert Collins on Beale Street at the Black Diamond on a but also for his striking, original songwriting
– Shawn understood from the beginning Wednesday night. As she belted out the blues, and exhilarating stage show. According to
that true blues is passed down directly from James Cotton came running in. He and Russell The San Francisco Chronicle, ‘Castro navigates
today’s masters to the next generation. did a half-hour of rockin’ blues. Since then, I’ve seriously funky Southern soul, gritty big-city
So he spent five years in Mississippi and been hooked on that voice. And every trip to blues, and scorching rock. ... His silvery guitar
Washington, Memphis means scouring the papers to see if licks simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.’
D.C., living, Reba’s performing during my short stay.” The Philadelphia Inquirer declared, ‘Castro plays
playing, and On the Memphis scene for more than 25 infectious, roaring
touring with years, Reba has won three Premiere Vocalist roadhouse romps with
such notable Awards from the Memphis chapter of the incendiary licks and a
blues artists as National Association of Recording Arts & touch of New Orleans
Mel Brown and Sciences and released five independent CDs in soul.’”
Bobby Rush. the past seven years. Reba also works regularly According to her
Shawn was a in Memphis studios as a background vocalist. Web site, in 1988
regular on blues Her credits include working with B.B. King, Debbie Davies was
stages playing Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tracy Nelson, recruited by Albert
the Chitlin’ Debra Coleman, and Bernard Allison, as well as Collins to join his
Circuit and has performed hundreds of appearing on U2’s Rattle & Hum. band the Icebreakers,
international gigs in more than 20 countries. In reading Reba’s short bio on her Web site, Magic Dick and for the next three
These years on the road gave birth to I can say she loves to party and jam – like the years she was a featured
Shawn’s trademark stage presence, a high- time on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise guitarist performing behind one of the most
energy assault on the audience that is as with Jimmy Thackery, or in Eureka Springs with innovative bluesmen of all time. “I stepped
much felt as heard. Over the years Shawn has Debbie Davies (who will follow Reba on stage at through a door into the real blues world when
also earned the status of a highly respected our Fest). I think she’ll make something happen I joined Albert’s band,” Davies says. Guitarist
guest artist for numerous live shows and at the after-fest showcase, if not before. – Karen Coco Montoya has said, “Debbie is one of the
recording sessions. In 2005 Shawn was McFarland direct links to the originators of this music. She
invited to play at The House of Blues 80th- knows what the blues is all about, and you can
birthday celebration for B.B. King. Shawn Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue hear it in the passion of her playing.” Harmonica
performed on Bobby Rush’s 2007 CD Raw Featuring Tommy Castro, Debbie Davies, genius Charlie Musselwhite adds, “Debbie is an
that won a Blues Music Award for Best incredible guitarist who plays with great taste
Magic Dick, & Sista Monica, 8 p.m. and can cook like mad. Debbie plays from the
Acoustic CD.
TommyCastro.com
During the past two years he has heart, and her heart has a lot to say. She inspires
DebbieDavies.com
concentrated on touring with his own trio, me.”
MagicDick.com
The Shawn Kellerman Band, and we are the Magic Dick (a.k.a. Richard Salwitz) is best
SistaMonica.com
luckier for that. – Karen McFarland known for his many years as the harmonica man
Band of the Year – Tommy Castro Band! B.B.
in legendary blues/rock band The J. Geils Band,
King Entertainer of the Year –Tommy Castro!
Reba Russell Band, 6 p.m. Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year – Tommy
which he co-founded in 1968. As a member of
RebaRussell.com that group, he toured the world extensively for
Castro! Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
I first heard of Reba Russell as a backup more than 15 years, headlining stadiums and
– Hard Believer!
singer for Jimmy Thackery. Then one time in festivals and releasing 14 successful major-label
Come join the big party at the Bandshell and
Memphis, I heard her live! What a great voice albums on Warner Bros. and EMI, culminating
congratulate these
she has – Reba reminds in the certified-platinum album Freeze Frame,
2010 Blues Music
me of Bonnie Bramlett which spent 70 weeks on the national Billboard
Award winners!
(remember On Tour album charts, including four weeks at number
The Tommy
with Eric Clapton?) one.
Castro Band is here
and Tracy Nelson You may have heard Sista Monica Parker sing
in LeClaire Park as
– and what a tight on our Bandshell many years ago. If so, you know
the host band of the
band backing her up! she’s got a powerful voice and a commanding
Legendary Rhythm
(Wayne Russell, bass; stage presence, whether she’s belting out blues,
& Blues Revue,
Robert “Nighthawk” crying out soul, or shouting out gospel. Her
an offshoot of the
Tooms, keyboards current “ministry” is a gospel choir she started
Legendary Rhythm
and harmonica; Josh Sista Monica in her hometown of Santa Cruz. Two years ago,
& Blues Cruise. The
Roberts, guitar; and the cancer survivor ran a newspaper ad to attract
Revue has been touring for a number of years
Doug McMinn, drums.) All in the name of singers who might like to learn techniques of
now with different artists featured, but always
Memphis blues – that soul-inflected, sometimes gospel music as it has traditionally been sung in
anchoring the gig is the Tommy Castro Band.
funky, sometimes a little country brand of African-American churches, and the choir is still
A press release from Alligator Records
roadhouse, hard-drinkin’ rhythm and blues. going strong at 50 voices.
describes Castro’s sound: “Singer, songwriter, and
Art Tipaldi of BluesWax put it this way: “I Each act in the Revue will perform a 30-
guitarist Tommy Castro is famed not only for his
have been listening to Memphis singer Reba minute set, followed at the end by an all-inclusive
hard-hitting, impassioned vocals, soaring guitar
Russell since 1995. My first glimpse of her was jam! What a great way to salute America’s
work, and his blues-infused, rocking R&B sound,
birthday! – Karen McFarland
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| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
Sunday, July 4: Tent
Bill Sims Jr. & Mark LaVoie, 2 p.m. Riley and Corritore will also conduct a
workshop at 1 p.m. Sunday. – adapted from
BillSimsJr.com/billmark
MySpace.com/daverileybobcorritore
Bill Sims Jr. (guitar and vocals) and Mark
LaVoie (harmonica) call themselves the
American Roots Blues Duo. Bill is from New The David Boykin Expanse, 5:30 p.m.
York City, and Mark lives in Vermont. They MySpace.com/davidboykinexpanse
have been working together for more than Some of the blues fans who come to
15 years, mostly in Vermont. In the early LeClaire Park might wonder why jazz bands
’90s while working in Burlington, Vermont, perform at the festival. When the MVBS
Bill met Mark and they became fast friends was formed in 1985, the bylaws that were
after discovering their shared love of acoustic approved included the statement: “The
blues. objective of the society is to educate the
Bill Sims Jr. played on the soundtrack general public on America’s sole, original art
of American Gangster, starring Denzel form, blues-related music.” Gospel, hip hop,
Washington. And of Dave Riley (guitar and vocals) and Bob jazz, R&B, rap, rock and roll, and zydeco
he was a music Corritore (harmonica) began when they met are all blues-related musics. And there are
technical advisor at the 2004 King Biscuit Blues Festival in many types of blues, among them Chicago,
for the movie Helena, Arkansas, and became fast friends Delta, Kansas City, Piedmont, soul, Texas,
Cadillac Records. and musical collaborators. You might West Coast, and Memphis. The MVBS
Bill taught actor remember Bob from 2008, when he played Entertainment Committee tries to bring as
Jeffrey Wright the Fest as part of Big Pete Pearson’s band many of these
(who played from Phoenix; he also conducted a Fest blues-related
Muddy Waters) workshop. The duo has two albums: 2009’s musics to the
how to play in Lucky to Be Living, and the Blues Music festival as we can.
the blues style that Muddy was playing when Award-nominated Travelin’ the Dirt Road David Boykin
Alan Lomax discovered him in 1940. Bill from 2007. comes from
also plays guitar in the Stovall Plantation Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Dave a long line of
scenes, and he has a part playing bass in spent his early years learning gospel. Barely a great Chicago
Muddy Waters’ band and a part playing teenager, he moved to Chicago and ended up tenor-saxophone
piano in Howlin’ Wolf ’s band. living on the West Side near Maxwell Street, players, including
Mark LaVoie is a master harmonica player, where he was steeped in the blues. It wasn’t Gene Ammons,
and is a protégé of harmonica virtuoso until he met up with Delta-blues legends Johnny Griffin,
Sonny Terry. He was Sonny’s driver in the Sam Carr, Frank Frost, and John Weston that Eddie Harris,
summer of 1976 and performed with Sonny Dave revitalized his career in the mid-’90s; Clifford Jordan, Von Freeman, and Fred
Terry and Brownie McGhee. For more than they formed a musical bond that would lead Anderson. Partly from listening to them
30 years Mark Lavoie has been performing Dave back to the Delta and back into blues and other greats such as Sonny Rollins and
and teaching, showing his passion for and full-time. John Coltrane in person and on records, and
commitment to blues harmonica. He is a Growing up in Chicago, Bob Corritore being exposed to other music and life on the
Hohner endorsee; he enjoys spreading the fell in with the blues early on, taking up South Side of Chicago (where he has lived
word about harmonica music and is an harmonica at age 13. A student of Big Walter all his life), David Boykin developed his own
active member of national groups working to Horton, Louis Myers, and others, Bob played style and sound on the tenor sax.
preserve and promote the harmonica as an around Chicago with, some of the greatest David Boykin organized his current
accessible, inexpensive instrument. of that city’s bluesmen until relocating to band, Expanse, in the late ’90s. At the
I saw the duo two years ago at the third- Phoenix in 1981. He now hosts the weekly same time, he was featured in flutist Nicole
annual Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue in radio program Those Lowdown Blues on Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble. From the
Clarksdale, Mississippi. When they finished KJZZ in Phoenix and is the owner of the very beginning back in the ’90s, The David
the last song of their showcase, the audience Rhythm Room. As a recording artist, Bob Boykin Expanse has performed regularly at
gave them thunderous applause, and MC appears on 33 CDs, including his solo album Fred Anderson’s legendary Velvet Lounge.
Randy Chortkoff said, “Now that’s some real Bob Corritore’s All-Star Blues Sessions on the David Boykin has performed at festivals and
blues!” HighTone label. clubs throughout the U.S., France, Russia,
Sims and LaVoie will also host a workshop Dave Riley and Bob Corritore play blues and Dakar. The David Boykin Expanse has
at 4 p.m. Sunday. – Karen McFarland deeply rooted in the Chicago and Mississippi recorded 10 CDs.
styles that represent their upbringings. Dave’s David Boykin is the director of the
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, 3:30 p.m. gritty Mississippi voice, articulate blues Creative Music Ensemble at DuSable
guitar, and rowdy, personable, original songs Leadership Academy and is a professor at
MySpace.com/daverileybobcorritore
combine with Bob’s passionate, full-toned Roosevelt University in Chicago. – Jimmie
The Mississippi-meets-Chicago pairing
harmonica to spell out down-home blues! Jones
22
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA |

Kim Massie, 7:30 p.m.


KimMassie.net
BlueSKool and
Kim Massie is coming from the great blues
and jazz town of St. Louis. She has been singing
Workshop Artists
with her wonderful voice in clubs there for
quite some time now. In this writer’s opinion, David Horwitz, Workshop at
if you like a real soulful and full voice, this is 2:30 p.m. Sunday
where you find it. She has seemed to develop Photographer and educator David
her singing in the gospel choirs. I have been Horwitz of Tucson, Arizona, has been
fortunate to hear her sing live on a couple of traveling to clubs and festivals for decades
occasions while passing through the St. Louis in search of great blues music for his ears
area. When she starts on some of those songs, The Nighthawks and visual images to capture on film.
it’s just powerful. When she sings that Robert drummer Mark Stutso. Winner of the 1999 Blues Foundation’s
Johnson tune “Come on in My Kitchen” or, of The Nighthawks have played with so many Keeping the Blues Alive Award for
course, “Amazing Grace,” she just has the voice. blues legends. I know Muddy Waters is among Photography, David has spent more than
Like a good friend of mine once said: The most them, and I saw them play with J.B. Hutto back 25 years capturing moments of the blues
important blues instrument is the voice. That in the mists of time. Before Thackery left in masters. His works have appeared in
isn’t to say that we leave out the band that backs 1986, they had toured the world and recorded countless publications. – Ann Ring
her up; she has a tight three- or four-piece that numerous albums, including the bestselling Jacks
backs her up and knows where to go with her & Kings with Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar David Berntson, BlueSKool
at any given time. I will be looking forward to Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones, and Bob Margolin. 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m.
hearing her in a beautiful setting here and also In early 2009, satellite-radio blues guru Bill Sunday
watching the guitar player that I have seen with Wax heard that the Nighthawks were doing some CrossroadsLearning.org
her. I believe he is just waiting to show us his acoustic shows and suggested the band come in What would the IH Mississippi Valley
stuff with that thing in our park. – Michael J. to cut some live tracks. The result is Last Train Blues Festival be without blues educator
Livermore to Bluesville, an album that includes covers of and harpist David Berntson? Three words:
Muddy’s “Can’t Be Satisfied” and James Brown’s David brings it. Originally hailing from
“I’ll Go Crazy.” It’s just that kind of variety that Galesburg, Illinois,
has kept the Nighthawks in touch and in tune this Tulsa, Oklahoma,
over the years. They were playing roots music blues-club founder,
before the term was invented. prevention educator,
The Nighthawks have performed with Hubert and drug/alcohol
Sumlin many times before. Placed 65th on counselor continually
Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitar shares his enthusiasm
players of all time, Sumlin is a living legend. and passion for the
He grew up playing his guitar with harmonica blues with young
great James Cotton. In 1949 at the age of 18, he people and adults.
became Howlin’ Wolf ’s lead guitarist, a position David presents Blues
he held down for the next 25 years, except for in the Schools at a number of schools,
a six-month stint in Muddy Waters’ band. He including alternative schools for at-risk
Hubert Sumlin. Photo by Annie Leibovitz. has played with Pinetop Perkins, Willie Dixon, students. Look out when he digs out his
the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, and countless gigantic harmonica. His passion and love
The Nighthawks with Hubert others. He counts among his biggest fans Jimmy for kids is unstoppable, and he leaves kids
Sumlin, 9:30 p.m. Page, Carlos Santana, and John Mayer, as well of all ages with something more than
TheNighthawks.com as Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, both of what they came with.
HubertSumlinBlues.com whom play on About Them Shoes, Sumlin’s 2003 David is an endorsee for Hohner
It never ceases to amaze me how the music Grammy-nominated album. From Jeff Beck to harmonicas and has taught harmonica
of the Nighthawks can lift my soul. They’ve Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan – all have classes through adult continuing
been road warriors for more than 35 years now. cited Sumlin as a major influence on their work. education at Tulsa Community College
They’re my homeboys from the D.C. area. I Muddy Waters sideman Bob Margolin has for more than 10 years. He also teaches
remember seeing them just after Mark Wenner said: “When Hubert Sumlin plays guitar he takes children’s harmonica classes for the Tulsa
(tattoos and harmonica) and Jimmy Thackery you to his World of Blues Feeling – from despair parks-and-recreation department.
formed the band in 1972. Thackery and the to ecstasy, from delicate grace to raw power, The Mississippi Valley Blues Society
other two original members are gone now, but from lost to found. Though he’s influenced and thanks its educational sponsors for
the Nighthawks live on, still performing their inspired many of the most famous guitar players, their continuing support: the Riverboat
Chicago-meets-rockabilly style of blues. The Hubert owns the magic. His style is original and Development Authority, The Lodge,
current lineup of the Nighthawks is bandleader personal and instantly recognizable.” Amen to KALA-FM, Illinois Arts Council, Alcoa,
Wenner on harp, guitar wizard Paul Bell, eclectic that! I just keep thinking of Hubert’s intro to and the River Music Experience. – Ann
Johnny Castle on bass, and Thackery’s longtime “Killing Floor.” – Karen McFarland Ring
23

| 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA
Charles “Wsir” Johnson, Johnson. Nate was so impressed with Johnson’s
Hal Reed & Ellis Kell, BlueSKool artistry and teaching abilities that we contacted
3:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday BlueSKool 5 p.m. Saturday and
Johnson to see if he could do a mini blues-
EllisKell.com 2:30 p.m. Sunday education residency in the days before the Fest.
Blues harpist, guitarist, singer, bandleader, WsirArts.com Johnson will be spending three days at the
and educator Hal Reed was born in Charles “Wsir” Johnson has an infectious Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in
Mississippi just a few miles from the Delta, excitement about the blues and education. As a Rock Island, helping the kids to each make a
where he grew storyteller, musician, and cultural historian, he diddley bow and learn how to play it. A didley
up influenced by shows the roots of the blues in a way that kids bow is a one-stringed instrument made out of
his grandfather, leave wanting more. common materials; it mimics the instruments
a talented For part of the Blues in the Schools program made in the South by virtually all bluesmen
Southern-folk- in Durham, North Carolina, Johnson guided starting out in the 20th Century, with a piece
blues artist who, youth in making more than 60 diddley bows. of baling wire nailed to the side of a house
in addition to The same with a blues summer camp in or porch and then tightened so that it can be
inspiring young Mississippi. In 2008, he was invited to make plucked for music.
Hal’s love for more than 80 diddley bows at the Chicago The Education Committee is excited to
the blues, taught Blues Festival. That’s where Nate Lawrence welcome this educator and instrument-maker
Hal the need to of the MVBS Education Committee first saw to BlueSKool! – Karen McFarland
pass it on from

100s of Blues LPs and CDs!


generation to
generation.
In 2009 and
also in 2007, Hal Reed was MVBS Blues
in the Schools artist-in-residence along
with guitar player Donald Kinsey. Their
“Generations of Blues” program was popular
in the schools and all the public venues they
played.
Hal Reed is also a veteran musician
on the Quad Cities scene. He’s fronted
various bands, and took one of them to the
International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
This is Hal’s third year moderating the

: theraggedrecord
Winter Blues Kids performance at BlueSKool Check out our
along with Ellis Kell. For a third year, Hal Ebay store
was one of the instructors at the River Music
Experience’s Winter Blues program this past
December.
Ellis Kell is a guitarist and vocalist as
well as a songwriter. His Ellis Kell Band has
been going strong for 20 years. The Ellis
Kell Band won the 1994, ’96 and ’97 Quad-
City Times reader-poll award for favorite
musician/band, the 1995 Oil music magazine
people’s choice award for blues band, and the
2000 Dispatch/Argus reader-poll award for Blues too
favorite local CD release. That’s not all. They
also won the 2003, ’04, ’05, and ’06 blues-
band titles in the River Cities’ Reader’s Best
of the Quad Cities poll. And they’re not just
local favorites. The Ellis Kell Band has been
featured on the nationally syndicated radio
programs The House of Blues Radio Hour and
The Red Rooster Lounge. Performances by:
Ellis is also the director of programming Iowa Blues Challenge Winners
and education at the River Music Experience,
July 16
where he was one of the major architects of 5:30-9:30 AVEY BROTHERS
the Winter Blues program for kids, as well 329 E. 4th St.
July 17
as organizer and instructor for the program’s
5:30-9:30
MARK SELBY Waterloo, Iowa
319-291-2038
third year. – Karen McFarland
2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival • July 2-4 • LeClaire Park, Davenport IA | 24