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2013 Blues Fest – Friday, July 5: Bandshell PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:51

Mississippi Valley Blues Challenge, 3 p.m.

The first Mississippi Valley Blues Challenge final round is being held at the festival this year with three bands vying for a chance to be named the victor. Each of the bands will play for 20 minutes, with the winner of the challenge qualifying for the 30th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as well as receiving a paid bandshell slot in this year’s Mississippi Valley Blues Festival – at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 6.

The challenge started with three preliminary rounds at the sponsoring venue, The Muddy Waters in Bettendorf, where one band from each round advanced to the finals. The Mississippi Valley Blues Challenge preliminary rounds featured a strong field of competitors, including Harris Collection, the Jared Hughes Band, Mississippi Misfits, and Wheelhouse.

The three bands that advanced to the finals were the Chris Avey Band, Serious Business, and the Rock Island Rollers – playing Friday in that order.

 
2013 Blues Fest – Friday, July 5: Tent PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:50

Winter Blues AllStars, 4 p.m.

The Winter Blues AllStars 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 RME and Hal Reed of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, as well as veteran blues musicians from the region as special guests.

Here’s some information on the AllStars from the December 2012 session.

 
2013 Blues Fest – Saturday, July 6: Bandshell PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:49

Reverend Raven & the Chain-Smokin’ Altar Boys, 3 p.m.
ReverendRaven.com

I agree with how its Web site describes Reverend Raven & the Chain-Smokin’ Altar Boys as playing “traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth, stinging guitar, they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, and the three Kings.”

In 1971, the Reverend saw Freddie King in his hometown of Chicago. That’s when Rik Raven decided he wanted to play guitar. After serving our country in the Navy, he came back stateside and settled in Wisconsin, where he backed up Madison Slim (longtime harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers) for 10 years. Eventually, he formed the Chain-Smokin’ Altar Boys and started opening for greats such as B.B. King, Gatemouth Brown, and Elvin Bishop. The Wisconsin Music Industry awarded them “Best Blues Band” in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2010.

 
2013 Blues Fest – Saturday, July 6: Tent PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:48

Detroit Larry Davison & Chris Avey, 4 p.m.

Detroit Larry Davison and Chris Avey are both veteran blues musicians on the Quad Cities scene. They are both stellar performers – Larry on harp and Chris on guitar and vocals. Together, their acoustic act sounds like Maxwell Street transported to your front porch.

Larry is acknowledged by local listeners – including other harp players – as the best harmonica player in town. He’s been a vital part of many bands, including the Ellis Kell Band and John Resch & the Detroit Blues. And he took the stage in Memphis as part of the Avey Brothers Band when they reached the finals of the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in 2010. (They were the only real blues band in the finals, but the judges were after something else.)

You’ll be seeing a lot of Chris Avey at the 2013 blues fest. Besides this acoustic set with Larry, Chris heads the Chris Avey Band (finalists in the Mississippi Valley Blues Challenge), and the Avey Brothers are the host band for the 2013 after-fest showcase.

 
2013 Blues Fest – Workshop and BlueSKool Performers PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:47

David Horwitz (blues photography workshop)
Friday July 5, 2:30 pm.

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 25 years capturing moments of the blues masters. His works have appeared in countless publications. In 2011, he was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. This is his 26th year of shooting the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and the free photo exhibit near the workshops will showcase David’s work.

 
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