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Artist Bios 2014

Johnny Kilowatt Band with Gloria Hardiman

Johnny Kilowatt

Bandshell stage - Thursday 5:00 p.m.

We have a great opener for the 30th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival! The Johnny Kilowatt Band featuring Gloria Hardiman will get your blues blood pumping!

Jon Klinkowitz, a two-decade veteran of the Iowa blues scene, is the frontman and guitarist for the Johnny Kilowatt Band from Iowa City.  Klinkowitz was a founding member of the Blues Instigators and played with the group from 1990 to 1995, during which the band won the University of Iowa RiverFest Battle of the Bands in 1994 and the inaugural Iowa Blues Challenge in 1995. The band backed Bo Diddley in 1993, and played the Mississippi Valley

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Doug Deming and Dennis Gruenling with the Jeweltones

Doug Deming & Dennis Gruenling

Bandshell stage - Thursday 7:00 p.m.

Born and raised in Eastside Detroit, Doug Deming now resides on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Doug's inventive guitar licks, great songwriting and upbeat dance music made him a regular in the Detroit clubs. While playing in the Detroit blues scene in the early '90s, Doug spent many years backing the day's top touring blues bands, including the Fabulous Thunderbirds front man Kim Wilson, legendary Louisiana bluesman Lazy Lester, Chicago's greats Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones and A.C. Reed, as well as Detroit's own Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams. With a nod to T-Bone Walker and

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Nick Moss Band

Nick Moss

Bandshell stage - Thursday 9:00 p.m.

Nick Moss began playing bass at an early age, so by the time he graduated from high school he was in demand in the Chicago blues scene. He played with Jimmy Dawkins, and later was asked to play bass in Willie "Big Eyes" Smith's Legendary Blues Band. It was Willie's idea for Nick to switch from bass to guitar. Then he played guitar for three years in Jimmy Rogers' band. These apprenticeships served him well when he started his own band, Nick Moss and the Flip-Tops, in 1999, and began writing and recording an acclaimed series of albums for his own Blue Bella label.

But take note that what we'll get on the Bandshell is not Nick Moss and the Flip-Tops, but the Nick Moss Band, who just released Time Ain't Free in March.

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Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown

Savoy Brown

Bandshell stage - Thursday 11:00 p.m.

At the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, we'll see the 32nd configuration of Savoy Brown in its almost 50-year history: Kim Simmonds – guitars, keyboards, harmonica, vocals; Pat DeSalvo – bass; and Garnet Grimm – drums. Of course, Kim Simmonds is the common denominator in all the lineups. "When I started the band back in 1965," says Savoy Brown's iconic frontman and guitarist, "The concept was to be a British version of a Chicago blues band. Now, here we are in 2014, and once again, the music on this recording echoes the blues sounds of Chicago."

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Mercury Brothers - Iowa Blues Challenge winners

Mercury Brothers

Tent stage - Thursday 6:00 p.m.

Congratulations to the Mercury Brothers for winning the 2014 Iowa Blues Challenge! The Quad Cities band first beat out the competition in a local round and then in the final round in Des Moines for the opportunity to represent the entire state of Iowa at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. This band is tight and professional, and includes some of the best musicians in the Midwest.

Make sure you bring your dancing shoes for this set by the best band in Iowa! The Mercury Brothers play original blues, R & B, soul, and roots music as well

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10 of Soul

10 of Soul

Tent stage - Thursday 8:00 p.m.

This high-energy 10(ish)-piece Quad Cities band brings to the stage a dynamic range of classic tunes from the soul, funk, and blues genres, as well as a few funky arrangements of their own. Featuring five versatile vocalists, a tight rhythm section, and a four-piece horn section, this band has made it their sole (or SOUL) mission to entertain their audiences to the fullest!

The members of 10 of Soul are all professional musicians, many of whom are also educators, and all of whom have day jobs but come together to pay a genuine tribute to soul, funk, and everything in between. 10 of Soul are: David Abdo on bass, Kevin

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Ernie Peniston Band

Ernie Peniston

Tent stage - Thursday 10:00 p.m.

Earlier this year, Muscatine native Ernie Peniston came out of retirement and put together a reunion band for a gig at the Muddy Waters in Bettendorf. That project was so successful that the Entertainment Committee decided to invite Ernie to play at the BluesFest. So you are in for a treat!

Frontman and vocalist Peniston formed The Ernie Peniston Band in the Quad-Cities in the late '80s, and the current players are a reiteration of an early '90s lineup. "This group in particular is very special, and it's one of my favorite line-ups," says Peniston. Rick Penhallegon is the drummer and a Central Illinois

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Dexter Allen

Dexter Allen

Bandshell stage - Friday 3:00 p.m.

Hey Blues Lovers! Got one for you... I had the luxury of seeing Dexter Allen for the first time in 2011, at the Windy City's Blues festival. I heard an amazing musician! Someone turned to me and said, "That's Dexter Allen, the Blues Man from Mississippi". Dexter was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, son of a preacher. His Grandpa was a deacon. Dexter began playing guitar at the age of 10, and thumping the bass at the age of 12.

Gospel was the first influential music in his life. Dexter moved to Jackson, Mississippi in 1995 where his music career took off with Airtight Records, a

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Jason Elmore and Hoodoo Witch

Jason Elmore

Bandshell stage - Friday 5:00 p.m.

Jason Elmore and Hoodoo Witch was formed in 2008, a power trio band that includes Brandon Katona on bass and Mike Talbot on drums. Their debut CD titled Upside Your Head was released in 2010 on the Underworld Records label. The CD got voted as one of the top 60 albums by The Blues Report in 2010, and the song "Black Widow" from that album was voted as one of the top 30 songs of 2010. The band comes from the Dallas, Texas area and in 2012 was voted best blues band by the Dallas Observer Music Awards.

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Tad Robinson

Tad Robinson

Bandshell stage - Friday 7:00 p.m.

Workshop - Friday 2:30 p.m.

Tad Robinson has been nominated for a total of seven Blues Music Awards—for Male Soul Blues Artist and Soul Blues Album—since 2005. Downbeat Magazine notes that "Robinson places near the top of the list of the finest living singers of soul blues." Don Wilcock, editor-in-chief of BluesWax, said this about Tad Robinson's performance at the 2011 Blues Music Awards: "Tad Robinson may not look the part of the deeply inflected soul singer, but his delivery and his original songs suddenly elevated him in my mind to a level shared with Curtis Salgado and John Nemeth."

I couldn't agree more. When I saw Tad Robinson

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Preston Shannon

Preston Shannon

Bandshell stage - Friday 9:00 p.m.

I first heard Preston Shannon in a club on Beale Street in Memphis, and was impressed enough to bring his name up to the Entertainment Committee for over three years. "The King of Beale Street" is a singer who sounds like Otis Redding and plays guitar in a style influenced by Albert King, Little Milton, and T-Bone Walker. Ray Stiles at mnblues.com describes Preston's sound this way: "His raspy, forceful and expressive vocals simmer and soar as he soothes, grooves and moves like the best of the legendary Memphis soul singers. Shannon is a master of vocal control and phrasing and can switch from deep rooted soul to down-and-dirty blues easier than anyone."

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George Thorogood and the Destroyers

George Thorogood

Bandshell stage - Friday 11:00 p.m.

For George Thorogood and his longtime band The Destroyers – Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) – their 40th anniversary is indestructible proof that staying true to yourself and the music can still mean something. And with a catalog of iconic hits that includes "Who Do You Love", "I Drink Alone", "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", "Move It On Over", "Bad To The Bone" and more, being able to share it with audiences is what will always matter.

Surprisingly, Thorogood began his career as a solo

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Winter Blues Allstars

Winter Blues Allstars

Tent stage - Friday 3:00 p.m.

BlueSKool - Friday, Saturday 4:45 p.m.

The Winter Blues AllStars is comprised of talented young musicians selected from the River Music Experience's Winter Blues program. The annual Winter Blues program features vocal and instrumental workshops (guitar, bass, harmonica, keyboards & drums), as well as a concentration on blues composition and improvisation. These sessions are open to musicians from 8-18 years of age, and are led by Ellis Kell of the RME and Hal Reed of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, as well as featuring other veteran blues musicians from the region as special guests.

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Margaret Murphy-Webb

Margaret Murphy-Webb

Tent stage - Friday 4:30 p.m.

Having majored in Voice and Jazz Piano at Chicago State, Margaret Murphy-Webb has been performing in the Chicagoland area for over 25 years. She developed her unique vocal style and showmanship under the tutelage of world-renowned tenor saxophonist Von Freeman.

As the leader of her own quartet, Margaret has headlined the Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Navy Pier and the Chicago Lake Michigan cruises. Margaret has performed for two Presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as for ambassadors from Russia and Poland. She has opened for piano greats Joe Sample and Chick Corea, and the soulful

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Roy Book Binder

Roy Book Binder

Tent stage - Friday 6:00 p.m.

Workshop - Friday 2:30 p.m.

Thecountryblues.com's profile: "Not only is Roy Book Binder a terrific guitarist, he is a true songster with a giant repertoire; he is virtually a walking encyclopedia of folk music. Book Binder is fundamentally a blues & Ragtime rooted troubadour and one of the last great characters in a land where the culture that he represents, a heritage that traces straight back to the turn of the 19th to 20th century minstrels, is almost lost."

Steve Cheseborough of Living Blues: "With his laid-back vocals and strong slide guitar, Roy Book

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Anthony "Big A" Sherrod

Anthony "Big A" Sherrod

Tent stage - Friday 8:00 p.m.

Twenty-nine year-old Clarksdale, Mississippi native Anthony Sherrod grew up in a musical home. His father, E.J. Johnson, is a gospel singer and still performs with the group The Golden Stars. At the age of six, Anthony picked up his first guitar and hasn't stopped playing. In fact, he not only plays guitar but bass, drums and keyboards—and he sings.

"Big A" was schooled by a noted blues teacher in the Delta area, "Mr. Johnnie" Billington, who taught not only the music but the value of hard work and knowledge of the culture and history from which Mississippi blues emerged, a world where the musicians worked at very hard, low-paying agricultural jobs. Big A and his band were regulars at

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Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience

Terrance Simien

Tent stage - Friday 10:00 p.m.

Workshop - Friday 7:00 p.m.

Two-time Grammy winner Terrance Simien brought his Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco program to Quad-City schools in 2013 as part of the MVBS Blues in the Schools Artist-in-Residency program. A zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter, Terrance is an eighth-generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. He was introduced to music via the piano at home, the Catholic Church choir, and in school band programs where he played trumpet.

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Little Bobby Houle

Little Bobby Houle

Bandshell stage - Saturday 3:00 p.m.

Bobby Houle makes his home in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. He is a third generation musician who was born on Red Lake Reservation and eventually followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Robert "Bashful Bob" Houle, a member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and National Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and father, Robert Houle Jr.

A self-taught musician like his elders, Bobby began playing guitar in high school. He wasn't exactly following in his grandfather and father's footsteps of country music. Bobby said, "I don't know how I fell into the blues, but once I did I was hooked on it. I love playing the blues, because each performance will be different from the previous performance."

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Jamiah "On Fire" and the Red Machine

Jamiah On Fire

Bandshell stage - Saturday 5:00 p.m.

Jamiah Rogers & the Red Machine is a three-piece power trio, with cousins 19-year-old Jamiah on guitar and vocals, 15-year-old Jalon Allen on drums, and 12-year-old Kenyonte Dilworth on bass and vocals. The band has been together for five years. They have played the Chicago Blues Festival, three festivals in Canada, and Buddy Guy's Legends.

Winners of the 2010 Windy City Blues Society Chicago Blues Challenge Youth Showcase, they have

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Albert Castiglia

Albert Castiglia

Bandshell stage - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Be prepared to be blown away! Florida's Albert Castiglia (ka-STEEL-ya) is a killer guitar player with a knack for writing songs that have universal appeal. I saw him perform at the Blues Music Awards and was impressed by the emotion that accompanies his technical pyrotechnics.

Albert Castiglia was born on August 12, 1969 in New York during the weekend before Woodstock. At the age of 5, his family moved to Miami. He learned to play guitar at the age of 12 and soon realized that the passions in his heart were expressed best by his

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Curtis Salgado

Curtis Salgado

Bandshell stage - Saturday 9:00 p.m.

Soul singer Curtis Salgado was born in 1954, in Everett, Washington and grew up in Eugene, Oregon. He started playing professionally in the late '60s. Curtis fronted his own band called The Nighthawks, was co-star of the Robert Cray Band, and toured with Roomful of Blues. While touring with Robert Cray, he found himself sharing the stage with blues icons like Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland and Bonnie Raitt. Their band played at the 1977 San Francisco Blues Festival to a standing ovation before backing up Albert Collins.

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Tinsley Ellis

Tinsley Ellis

Bandshell stage - Saturday 11:00 p.m.

Tinsley is a high voltage blues guitarist who was born in Atlanta in 1957 and spent most of his youth in southern Florida. He started playing guitar at age 8. After high school Tinsley moved back to Atlanta in 1975 and joined a blues band named The Alley Cats (which included Fabulous Thunderbirds Preston Hubbard). In 1981 Tinsley co-founded The Heartfixers with Chicago Bob Nelson, and they recorded their first album on the Southland imprint. Then they signed with Landslide and released Live At The Moonshadow in 1983. Nelson ended up leaving, and

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The Westbrook Singers

The Westbrook Singers

Tent stage - Saturday 3:00 p.m.

The Westbrook Singers are an extraordinary family group that is committed to spreading God's message through music – in a style that is both contemporary and traditional. The origin of this seasoned group dates back to the mid-seventies, when eleven siblings came together and purposed in their hearts to complement a ministry that began with their father some twenty years earlier. Thus, the children of Bishop Charles B. and Mother Barbara Westbrook came to be known as The Original Westbrook Singers.

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Terry "Harmonica" Bean and Jimmy Duck Holmes

Terry Bean and Jimmy Duck Holmes

Tent stage - Saturday 4:30 p.m.

Workshop - Saturday 2:30 p.m

Terry hails from Pontotoc in the Mississippi Hill Country west of Tupelo, and Jimmy comes from Bentonia in the Delta. Although these two are relatively young, they have decades of experience with the blues.

Terry began playing guitar and harmonica as a child, and eventually his father began featuring him at the home gatherings and taking him along to other house

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Jarekus Singleton

Jarekus Singleton

Tent stage - Saturday 6:00 p.m.

"Jarekus Singleton is making some serious blues noise, blending modern-day blues and emotionally intense soul with melodic, hot-toned lead guitar, funk-seasoned rhythms and hip-hop flavored lyrics." –Living Blues

From Jackson, Mississippi, Jarekus Singleton was a basketball sensation in college (the NAIA 2006-07 Player of the Year led the nation's colleges in scoring, and he was fifth in assists); he discovered the blues in his teens after having fallen in love with rap and hip-hop while playing gospel in church as a boy. Later, Jarekus was mentored by the late Michael Burks, the great Albert King protégé. I first heard of

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Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang

Eddie Shaw

Tent stage - Saturday 8:00 p.m.

Workshop - Saturday 5:30 p.m.

In 2014, Eddie Shaw was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame, and he will receive the Mississippi Valley Blues Society's RiverRoad Lifetime Achievement award at the 2014 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Born in Mississippi, Eddie is now known as a Chicago blues tenor saxophonist. In his teenage years, he played saxophone with local blues musicians such as Little Milton. In 1957, at a gig in Itta Bena, Mississippi, the then 20-year-old Eddie was invited by Muddy Waters to join his Chicago-based band.

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Deanna Bogart

Deanna Bogart

Tent stage - Saturday 10:00 p.m.

Workshop - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Deanna Bogart is a singer, songwriter, piano playing and sax blowing musician. She has been recognized with several awards, including Blues Music Awards three years in a row for her horn playing. Also, in 2013 she was nominated for the Blues Foundation's Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year award. She has toured the world for over 20 years, bringing her music to people everywhere.

But if you have a chance to meet Deanna (and you probably can) at this year's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, you will see that she loves and enjoys playing music for people. It shows in her smile and

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