The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents blues harp player/vocalist Chris O’Leary and his seven-piece band on Friday, February 14, at Harley Corin’s, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on Sunday, February 14. The evening of blues will start at 5:00 p.m. The cost to see this performance will be $10 if you are a Mississippi Valley Blues Society member, or $12 if you are have not joined the Blues Society (application will be available at the door).
Chris O’Leary and his band have been impressing audiences around the New York’s Hudson Valley and Capital Region with blues and roots music since 2009. O’Leary’s musical background includes a 6-year stint as lead singer and front man for Levon Helm and the Barnburners. O’Leary has also appeared on stage with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, and Albert Lee.
As any good student should, O’Leary not only absorbed the lessons he learned while fronting for Levon Helm & the Barnburners, he put that tutelage to good use. He won the 2011 Blues Blast Music Award for Best New Artist Debut (For his album, Mr. Used To Be) and was also nominated in the same category at that year’s Blues Music Awards (BMAs) in Memphis.
Chris’ sound can easily be defined as traditional blues, but there’s more to O’Leary’s tunes than strictly Chess-era blues. His time with Helm will understandably never be forgotten and it continues to have a major impact on the way that O’Leary creates music to this very day. But there’s something more eclectic and more modern contained within the body of his songs that make them uniquely their own thing, giving them their very own legs to stand on.