Suscribe to Weekly Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Photos from Rock the District, June 29 in the District of Rock Island PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Matt Erickson   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 14:47

Photos from the Rock the District concert in the District of Rock Island on June 29, 2013, headlined by Theory of a Deadman and also featuring 3 Pill Morning, Candlelight Red, and 3 Years Hollow. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit

Photo by Matt Erickson,

Complete 2013 Blues Fest Coverage: Schedule, Ticket Info, President's Welcome, and More! PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 27 June 2013 06:00

After the River Cities’ Reader’s official guide to the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival went to press, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society announced that the festival was being moved from LeClaire Park to Second Street in downtown Davenport because of flooding:

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival organizers have finalized the site for the July 4-6 event in downtown Davenport. The 29th Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will take place on Second Street. Bandshell acts will perform on an east-facing stage near Ripley Street. Tent Stage acts will perform in the courtyard area just east of the River Music Experience at Second and Main. BlueSKool will be held on the River Music Experience’s Community Stage, and workshops and the photo exhibit will be held in the River Music Experience’s upstairs Exhibit Hall.

2013 Blues Fest – Playing It by Ear: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Saturday, July 6, 11 p.m., Bandshell) PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:59

If you’re an amateur guitarist hoping to turn pro, particularly one with an affinity for blues rock, you could certainly choose lesser talents to emulate than Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The 37-year-old musician, after all, has been already nominated for five Grammy Awards, has won two Blues Music Awards and two Billboard Music Awards, and was once named the world’s third-finest blues guitarist by Guitar World magazine, with only B.B. King and Eric Clapton ranking higher.

If, however, you’re an amateur guitarist who feels that the world of professional music will forever be out of reach due to your inability to actually read music, don’t let that dissuade you from following your dream. It turns out that Kenny Wayne Shepherd doesn’t read music, either.

“Yeah, I still play by ear,” says Shepherd, who unofficially began his career as a self-taught guitarist at the tender age of seven. “I used to have to sound songs out one note at a time until I got from the beginning to the end of it. It was kind of a tedious process in the beginning, but you know, it’s gotten easier over the years. Modern technology is a big help now, because I can just record things on my iPhone, but yeah – I just play what sounds good, and then I just have to remember it.”

2013 Blues Fest – “If I Don’t Sing, I Die”: Mighty Sam McClain (Friday, July 5, 11 p.m., Bandshell) PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:58

“Anyway, that’s just some of the stuff,” the soul-blues singer Mighty Sam McClain said to me in a recent phone interview. “You’re a good listener.”

He’d been talking, nonstop, for 31 minutes, responding to the simplest of opening questions: “What have you been up to?” After the compliment he paid me, he chattered for another 39 minutes, with just a few questions to prompt him.

Admittedly, the man has a lot to talk about.

He left his home in Louisiana at age 13 to escape an abusive stepfather. “He hit me a couple times,” McClain said. “He hit me in the head with a hammer. Once. Then he hit me with a walking stick. So I was getting ready to kill him. I really was. He was a hunter. And there were guns all over the house. ... I thought about doing it.”

Instead, he said, “I crawled out the window, and I didn’t look back.”

He then hooked up with Little Melvin Underwood, initially as a roadie and by age 15 – in the late 1950s – as a singer.

2013 Blues Fest – The King of La La: C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band (Saturday, July 6, 10 p.m., Tent) PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:57

As he’s the son of the late Clifton Chenier – the Grammy Award-winning accordion legend commonly known as “The King of Zydeco” – it makes sense that C.J. Chenier would have a parent to thank for his initial entry into the world of professional music. And he does: his mom.

“I was, like, 20 years old,” says the native of Port Arthur, Texas, “and I was playing piano in this funk band I put up in my hometown, and one day we were playing a bazaar at a Catholic Church. And my mother sent one of my friends to tell me I needed to come home, because my daddy called and said he wanted me to go on the road with him. And I was hesitant, because I had never been to too many places, and I knew that everybody in my daddy’s band was way older than I was.

“But I got home and my mother told me, ‘I tell you what: You’re not working. You don’t have nothin’ to do. You’d better pack your bags and get on out of here!’” Laughing, Chenier adds, “And I just said, ‘Yes, ma’am!’ I mean, I was hesitant, but I was happy.”

Mom’s directive, as it turns out, has made a lot of people happy, because 25 years after taking over his late father’s Red Hot Louisiana Band, C.J. Chenier performances continue to thrill zydeco and blues fans worldwide. Called “the heir to the zydeco throne” by Billboard magazine and “the crown prince of zydeco” by the Boston Globe, the singer/songwriter/accordionist is an undeniable master of his genre – though the man readily admits that, in the early stages of his career, he didn’t fully understand what that genre was.

<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next > End >>

Page 15 of 163