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2014 Blues Fest: Thursday, July 3, Tent Bios PDF Print E-mail
Music - Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:10

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.

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

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

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