Hearing the blues changed my life.

- Van Morrison

Events News

News, Upcoming and Past Events from the MVBS Events Committee.

Bruce KatzThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society is presenting the Bruce Katz Band at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on Monday, October 27 starting at 7:00 p.m. The cost to see this brilliant performer and his band will be $5 if you are a Mississippi Valley Blues Society member, or $8 if you are have not joined the blues society (application will be available at The Muddy Waters door).

Bruce Katz was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and from 1996 - 2010 he was on the faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as an associate professor. Playing music, both Blues and Jazz, has been his thing for many years and it shows in each of his performances.

In the early '80s Bruce's first major supporting gig was Big Mama Thornton; he then worked and toured with Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Witherspoon, Johnny Adams, and Tiger Okoshi. Burned out from life on the road, he enrolled at New England Conservatory, earning a master's degree in Jazz. Five months after graduation, Bruce met Ronnie Earl, who hired him as one of the Broadcasters. Bruce is also known as the dexterous pianist for the Gregg Allman Band.

Bruce has released 6 CDs with a seventh, Homecoming, due for release just after his stop in Bettendorf. He has also appeared on nearly 70 others CDs with the likes of Ronnie Earl, Delbert McClinton, John Hammond, Duke Robillard, Little Milton, Jimmy Witherspoon and many, many others.

His list of national recognized awards go on and on, but naming a few – Bruce is a three-time Blues Music Award nominee for "Piano Player of the Year," and a member of the New York State Blues Hall Of Fame. Although Homecoming will not be available to the general public, the CD will be offered to those attending the show on October 27.

This event is being presented by The Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The objective of the Society is to educate the general public about the native art form of blues-related music through performance, interpretation and preservation, thus enhancing appreciation and understanding.

 

StormcellarThis Thursday, September 11, The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Australian band Stormcellar at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per person.

Stormcellar, from Sydney, is one of the top alternative music acts in Australia. This six-piece band, described as a mix of Urban Roots, Electric Blues, Modern Folk and Alt Country, is coming through Bettendorf in the middle of their second US tour.

Built on the bones of a straightforward lineup of bass, slide, guitar, drums and harp, Stormcellar should fit neatly into a typical band category. Add a mandolin, a singer with the range and power to travel from Gospel to Southern Rock, throw in the occasional fiddle, a bit of Folk, complex arrangements and lyrics that do more than just rhyme, and you have a very interesting beast: an original band indeed.

Americana bible No Depression magazine says "Stormcellar - The Rolling Stones fronted by James Taylor - a powerhouse songwriting act with a formidable live show. Straight up." They have been on the Australian Blues & Roots Charts for 22 months and have two #1 albums, along with positioning themselves in the top 50 on US National Blues Charts.

This event is being presented by The Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The objective of the Society is to educate the general public about the native art form of blues-related music through performance, interpretation and preservation, thus enhancing appreciation and understanding.

 

2014 Iowa Blues Challenge Solo-Duo

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents the 2014 Iowa Solo/Duo Blues Challenge Preliminary Round to be held Sunday, July 27 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State St., Bettendorf,IA. Four Solo/Duo groups will compete starting at 4:00 p.m. The cost of admission is $5 for all persons.

For 21 years, the competition has been sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society in cooperation with the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and other blues societies of Iowa. The contest is open to any Iowa blues groups that have not been nominated for the Blues Music Awards (formerly Handy Awards).

Competitors on July 27 are 'Detroit' Larry Davison & Charlie Hayes, Dan Peart, SaJes, and the Zach and Mike Show. The solo and duo groups will start at 4 PM and perform 20-minute sets.

The winners here will go on to compete at the Finals in Des Moines. The winner of the final round earns the right to compete in the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis next January. The prize package, considered one of the best for such a competition, includes cash, travel expenses, and recording time.

 

Peter Karp and Sue FoleyThe Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Blind Pig recording artists Peter Karp & Sue Foley and their band on Sunday May 18 at On the Rock Bar & Grill (formerly Martini's), 4619 34th St. Rock Island, IL. The show starts at 6:00 p.m., and admission is $8.00, only $5.00 for MVBS members.

On the heels of Blind Pig recording artists Peter Karp and Sue Foley's 2010 critically acclaimed and artistically daring collaboration He said - She Said comes their next CD: Beyond the Crossroads, a high voltage, plank spankin', piano boogeyin', slide guitar stompin' CD that showcases 12 brilliantly crafted and unique original compositions that have become the trademark of these two noted singer-songwriter guitarists. Beyond the Crossroads features their road band, Mike Catapano on drums and Niles Terrat on bass, as well as some old friends and bandmates. The newest CD "is a natural extension of what we started with He Said - She Said in that we're writing songs with themes in mind. Positivity, renewal, absolution," says Foley.

A singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and American troubadour, Peter Karp is a master songsmith with an art for spinning true-to-life emotions, humor, and candor. He first caught national attention with help from Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor, who recorded and toured with Karp on his first label release, The Turning Point. Critics have compared his songwriting to that of John Hiatt and John Prine, with impressive guitar and slide licks infused by his love of Freddie King and Elmore James.

Sue Foley is considered to be one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. Born to a working class family, Sue spent her early childhood moving from Canadian town to town with her mother. At sixteen, she embarked on her professional career. By twenty-one, she was living in Austin TX and recording for the legendary blues label, Antone's Records. Her first release, Young Girl Blues, quickly established her unique talents as a blues guitarist and songwriter. Throughout the '90s she took to the road with her paisley Telecaster and honed her craft, working and sharing the stage with such artists as BB King, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams and Tom Petty, and including a set at the 1993 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival.

 

2014ibc-web-band400The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents the 2014 Iowa Blues Challenge Quad Cities area Preliminary Round, Sunday April 13 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State St., Bettendorf,IA. Four bands will compete starting at 6:00 p.m. The cost of admission is $5 for any Blues Society members or $8 if you are not a member.

For 21 years, the competition has been sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society in cooperation with other blues society in Iowa, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and Lizard Creek Blues Society. The contest is open to any Iowa blues band that has not been nominated for the Blues Music Awards (Handy's).

Competitors are Mercury Brothers, Concrete Slim and the Sidewalks, Phineas J's and The Harris Collection. Bands will start at 6 PM and perform 30-minute sets.

The winner earns the right to compete in the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis next January. The prize package, considered one of the best for such a competition, includes cash, travel expenses, recording time and the opportunity to perform at the 2014 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport and the 2015 Winter BluesFest, DesMoines.


6:00 p.m.

Mercury Brothers

Forged from a common bond in their love of the BLUES the Mercury Brothers have been, in one form or another, playing the BLUES their way since day one. Drawing from a wealth of incredible local players, they are always ready for one more show. Enough said, in no particular order the Mercury Brothers are Tony Carton on drums, Ricardo Burris Vocals/Harmonica, Chris Avey Guitar, Don Gustafson Bass, Joe Collins Guitar and George Smith on sax. See you at the show.


6:45 p.m.

Concrete Slim and the Sidewalks

Concrete Slim and the Sidewalks perform a blend of cover and original music derived from blues, jazz and life. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter William Dale Rigsby is Concrete Slim, a Rock Island native who lived and performed in Tucson and Los Angeles before returning to the Quad-Cities. The Sidewalks are bassist Tim Rockstroh and drummer Dave Hendershot, a veteran Q-C drummer for the past 40 years. Together, they've created a new power trio infusing melody and contemporary lyrics into traditional blues.

"This group combines my love of Freddie King, Stevie Ray and so many other blues guitar greats, with songs from my life in the Quad-Cities and back west," Rigsby said.


7:30 p.m.

Phineas J's

The Phineas J's are a 4 member blues band launched in 2011 that play the entire genre of blues music, along with a little funk, soul, and some rock when necessary. Keyboardist and lead singer Jon Yelm, guitarist Brad Surber, and drummer Rich Bruning all hail from the Galesburg area, while bass guitarist Bob Louis has been a Quadcitian for the last 11 years. Brad, Jon and Rich played together in a few Galesburg based bands in the early days, while Brad and Bob joined up originally in the High Cotton Blues Band before bringing on Jon in 2012 and Rich in 2013. We like to play cover songs that you rarely hear played live, but everyone loves to hear, plus a few originals as well. Our best paycheck is room full of smiles in a bar close to the Mississippi after laying down a great set - what can I say, we just love playing the blues!


8:15 p.m.

The Harris Collection

The Harris Collection is a blues-rock group based out of Davenport, IA. Originally formed in 2009 between Harris brothers Shawn and Steve, the line presently has added L.C. Johnson on drums and Johnny Pena on bass.

T.H.C. has been performing at bars, private parties, and festivals since 2010.The group is known for performing powerful versions of classic blues covers and new original material as well. Band members are heavily influenced by many blues legends such as Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and Howlin' Wolf. More specifically, influenced by dominating guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and B.B.King. It's evident that psychedelic rock has also made an impact on the groups sound. Johnson a veteran has played behind legends such as Gloria Hadriman, Ray Goodma & Brown, Bobby Womack, The Dells and many others. Other members have had the opportunity to jam with legendary bluesmen including Billy Branch, Bernard Allison, and Chainsaw Dupont. The Harris Collection has been very successful in attracting younger fans to the great American art form called the Blues. The band continues to gain new fans daily and is currently #1 on Reverbnation.com blues charts for the Quad Cities area. To date, The Harris Collection has been booked recording artists such as The Giving Tree Band, the Kris Lager Band, and Gloria Hardiman.

 

DamonFowler_byTracyMayAfter playing at the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival with the supergroup Southern Hospitality, guitarist Damon Fowler is returning to the Quad-Cities. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society proudly brings back to the area Damon Fowler on Sunday, April 6 at the Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA. The show starts at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for Mississippi Valley Blues Society members, or $10 for non-members (application will be available at the door).

With his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, Florida native Damon Fowler started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In 2008's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player... And Dobro Player."

Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes. Guitar Player magazine notes: "In the Blues world—or any other genre, for that matter—the complete package is hard to come by... to combine facile fervor on a Tele, a lap-steel, and a flattop with a truly compelling vocal style and soulful songwriting—that's something rare in an artist of any age. It's even more impressive when such maturity and authenticity come from a 25-year-old like Damon Fowler."

After spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler is back with his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, Sounds of Home. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab's rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date. The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener.

 

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