The blues tells a story in itself. It can make you happy or give you a feeling to swing.
-Jimmy Rushing

MVBS Presents Reverend Raven and the Chain-Smokin' Altar Boys at the Establishment, Sunday, June 26

Rev. RavenThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society is proud to present a Midwestern’s-blues-fan-favorite, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, at The Establishment, 220 19th Street, Rock Island, IL. The show will take place on Sunday, June 26, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. The cost to see this performance will be $10 if you are a Mississippi Valley Blues Society member, or $12 if you have not yet joined the Blues Society (applications will be available at the door).

“Hard-driving, passionate blues” is how Raven describes the sound of his group. “I’d like to say ‘50s and ‘60s inspired Chicago blues, and I’ve had bands and been in bands where we’ve done that, but we’re really not like that. We try and present our music like what I saw back in the early ‘70s when I went to the clubs in Chicago to see these great blues bands. They were there to entertain you and make you have a great experience so you’d come back and drink more. So that’s what we try and do.”

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After a 15 year hitch in the Navy, he moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers. Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy's Legends.

Reverend Raven and Chain Smokin' Altar Boys were chosen by the Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, and again in 2015. They also received the People's Choice Award in 2006, 2008 and 2010. The band has played in the Quad Cities several times since their 2013 appearance at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, but this will be a first-time show at The Establishment, Rock Island, IL. The Establishment features a large dance floor, state of the art sound system, and plenty of seating.

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.