Louisiana Red and Honeyboy Edwards
The Redstone Room
Saturday, June 17, 9 p.m.
In this corner, weighing in with a W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Blues Artist, a discography that spans more than three decades, and a list of influences that includes Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Arthur Crudup - ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the stage that bluesman extraordinaire, the Alabama slamma ... Louisiana Red! And in this corner, weighing in with his own W.C. Handy Award, a 1996 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame, and both an autobiography (The World Don't Owe Me Nothing) and a documentary (Honeyboy) to his name - ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for the Baron of Blues, the Goliath of the guitar ... David Honeyboy Edwards! One's a touring dynamo whose 2006 gigs have taken him to Ghana, Greece, and Belgium; one's a 90-year-old inspiration called "always enjoyable and occasionally brilliant" by Living Blues magazine. Who will emerge victorious when the two meet at their shared performance in Davenport's Redstone Room on Saturday, June 17? Based on their stats, I'm makin' an early prediction, folks: It'll be a draw. For more information, visit (http://www.redstoneroom.com). - Mike Schulz
Sturgis on the River Motorcycle Rally
215 South Marquette St., Davenport
Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 17
"What's with the Scooter Girls?" asked my editor, Jeff, upon receiving my first draft for this notice. "What do you mean?" I asked. He replied, "You were supposed to write a piece on the 12th annual Sturgis on the River Motorcycle Rally, and you spend most of it writing about the Scooter Girls." "Hey," I said, "I wrote that the event was the Midwest's largest gathering of motorcycles, and that it was being held in downtown Davenport June 15 through 17. I wrote that more than 50 bands would be performing on four separate stages. I wrote that there'd be bike shows and motorcycle races, a street party, vendors, guided rides along the Mississippi River ... . I just also happened to mention the Scooter Girls contest." Jeff responded, "But they've already had the preliminaries for the contest. The deadline has passed. It's too late for anyone to enter." "So?" I asked. "So this is just gratuitous," he said. "And it's pandering. And why aren't we running a photo of the bikes?" I paused. "I bet more men will pick up a copy of the Reader this week." He paused. "Cut 10 words." For more information on the Sturgis on the River Rally (and the Scooter Girls), visit (http://www.sturgisontheriver.com). - Mike Schulz
Quad City Botanical Center
Friday, June 16, 6 p.m.
Whether you are a gardener, music lover, or just plain hungry, you won't want to miss the Quad City Botanical Center's annual Garden Gala. Not only does this event promise to showcase an incredible spectacle of garden exhibits, it is also a fundraiser designed to support local educational programs. Admittance to the Gala will cost $60 and includes a silent auction, followed by live music and dancing. Each paid guest at the Gala will also receive a free ticket to the Quad City Symphony's Symphony in Bloom Tour, inviting participants to tour eight elite local gardens on Saturday, June 17. And if the event thus far has not appealed to your delicate palate for beautiful, organic exhibits and exquisite music, then perhaps it will appeal to your carnal side - participants in the Gala may also indulge in food samplings from several premier Quad Cities eateries, such as Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. For more information, call the Quad City Botanical Center at (309)794-0991. - Eric Junco
Monday, June 19, 10 a.m.
Originating in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth is, as stated on (http://www.juneteenth.com), "the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States ... a moment in time taken to appreciate the African-American experience ... marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings." It sounds like the Juneteenth celebration being held in Davenport's Herington Park - entitled "Reflections" - will fit that description to a tee. Occurring (quite understandably) on Monday, June 19, the event will feature performances by Shellie Moore Guy and church choirs from the Greater Antioch Baptist Church and Mt. Sinai Fellowship, artwork from Cedar Rapids' African-American Museum, information booths, vendors, food, games, and fun for the entire family. The event is being co-sponsored by Davenport's United Neighbors, Incorporated, and that organization's Ida Johnson reveals that invited guests include Governor Tom Vilsack and Mayor Ed Winborn, adding, "We're not sure they're gonna make it, but ... ." I've thrown parties like that myself, Ida. For more information, call United Neighbors at (563)322-7363. - Mike Schulz
The Philadelphia Story
Timber Lake Playhouse
Thursday, June 15, through Sunday, June 25
My mother is the world's biggest Katherine Hepburn fan, so she feels particular fondness for The Philadelphia Story; this 1939 Broadway play - which Hepburn starred in for a year - and its 1940 film version not only salvaged her waning career, but positively reinvented it. (For years beforehand, Hepburn was considered box-office poison, and exhibitor Harry Brandt famously remarked that to get people into a Hepburn movie in 1938, theatres would have to give away "not only dishes, but also silverware, pots and pans, and maybe an automobile." And people think I'm harsh.) Hepburn devotees can thank playwright Philip Barry for his timeless comedy of manners, which the Timber Lake Playhouse will present June 15 through June 25. This beloved, rapid-fire war of the words - concerning a privileged woman torn between her new fiancé and her ex-husband - is widely-considered one of the most satisfying romantic comedies of all time, and I can't wait to view Timber Lake's take on the script, as I've never actually seen The Philadelphia Story. That sound you just heard was my mother howling with shame. For tickets, call (815)244-2035. - Mike Schulz