Mud Morganfield

Mud Morganfield has this to say about being the son of Muddy Waters, who also sired (in a less literal way) Chicago blues: "It's a curse, and then sometimes it's a blessing. Because people begin to compare you."

Don't feel too sorry for Morganfield, though. His career is built on re-creating the Muddy Waters sound, and he's almost begging for the comparison.

"I wanted to represent my dad's music, and what he stood for," Morganfield said in a recent phone interview. "It came natural to me. ... People think maybe I was somewhere in the basement studying it, and listening to recordings. You can't get that close with that. I do what I do because I'm his son. That's just all there is to it."

Every act on both stages Friday is a descendant of a blues legend.

The Kinsey Report, 5 p.m.

Kinsey ReportThe Kinsey brothers -- guitarist/vocalist Donald, drummer Ralph, and bassist Kenneth -- developed their funk-oriented blues sound from a lifetime of working together on stage and in the studio. Their father and musical mentor, the late Mississippi-born Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey, introduced his sons to gospel and blues early on. As youngsters, they saw firsthand the emotional power of music in their grandfather's church in Gary, Indiana. By the time Donald was 13, he was an accomplished guitarist who performed with Big Daddy around Gary. During the late 1960s, Big Daddy began taking the family act on the road. In 1972, Albert King recruited Donald as his rhythm guitarist.

Every act on both stages Friday is a descendant of a blues legend.

Alvin "Little Pink" Anderson, 5 p.m.

Alvin 'Little Pink' AndersonAlvin "Little Pink" Anderson is the son of Piedmont blues giant Pink Anderson. Alvin was born on July 13, 1954, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and by the age of three was performing with his father as a tap dancer and singer in the medicine shows that traveled throughout the South. It was also at this early age that Pink Anderson started teaching Alvin to play the acoustic guitar. By the time Alvin was 13, he was touring with Clarence Carter -- until his age was discovered!

Steady Rollin' Blues Band, 1 p.m.

Steady Rollin' Blues BandJust five weeks after winning the Quad Cities round of the Iowa Blues Challenge, the Steady Rollin' Blues Band emerged victorious from the final round of the state challenge in Des Moines on May 22. The prize package includes studio recording time and a slot at the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival for July 3, as well as money to help support the band's trip to Memphis next January, when they will represent Iowa in the International Blues Challenge.

Little Brother Jones, 1:30 p.m.

Little Brother JonesI must start out this bio admitting I have not witnessed this gentleman in person. Sometimes it is better that way. I do know by listening to his CDs and reading his stories that this guy is going to be the real deal. This guy is a bluesman in every sense of the word. This is going to be another one that you will be saying, "Where do they find these folks? Little Brother Jones is great!" Well, thank Bob Covemaker for this one.

The Jimmys, 2 p.m.

The JimmysAs luck would have it, when the Entertainment Committee was looking for a regional band for the opening slot on Sunday at the Fest, across our collective desk came a disc by The Jimmys. Not only was the music rollicking, dance-worthy blues, but the band had horns -- something missing from other acts at the Fest.

Bill Sims Jr. & Mark LaVoie, 2 p.m.

Bill Sims Jr. & Mark LaVoieBill Sims Jr. (guitar and vocals) and Mark LaVoie (harmonica) call themselves the American Roots Blues Duo. Bill is from New York City, and Mark lives in Vermont. They have been working together for more than 15 years, mostly in Vermont. In the early '90s while working in Burlington, Vermont, Bill met Mark and they became fast friends after discovering their shared love of acoustic blues.

David Horwitz, Workshop at 2:30 p.m. Sunday

David HorwitzPhotographer 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. -- Ann Ring

Greetings, and welcome to the 26th-annual IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival!

We at the Mississippi Valley Blues Society are proud of our accomplishment of producing this nationally acclaimed festival for more than 25 years. We now embrace the challenge of continuing on this tradition by bringing you quality entertainment for at least another 25 years. To do this we will continue to provide features that our fans have come to expect: world-renowned blues acts at both of our main stages, interactive BlueSKool programs on-site for the young and young at heart, and a free photo exhibit and workshops for one and all at the Freight House.

MVBS Presents Jim Suhler, George Thorogood's Guitarist, on Sunday Jan. 31

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents guitarist Jim Suhler and his band, Monkey Beat, on Sunday Jan. 31 at Creekside Bar and Grill, 3303 Brady Street in Davenport. The show starts at 5 p.m. and admission is $8, $6 for Blues Society members. Since 1999, Jim Suhler has been George Thorogood's guitar player live and on recordings. He tours with Monkey Beat when Thorogood is on break. Suhler and Monkey Beat's latest CD, Tijuana Bible, has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category of best blues-rock recording. The Atlanta Constitution has noted that "Suhler is a monster guitarist, tossing out slide riffs and power chords with the exuberance of a Page or Hendrix." Noted producer Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Miller) says of Suhler that he's "a wonderful songwriter and an electrifying performer." Suhler was born in Dallas, Texas, December 30, 1960, where his first exposure to music was by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and British Invasion bands. He began playing guitar at age 14 and was influenced at that time by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, Led Zeppelin and others. Suhler was also influenced by Rory Gallagher, AC/DC and the Ramones. During these formative years, Suhler was exposed to Texas guitar talent like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Anson Funderburgh, and Jimmie Vaughan. He played in an array of cover and original bands during these years, initially backing other vocalists or guitarists. At this time, Suhler was playing traditional blues in the style of T-Bone Walker, Magic Sam and B.B. King. During this period Suhler was a DJ at Dallas' KNON radio station, hosting a three-hour weekly blues show called "Radio Mojo", every Tuesday night. Suhler was playing a gig at Huey's in Memphis when George Thorogood dropped by the club during a break from a recording session. He was impressed with Suhler's playing, arranging and songwriting skills, so the two struck up a friendship. In mid-1991, Suhler formed power trio Monkey Beat, with drummer Paul Hollis and bassist/vocalist Carlton Powell. At that time, Suhler sent a four song demo to Thorogood producer/engineer Terry Manning, after Thorogood told Suhler, "Terry would love you guys." Radio Mojo was released in February 1993. Several tours opening for Thorogood & the Destroyers across North America in 1993-95 followed. In early 1994, Suhler & fellow Dallas blues guitarist Mike Morgan convened to record Let The Dogs Run, a collection of originals and songs by blues greats Magic Sam, Lazy Lester, and Howlin' Wolf, for Black Top records. For the next few years, Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat toured throughout the United States and Europe, playing clubs, theaters and festivals for a burgeoning fan base. Bad JuJu, which was produced by Jim Gaines, was released on Lucky Seven records in 2001. Texas rock 'n roll, zydeco, Tex-Mex, hip hop and blues influences were evident on the songs on Bad JuJu. The acoustic Dirt Road was released in 2002, coming on the heels of the death of Suhler's daughter Brittany in a tragic accident. Suhler started the Brittany Suhler Memorial Foundation in her honor, a charity which continues to this day. The newest CD, Tijuana Bible, was recorded in Nashville, and includes guest artists Elvin Bishop, Jimmy Hall and Joe Bonamassa. Tijuana Bible has covers by Rory Gallagher, AC/DC, and Elvin Bishop, as well as 13 Suhler originals. Suhler has also played on and contributed songs to George Thorogood DVD and CD releases since 1999. Also on Suhler's resume is having his compositions used in major motion picture releases and television worldwide. He has played onstage with Les Paul, James Cotton, Duke Robillard, Peter Wolf, Willie Nelson, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Pinetop Perkins, Lazy Lester, Steve Miller, Elvin Bishop, Son Seals, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Rivers, Joe Bonamassa, and others.