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Mississippi Valley Blues Society

Photo of a band playing in Davenport at the Blues Fest

Performer Bios

Corey Dennison BandCorey Dennison Band

Formed in 2013, The Corey Dennison Band has become a favorite at Chicago blues venues, including twice weekly shows at Kingston Mines. Led by Corey's soulful voice and muscular guitar, the band has released 2 cd's, 2013's "Live in Chicago", and their self titled debut, "Corey Dennison Band", in 2016 on Delmark Records.

Corey was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spending time in Tennessee and Georgia. He received his first guitar at age 6, and as a young boy, Corey heard the powerful and soulful sounds of the blues on late night radio, and was hooked on the music.

Corey found his musical calling while hanging out with his harp playing uncle, who would sneak him into the clubs where he saw some of the greatest blues cats of all time, Albert King, Albert Collins, and Junior Wells.

Corey spent 12 years with the Carl Weathersby Band, while his bassist, Gerry Hundt, and guitarist, Nik Skilnik, were with the Nick Moss Band. Drummer, Joel Baer, was formerly with Jimmy Nick and The Don't Tell Mama Band. Please welcome this hot band out of Chicago!

Dana FuchsDana Fuchs

Dana has always been a singer, and has portrayed singers in theatrical productions. She played Janis Joplin in the off Broadway musical tribute to Janis Joplin titled "Love, Janis", which closed at the Village Theater on January 5, 2003.

She made her motion picture mark ten years ago as Sadie, a powerful blues singer in "Across the Universe", Julie Taymore's wonderfully innovative movie set in the 1960's, featuring over 30 Beatles songs. Dana sang "Helter Skelter", "Oh Darling", and "Don't Let Me Down".

Dana released her debut album in 2003, "Lonely For a Lifetime", on Antler King Records. 2008 brought "Live in NYC", on Antler King Records, followed by "Love to Beg", in 2011 on Ruf Records. Soon after was "Bliss Avenue", in 2013 on Ruf Records, which was followed by "Songs From the Road", in 2014 on Ruf Records, and her last release, "Broken Down: acoustic sessions", on Antler King Records in 2015.

United Kingdom's Classic Rock magazine declared Dana's voice as 'juke-joint dirty and illicit, evoking Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and a cigarette butt bobbing in a glass of bourbon" I don't think you'll want to miss this one folks!

Duo-SonicsDuo-Sonics

The Duo-Sonics of Tulsa, Oklahoma, bring a unique blend of blues and roots music to the stage. Featuring David Berntson on harmonica and Bobby "Greenshoes" Parker on guitar, the Duo-Sonics interpret classic blues in an exciting, high-energy show.

Both performers have been on the music scene for over 40 years, performing nationally and internationally, and they truly know how to connect with an audience. Whether playing a slow blues dripping with amplified harp and slide guitar, a fine boogie-woogie, or a finger poppin' jump blues number, this duo can really sing and swing.

Vocal harmonies, tasty guitar licks and full-bodied harmonica tone are coupled with a great passion for the Blues, making the Duo-Sonics a dynamic and entertaining musical experience.

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco HellraisersDwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers

"America's Hottest Accordion" winner, Dwayne Dopsie, plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. He hails from one of the most influential zydeco families in the world, and although he's inspired by tradition, he has developed his own style that defies existing stereotypes, and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band at age 19.

Dwayne was born on March 3, 1979 in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was the last of eight children. He attributes his musical abilities to his father, Rockin' Dopsie Sr., a pioneer of zydeco music. Dwayne has played the accordion since age seven and states "This is my calling, zydeco music is in my blood and it is in my heart and soul." As a tribute to his late father, Dwayne plans to record an album of his dad's greatest zydeco hits.

Dwayne has performed in 20 different countries and hundreds of cities. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2007, and also nominated for the last 7 years for best accordion, and best artist, by Off Beat Magazine Awards. Get your dancing shoes on for this high energy show!

Hamilton Loomis BandHamilton Loomis Band

Hamilton Loomis was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, by parents who were also musicians. Music ran in his veins, and he played drums, piano, guitar, and harmonica. He performed in his family's doo-wop group.

A protégé of Bo Diddley, Hamilton met the music icon backstage at Houston's famed Rockefeller's when he was 16. Before the night was over, Hamilton was onstage playing guitar with the legend. Bo has appeared on 2 of Hamilton's cd's and presented a red guitar to Hamilton, that he still plays.

The band consists of Hamilton Loomis on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Armando Aussenac on drums and background vocals, and Fabian Hernandez on Saxophone, keyboards, and background vocals.

Hamilton says "I feel joy when I play music and it literally moves me. It moves my body. I learned long ago, that whenever music is coming from you, from deep inside your soul, and from the right place, people will feel that on a deeper level and might not even know what's going on inside of themselves. I enjoy engaging the crowd and feel a show should be an interactive experience."

So, if you want YOUR body to move, then please welcome the Hamilton Loomis band back to the Quad-Cities!

Joanna ConnorJoanna Connor

You've probably seen the YouTube video of a woman in a bright purple dress, playing a scorching slide guitar solo. That's Joanna Connor from Chicago. The video has gone around the world, getting millions of views.

Joanna's original hometown of Worcester Massachusetts isn't known to be a blues hotbed, but Joanna started out in the blues at a young age, seeing any blues band that would come to town. By her mid teens, she was playing the Worcester and Boston clubs with her own band, before moving to Chicago in 1984.

Joanna decided to be at home for her two kids, and quit touring for awhile, but that didn't mean slowing down completely. She debuted at Kingston Mines in Chicago back in the 80's, and still plays there three nights a week. It's usually a packed house, with lots of adrenaline pumping. When it gets to be around midnight, the audience starts getting younger. She loves that her son, who's now 29, gets people looking at him saying "that's your mom"!

So, if you want to see someone that looks like she could be someone's mom, but knows how to shred guitar licks like nobody's business, then you don't want to miss her set!

Marquise Knox BandMarquise Knox Band

Marquise Knox was born in St. louis, Missouri, where he grew up in a musical family deeply rooted in the blues. He learned how to play the guitar from his grandmother Lillie, and also played with his uncle Clifford, who was a major influence in his life.

For Marquise, blues is his heritage and way of life. He spent his early teen years under his mentor, the late, great blues legend, Henry James Townsend. Marquise has performed with B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards. He has also performed at dozens of festivals and has toured throughout Europe.

During a visit to Clarksdale, Mississippi, Marquise met Sam Lay, a music industry trend setter. Sam took an immediate liking to Marquise, and gave his career a boost by insisting that Chad Kassem bring Marquise to the celebrated blues series, "Bluesmasters at the Crossroads", which has showcased a who's who of the blues, at Blues Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. Marquise was an immediate crowd favorite, and was welcomed by all of the elders of the blues in attendance that year. His obvious talent made it clear Marquise had something special, and Kassam signed him to a three album deal.

Please welcome the Marquise Knox Band to the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival!

Reverend Payton's Big Dam BandReverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. 

That passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions. Peyton’s dazzling guitar mastery is equaled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis, who’s “When My Baby Left Me” receives a memorable reading.

Reverend Peyton’s brand new album, “The Front Porch Sessions”, was released on March 10, 2017 on Family Owned Records/Thirty Tigers, and debuted at #1 on the iTunes Blues charts, knocking the Rolling Stones out of the top slot.

This is one set you DON’T want to miss.

Travis Ried BandTravis Ried Band

Blues aficionado. That's how one would describe Travis Ried, who grew up in West Burlington, Iowa. Having discovered the blues during his high school years, Travis has been playing, studying, and breathing the blues for 25 years!

Travis was heavily influenced by his friend, the late Michael Burks. The two met in 1998 during the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, where they became immediate friends. Burks often asked Travis to sit in with him during his live performances. It was through this lasting connection that Travis learned how to perform.

When Burks passed away, Travis found himself displaced in the blues world. His role model was gone. Fortunately, Larry McCray and Marquise Knox encouraged Travis to start playing again, and he hasn't stopped since. In fact, Knox and McCray have invited Travis to sit in with them on many occasions.

In addition, Travis has sat in with Wayne Sharp and the Sharpshooters, Mason Ruffner, Patrick Hazell, Chico Banks, and Clarence Spady. He has also played at blues festivals throughout the Midwest. These influences can be seen, heard, and felt during Travis's masterful and soulful blues performances.

Please welcome Travis Ried on lead guitar and vocals, Jim VanHyfte on drums, and Terry O'Brien on bass.

Zach Harris BandZach Harris Band

The Zach Harris band won the 2015 preliminary round of the Iowa Blues Challenge, and took 2nd place at the final round in Des Moines, Iowa. They will be kicking things off at the 2017 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival at 5:00 on Friday night. They play with a solid fury of blues that you would expect from a long standing, hard working group that has been heavily influenced by Chicago and Texas blues, as well as old school Mississippi delta blues.

Some of Zach's main guitar influences are Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Derek Trucks, Steve Gaines, Freddie King, Albert King, B.B. King, Tom Fujita, Greg Koch, Philip Sayce, and Eric Gales.

The band includes Zach Harris on guitar and lead vocals, Randy Leasman on bass, Nick Vasquez on keyboards, and Jamie Hopkins on drums. Some of the artists that have influenced the band are Stevie Wonder, Gary Clark Jr., Matt Schofield, Oz Noy, and Tommy Immanuel.

The Zach Harris Band has been playing in the Midwest for years. They are based right here out of Davenport, Iowa, but don't let the label of a local band fool you. This band can keep up with anybody in the blues world! Enjoy!

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