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Mississippi Valley Blues Society

Photo of a band playing in Davenport at the Blues Fest

Performer Bios

Bandshell
Friday, July 6
Tribute to Ellis Kell, featuring former members of the Ellis Kell Band & special guests — 5:00 – 6:00

Ellis Kell was a well-loved Quad Cities musician and music educator for over 30 years. He fronted 2 bands-the Ellis Kell Band and the Whoozdads-and sat in with many of the biggest names in the blues world. Ellis was the Director of Programming for the River Music Experience and he started the annual Winter Blues Camp that will continue to teach kids about the history and love of the blues, help them form bands and develop a new generation of artists to help keep the blues alive. We lost Ellis to cancer in Dec. 2016. Former members of the Ellis Kell Band, along with other talented local musicians, will begin the 2018 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival with a tribute to Ellis Kell and his music on the bandshell stage, where Ellis played many times. 

https://www.facebook.com/ekell

Ellis Kell Band

 

Pedigo/Jones Stage
Friday, July 6
Avey/Grouws Band — 6:00-6:30, 8:00-8:30 & 10:30-11:30

The Avey/Grouws Band hits hard with a soul for Blues, Rock and Roots/Americana. Forming in 2017, the Avey/Grouws band has already started a buzz with memorable performances at the Prairie Dog Blues Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and by winning the 2017 Iowa Blues Challenge.

www.aveygrouwsband.com/

Avey/Grouws Band

 

Bandshell
Friday, July 6
Kris Lager Band — 6:30 – 8:00

A genuine musical journeyman, Kris Lager brings a feel good musical experience everywhere he goes. He is one of those rare dynamic performers who delivers a combination of musical ability and charisma. Kris will make you want to dance, clap and sing along.

www.krislagerband.com/about.html 

Johnny Lang

 

Bandshell
Friday, July 6
Walter Trout — 8:30 – 10:30 

Walter Trout tours world-wide playing his special brand of guitar based 
blues rock. After years as a side man with John Mayall, the Bluesbreakers and Canned Heat, Walter has enjoyed playing his own emotional brand of fired-up. hardcore guitar heavy music, writing and recording his own songs for over 20 years as a solo artist. With 5 decades in the game, Walter Trout is the beating heart of the modern blues rock scene! Respected by the old guard. Revered by the young guns. Adored by his fans.

www.intrepidartists.com/artists/walter-trout

Walter Trout

 

BlueSKool
Saturday, July 7, 2:00 p.m.

Ellis Kell Winter Blues All-Stars

Twelve years in 2006 the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and the River Music Experience teamed up to make sure the Quad Cities would a new generation of musicians playing the root of American music, The Blues. Ellis Kell and Hal Reed started the Winter Blues program. The annual Winter Blues program features vocal and instrumental workshops (guitar, bass, harmonica, keyboards & drums), as well as concentration on blues composition and improvisation. Sessions are open to area musicians from 8-18 years old.

Workshops and rehearsals run in December after Christmas and conclude with a blues jam in the Redstone Room. The best of these young players form a band every year called the Winter Blues All-Stars. Since the unfortunate passing of Ellis Kell in 2016 the group has been renamed Ellis Kell Winter Blues All-Stars.

 

BlueSKool
Saturday, July 7, 3:30 p.m.

David Berntson

David Berntson is an accomplished Blues musician and blends his passion for teaching with his passion for the blues. He is a master of Chicago, Mississippi Delta style and jump blues and has been the most popular part of the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival’s BlueSKool for over twenty years. Free Hohner harmonicas will be given to all the children at the BlueSKool at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The kids will then be given a free beginner's harmonica lesson by David.

David Berntson

 

Pedigo/Jones Stage
Saturday, July 7
All Sweat Productions — 4:00 – 4:30, 6:00 – 6:30, 8:00 –8:30 & 10:00 – 11:00

All Sweat Productions is a live music project brought to you by Quad Cities musicians, Al Sweet and Bret Dale (The Candymakers). The musical community is the most important aspect of All Sweat with each production showcasing over 20 musicians.

www.facebook.com/allsweatproductions/

All Sweat

 

Bandshell
Saturday, July 7
Peña Brothers — 1:00 – 2:00

The Peña Brothers Band was founded in 1982, with John, Joe and Lyle Peña. Now John and Lyle, along with grandson Matt Fuller, are reviving the Peña Brothers Band in 2018. Music runs deep in this family- Lyle and John are 3rd generation musicians with Matt being the 5th generation.

They are excited to show the Quad Cities how deep blues and roots can go.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Pe%C3%B1a-Brothers-Band-323145694835906/

Pena Brothers

 

Bandshell
Saturday, July 7
(and BlueSKool - 5:30)
Anthony “Big A” Sherrod 2:30 – 4:00

Young Mississippi bluesman, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod was schooled by noted blues teacher “Mr. Johnnie” Billington, who taught him not only the music, but the knowledge of the culture and history from which Mississippi blues emerged. Guitar is Big A’s main instrument, though he plays bass, drums and keyboards as well.

https://www.facebook.com/Big-A-The-Allstars-1420114504916225/

Anthony Sharrod

 

Bandshell
Saturday, July 7
Brandon "Taz" Niederauer
4:30

14-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon Niederauer is proof that dreams really do come true. Having played in the most legendary rooms in America, with some of the most prominent musicians of our time, this young guitarist/singer/songwriter has built up quite the reputation in the music world. This young man is amazing!

http://www.brandonniederauer.com/

Taz

 

Bandshell
Saturday, July 7
Shaun Murphy — 6:30 – 8:00

Shaun Murphy found her love for the blues many years ago at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. In her 40-year musical career, she has sung back-up vocals with some of the best musicians of her generation. She toured with Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, Little Feat, recorded an album on Motown Records with Meatloaf, shared the stage with Joe Walsh, Glen Frey, Moody Blues and many more. Now, coming full circle, back to the blues, Shaun hopes to take her place alongside blues greats like Koko Taylor, Etta James and Big Mama Thorton.

http://www.shaunmurphyband.com/bio/

Shaun Murphy

 

Bandshell
Saturday, July 7
Jonny Lang
8:30

Jonny Lang is an American blues, gospel and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and recording artist. He has 5 albums that charted in the top 50 of the 200 billboard charts and has won a Grammy Award for his album Turn Around. He began playing guitar at age 12. Two years later, A&M Records spotted him at a showcase in Minneapolis, and suddenly he was the latest in a trend of shockingly young talented blues guitar prodigies. With more than 10 years on the road, Jonny Lang has toured with The Rolling Stones, BB King, Buddy Guy, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck, Sting and others.

https://jonnylang.com/

Johnny Lang

 

Photo of three musicians playing at the Quad Cities Mississippi Valley Blues Festival