It's stories of life. It's true-to-life experiences. All you got to do is listen to the lyrics, and you'll see that they are related to some true-to-life experience of somebody - me, you and anybody else that hears it.
-John Cephas

Mississippi Valley Blues Society Presents Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Saturday, October 8

TommyCastro by Mitchell GlotzerThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society is proud to present Tommy Castro and the Painkillers at The Establishment, 220 19th Street, Rock Island, IL. The show will take place on Saturday, October 8, 2016. Doors will open at 9:10 p.m. and show will start at 9:30 p.m. The cost to see this performance will be $22 in advance, or $25 if you wait to purchase your tickets at the door.


Tommy Castro started his fiery music interest at the age of 10, when he first came under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield, and other blues-rock players. Born in San Jose, California, Tommy continued to fall in love with the blues guitar work of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James and singers like Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. By his late 20s he was playing in a variety of San Francisco-area blues and soul bands. For over 40 years now, it’s been full-steam ahead for Tommy, releasing 16 albums filled with original blues, soul, and West Coast rock.

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, currently featuring bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson, and drummer Bowen Brown, have toured non-stop, playing hundreds of dates at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the United States, Canada and Europe. On the road is where he learned to turn his band into a dynamic, high-performance engine, able to bring down the house with a soulful ballad, and then bring fans to their feet with a blistering blues rocker. Billboard says the band plays “irresistible contemporary blues-rock” with “street-level grit and soul.”

Over the years, Tommy has won an array of prestigious blues music awards. In May 2010, The Blues Foundation awarded Castro multiple Blues Music Award honors for Blues Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (the very highest award a blues performer can receive), and with his band, Band of the Year. In the words of Blues Revue, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.”

With their newest release, “Method To My Madness”, Castro says, “I was trying to get back to my basic ingredients: blues and soul. I went for the energy of connecting with my band. We kept everything raw, capturing the feeling of playing live. I’m not about being perfect,” he says, summing up. “I’m about being real.” Clearly that is the method to his madness.

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival Returns in 2016!

Mississippi Valley Blues FestivalThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society is pleased to announce the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is returning to LeClaire Park, Davenport, Iowa for the 31st year on July 1st and 2nd, 2016. More than 10 acts will be booked, bringing the audience an array of Blues music for 2-days starting at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1 and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. Tickets for admission will go on sale soon.

The acts for weekend are still being scheduled and the full lineup will be announced shortly. “We want the 2016 lineup to reach a wide audience while maintaining our Blues roots,” says Steve Heston, President of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. “We’re confident this year’s lineup, featuring local and regional Blues acts, will do just that and we look forward to celebrating our thirty-first year with music fans from around the world.”

In 2016, guests can expect the return of favorite attractions such as BlueSkool along with some new experiences which will debut at the festival this year.

MVBS is still seeking corporate and individual sponsorship to help offset this year’s event expenses. Individuals can give monetarily during the months leading up to the festival through attending the scheduled fundraising events and by donating through a Go-Fund-Me campaign. Corporate and individual sponsorship information will be announced soon on this site.

It is the goal of the MVBS to present a 2-day Blues music experience along the Mississippi River that will maintain the integrity of our blues festivals from the past 30 years.