July 3-5, 2014 • LeClaire Park • Davenport, Iowa July 3-5, 2014 • LeClaire Park • Davenport, Iowa

3 Days • 27 Acts 3 Days • 27 Acts
Free Workshops and
BlueSKool for Kids
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2
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
Welcome from
the MVBS
President
L
et me take this opportunity to officially
welcome you to the Mississippi Valley Blues
Society’s 30th-annual blues festival. This
year’s event is the culmination of thousands of
hours of effort by the
MVBS board and its
countless volunteers
who have worked
tirelessly to bring
this event to you. As
such, we hope that
you enjoy our event
as much as we enjoy
bringing it to you.
Thank you for
your attendance and continued support of
our organization and its mission of advancing
blues music through educational outreach,
performance, interpretation, and preservation.
Simply put, it is only through your dedication
and continued financial support that our
organization exists and that this art form that we
all love is allowed to thrive. Again, we thank you.
This year’s festival has an amazing musical
lineup that is world-class in its breadth and
depth. The lineup features local, regional,
national, and international blues heavyweights
who aim to both excite and inspire generations
of festival-goers through their mastery of the art
form. Also, please be sure to take a few moments
to visit BlueSKool in LeClaire Park and the free
workshops in the Freight House and enjoy the
opportunity to play, listen to, and learn the blues
with the best of blues artists.
If there is anything that we, as an organization,
can do for you to make your festival experience
more enjoyable, please don’t hesitate to contact
us directly, and we will do whatever we can to
make that request a reality. Furthermore, we as
an organization are always looking for new board
members, committee members, and volunteers. If
you love the blues and want to see it continue to
thrive in our area, please take this opportunity to
get involved. We have plenty of opportunities for
you to make your contribution felt.
Thanks again for your participation in
our event and your continued support of our
mission.
Kevin Nolan
President, Mississippi Valley Blues Society
Ticket and General Information
• Thursday, July 3: free admission at the
Harrison Street gate (Tent Stage); $10 (gate
only) at the Ripley Street gate (Bandshell).
• Friday, July 4, and Saturday, July 5: $20
advance tickets, $25 at the gate.
• Advance tickets are available through
June 30 at Hy-Vee stores in the Quad
Cities, Clinton, and Muscatine; The Muddy
Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf); the
Mississippi Valley Blues Society office (102
South Harrison Street, Davenport; call
563-322-5837 first); and through PayPal at
MVBS.org.
• Children 14 and under are admitted
free when accompanied by a paying adult.
• 150 free tickets are available through
June 30 to active military and veterans on
a first-come/first-served basis at the the
Mississippi Valley Blues Society office (102
South Harrison Street, Davenport; call
563-322-5837 first). One ticket per person
showing the proper credentials.
• Gates open one hour before the first
performance each day.
• No coolers.
• Parking for people with disabilities is
available in the Union Station lot off River
Drive between Harrison and Ripley streets.
Award-Winning Anniver-
sary
This year marks the 30th anniversary
of the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival.
Earlier this year, the international Blues
Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee,
recognized the festival with its Keeping
the Blues Alive award – the equivalent of
a lifetime honor – for, in its words, “one
of the longest-running, most-prestigious
blues festivals in the world.” The festival is
the only major blues event in the United
States entirely produced by an all-volunteer
organization.
Free Photo Exhibit
Photographers from all over the world
showcase their best works of art at the
free photo exhibit, which is set up in the
workshop space in the Freight House, just
across the railroad tracks from LeClaire
Park. This year features a retrospective of
Mississippi Valley Blues Festivals. It’s open
from 2:30 to 8 p.m. on July 4 and 5.
Fireworks
The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is
joining forces with the Red White & Boom
event to present the Quad Cities’ best
fireworks display – over the Mississippi
River on Thursday, July 3. Admission to the
Tent Stage from the Harrison Street gate is
free that day. Admission to the Bandshell
from the Ripley Street gate is $10.
RiverRoad Lifetime
Achievement Award
The purpose of the MVBS RiverRoad
Lifetime Achievement Award is to honor
those artists who have devoted their lives
to bringing “river” blues – music that
runs deep with emotion, like a river of
the soul – to anyone they meet on life’s
highway. The Mississippi Valley Blues
Society Entertainment Committee chooses
as recipients of the RiverRoad award those
bluesmen and -women who might not have
been as recorded, recognized, or acclaimed as
the “stars” but who are the true legends of the
blues and the art form’s “living history.”
This year’s recipient of the RiverRoad
Lifetime Achievement Award is Eddie Shaw,
a Mississippi sax man who came to Chicago
and became Howlin’ Wolf ’s bandleader. He
will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday,
July 5, at 7:45 p.m. on the Tent Stage.
BlueSKool
BlueSKool is a special tent for children
on the festival grounds where they are
encouraged to carry on the blues tradition
through hands-on lessons. Veteran
blues musicians and educators help the
participants learn the history of the blues as
well as how to play the blues. Each child goes
home with a free harmonica in one session,
and youngster graduates of the River Music
Experience’s Winter Blues program show
how to put together a blues band in another.
Free Workshops
Workshops on topics ranging from how
to play an instrument to blues history to
stories of blues musicians give adults the
opportunity to learn from the true blues
masters. The workshops are presented in
the Freight House, an air-conditioned venue
just across the railroad tracks from LeClaire
Park. The workshops are scheduled for 2:30
to 8 p.m. on July 4 and July 5.
2014 Blues Festival Information
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4
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
more than clear Thorogood’s parents were
right about their son.
The band’s first two records went gold
on the strength of some blues covers: “One
Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” (drawn
from songs by John Lee Hooker and Rudy
Toombs), Hank Williams’ “Move It on Over,”
and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”
by Jef Ignatius
G
eorge Thoro-
good’s parents
encouraged
him to pursue a music
career, but to hear
the guitarist/singer/
songwriter tell it, they
didn’t have much
choice. They didn’t
see any more-conven-
tional options to point
him toward – and
they were just glad he
wasn’t following in the
tracks of his brothers.
“My older brothers,
they were real terrors,”
Thorogood said
in a recent phone
interview. “They
were like the Dennis
Hoppers and the
James Deans of the
Delaware area on their
motorcycles. ... My
parents almost wept
when I told them I
wanted a guitar for a Christmas present.
They were so pleased they couldn’t see
straight. And once they saw me perform
once or twice, they said, ‘This is what he’s
destined to do. All he has to do is stay with
it long enough to get good at it.’ And they
also said this to me: ‘George, you can’t
work.’ That’s true. I can’t. I’m not good at it.
Could you imagine Tom Petty working in an
accountant firm? ... Some people are cut out
to do what it is they do.”
And, Thorogood added, it wasn’t merely
a hunch his parents had about him being
a natural performer: “They didn’t think
it. They knew it. ... You know your own
children.”
Of course, 40 years into the career of
George Thorogood & The Destroyers, it’s
Breaking “Bad”
George Thorogood & The Destroyers: Friday, July 4, 11 p.m., Bandshell
Continued On Page 13
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5
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
Eugene, Oregon, introduced him to jazz,
swing, and the blues.
“Music was a very essential part of
the family,” the 60-year-old Portland
resident says. “My father was really
into Count Basie. But there was also
Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, a singer
named Anita O’Day ... . And my older
brother and sister, in college, were
really discovering the blues masters:
Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny
Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, Paul
Butterfield ... .
“All the blues masters, you know, were
still alive back in the ’60s,” he continues.
“And college campuses were hiring them,
so I saw a lot of those guys when I was
14, 15 years old.”
After starting on guitar and switching
to blues harmonica as a teenager, Salgado
formed his own band – Three Finger
Jack – while still in high school, and
quickly realized that making music was
his ultimate career goal. Happily for
Salgado, his parents realized it, too.
“I was kind of a knucklehead in
school,” says Salgado, “even though I
pulled it together and got decent grades.
But by 1972, I’m 18, and my folks knew where
I was headed. So after I was out of high school,
my folks were like, ‘Look, here’s the money that
Grandfather left for you to go to college.’ It was
about 2,000 bucks, which was probably enough
for, like, one semester of books and school. And
they said, ‘Here’s money to pursue your music.’”
by Mike Schulz
I
f you’re of my generation – the genera-
tion that, as grade-schoolers, used to
stay up long after bedtime to watch the
early years of Saturday Night Live – there
may be two names you most associate
with your early exposure to blues music:
Jake and Elwood.
Yet if you, too, became a fan of John
Belushi’s and Dan Aykroyd’s famed
Blues Brothers act through the duo’s SNL
appearances, their 1978 album Briefcase
Full of Blues, and their 1980 feature film,
the one to thank for your youthful blues
immersion shouldn’t be Jake or Elwood
(or John or Dan). It should be Curtis.
Described by Blues Revue magazine as
“one of the most down-to-earth, soulful,
honest singers ever,” and a harmonica
player who is “rollicking, funky, and
electrifying,” Curtis Salgado has been
at the forefront of the blues scene for
decades. Included among Salgado’s
considerable credits are his many years
of professional partnership alongside
five-time Grammy-winner Robert Cray,
his headlining of blues festivals from San
Francisco to Thailand, and his 2010 and
2013 Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues
Male Artist of the Year – the latter of which
Salgado received after successfully battling lung
cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2012.
Check out the liner notes for Briefcase Full
of Blues, though, and you’ll see that Salgado
is also the man that the album is dedicated to,
making him the de facto reason many of us
knew the lyrics to “Soul Man” before entering
high school. (Also check out the name of
Cab Calloway’s character in 1980’s The Blues
Brothers movie. It’s Curtis.)
“Belushi told me that Aykroyd was trying
to get him into the blues, but he wasn’t biting,”
says Salgado during our recent phone interview.
“And then when he saw me, he got it.”
As for the artist himself, Salgado says he got
it from his family, who, from their home in
Blues Brother
Curtis Salgado: Saturday, July 5, 9 p.m., Bandshell
Continued On Page 12
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6
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
told him I had $50 saved up, and he
laughed at me and said he’d carry
me the rest of the way, straighten
out my guitar-playing – which he
thought was a mess. ...
“I never wanted to be a Gary
Davis clone. There’s a lot of them
out there. I just wanted to learn
enough so I could come up with my
own sound.”
For 15 years starting in 1976,
Binder lived full-time on the road
in an RV. “It was just great to always
have a home on the road,” he said.
“I don’t think I could still be on the
road if I didn’t do it that way. People
say, ‘How do you do it?’ You’ve got
to make the road your life; it’s got to
be a friend.”
After getting married in 1991,
he cut down his touring schedule
to six months a year, spending the
remainder of the year at his Florida
home. (Binder guessed he’s had
between 10 and 12 RVs over the
years, with the latest being a 2012
Winnebago Sprinter.)
Each year’s sojourn begins at
North Carolina’s roots-music
MerleFest in North Carolina, at
which Binder curates a stage. “For 19 years,
I have been the impresario of what I named
the ‘greatest acoustic blues show on Earth,’”
he said. “Over the years, we have had every
acoustic blues player of merit. ... We’ve had
everybody ... .
“It’s the greatest honor any festival has ever
given me,” he continued. “We’re keeping the
blues alive.”
Many blues festivals, he said, have
eliminated or severely cut down on acoustic
acts “because people don’t have the attention
span to listen.” At MerleFest, he added, “we’re
turning people on to finger-pickin’ blues,
which is a dying art. And it’s tragic that the
blues world has decided to let it go, except
for an occasional one guy on early in the
afternoon. It’s a disgrace.”
So when Binder performs at the
Mississippi Valley Valley Blues Festival, he
would appreciate your attentive ears. “Most
festivals are big parties where people drink a
lot and jump up and down,” he said. “They
don’t even listen to the lyrics. It’s all about
lyrics and the heart and soul. ...
“Why do I play anything? Because I want
to be heard.”
by Jef Ignatius
R
oy Book Binder considers
last year’s The Good Book
to be his most important
album. And he never thought it
would happen.
“I didn’t really want to make
any more records,” he said in a
recent phone interview. “I didn’t
want to do any more covers of
[Mississippi] John Hurt and
this one and that one. I figured,
70 years old coming up, why
bother? ... I kept telling people,
‘When I write enough songs,
I’m going to put out an album.’ I
never thought I’d really do it.”
But, he said, there was another
pull, the simple fact of getting
older: “If I don’t make my mark
soon, I ain’t ever going to make
it.”
He said he had two good
songs, and “I did a live album
[2005’s Live at the Fur Peace
Station] just to get them out
before I died, you know?”
When people would ask about
a new album, Binder said, he’d
pay lip service to the idea: “I
kept saying it would be out in
the spring, but it never was. Then finally I
said, ‘It’s really going to be out in the spring.’”
But when he returned home in the winter
from his annual six-month trek around
the country, his wife asked him how it was
going. “I got out my notebooks and my
pads,” he said, “and I had like three and a
half songs written, plus the two that I put on
the live album ... .” Then, during a visit to the
Caribbean, “the songs came to me.”
The resulting record, he said, will likely be
his legacy.
“It’s me,” he said. “I know I’ve made a
mark; I feel it around the country. But now
I made a mark that I’m really proud of. ... I
finally did something I’m proud of. ...
“It’s the first record I ever made that
stands up to my heroes. My heroes weren’t
[Reverend] Gary Davis and Pink Anderson,”
he continued, citing two of his mentors from
the early stages of his career. “My heroes are
Merle Haggard and I don’t know who else.
I never wanted to be Gary Davis or Muddy
Waters or Son House. The guys I wanted to
be when I started out were Ramblin’ Jack
Elliott and Dave Van Ronk. They’re my folk
heroes. They took traditional music, and
they made it their own. They changed it,
they adapted it ... . They made their mark in
the world. Nobody doing Robert Johnson
songs is ever going to make a mark in the
world ... . You’ve got to be yourself.”
For that reason, Binder doesn’t consider
himself a blues artist, even though his Web
site dubs him “Master of the Blues Guitar.”
The distinction, it appears, is less about style
than about original songs and capturing
an artist’s specific voice. His finger-picked
acoustic blues put him equally at home with
blues, country, and folk audiences. (Of his
1988-98 tenure with the Rounder label,
Binder joked: “That’s when I went country.
I had my Nashville period. I did the exact
same show I did with a bigger hat, baggier
pants, and a bigger mustache.”)
After leaving the Navy in the 1960s,
Binder had three key friendships/
apprenticeships: with Van Ronk, Davis, and
Anderson. Van Ronk was a songwriting and
guitar idol, and Anderson’s showmanship
was a model for being what Binder called
being an “entertainer.”
Davis, meanwhile, was a guitar tutor. “I
had two $5 guitar lessons, quit school, and
went on the road with him,” Binder said. “I
Making His Mark
Roy Book Binder: Friday, July 4, 6 p.m., Tent
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7
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
selling drugs and how much
money they were making. “But
at the end of the studio session,”
he said, “they all were scraping
up dollar bills and change to pay
for the studio session. I was like,
‘How are you going to rap about
some stuff that you ain’t even
living?’”
By contrast, he said, the
blues is “an honest genre” that
allows artists to talk about their
shortcomings. “Everybody has
the blues some way or another
down the line,” he said, and after
his injury, “it’s just what started
coming out.”
But it’s not traditional blues.
Hip-hop wordplay sneaks in, as
do the influences of country, R&B,
and soul. “All those different genres, they
were already embedded inside of me before
I actually started,” he said. “When I actually
write music, when I actually write lyrics, they
an important outlet for his youthful anger,
but Singleton said he struggled with what he
saw as a disingenuous culture. He recalled
finishing a recording session and watching
the next act in the studio, rapping about
I
n an ideal world, Jarekus Singleton
would probably still be playing
basketball.
But performing at the Mississippi
Valley Blues Festival in support of
his Alligator debut – Refuse to Lose,
released in April – ain’t half-bad,
either.
Singleton grew up in a musical
family, playing bass at his
grandfather’s church starting at
age nine. “It was a family thing at
church,” the 29-year-old said in a
recent phone interview. “I knew I
was musically inclined, but I didn’t
really know the significance of what I
was doing. I was doing it to help the
church out. ... Music was always the
foundation of everything, because
that was what our family leaned on.”
But Singleton loved basketball and
pursued a pro career. After the 2006-7
college season, he was named the NAIA
national player of the year, averaging
24.7 points and 6.3 assists per game for
William Carey University. He then played
professionally in Lebanon.
“Anything that I do, I kind of get obsessed
with it,” he said. “I was really focused on
basketball.”
But in 2009, he said, he “came down
wrong” while playing and tore cartilage in
his ankle. And “that’s how I got back into
music” – eventually.
It started when he was in a cast and
recovering from his injury. “When I was
laying in my bed in my room, and this guitar
that my granddaddy gave me was sitting in
the corner of the room, I just grabbed it. I
just started playing. And that’s what I would
do: I would just lay in my bed and play guitar
all day long.”
He soon began performing with local
bands in his native Mississippi. “I had a gig
almost every night of the week,” he said, but
it wasn’t fulfilling: “I was playing with bands
that weren’t honest.” His mother suggested
he strike out on his own, yet Singleton still
had dreams of returning to basketball –
dreams his ankle wouldn’t cooperate with.
“I realized that my ankle was not going to
get back to where it was,” he said, and then
that music “is what you’re supposed to be
doing.”
The blues came naturally, even though
he’d written and performed hip hop in high
school and college. That music, he said, was
Obsessed with an Honest Genre
Jarekus Singleton: Saturday, July 5, 6 p.m., Tent
by Jef Ignatius
Continued On Page 11
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8
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
being ever-present during her
formative years.
“My mother and her sisters
have beautiful, beautiful voices,”
she says. “My mother had eight
sisters, and they were all gospel
singers, and growing up, my
siblings and I all had to learn
how to play piano. But nobody
ever really wanted to do anything
except sing in the church. Except
me.”
Still, even though Murphy-
Webb admits that she “wished it
all through high school – wished
that I could make some money singing,” she had
always leaned toward more pragmatic options.
“I thought I might be a veterinarian. And for
a while, I wanted to be a stewardess. Well, you
don’t say that anymore ... . I wanted to be a flight
attendant. But I’m afraid of planes, so that got
thrown out the window.”
By her early 20s, however, while also working
other jobs, she found herself occasionally
serving as a substitute singer at local clubs, “and
I started dating a musician. You know, that’s
how all trouble starts. And his singer could not
make a gig, so he asked me if I could just learn
a couple songs, like ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and
‘Summertime’ – you know, those standard jazz
tunes. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ And I did the
songs and I loved them so much, and jazz just
seemed to fit me.
“I loved the harmonies,” Murphy-Webb
continues. “I loved the saxophone. But I
realized, early on, that I was not a belter. That I
didn’t have that Aretha Franklin/Patti LaBelle
thing happening. And that’s when Vince Willis
– he’s a keyboardist here – told me to go see Von
Freeman, because I wanted to learn how to sing
jazz. Willis said, ‘Von Freeman has a jam session
at the El Matador. Why don’t you go over there?’
And that’s how all this really started.”
Recalling her first visit to the El Matador
club, Murphy-Webb says, “I went to see Von,
and all these singers were getting up there
and the musicians were playing, and Von’s
personality was just overwhelming. And I just
sat in the back. I was afraid to sing, so I just
listened, and I kept coming back – I think I
went there four or five times before I finally got
up the nerve to speak to him.
“And when I did, he said, ‘Well, baby ... .’” She
laughs. “People tell me I act just like him now,
and I probably do. He said, ‘Well, baby, come
I
t’s about 15 minutes into my phone conver-
sation with jazz vocalist Margaret Murphy-
Webb. She’s energetic and engaging and
boasts an infectious laugh, and every once in a
while she calls me “baby,” which I like a lot. And
then, knowing that the artist is pursuing a music
degree at Chicago State University after nearly
30 years of performance, I ask her if, because of
tuition and other costs, she has to supplement
her income with any additional jobs.
“Oh, baby, you don’t know!” she exclaims.
“I’m a Chicago police officer! August 1 will be
my 20th year!”
I actually did not know this (nor, for
the record, would any other visitors to
MargaretCMurphy.com, where that information
is noticeably absent). I apologize for my
ignorance and ask if it’s cool to mention her
career in print, and she says, “Oh yeah! I just
assume people know, but I try not to tell people.
That’s dirty laundry.” She laughs. “But they don’t
boo me when they know I’m a police officer!”
Of course, I’m betting that the musician
doesn’t ever deal with booing, given her
gorgeous phrasing and vocals, and her presence
that the late, great jazz saxophonist (and
Murphy-Webb’s former mentor) Von Freeman
said “reminds you of Betty [Carter] and Billie
[Holiday] in that, from the moment she steps
onto the stage, she has the audience enraptured.”
Born in Gary, Indiana, Murphy-Webb (a
mother of three who is married to Chicago
bassist Chuck Webb) moved with her family to
the west side of Chicago when she was a year
and a half old, and the artist remembers music
Watch What Happens
Margaret Murphy-Webb: Friday, July 4, 4:30 p.m., Tent
by Mike Schulz
Continued On Page 10
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9
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
“Their sound is just so wonderful,” says Lora
Adams, the WQPT director of marketing and
local content who produced the Westbrook
Singers’ specials for her PBS affiliate. “There’s
something that comes from a family of singers –
like with the Osmonds or the Jacksons – where
there’s a similarity in the vocal quality, so their
harmonies always sound different, and better,
from others’. They really know how to follow
each other, and every time you hear them, you
can’t help but be uplifted.”
Chronologically the eighth of the 11
Westbrook siblings, Delores says her
performance career unofficially began in
kindergarten, when she started singing with
family members at East Moline’s Community
I
f you’re one of your parents’ 11 children
and are looking for something reward-
ing and fun to do with your 10 brothers
and sisters, there are actually a number
of options to choose from. You could, for
example, form a football team. Or a soccer
team. Or a field-hockey team.
Or, you could do what the children
of East Moline’s Charles and Barbara
Westbrook did: You could form your own
band.
“We did all of it,” says Delores
Westbrook-Tingle of her and her siblings’
ensemble the Westbrook Singers, who
began performing together in 1975. “I
mean, some of us just played instruments
– we had a couple of drummers, keyboard
players, a guitar, a bass guitar ... . So when
we actually started, all 11 of us, we had all
our musicians and the vocalists, as well.”
She laughs. “We were pretty much self-
contained.”
Nowadays, however, the official number
of full-time Westbrook Singers stops at four;
after seven performers either moved from the
area or retired from the group, the current
lineup consists of Delores, brother Gary, and
sisters Brenda Westbrook-Lee and Cynthia
Westbrook-Bryson. Yet given the gospel
quartet’s smooth, stirring vocals and harmonies
that clearly come from lifetimes of practice
together, no one who has heard the group in
its numerous concert and festival sets, CDs, or
televised specials for the Quad Cities TV station
WQPT could argue that they’re getting only
four-11ths of a great thing.
Outreach Church of
God in Christ. “Our
father was the pastor
and had his own
ministry, and our
mother played piano,
and so initially, for the
most part, we were
the church choir.”
(Delores’ parents
were married for 70
years before Barbara’s
passing in 2011.)
But it wasn’t until
1974, after several
siblings had begun
performing outside
the Quad Cities,
that Delores and
her siblings united
under the moniker
The Original Westbrook Singers, a decision
made following a near-fatal incident involving
brother Ken. While touring with an R&B group
in Minneapolis, an altercation led to Ken being
shot by his band’s keyboard player and left on
a hospital’s steps by fellow bandmates. The
Westbrook siblings, consequently, brought their
brother back to East Moline, and started their
group in the hopes of aiding Ken’s recuperation,
and giving him a safe place to continue his
music and ministry.
“It was all very, very scary,” says Delores. “But
a lot of times, situations like that have a great,
positive outcome, and had that not happened,
The Sibling Ring
The Westbrook Singers: Sunday, July 5, 3 p.m., Tent
by Mike Schulz
Continued On Page 11
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10
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
venue that used to be called El Matador, and
the jam that used to be hosted by her mentor
Von Freeman.
“Oh, baby, the jazz jam has to go on!” she
says. “Mike Ross, on guitar, is one of Von’s
babies, and James Perkins, on saxophone, is one
of Von’s babies, and it’s so exciting for us that
we’ve all known each other for 30 years, and we
can still come together on Tuesdays and have
this jam session.
“Some nights,” she continues, “it’s
disheartening because we’ll have eight people
in the room. But then the next week we’ll look
up and there’ll be 50 or 60. How do you know?
But I remember times with Von, we would all
be sitting there, and sometimes, it’d just be the
musicians, me, and a couple singers, and that
was it. And we would just jam like the room was
full of people. Sometimes that’s just as good.”
And, of course, Murphy-Webb has her
upcoming engagement – her first – at the
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival.
“I was so ... oh my goodness, I couldn’t
believe it!” she says of the opportunity, “I was
at a gig when I got the call, and I was changing
clothes, and I was told, ‘We would love for
you to come.’ And I was just like, ‘What? You
want me to do what? You’re where? Is it is
Mississippi?’
“But eventually I was like, ‘Oh yeah! I’ll
be there!’ And we’re making a family thing
out of it. We’re spending the night, and we’re
gonna see all the other acts, and my daughter’s
bringing her kids. And I gotta bring my A
game!” I’m presuming that’s not the name of
her gun.
on and do something! Do you know a song?’
And I knew ‘Watch What Happens,’ and I knew
my key, so I sang ‘Watch What Happens.’ And
I sang it every Tuesday for about four or five
months until Von finally pulled me to the side
and said, ‘Baby, you need to learn some more
songs. If you learn some more songs, I bet I can
get you some gigs.’”
With that, says Murphy-Webb, she decided
to begin her jazz training in earnest, embarking
on a professional relationship and personal
friendship with Freeman “that lasted over 30
years, until he passed away” in 2012.
“Von was very, very, very instrumental in my
career,” she says, “because I’m gonna say that 90
percent of the songs I know, Von taught them
to me. And he loved Billie Holiday. Everybody
associates her with ‘Hush Now’ and ‘God Bless
the Child,’ but Von taught me a lot of her tunes
that people don’t do, like ‘You’re My Thrill’ and
‘I’m a Fool to Want You.’”
Freeman also instilled in Murphy-Webb
the confidence to pursue a professional
music career, even though – as suggested by
her 20 years on the Chicago police force – it
continually dovetailed with her pursuit of other
means of income.
“I started working at this club called The
Other Place, which is gone now, on 75th and
King Drive,” says the Chicagoan. “That was my
first paid gig. But I also had a job as a medical
assistant at that time, so I would go to The
Other Place and work from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. for
$30.
“Man, it was a rough gig,” she says with a
laugh. “But there was music there every night,
and the place was always packed, and people
loved it because you could work out your stuff –
work out your tunes. So I got the chance to play
with a lot of Chicago musicians, and meet a lot
of musicians ... . That was my debut. That little
hole in the wall.”
By age “28 or 29,” she says, Murphy-Webb
graduated from hole-in-the-wall bookings
with the formation of her own jazz quartet that
performed throughout the Chicago region.
And by the mid-’90s, during a year-and-a-half
stay in Arkansas, the artist even performed
for President Bill Clinton at a charity ball
in Little Rock – nearly 20 years before she
performed for another president, Barack
Obama, at a fundraising event in Chicago. (“He
has a truly magnetic personality,” she says of
our commander-in-chief. “Oh my! When he
swept on stage and said to me, ‘May I use you
microphone?’, my husband was playing bass and
had to say, ‘He’s using your mic, Margaret. Just
hold yourself together.’”)
Yet Murphy-Webb’s musical career – which
has led to frequent concert and festival
engagements, her 2007 solo CD In Full Bloom,
and last year’s concert tour in Paris – was
briefly sidelined in 2008, when the musician
was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.
“When I had my biopsy,” she says, “I was
told, ‘We’ll give you your results in a couple
of days so don’t worry about this, but I have
to tell you, this is a large tumor.’ So I was all
set for a mastectomy, and I was fine with that.
I wanted to live a long life. But thankfully, it
didn’t happen. I ended up with just having a
lumpectomy, and now, on my left side, I’m 16,
and on my right side, I’m 58.”
Laughing, Murphy-Webb continues, “And
I’m happy to be here. But when I was going
through chemo, I was just sitting at home, and
I was just ... . I couldn’t work. I felt sick. But I
wanted to learn how to play piano. So I decided
to sign up for piano, and the advisor at the
music department at Chicago State said, ‘You
know what? While you’re recuperating, just get
a music degree.’
“Baby, he made it sound so easy!” she adds,
laughing again. “And it was not easy. But it kept
my mind off being sick, and it kept my mind
off the medication. And now that I’m okay and
I’ve got this clean bill of health, I’m going to
enjoy my life. I’m gonna be happy, and I wanna
try to make everybody else around me happy.”
At present, a big part of what makes
Murphy-Webb happy is her hosting of a weekly
jazz jam (with partner Anderson Edwards)
at the Chicago venue The 50 Yard Line – the
Watch What Happens
by Mike Schulz
Continued From Page 8
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11
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
Obsessed with an Honest Genre
by Jef Ignatius
just come out. I just have my own twist and
my own imagination on the way I want to
approach a song. It was just me being who
I was; it was just letting the music come out
freely, and letting it flow.”
That, Singleton said, appealed to
Alligator’s president, Bruce Iglauer – who co-
produced Refuse to Lose. “He liked the fact
that I didn’t know the rules,” Singleton said.
“To push this genre forward, you can’t be an
imitator. You’ve got to be an innovator. ... I
can’t do what Muddy Waters did. I can’t do
what Albert King did. ... I can be Jarekus.”
Reviewers have also taken a shine to
Singleton’s singular style. The All Music
Guide wrote: “Singleton combines his
fiery, fascinating, I-may-go-anywhere
electric-guitar leads with an urban, hip-hop,
narrative songwriting style that still remains
undoubtedly rooted in the blues ... . [That]
Singleton manages to stretch the blues genre
while still maintaining all of its familiar
attributes is a pretty impressive achievement.”
And Blues Rock Review added: “Jarekus
Singleton is arguably one of the hottest, most
exciting new musicians on the blues scene
today.”
But Singleton remains grounded. On “I
Refuse to Lose,” he sings about his final year
of college – when, in addition to leading his
team on the basketball court, he worked as
a janitor. “There’s a certain humbleness and
a certain humility that comes with having
a tough job,” he said. “Here I am national
player of the year, and I’m scrubbing toilets
every week.”
And while the blues wasn’t Singleton’s first
choice for a career, he said it’s a good fit for
him: “There are real people in the blues. ... I
was striving to be in a community that I felt
like was an extension of who I was.”
Continued From Page 7
to nursing homes, we went to prisons ... . Just
wherever we could minister and deliver God’s
message is where we would go.”
But she says that “with the manufacturing
industry changing the way that it did, a few
of our brothers, in particular, left the area to
find work to support their families. We all
also worked full-time, of course. I work for
John Deere, which is where most of us were
employed, and when the economy started
changing, some wandered off to International
Harvester or other places like that.”
Yet for Delores herself, “I was pretty much
focused on staying here. Both my husband and
I were from the area, and we had jobs at Deere
that we were happy with, so we were content
to make a living here.” It turned out that Gary,
Brenda, and Cynthia were content to stay as
well, and so, “about 10 years ago,” the siblings’
group officially re-formed as the Westbrook
Singers quartet.
“We’ve pretty much kept the same schedule
of rehearsing every week,” says Delores, “and
if we’re doing something where we’re learning
new material or whatever, we may meet more
often. But we’re still performing at festivals
and ministering at the same time. We haven’t
necessarily changed where we go. Just the
number of people who go.”
They’ve also begun to expand their fan base
through the release of CDs – The Westbrook
Singers’ current discography includes 2008’s The
Westbrook Singers Live and 2013’s The Promise,
both available through TheWestbrookSingers.
com – and their televised specials, with WQPT’s
Lora Adams a particular fan.
“I was doing a show called Artists in Profile,”
says Adams, “and I wanted to profile them,
but I also wanted to do some concerts. So I
literally built a set, and I had hair and makeup
people come in, and I went shopping and got
I’m not sure the 11 of us would have come
together.”
The Westbrooks, says Delores, began
rehearsing “at a minimum of once a week. If
we had a performance or something coming
up, we would possibly do it more frequently,
but for the most part, that was our consistent
schedule. And different [siblings] would bring
different songs to the group that they wanted
to introduce. I think the younger ones probably
relinquished some of the responsibility, in terms
of decisions, to the older ones, but everybody
had the opportunity to present whatever they
wanted.”
Regarding the selections for their gospel
repertoire, Delores says, “We did a lot of
quartet-style music initially. Most of the time
we had, I would say, five or six singers while
the others played instruments, and those
singers wouldn’t necessarily all sing at the
same time. At most we would have five parts
and the minimum was three. But we really
enjoyed doing that quartet style – songs by
quartet artists whose names probably wouldn’t
mean very much, because they weren’t in the
mainstream of music.”
Yet despite the inherent squabbling that can
arise among siblings, she adds that there was
never any in-fighting about which Westbrooks
would be showcased on which numbers. “It
was actually more of a struggle to get people to
lead songs,” says Delores with a laugh. “There
was nobody that was just raring to be front and
center, so I don’t think we ever really had any
arguments about that.”
Performing together as a group of 11 for,
as Delores says, “10 to 15 years,” the Original
Westbrook Singers “performed locally, or
performed around the country at different
fests. And we had a ministry where we went
everybody costumed – I mean, I was having
myself the best ol’ time. And they did two
concerts: the Christmas concert – which is not
something that they typically do, frankly – and
the gospel concert.
“I just smile every time I’m around them,” she
continues. “They’re just delightful, wonderful
people who just happen to be extraordinarily
talented. You can definitely say, ‘Lora Adams
loves the Westbrook Singers.’” And to hear
Delores tell it, the Westbrook Singers love being
the Westbrook Singers.
“This’ll be, I think, our third appearance in
the Blues Fest, and we also participated with
the Mississippi Valley Blues Society a few years
back, where we were able to go into different
schools and present gospel music as part of their
residency program. And one of the things we’re
doing right now is we have a gospel-music camp
that we do for kids that are 10 to 18 years old.
This will be the third year since we formalized
the program, and we’re doing it in July at St.
John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island, and it’s
a week-long camp where the kids are exposed to
gospel music and its influences.
“It’s so rewarding for us,” she continues, “to be
able to present that music to kids and hear them
leaving the auditorium still singing our songs.
I mean, for the four of us, this is our passion.
And when you’re always trying to experiment,
and trying to develop your God-given talent, it
never gets boring.
“For me, it’s probably even more exciting now
than it used to be, simply because what you sing
now has more meaning because you’ve lived a
little longer. You’ve experienced more things,
and you’re able to deliver the music with more
passion for the song itself. I mean,” says Delores
with a laugh, “this is totally different from
when I was singing a lot younger without any
experience in life!”
Continued From Page 9
The Sibling Ring
by Mike Schulz
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from Roomful of Blues I became a solo act, and
shortly thereafter, I scored a record deal and put
out my first record.
“I cringe when I say it, because it has such a
stupid name, but the band’s name was Curtis
Salgado & the Stilettos. We made a record that
sold about 60,000, 70,000 copies and got a little
bit of chart play, and it launched me to a certain
level.” And since the release of that self-titled
1991 album, says Salgado, “I’ve just been soloing
and trying to get to the next level ever since.”
Curtis Salgado & the Stilettos went on to
open for Steve Miller during the musician’s
1992 tour, and two years later, Salgado spent a
summer serving as lead vocalist for the rockers
of Santana. (“It was an educational experience,”
says Salgado of his brief Santana tenure, “but
it wasn’t where I belonged. The musicians
were incredible. Incredible. But for me, it was
just a mismatch.”) By 1999, the musician had
signed as a solo artist with Shanachie Records,
and went on to release a quartet of critically
acclaimed titles culminating in 2008’s Clean
Getaway, which earned Salgado Blues Music
Award nominations for Soul Blues Album of the
Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year.
Yet Salgado is quick to say that those
professional accomplishments pale next to his
quitting of alcohol and drugs in 1988, and his
recoveries following two bouts with cancer –
one that required a 2006 liver transplant, and
one that led to the 2012 removal of the bottom
lower lobe of one of his lungs.
As he had no health insurance at the time, the
costs for the former, $300,000 operation were
covered by friends and fans, including some
5,000 of whom attended a fundraising concert
organized by Salgado’s longtime manager Shane
Tappendorf. Among those on the bill were
friends including Robert Cray, Steve Miller, and
Taj Mahal, and Salgado knows that if it weren’t
for the tremendous support he’s received from
others (Bonnie Raitt, he says, “payed for my rent
while I was in the hospital”), he’d no longer be
able to share his love of the blues.
“One person called up and gave me $60,000.
Another person called up and gave me $38,000.
I have an ex-girlfriend – Andrea, still a great
friend of mine – who volunteered to donate half
her liver to me. I mean, who does that? Those
are miracles. There’s miracles involved in all of
this.
“I’m just blessed to be alive. There’s been
so much given to me that I feel like I owe the
universe. And so while I find more joy in music
now, I find more joy in everything. Life is finite,
and you need to enjoy it, and it’s better to give
than receive. That’s it, man.”
Beginning with its sets at an establishment
called the Roman Forum (which Salgado,
with a laugh, calls “a very tough bar”), Three
Finger Jack performed at a run of venues
within Eugene’s University of Oregon district.
That band, says Salgado, “then developed into
another group that was called Harold & the
Nighthawks – and then Harold left when he
became a Communist. He would show up at
gigs handing out Communist newspapers about
our government and stuff, putting them on all
the tables and chairs ... . And this was during
the Vietnam War.
“So it developed into just the Nighthawks
then,” he continues, “and we became very
popular. Eugene is located on I-5, which is the
major highway that runs from Canada down
to L.A., so we’d basically play a run of I-5 gigs
in Oregon. And that’s when I hooked up with
Robert Cray, because he’d moved down to
Eugene.”
For several years after his 1973 introduction
to Cray, says Salgado, “We used to play gigs
together – the Nighthawks and the Robert Cray
Band. As a little side gig, we played a splinter
group which was basically me, Robert Cray on
guitar, one of our keyboard players, and Richard
Cousins on bass – we called ourselves the
Crayhawks. But we’d also play in the ballroom
of the Eugene Hotel on a weekend every once
in a while. Robert would play the first set, the
Nighthawks would play the second set, and the
third set we’d get together both bands, about 11
or 12 guys on stage, and we’d do a revue.”
And then one night, while on a break from
the 1977 filming of National Lampoon’s Animal
House, John Belushi showed up.
“During the Nighthawks section of the show,”
recalls Saldago of that particular evening, “we’re
playing, and a guy comes up to me and goes,
‘Hey, Belushi wants to meet you.’ But I’m in
the middle of a song. I’m singing. The band’s
playing. And again, he yanks on my pant leg
and goes, ‘Hey! Belushi wants to meet you!’ I
knew who this guy was – he was a little cocaine
dealer, like five-foot-two – and I go, ‘Go away!
What are you doing?!’ And I ignore him and
continue singing. And when the set ends, I
jump off the stage, I’m heading toward some
girls, and this little guy grabs me and whips me
around and says, ‘Belushi wants to meet you!’
“Now, I had no idea what Saturday Night Live
was,” says Salgado. “I had never seen it, I had no
television, I worked on weekends – I still work
on weekends. So Saturday Night Live was not in
my life.”
But Salgado did know that Belushi was in
town to film Animal House, a movie whose
titular frat house was located on Eugene’s 11th
Street, and a movie in which Robert Cray and
numerous other Eugene musicians were hired
to portray band members for the “Shout”-ing
group Otis Day & the Knights.
“So he comes up and we shake hands,” says
Salgado, “and he goes, ‘Hey, man, I like your
music.’ I go, ‘Thank you very much.’ And he
goes, ‘I have a friend and he kind of looks
like you. His name is Dan Aykroyd. He plays
harmonica, too.’ And I remember thinking,
‘Who gives a f---?’ And I’m starting to break
away, and Belushi realizes I don’t know who he
is. And I don’t.
“But he starts talking about the movie he’s
in, and about Robert and the other guys in the
band – how Robert taught them all a dance step
the other day. And then Belushi says the magic
words. He goes, ‘Well, I’m in this show called
Saturday Night Live, and I’m really excited
because we’re gonna have Ray Charles on the
show this next weekend.’ And I go, ‘What?!?
You’re gonna have Ray Charles on?!?’ And that’s
when I just glommed onto him.”
For the next several weeks, during other
breaks in Belushi’s filming of Animal House,
Salgaso says, “I started bringing him records.
He’s listening to Blue Öyster Cult and stuff, and
I’m bringing him Magic Sam, Muddy Waters,
Howlin’ Wolf, Lowell Fulson ... . And much to
his credit, he was interested. He’d come see the
Nighthawks, he’d come see the Crayhawks – and
he said he wanted to do something like this on
Saturday Night Live.
“So one day I went over there with some
records and he goes, ‘Look, man, you’ve done
all this for me, so what can I do for you?’ And I
wasn’t smart enough to go, ‘Well, if you’re gonna
turn this into something, maybe I should get a
lawyer and get some sort of creativity fee,’” says
Salgado with a laugh. “So all I said was, ‘Look,
give credit where credit is due. Those records
you have there, they’re my records. I got some
from my brother and sister, and there’s a few
from my mom and dad in there. So just spread
the music.’ And he goes, ‘Okay.’
“So they did, like, five songs on the [Blues
Brothers] album that he saw the Nighthawks
do. This song called ‘Hey, Bartender,’ and a song
called ‘Groove Me’ by King Floyd, and ‘Soul
Man.’ And they dedicated Briefcase Full of Blues
to me.”
Salgado, meanwhile, continued to be
dedicated to the blues. “I went from the
Nighthawks to the Robert Cray Band,” he says,
“and from Robert Cray to Roomful of Blues,”
with whom he played from 1984 to 1986. “And
by Mike Schulz
Blues Brother
Continued From Page 5
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13
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
The Johnny Kilowatt Band
with Gloria Hardiman, 5 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
time 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
Blues Festival in 1993 and the Iowa City Jazz
Festival in 1995. During Klinkowitz’s tenure,
the band opened for Lonnie Brooks and Rod
Piazza at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago
and appeared on the syndicated television
show Chicago Blues Jam. Klinkowitz formed
the Johnny Kilowatt Band in the late
1990s; other members include fellow Blues
Instigators alumnus Ed English on bass,
Tim Crumley on drums, Bill Peterson on
keyboards, and veteran jazz musician Saul
Lubaroff on sax.
Joining the band at the 2014 Mississippi
Thursday, July 3:
Bandshell
That George Thorogood & The Destroyers
has thrived less with original material than
the songs of others makes its longevity,
mainstream commercial success, and
household-name status nearly singular in the
rock world. But that hints at what’s special
about the band and its leader: They inhabit
and devour the songs rather than interpret
them. As the All Music Guide wrote about
the band’s debut, The Destroyers play
“so hard the group seemed like a gang of
primitives,” and “as he hammers away at his
guitar, Thorogood plays with personality,
his enthusiasm for making noise readily
apparent.”
(There’s also something to be said for
comfortable stability, as The Destroyers have
been anchored by drummer Jeff Simon and
Bill Blough since the ’70s. And they’ve never
taken themselves at all seriously, boasting of
being “The World’s Greatest Bar Band.”)
Of course, George Thorogood & The
Destroyers with their 1982 major-label debut
added a signature original to the repertoire:
“Bad to the Bone.”
Writing that song, Thorogood said, was a
naked bid for immortality. “Start building a
catalog,” he said. “Start building a repertoire.
Get one song, two songs, three songs. ... I
need songs. Nobody’s going to remember me.”
Thorogood wrote “Bad to the Bone” with
the idea of Muddy Waters performing it
(not interested, his representatives said), and
then he thought of Bo Diddley (but he didn’t
have a record deal at the time). Ultimately,
EMI insisted that Thoroogood record it. He
recalled that the label told him: “We signed
you because of the song ‘Bad to the Bone.’ ...
That’s what got us interested in you.”
Despite the song’s immediate success and
cultural ubiquity over the past 30 years,
however, Thorogood said he wasn’t sure if
it would represent a lasting legacy. “I didn’t
know I nailed it until four or five years ago.
... That’s the test of time.”
Thorogood said he knew in the early ’70s
what he wanted to do; it was just a matter
of will and practice. “I didn’t play” guitar,
he said. “I got started late. I started playing
shortly before my 21st birthday. I just
fooled around with the guitar before that.
I’d been singing in bands, just basically in
high school imitating Mick Jagger and Eric
Burdon like every other lead singer. I never
thought much of guitar. Then once I got out
of school, I started thinking, ‘You can do
this.’ I heard Johnny Winter, I heard John
Hammond, I heard Bonnie Raitt, I heard
the Allman Brothers, and I said, ‘You can
do what those people do. All you’ve got
to do is start doing it.’ ...
“I absolutely had a vision of what
exactly it was I wanted to do when I
picked the thing up. I wanted to get that
blues-funk thing going. I had that same
idea that [ZZ Top’s] Billy Gibbons had
– revved-up blues-rock-type stuff. ... I
knew I could do it from the moment I
picked up the guitar.”
George Thorogood & The Destroyers
formed in 1974, and its self-titled debut
sat on the shelves of the Rounder label
for 18 months before its 1977 release.
“It’s always rough before your first
record comes out,” Thorogood said. “And
for me, it wasn’t rough; it was hell. ...
“There was a man who wanted to
record us. He was a bus driver, if you
can believe that, and he wanted to start
his own label. He had no idea about the
record industry. That’s how desperate
I was. And then Rounder pretty much
took pity on me and said, ‘Let’s put
out one record to shut this guy up. It’s
a pity that a band that could play like
this is recording a record for a guy who
makes 200 bucks a week. He’s not even
a record executive; he’s a bus driver.’
And Rounder was going to distribute
the record. And I was like, ‘This is
ridiculous. “Bourbon, Scotch, & Beer” is
a hit. I don’t know why people can’t see
that.’ I had other material to back it up
– ‘Madison Blues,’ ‘Ride on Josephine,’
‘Move It on Over.’ People couldn’t see the
forest for the trees.”
Although George Thorogood &
The Destroyers draw heavily from the
blues and early rock-and-roll, its set
headlining this year’s Mississippi Valley
Blues Festival will likely remain true to
what the band has been doing for the
past four decades, distinguished by its
frontman’s trademark slide guitar.
“The irony is we don’t do any blues,”
Thorogood said. “We haven’t been a
blues act in 35 years, really. We might
have to dig up a blues song, but don’t
get your hopes up. We play pretty much
straightforward rock at this point. ...
“B.B. King plays blues. I don’t know
how to play blues. Buddy Guy plays
blues. ‘Gear Jammer’ is a rock song.
‘Who Do You Love?’ is a rock song.
That’s basically what we do at this point.”
by Jef Ignatius
Breaking “Bad”
Continued From Page 4
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14
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
three years in Jimmy Rogers’ band. These
apprenticeships served him well when he
started his own band, Nick Moss & 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 & the Flip-Tops
but the Nick Moss Band, which just released
Time Ain’t Free in March. The new CD
“reaches deeper into soul, funk, and rock
’n’ roll,” according to Billboard.com. Tom
Hyslop of Blues Music Magazine describes
Time Ain’t Free this way: “Blending elements
of Parliament, the Allman Brothers, Stevie
Wonder, Faces, even Afrobeat, and at times
evoking an Ike Turner-Little Feat summit, the
set encompasses Muscle Shoals sweetness,
stormy postmodern boogie, greasy roadhouse
R&B, soul-tinged rock, and gospel-inflected
ballads, all filtered through Moss’ deep-blue
lens.”
The Nick Moss Band is made up of Moss
on guitar, vocals, and harmonica; Michael
Ledbetter on vocals, guitar, and percussion;
Patrick Seals on drums and percussion; Nick
Fane on bass; and Taylor Streiff on piano and
organ.
“New vocalist”/rhythm guitarist Ledbetter
recently told Terry Mullins in Blues Blast:
“This is what I would like to do; along with
bringing our new brand of the blues along,
I would like to also keep the straight-ahead
Chicago blues alive. ... I would really like to
get back to people having an appreciation for
those kinds of blues. That’s what we try to do
in every show we do. The Nick Moss Band –
and myself personally – are on a mission to
do that for the music world.”
– Karen McFarland
Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown,
11 p.m.
SavoyBrown.com
At the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival,
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 Charlie Christian,
as well as Luther Tucker and Robert Lockwood
Jr., Doug leaves his own mark, whether
swingin’ on the big jazz box or playing straight-
up blues on his solid-body Fender guitar.
Now Doug is together and touring with
Dennis Gruenling, whose harp playing has
won him accolades from musicians and critics
around the world. Backed by the Jewel Tones,
Doug and Dennis play traditional blues, West
Coast and Texas swing, early rock, country, and
roots music.
Dennis Gruenling has earned recognition
for his swinging, highly original harmonica
sound and style. Drawing from the harmonica
and swing sax styles and tradition, Dennis
is pushing the boundaries and is pioneering
a whole new sound and direction for the
harmonica. This is an act that I’m sure will
have the attention of all our talented harp
players at the blues festival.
The Jewel Tones consist of Andrew Cohman
on upright and Fender bass and Devin Neel on
drums. Cohman was born in Ohio and raised
in Florida. He started playing traditional blues
guitar at the age of 15 and switched to the bass
at 25. Andrew played the Tampa/St. Pete blues
scene until he joined the Jewel Tones in 2011.
Neel grew up in Indiana playing piano, then
drums by 19. Devin played drums with the
Bottom Feeders as well as other local groups,
and has toured with Damon Fowler.
– Ellen Clow
Nick Moss Band, 9 p.m.
NickMoss.com
Nick Moss began playing bass at an early
age, and 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
Valley Blues Festival will be Chicago blues
vocalist Gloria Hardiman, who has toured
internationally and recorded for Alligator
Records.
Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Hardiman
was a preacher’s daughter and expressed
her religion in the gospel she sang. When
she was six years old, her family moved
to Chicago, where she continued her
music within the church, encouraged by
many – including Mahalia Jackson. Later,
Hardiman took her talent into the blues
clubs and stages of Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas
City, Nebraska, the Carolinas, Canada,
and Europe. She played everywhere from
piano bars to hospitals, outdoor festivals to
weddings. She appeared with Roy Buchanan
on the 1986 release Today’s Blues – Volume 2
and was the featured vocalist with Professor’s
Blues Review on “Meet Me with Your
Black Drawers on” from the 1987 Alligator
collection The New Bluebloods: The Next
Generation of Chicago Blues.
– Karen McFarland
Doug Deming & Dennis Gruenling
with the Jewel Tones, 7 p.m.
DougDeming.com, DennisGruenling.com
Born and raised in 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 Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman
Kim Wilson, legendary Louisiana bluesman
Lazy Lester, and Chicago greats Johnny “Yard
Thursday, July 3: Bandshell
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15
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
The Mercury Brothers, 6 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 as covers that sound like
their own. They pull from deep repertoire of
artists from the Blasters to The “5” Royales.
The Mercury Brothers are Ric Burris on vocals
and harmonica, Chris Avey on guitar and vocals,
Joe Collins on guitar, Don Gustofson on bass,
Tony Carton on drums, and George Smith on
saxophone . “The whole is more than the sum of
its parts” applies to the Mercury Brothers’ sound.
Be prepared to be swept away into the Mercury
Brothers’ river of blues!
– Karen McFarland
10 of Soul, 8 p.m.
10OfSoul.com
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 its 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 Bohach on trumpet and
flugelhorn; Chrissy Boyer on vocals; Dwayne
Hodges on vocals; John Ladson on drums;
Nina Little on vocals; Travis Lopez on trumpet
and flugelhorn; arranger Mike McMann on
trombone; Jim Powell on keys and vocals; Tyler
Roberson on guitar and vocals; and Rusty
Ruggles on saxophone.
– Karen McFarland
Thursday, July 3: Tent
Ernie Peniston Band, 10 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 Mississippi Valley Blues Society
Entertainment Committee decided to invite Ernie
to play at the Blues Fest. 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
lineups,” says
Peniston. Rick
Penhallegon is
the drummer
and a central-
Illinois native.
Penhallegon
went to Augustana College and played in the
jazz program there. He later became an associate
percussion instructor at Augustana and part of
the Faculty Jazz Chamber Group. Penhallegon
joined the Ernie Peniston Band in 1991 with
fellow Augustana guitarist Joe Collins, who has
been a staple of the Quad Cities music scene since
joining Ernie’s band. With Ernie Peniston Band
bassist Bo Butler, he also formed Elixir, which
won the 2001 Quad Cities Iowa Blues Challenge.
Butler is the current bassist for the Miracles.
Peniston’s unique style is derived from classic
blues and the distinctive Minneapolis music
scene of the ’70s and ’80s that produced such
musicians as Prince and Morris Day – originally
Ernie’s drummer in their band Enterprise in the
’80s. Ernie Peniston has shared the stage with
Prince, The Temptations, Koko Taylor, Lonnie
Brooks, James Brown, Albert Collins, and many
others. He also spent four years as the frontman
for Blind Pig recording artists the Chicago
Rhythm & Blues Kings, traveling the U.S. and
Europe. Peniston was inducted into the Iowa
Blues Hall of Fame in 2003.
Ernie’s set will be a great nightcap for the
fireworks over the river.
– Karen McFarland
we’ll see the 32nd configuration of Savoy
Brown in its almost 50-year history:
Kim Simmonds on guitars, keyboards,
harmonica, and vocals; Pat DeSalvo on
bass; and Garnet Grimm on 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.”
Released in February on Ruf Records,
Goin’ to the Delta follows 2011’s
acclaimed Voodoo Moon and last year’s
live set, Songs from the Road. “The band’s
style has evolved in many directions,
whilst always keeping the blues as its
root,” says Kim of the Savoy Brown back
catalog. “Now we’ve come full circle. The
songs and playing on [Goin’ to the Delta]
are straightforward in focus and as basic
as blues should be.”
Rewind to 1965, and Kim was a
linchpin of an exciting scene in music
history, establishing Savoy Brown in
the first wave of British blues boomers,
signing to Decca, opening for Cream’s
first London show, and being name-
dropped in the same breath as peers
like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix
(with whom he jammed). Even then,
the guitarist was emerging as the band’s
driving force. Soon enough, Savoy Brown
had achieved what most British bands
never did – success in America – and
became a major Stateside draw thanks to
their high-energy material and tireless
work ethic.
By 1979, Simmonds had moved from a
London he no longer recognized to settle
permanently in New York. The Savoy
Brown band members came and went,
and the music scene shifted around him,
but Kim Simmonds stuck to his guns and
reaped the rewards, performing in iconic
venues such as Carnegie Hall and the
Fillmore East and West, releasing more
than 30 albums, and later enjoying a
well-deserved induction into Hollywood’s
Rock Walk of Fame.
– adapted from SavoyBrown.com
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16
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
Observer Music Awards. They released the
CD titled Tell You What in April 2013, also
on Underworld Records, and have received
even more great reports from fans and
reviewers, spending several consecutive
months at the top of various blues charts
and radio playlists. They have spent time
as the Dallas-area backing band for Big Bill
Morganfield (the son of blues legend Muddy
Waters). According to Blues Underground
Network, Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch are
the best thing out there right now for their
type of music, in the category of blues rock
– nobody else even comes close. Jason also
performs solo acoustic shows on a regular
basis. They are now currently at work on
their third studio album, which will have
even more blues material than their previous
albums. I’ve had the pleasure to see Jason
Elmore & Hoodoo Witch three or four times,
and their high energy along with Jason’s
devastating guitar chops and vocals will be
sure to impress everyone. Jason’s abilities as
a guitar player, singer, and songwriter are
second to none, and his good humor and
charisma turn fans into friends at every
show.
– Steve Heston
Tad Robinson, 7 p.m.
Tad Robinson.com
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 perform at the Muddy Waters last
year, I knew he’d put on a great show at the
Blues Fest! As Bill Dahl of AllMusic.com
points out, “Tad Robinson would have fit in
snugly with the blue-eyed soul singers of the
1960s. His vocals virtually reeking of soul,
he’s capable of delving into a straight-ahead
Little Walter shuffle or delivering a vintage
O.V. Wright R&B ballad. Add his songwriting
skills and
exceptional
harp
technique,
and you have
quite the total
package.”
According
to David
Whiteis in
Living Blues,
“Tad Robinson’s vocal style owes obvious
debts to vintage-era Al Green and other
soul sophisticates, but he blows harp with
the rough-hewn exuberance of a post-war
Chicago juker. ... He incorporates stylistic
elements of the fabled soul men – Otis
Redding, Percy Sledge, James Carr – as he
deems appropriate, but they all meld into a
voice that is distinctly his own.”
The only way to understand all this praise
for Tad Robinson is to hear him for yourself!
In a day filled with the Mississippi soul
of Dexter Allen and the Memphis soul of
Preston Shannon, Tad Robinson will be able
to hold his own and then some.
(Tad Robinson will also present a
workshop on Friday at 4 p.m.)
– Karen McFarland
Preston Shannon, 9 p.m.
PrestonShannon.com
I first heard Preston Shannon in a club
on Beale Street in Memphis and was
impressed enough to bring his name up
to the Mississippi Valley Blues Society
Entertainment Committee for more than
three years. “The King of Beale Street” is a
singer who sounds like Otis Redding and
Dexter Allen, 3 p.m.
DexterAllen.com
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, the
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 local
independent label. He shared his musical
and writing talents in the studio recording
R&B, hip hop, blues, pop, rap, country, and
gospel.
Later, Dexter signed on in the lead
guitarist role for Bobby Rush, the blues
legend. Because of his unique style, Dexter
was awarded the 2008 Jackson Music Award
for Male Vocalist of the year. Earlier in 2008,
Dexter began to write and record his own
music and delivered an album titled Bluezin
My Way, a bluesy, soulful album, with stories
of love, lust, lies, and alibis.
In 2009, Dexter won the Jackson Music
2009 Entertainer of the Year Award. In 2011,
Dexter released his current CD, Bluezin For
Life, which takes you back to the roots with
a host of originals and arrangements. Dexter
is able to play every instrument on the stage
without missing a beat. His smooth voice
and songwriting abilities are extraordinary.
– Tracy Martin
Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch, 5 p.m.
JasonElmore.net
Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch was
formed in 2008, a power trio that includes
Brandon Katona on bass and Mike Talbot on
drums. Their debut CD, Upside Your Head,
was released in 2010 on the Underworld
Records label. The CD got voted as one of
the top 60 albums of the year by The Blues
Report, and the song “Black Widow” was
voted as one of the top 30 songs. The band
comes from the Dallas, Texas, area and in
2012 was voted best blues band in the Dallas
Friday, July 4: Bandshell
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2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
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.”
Born in
Olive Branch,
Mississippi,
Preston’s
family moved
to Memphis
when he was
eight. There
he heard and
fell in love
with the blues.
He began playing around town at age 18 and
for the next 20 years played in a succession
of Memphis bands on weekends while
working in a hardware store by day. A break
came in 1987 when he toured with soul-
blues singer Shirley Brown, and he gained
the confidence that he could do this on his
own. In 1991, he put together his own band,
and soon thereafter he was “discovered” in
a Beale Street club by producer/keyboardist
Ron Levy, who connected Preston with
Rounder Records.
Preston recorded three albums for the
Rounder Bullseye Blues subsidiary: Break the
Ice (1994), Midnight in Memphis (1996), and
All in Time (1999). Preston was nominated
for three Grammy awards for All in Time,
which was produced by and includes songs
by Willie Mitchell (a collaborator with Al
Green and Otis Clay). Last year Preston was
a contestant on the hit NBC show The Voice,
and he is testing his acting skills working
in the movie Free in Deed, to be released in
January 2015. Preston’s latest CD is a tribute
to Elmore James called Dust My Broom. It
might sound funny to have a Memphis guitar
player not playing James’ signature slide
parts, but add horns to the mix and the result
is a magnificent Memphis soul stew.
(For a 2012 River Cities’ Reader interview
with Preston Shannon, visit RCReader.
com/y/shannon.)
– Karen McFarland
George Thorogood & the
Destroyers, 11 p.m.
GeorgeThorogood.com
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 acoustic act. “I was more of a
Robert Johnson/Elmore James country-blues
player,” he explains. “That soon petered out,
but I’d gotten enough feedback from artists
like Brownie McGhee and Willie Dixon who
thought I had something going. I knew I
needed more.” George called high-school
friend and drummer Jeff Simon, and with
the addition of a bass player – as well as
Jeff ’s van – the electric trio soon graduated
from basement rehearsals to local gigs. “We
knew there was still time for one hardcore
high-energy boogie-blues band to make
it. We relocated to Boston, and toured the
Delaware Valley, Philly, and New England
nonstop. Crowds loved us. The acts we
were opening for, like Muddy Waters
and Howlin’ Wolf, loved us. We were
playing great, but still couldn’t get a
record deal and didn’t earn more than
$200 a night.”
Their 1977 debut George Thorogood
& The Destroyers would soon be
certified gold. It had sat on the shelf
for 18 months and was finally released
the day Elvis died. And for audiences
and radio alike, the band instantly
embodied – and continues to define –
powerhouse rock with bar-band roots,
unchained attitude, and a fierce love of
its country and blues history. Over the
course of 16 studio albums (including
six gold and two platinum), they would
storm the charts by putting their own
stamp on nuggets by Hank Williams,
Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, John Lee
Hooker, Elmore James, and more, while
simultaneously bashing out smash GT
originals that crackle with humor and
swagger.
“Stan Musial was once asked, ‘What
was the greatest day of your career?’
And Stan said, ‘Every day when I walk
onto the field is the greatest day.’ I feel the
same way,” George says. “Every night when
I walk out on that stage is the highlight of
my career. I hit that first chord, the band
kicks in, and we hear the audience respond.
That’s the rush. Forty years into this, and
every night, that’s still the only moment that
matters.”
– from GeorgeThorogood.com
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18
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
doing summer Rock Camp programs since
she was eight – and don’t forget dancing,
cheerleading, gymnastics, drawing, painting,
crafts, cooking, and swimming, too.
Matt Fuller is 16 years old and has been
playing guitar since he was seven years old.
He started out as a drummer but discovered
he loves playing guitar, also. He’s performed
with several famous musicians, including
Tommy Castro, Lil’ Ed, and Billy Branch.
Some of his favorite guitarists include his
grandfather (John Pena of the Pena Brothers
and Serious Business), Buddy Guy, Albert
King, and B.B. King.
Michael Osborne, 13, has played the piano
since age six and since then has picked up
drums, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, and harp.
He has played multiple instruments and
even sang vocals during the Rock Camp and
Winter Blues programs at the River Music
Experience for the past three years. He has
had the pleasure of performing with the
Candymakers and Kevin “B.F.” Burt. Michael
listens to many different musical artists and
loves to play the blues.
Sarah Elisabeth Hanson, from Viola,
Illinois, developed an interest in all forms of
vocal music as soon as she learned she could
easily manipulate the sound of her voice.
Since singing her first solo in kindergarten,
she has performed in various locations
throughout the Quad Cities, including Cool
Beanz, SouthPark Mall, the Festival of Trees,
the Quad City International Airport, the
Speakeasy, and Circa ’21, as well as with the
Quad City Symphony children’s choir and
Sunshine’s Performing Arts Studio.
(Students from the Winter Blues program
will also appear at BlueSKool on Friday and
Saturday.)
Margaret Murphy-Webb, 4:30 p.m.
MargaretCMurphy.com
Having majored in voice and jazz piano
at Chicago State, Margaret Murphy-Webb
has been performing in the Chicagoland
area for more than 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
and Chicago Navy Pier and 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, sensational Tower of Power at
Chicago’s House of Blues.
Murphy-Webb’s Mississippi Valley Blues
Festival band features Tom Vaitsas on piano,
Peter Learner on guitar, Chuck Webb on
bass, and Ben Johnson on drums.
Murphy-Webb has appeared as Billie
Holiday in the musical production Legends
in Heaven, and as Phyllis Hyman in the
production of Somewhere in My Lifetime.
Margaret produced and performed in the
widely acclaimed show “Three for Jazz” at
the DuSable Museum of African American
History (with jazz vocalists Tecora Rogers
and Marc Courtney Johnson), and as one of
Chicago’s Eleven Jazzy Divas she performed
at Chicago’s African Festival of the Arts.
Margaret’s debut solo CD, In Full Bloom
– produced by her husband, bassist Chuck
Webb – can be heard on independent radio
stations throughout the United States,
England, the Netherlands, Italy, France,
Portugal, and Macedonia. The CD is a
combination of straight-ahead and smooth-
jazz favorites by Dizzy Gillispie, Al Jarreau,
and other jazz greats – as well as Sade and
Bette Midler. Margaret was awarded a
Grindie (independent radio’s Grammy) for
her cover of the Sade song “Pearls.” Margaret
is recognized as a RadioIndy Gold Artist for
outstanding vocals and production on a jazz
CD.
Currently the producer and hostess of the
Jazz Jam Revival – a jam session dedicated
to the memory of Von Freeman – Margaret
Murphy-Webb hopes to continue the legacy
of the Tuesday-night jam, where musicians,
vocalists, students, and jazz lovers can come
together in the spirit of networking and
share their love of music.
– Nate Lawrence
Roy Book Binder, 6 p.m.
RoyBookBinder.com
TheCountryBlues.com’s profile: “Not only
is Roy Book Binder a terrific guitarist, he
is a true songster with a giant repertoire;
Winter Blues All-Stars, 3 p.m.
The Winter Blues All-Stars is composed
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, and
drums), as well as a concentration on blues
composition and improvisation. These
sessions are open to musicians from eight to
18 years of age and are led by Ellis Kell of the
River Music Experience and Hal Reed of the
Mississippi Valley Blues Society, with other
veteran blues musicians from the region as
special guests.
Jesse Barger is 16 years old and has been
playing guitar for two and a half years. He
took lessons for about six months from Tony
Carducci at West Music, learning mostly
from listening to records. He was inspired
to play music by listening to The Band, Neil
Young, Townes Van Zandt, and Son House.
Guitar influences include Robbie Robertson,
Peter Green, Roy Buchanan, Buddy Guy, Eric
Clapton, and David Gilmour.
Noah Schneider is 16 years old and a
junior in high school. He started playing
the guitar when he was about eight and was
13 when he started playing seriously. This
is his third year playing in the Winter Blues
program, and he plays in the church praise
band every Sunday. Noah is very happy
to get the chance to continue on after the
Winter Blues program and excited to have
the opportunity play with the Winter Blues
All-Stars this year.
MacKenzie Noppe is 12 years old, and
she plays drums, guitar, bass guitar, and
keyboards, and she also sings and just picked
up a saxophone for school band. She even
sang lead vocals while playing the drum set
when she performed “Walk This Way” by
Aerosmith at the Redstone Room Rumble.
MacKenzie has been involved in shows at
the Center for Living Arts since she was five
years old, attends events at the River Music
Experience once a month, is a member of
the Quad City Flash Mob Troupe, has been
Friday, July 4: Tent
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19
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
he is virtually a walking encyclopedia of
folk music. Book Binder is fundamentally
a blues- and 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 Binder sometimes evokes
J.J. Cale, or Dire Straits’ early, acoustic songs.
But Book Binder’s inspirations go way back.
Having worked closely in the ’60s with
Piedmont masters Reverend Gary Davis
and Pink Anderson, and having toured
constantly for decades, Book Binder is a
seasoned, mature blues artist with a sound
of his own. He is a genuine example of the
traveling-bluesman tradition that began
in the ’20s, was revived in the ’60s, and
continues today.”
Roy himself: “SINGER-SONGWRITER-
STORYTELLING-BLUESMAN ... . Roy
Book Binder has been rambling around the
world for the past 45 years! He gave up his
Greenwich Village ‘pad’ in the early ’70s
and lived in his ‘Tour Bus’ for the next 15
years, crisscrossing the U.S. and appearing
at festivals throughout Canada and Europe.
Book Binder traveled with the legendary
Reverend Gary Davis in the late ’60s ... . The
Book recorded his first solo acoustic blues
album in the ’70s, which was the first to
receive five stars in Downbeat magazine! In
the late ’80s The Book was part of Bonnie
Raitt’s East Coast Tour, which included an
appearance on The Grand Old Opry, which
led to almost 30 appearances on Nashville
Now!”
That’s the end of Roy’s short bio. Of
course he’s been traveling – and playing,
singing, writing songs,
and telling stories – since
the late ’80s and is now a
veteran guitar instructor,
often found teaching at
the Fur Peace Ranch with
Jorma Kaukonen and others
whose lives have been
influenced by the Reverend
Gary Davis. I’m sure Roy’s
got tales to tell since he last
visited the Blues Fest in
2001.
(Roy Book Binder will
also present a workshop
Friday at 2:30 p.m.)
– Karen McFarland
Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, 8 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
Sarah’s Kitchen, one of the area’s major blues
venues, until proprietor Sarah Moore was
killed in an auto crash and the restaurant
went out of business. He has played at
numerous other clubs and events in the Delta
area.
Recordings of Big A are few; he appears
on bass with Alvin “Youngblood” Hart
and the late, great drummer Sam Carr on
a song called “Joe Friday” in the 2003 film
Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Sherrod is also
featured in the 2012 film We Juke Up in Here,
now as the band leader. He offers a spirited
performance of a song called “Call Me a
Lover” in the best tradition of male boasting
(along with a bit of humor), and he also
wrote and plays the title track for the film.
Big A is an exciting performer who freely
moves around a performance space with
some fancy footwork.
– from MississippiBluesProject.org
Terrance Simien & the Zydeco
Experience, 10 p.m.
TerranceSimien.com
Two-time Grammy winner Terrance
Simien brought his “Creole for Kidz” and
“The History of Zydeco” programs to
Quad Cities schools in 2013 as part of the
Mississippi Valley Blues Society Blues in
the Schools 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 in
Louisiana. He was introduced to music via
the piano at home, the Catholic-church
choir, and school band programs in which
he played trumpet.
While in his teens, he taught himself to
play accordion and formed his first band
– Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys –
and began to play the regional zydeco club
and church-hall circuit. I remember seeing
Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys on
the Bandshell at the 1988 Mississippi Valley
Blues Festival. I even took a photo, trying
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three festivals in Canada, and Buddy Guy’s
Legends.
Winners of the 2010 Windy City Blues
Society Chicago Blues Challenge Youth
Showcase,
they have
since opened
for Ronnie
Baker
Brooks, Billy
Branch, and
the Kinsey
Report. They
have recently
released a
CD titled Takin’ the Stage; every song on the
album was written by Jamiah and his dad
Tony. John Vermilyea of Blues Underground
Network said, “When I first started to listen
to Takin’ the Stage, I got a definite Jimi
Hendrix feel, and sure enough when I looked
on their Facebook info page, Jimi Hendrix
was listed as one of their influences, along
with Albert King, Bob Marley, The Isley
Brothers, Freddy King, Carlos Santana,
Willie Dixon, and John Lee Hooker.”
The Red Machine enjoys playing blues,
blues rock, and R&B. Jamiah, who leads
the band, started performing at the age of
three. The musical prodigy recorded his
first CD at age six. He has studied numerous
instruments, including electric guitar, violin,
saxophone, clarinet, piano, djembe, congas,
and drums.
This young band is my pick for the sleeper
act at this year’s festival.
– Hal Reed
Albert Castiglia, 7 p.m.
AlbertCastiglia.net
Florida’s Albert Castiglia 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
Little Bobby Houle, 3 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’s 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.”
In 2005 Little Bobby released his first
CD, Before the Storm. Later that year
he landed a spot on the Last Ride Blues
Festival in his hometown, and Buddy Guy
was the headliner. What a way to kick off
a blues career!
Since then Little Bobby has released
Down, Dirty, & Mean (in 2007), I’ve Got
a Woman (in 2008), and the live DVD A
Night at the Empire (in 2009). At the end
of 2009, Little Bobby joined with Nora
Jean Bruso, and together they performed
at concerts and festivals in the U.S. and
Europe. The Chicago Sun-Times named
Nora Jean & Little Bobby the number-one
band to see at the Chicago Blues Festival.
In 2011, the two put together the CD
Good Blues, which Little Bobby played
on, wrote, and produced. The album not
only appeared on the blues charts but
helped push Nora Jean to her seventh
Blues Music Award nomination for Best
Traditional Female Blues Performer.
Little Bobby’s latest release, on
Untouchable Records, is Life of the Blues,
which Bobby produced, wrote, and played
all the instruments on.
– Michael Livermore
Jamiah “On Fire” & The Red
Machine, 5 p.m.
Jamiah “On Fire” & The Red Machine
is a three-piece power trio composed of
cousins: 19-year-old Jamiah Rogers 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,
Saturday, July 5: Bandshell
to capture the energy: Terrance dancing
on the stage, his long locks whipping from
side to side, the button accordion swinging
wildly.
This was a pivotal time in zydeco history
because the pioneers of the genre were
aging and the music was in jeopardy of
dying off without the presence of emerging
artists continuing the traditions. In a 1991
interview with Richard Landry of Bomb
magazine, Simien said of his debut album:
“I think we’ve done what we set out to
do, and that is catch the energy of the live
performance.”
Since then, Terrance and his band
The Zydeco Experience have toured
internationally, presenting more than
7,000 live performances in more than 40
countries. Terrance has shared studio and
stage time with Paul Simon, Dr. John, The
Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie
Wonder, Robert Palmer, and Los Lobos.
He’s also contributed to soundtracks of
multiple movies, two notable ones being
The Big Easy and Disney’s The Princess &
the Frog.
But don’t forget: It’s all about the energy
of the live performance. Terrance & The
Zydeco Experience are masters of getting
everyone up and dancing – even me!
(Terrance Simien will also on Friday
present a workshop at 7 p.m. and appear at
BlueSKool. For a 2013 River Cities’ Reader
interview with Terrance Simien, visit
RCReader.com/y/simien.)
– Karen McFarland
Friday, July 4: Tent
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2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
found himself sharing the stage with icons
including Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, and
Bonnie Raitt. His band played at the 1977
San Francisco Blues Festival to a standing
ovation before backing up Albert Collins.
In 1977, John Belushi was in Eugene
filming Animal House and, during
downtime, caught a Salgado performance.
Afterward, the two got to talking, and a
friendship grew. Before long Salgado began
playing old records for Belushi, teaching him
about blues and R&B. Belushi soaked up the
music and soon developed his idea for The
Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday
Night Live and then as a movie, record, and
concert tour. The album, Briefcase Full of
Blues, is dedicated to Salgado, and it’s no
coincidence that Cab Calloway’s character in
the film is named Curtis. The Blues Brothers’
set list was strikingly similar to the shows
Salgado was delivering on a nightly basis.
Curtis released his first of eight albums
in 1991, and continued to tour year after
year, until serious health issues arose in
2006. Now fully recovered and in good
health, Curtis has been touring the country
and never giving less than 100 percent on
stage. He mixes blues, funk, and R&B with a
delivery that is raw and heartfelt.
Curtis has been recognized many times
for his talent, including 2013 Blues Music
Awards for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year,
Soul Blues Artist of the Year, and Soul Blues
Album of the Year for Soul Shot on Alligator
Records.
– from CurtisSalgado.com
Tinsley Ellis, 11 p.m.
TinsleyEllis.com
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 eight. In
1975, after
high school,
Tinsley moved back to Atlanta and joined
a blues band named The Alley Cats (which
included The 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
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 five, 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 music. After he completed college,
he worked for four years as a social-service
investigator for the State of Florida. In 1990,
he joined The Miami Blues Authority. After
performing with the group as lead guitarist
and vocalist for more than seven years,
Albert in 1997 won the award for Best Local
Blues Guitarist from the Miami New Times,
and soon after he decided to pursue his
lifelong dream of hitting the road as a blues
performer.
Albert got an audition with blues great
Junior Wells, and so impressed Wells with
his playing and vocal style that he was asked
in 1997 to become the lead guitarist in his
band. With Junior, Albert performed in
major Chicago clubs as well as clubs and
blues festivals all over the U.S., Canada, and
Europe. In 2001, Albert decided to work
on his own material and began writing and
working on his debut CD, Burn.
His 2008 CD, These Are the Days, included
a tribute to his mentor Junior Wells,
“Godfather of the Blues.” These Are the Days’
“Bad Year Blues” earned him a Blues Music
Award nomination for Song of the Year. That
track was also nominated for a Blues Blast
Award, and this time Castiglia walked away a
winner for Song of the Year – as well as being
nominated for the Sean Costello Rising Star
Award.
– Karen McFarland
Curtis Salgado, 9 p.m.
CurtisSalgado.com
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
the Moonshadow in 1983. Nelson ended up
leaving, and the band was backing up Nappy
Brown on 1984’s Tore Up and 1986’s Cool on
It. Both albums were re-released by Alligator
Records after Tinsley signed in 1988 as a solo
artist. He released five albums on Alligator:
Georgia Blue in 1988, Fanning the Flames in
1989, Trouble Time in 1992, Storm Warning
in 1994, and Fire It Up in 1997. Tinsley
released Kingpin in 2000 on Capricorn
Records before it went bankrupt. Tinsley
then signed with Telarc and released Hell or
High Water in 2002 and The Hard Way in
2004. Tinsley re-signed with Alligator and
released Live Highwayman in 2005, Moment
of Truth in 2007, and Speak No Evil in 2009.
Tinsley released the all-instrumental Get It
in 2013 on his own Heartfixer Music label
followed by his most recent release, Midnight
Blue – for a grand total of 16 albums!
Averaging more than 150 live shows a
year, Tinsley has played in all 50 states as
well as Canada, Europe, Australia, and
South America. Whether he’s out with his
own band or sharing stages with major
artists such as Buddy Guy, The Allman
Brothers, and Gov’t Mule, he always digs
deep and plays, as Guitar Player says, “as if
his life depended on it.” Last year, Tinsley
was part of the Blues at the Crossroads II:
Muddy & The Wolf tour with the Fabulous
Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, James
Cotton, Jody Williams, and Bob Margolin.
(For a 2008 River Cities’ Reader interview
with Tinsley Ellis, visit RCReader.com/y/
ellis.)
– Steve Heston
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22
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
The Westbrook Singers, 3 p.m.
TheWestbrookSingers.com
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-’70s, when 11 siblings came together
to complement a ministry that began with
their father some 20 years earlier. Thus, the
children of Bishop Charles B. and Barbara
Westbrook came to be known as The
Original Westbrook Singers.
Over the years, the group has changed in
its makeup but not in its focus. Today, only
four of the siblings continue in performance
roles, though appearances by other siblings
are not rare. They are Brenda Westbrook-
Lee, Delores Westbrook-Tingle, Gary
Westbrook, and Cynthia Westbrook-Bryson.
The Westbrook Singers are a magnetic
ensemble with an indelible sound that
reaches into your innermost being. At the
same time, each member’s individual vocal
ability allows for the variety that results in
their unique sound and uncanny harmonies.
Though the group continues to travel and
record, the primary focus of their ministry
is effecting change in people’s lives. While
stressing family unity, the group’s desire is
to fill a spiritual void amid the turmoil and
confusion in the world today. They have a
message filled with hope, and it is delivered
with amazing grace! No doubt, all who hear
them come away with a new appreciation of
gospel music.
– from TheWestbrookSingers.com
Terry “Harmonica” Bean & Jimmy
Duck
Holmes,
4:30 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 home gatherings and taking
him along to other house parties. Although
Terry was a “natural,” he stopped playing
around the time he was 12 because several of
his brothers were jealous of the attention he
received. Terry decided to get serious about
the blues in 1988 after visiting the Delta
Blues Festival in Greenville. He went there
to see Robert Lockwood Jr., who had played
with Terry’s idol, harmonica legend Little
Walter, but inadvertently fell in with the
Greenville blues scene. Terry is consciously
dedicated to “keeping alive” older styles of
blues. “What’s stimulating to me,” he says,
“is people hearing the blues played like they
used to hear it.”
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is the proprietor of
one of the oldest juke joints in Mississippi,
the Blue Front Café in Bentonia. In the mid-
2000s, he began performing blues actively
after many years of performing casually. He
is a practitioner and conscious advocate of
a distinctive blues style from his hometown,
whose most famous proponent was blues
pioneer Skip James.
Musical performances at the café have
historically been mostly informal, and
notable out-of-towners who played there
included James “Son” Thomas and Sonny
Boy Williamson II. It also hosted musicians
who played in what has been called the
“Bentonia School” of the blues, which is
characterized by distinctive guitar tunings
(E-minor and open D-minor), the use of
falsetto, dark lyrical themes, and an overall
eerie quality.
Jimmy took over the Blue Front in 1970
after the death of his father, and beginning
in the ’80s the café became a popular
destination for blues tourists, including
annual visits by busloads of Japanese fans.
Various blues researchers including Alan
Lomax recorded Jimmy beginning in the
’70s. Jimmy, who normally works as an
educator, has traditionally been a somewhat
reluctant performer, but has enjoyed the
opportunity to share his music and talk
about the Bentonia tradition. Jimmy also
received national publicity in August 2007
when a Mississippi Blues Trail historic
marker was dedicated in honor of the Blue
Front Café.
(Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Jimmy
Duck Holmes will also present a workshop at
2:30 p.m. Saturday.)
– Karen McFarland
Jarekus Singleton, 6 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 2006-7 Player of the Year
led the athletic association 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 Jarekus
Singleton two years ago, but it wasn’t until
I saw him at a jam after the International
Blues Challenge this year that I realized what
all the buzz was about.
The UK magazine Blues & Rhythm
describes Jarekus this way: “At just 29
years old, Jarekus
Singleton is a musical
trailblazer with a
bold vision for the
future of the blues.
Springing from the
same Mississippi soil
as Charley Patton,
Muddy Waters, and
B.B. King, Singleton’s
cutting-edge sound – equally rooted in rap,
rock, and blues traditions – is all his own.
He melds hip-hop wordplay, rock energy,
and R&B grooves with contemporary and
traditional blues, turning audiences of all
ages into devoted fans. With his untamed
guitar licks and strong, soulful voice
effortlessly moving from ferocious and
funky to slow and steamy to smoking hot,
Singleton is a fresh, electrifying bluesman
bursting at the seams with talent.”
In fact, Alligator Records’ Bruce Iglauer
also recognized Singleton’s talent, and this
May the label released his Refuse to Lose. In
reviewing the album, David Whiteis of the
Chicago Reader said, “Singleton plays searing
guitar solos that soar in ascending arcs,
and his vocal parts and band arrangements
are complex and challenging; he’ll segue
from hard-edged testifying to melancholy
meditation and back again in a verse or two.”
– Karen McFarland
Saturday, July 5: Tent
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23
2014 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL
David Horwitz
Blues Photography Workshop: 5:30 p.m.
Friday
Photographer and educator David Horwitz
of Tucson, Arizona, has been traveling to clubs
and festivals for decades in search of great blues
music for his ears and
visual images to capture
on film. Winner of the
1999 Blues Foundation’s
Keeping the Blues Alive
Award for Photography,
David has spent more
than 30 years capturing
moments of the blues
masters. His works have
appeared in countless publications.
Michael “Hawkeye” Herman
“Tales of the Blues” Workshop: 4 p.m.
Saturday
“The Blues Had a Baby” BlueSKool: 6 p.m.
Saturday
Michael “Hawkeye” Herman performs
a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads,
swing, and original tunes, on six- and
12-string guitar, and is an adept practitioner
of slide guitar and slide mandolin. In this
workshop, Hawkeye will present songs and
stories from the many iconic blues masters
he met and learned directly from: Brownie
McGhee, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bukka White,
Furry Lewis, Son House, Mance Lipscomb,
Eddie Shaw & the Wolfgang, 8 p.m.
EddieShawSax.com
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.
Once in
Chicago, Eddie
divided the tenor saxophone duties with
A.C. Reed. In 1972 he joined Howlin’ Wolf,
leading his band the Wolf Gang, and writing
half the songs on The Back Door Wolf (1973).
After Wolf ’s death in 1976, Eddie took over
the band and its residency at the 1815 Club,
renamed Eddie’s Place. By the late 1970s,
Eddie’s own recording career started with
appearances on Alligator Records’ Living
Chicago Blues anthologies.
Eddie’s many contributions to the blues
include arranging tracks for The London
Howlin’ Wolf Sessions (which featured
Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Ringo Starr, and
others) and performing with a list of blues
notables that includes Hound Dog Taylor,
Freddie King, Otis Rush, Jimmy Reed, Willie
Dixon, and Magic Sam (on his Black Magic
album).
One of his sons, Eddie “Vaan” Shaw Jr.
(born 1955), joined the Wolfgang playing
on some of his father’s recordings. A disciple
of Wolf protégé Hubert Sumlin, Vaan has
recorded two albums of his own. His travels
have taken him around the world and back
again firmly anchored in the blues. Much
like his dad, Vaan has written, produced,
and sung his way through the blues and is
widely known as one of the best guitarists
performing on the blues circuit.
(Eddie Shaw and Eddie “Vaan” Shaw will
also present a workshop Saturday at 5:30
p.m.)
– Karen McFarland
Workshop and BluSKool Presenters
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Sam Chatmon,
T-Bone Walker, K.C. Douglas, Jesse “Lone
Cat” Fuller, John Jackson, Charles Brown,
“Cool Papa” Sadler, and others.
David Berntson
Harmonica BlueSKool: 3:30 p.m. Friday
and Saturday
Originally from
Galesburg, Illinois,
this Tulsa, Oklahoma,
Blues Club founder,
prevention educator, and
drug/alcohol counselor
continually shares his
enthusiasm and passion
for the blues with young
people and adults. David
Berntson presents Blues in the Schools at
a number of schools, including alternative
schools for at-risk students. Look out when he
digs out his gigantic harmonica! His passion
and love for kids is unstoppable, and he leaves
kids of all ages with something more than
what they came with. David is an endorsee for
Hohner harmonicas and has taught harmonica
classes through adult continuing education
at Tulsa Community College for more than a
decade. He also teaches children’s harmonica
classes for the Tulsa parks-and-recreation
department. David’s BlueSKool sessions feature
free harmonicas and lessons for all the kids! –
Ann Ring
Deanna Bogart, 10 p.m.
DeannaBogart.com
Deanna Bogart is a singer, songwriter, and
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 more than 20
years, bringing her music to people everywhere.
But if you have a chance to meet Deanna
(and you probably will) 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 her body. You can see she is
at home with any instrument she uses, which
includes her voice. She can play a mean boogie-
woogie on those 88 keys or drift seamlessly onto
the edge of other genres.
Deanna is very comfortable in her music, and
it is a wonderful thing to experience with her.
And when I say with her, that’s what you will
get. When she brings it up to you and your feet
start a-goin’ and your hands get a-movin’ and
all of a sudden, bam – you’re up on your feet
a-dancin’ and a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’. Then the
party will begin and won’t end until the last note
is played.
Deanna has many CDs to her credit, with
her 2012 Pianoland getting rightfully excellent
reviews and Just a Wish Away ... released on
June 24.
(Deanna Bogart will also present a workshop
at 7 p.m. Saturday. For a 2005 River Cities’
Reader interview with Deanna Bogart, visit
RCReader.com/y/bogart.)
– Michael Livermore

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