Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m.
From the research I've done, it sounds like Jason Ricci really blows. Of course, he's a harmonica player, so that's actually a good thing. Playing Davenport's Blueport Junction on Thursday, May 11, Ricci's performance biography begins in 1995, when the musician performed the main stage of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, competed in the International Blues Competition in Memphis, and recorded his debut CD ... all before the age of 22. Since then, Ricci's accomplishments have only grown more impressive. He's played New Orleans' House of Blues alongside the Fabulous Thunderbirds, he's won the Mars National Harmonica Contest (triumphing over 1,000 competitors), he's appeared on the covers of blues magazines nationwide, and in Blues Access Magazine, fellow harmonica player Adam Gussow called him "one of the best players of his generation." In addition to all this, Ricci - who plays 300 dates annually - even performed his soulful blues stylings on two episodes of the TV program Emeril Live. Sounds like there's just one word apropos to his career: Bam! Cover for the 8 p.m. show is $8. For more information on the artist, visit (http://www.jasonricci.com). - Mike Schulz
EDWIN MCCAIN AND MIEKA PAULEY
The Redstone Room
Wednesday, May 10, 8 p.m.
"I'll be your cryin' shoulder / I'll be love suicide / I'll be better when I'm older / I'll be the greatest fan of your life." These are perhaps the most recognizable lyrics of South Carolina native Edwin McCain's 13-year music career. The top-10 smash "I'll Be" - called America's best wedding song on Dr. Phil's daytime show! - led to McCain's emergence as a soulful rock god, one whose May 10 appearance at the River Music Experience's Redstone Room is highly anticipated. Along with hits such as "I Could Not Ask for More" and "Solitude," McCain's live performance will feature songs from his newest CD, Lost in America, which Popmatters.com's Mike Schiller said "picks up the pace of McCain's songwriting style." That same evening, Boston songstress Mieka Pauley also hits the Redstone Room stage, performing tracks from her latest album, Out of Car Wrecks & Hurricanes. "While the eyes may be the windows to the soul," wrote Reilly Capps in the Boston Globe, "Pauley lets you in through her voice (as unstoppable as a flood) and through her lyrics (as personal as diary entries)." Tickets are $25 and are available at the RME, and more information is available at (563)326-1333. - Jesse Virgil
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Monday, May 15, 6 and 9:15 p.m.
The popular, enduring vocal group The Lettermen have - through the span of their 45-year career - performed at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse 20 years in a row. (They'll be there again on Monday, May 15, for both cocktail and dinner performances.) As one of the theatre's performing wait staff, the Bootleggers, I served food and drinks at their shows for 11 of those 20 years, and can personally attest that these singers don't just put on a terrifically entertaining show; they happen to be some of the coolest guys you'd ever hope to meet. (Chat with 'em in the lobby after the show, and tell me I'm lying.) But even if you've enjoyed a Lettermen concert before - with their signature, smooth-as-silk harmonies and solos giving joyous life to such classics as "Theme from A Summer Place," "Hurt So Bad," and "Shangri-La" - you owe it to yourselves to catch one of their May 15 performances. Why? Because they'll be performing on the Cats set, that's why! No word as to whether Grizabella will be joining the trio for a closing rendition of the 5th Dimension's "Up, Up, & Away," but we can always hope. For tickets, call Circa '21 at (309)786-7733 extension 2. - Mike Schulz
HERSONG SPRING CONCERT
First Congregational Church
Saturday, May 13, 7 p.m.
The Quad Cities' women's chorus, Hersong, will present its 18th annual spring concert - themed "Stronger Together" - on May 13 (at Moline's First Congregational Church, 2201 Seventh Avenue), and my managing editor, Jeff Ignatius, wants it to be known that his wife, Pamela Kennerly Ignatius, is one of Hersong's performers. Full disclosure, you know. Done. On to business. According to Hersong performer Pamela Kennerly Ignatius, the evening's song list includes the Broadway hits "Seasons of Love" from Rent and "For Good" from Wicked, and audiences will also hear "Hay una Mujer," "Fair Warning," and a duet of Paul Simon's "American Tune," performed by Susan Medinger and Pamela Kennerly Ignatius. The venerable, talented Hersong group, whose proceeds have benefited area charities for nearly two decades, was recently awarded a grant for new costumes - one of which will be worn by Pamela Kennerly Ignatius - and in the above photo, do you see that woman directly in the center behind the piano? Friends, may I present ... Pamela Kennerly Ignatius. (And Jeff and Pamela were worried that I would embarrass them in this glance ... .) For more information on the group, and quite possibly on Pamela Kennerly Ignatius, visit (http://www.hersong.us). - Mike Schulz
BEAUX ARTS SPRING FAIR
Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14
Flowers are nice. Candy is terrific. But are you looking to really bowl your mom over on Mother's Day? Pop down to the annual Beaux Arts Spring Fair on May 13 or 14, and tell her how much you care through the stunning, unique works of more than 200 of the area's premier artists. Among local artists showcasing their gifts are Carol Graham (fused-glass jewelry), Bill Hawthorne (oils), Sally Gierke (pottery), Anne Morris (collage), and LuAnn Steffen (glassworks), and additional works in painting, drawing, printmaking, weaving, and other selected crafts are on display for purchase and appreciation. And if, like me, you're notoriously lazy about picking up gifts, the fair can't be beat: You can stop by the day before Mother's Day (or even on Mother's Day itself!), get something you know your mom will like, and then just tell her that you, yourself, spent weeks working on it! Oh, wait. My mom reads these things, doesn't she ... ? What I meant to say, Mom, was ... oh great ... . Hours for the fair, held on Second Street between Brady and Iowa in downtown Davenport, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and more information is available by contacting fair Chairperson Tom Magers at (563)323-9042. - Mike Schulz