(Here you'll find links to all the content in the official guide to the 2009 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, along with previous coverage of this year's performers from the River Cities' Reader.)

Thursday, July 2

Bandshell (Performer Bios)

5 p.m.: Bob Dorr & the Blue Band (2001 interview, 2006 review)

7 p.m.: Peña Brothers Band

9 p.m.: Cobalt Blue

11 p.m.: Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings (2009 interview)

Tent Stage (Performer Bios)

5 p.m.: Radoslav Lorkovic (2009 interview)

6:30 p.m.: Hawkeye Herman (2007 interview)

8:30 p.m.: Bo Ramsey (2008 interview)

10:30 p.m.: Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women (2001 interview)

Friday, July 3

Bandshell (Performer Bios)

2 p.m.: The Avey Brothers

4 p.m.: Ellis Kell Band

6 p.m.: Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges

8 p.m.: Ric E Bluez

10 p.m.: Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater (2008 interview)

Tent Stage (Performer Bios)

2 p.m.: T.J. Wheeler

4 p.m.: David "Honeyboy" Edwards

5:30 p.m.: Fiona Boyes (2009 interview)

7:30 p.m.: Dee Alexander (2009 interview)

9:30 p.m.: Sugar Pie DeSanto (2009 interview)

Free Workshops

1 p.m.: Saffire (2001 interview)

2:30 p.m.: Fiona Boyes (2009 interview)

4 p.m.: David Horwitz, Blues Photography

5:30 p.m.: David Berntson


2:30 p.m.: Winter Blues Academy Kids

3:45 p.m.: David Berntson

5 p.m.: T.J. Wheeler

Saturday, July 4

Bandshell (Performer Bios)

2 p.m.: Steady Rollin' Band

4 p.m.: Robin Rogers (2009 interview)

6 p.m.: Craig Horton

8 p.m.: Larry McCray (2009 interview)

10 p.m.: Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers (2004 interview)

Tent Stage (Performer Bios)

2 p.m.: Marquise Knox

3:30 p.m.: Juke Joiunt Duo

5:30 p.m.: Kenny Brown

7:30 p.m.: Diunna Greenleaf

9:30 p.m.: Magic Slim & the Teardrops (2005 interview)

Free Workshops

1 p.m.: T.J. Wheeler

2:30 p.m.: Kenny Brown

4 p.m.: Hawkeye Herman (2007 interview)

5:30 p.m.: Radoslav Lorkovic (2009 interview)


2:30 p.m.: Winter Blues Academy Kids

3:45 p.m.: T.J. Wheeler

5 p.m.: David Berntson

How to Buy Tickets

Advance tickets for the 2009 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival are available at all IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union locations, the River Center/Adler Theatre Box Office, and through Ticketmaster. The price of an advance three-day pass for the fest is $30. Individual fest tickets at the gate will cost $5 on Thursday, July 2, and $15 on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4.

IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union and Mississippi Valley Blues Society members can purchase individual advance fest tickets at a discounted rate of $12.50 each only at IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union locations.

Children 14 and under will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket. Tickets are good for admission only on the day printed on the ticket.

T.J. WheelerT.J. Wheeler, 2 p.m.

Blues guitarist and educator T.J. Wheeler spent a week's Blues in the Schools residency in the Quad Cities during Black History Month this year; he conducted workshops at eight schools, one university, and one museum. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society education committee was so impressed with T.J.'s blues education abilities that he was invited back for the 25th-annual IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Besides performing on the tent stage and conducting a workshop at 1 p.m. on Saturday where he'll share "Back Stories of the Blues," T.J. will preside over a BlueSKool slot along with kids he will have taught at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Rock Island just a few days before the Fest.

Marquise KnoxMarquise Knox, 2 p.m.

Marquise Knox is a young blues artist who comes out of the St. Louis area. The guitar is his instrument of choice on which he says he can best express himself. Marquise also plays the harmonica and of course sings - very well, I might add. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform this year in St. Louis on our return trip from the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. I was pleasantly surprised to see the poise this young man has and the stage presence of someone many years older.

Larry McCrayWelcome to the 25th-anniversary IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival! On behalf of the blues society, I would like to say we are proud of our quarter-century of bringing you, the fans, the best quality blues festival possible. Ours is a fest of not only quality but diversity. We strive to provide you a sampling of the many different styles of America's original music, the blues.

Bob Dorr & the Blue BandBob Dorr & the Blue Band, 5 p.m.

The Blue Band turned 28 on June 10! As Bobby's Blue Band (a tongue-in-cheek play on blues icon Bobby Blue Bland), the group headlined at the first Blues Fest in LeClaire Park in 1985. For the 25th-anniversary IH Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, Bob Dorr & the Blue Band will kick off the festivities on Thursday, July 2. This band is guaranteed to have you up and dancing with their rockin' blues and soul tunes!

The Avey BrothersThe Avey Brothers, 2 p.m.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is pleased to welcome the Quad Cities' own the Avey Brothers to this year's Blues Fest - again! The Avey Brothers were also the winners of 2008's Iowa Blues Challenge. They competed in the International Blues Challenge this February in Memphis, where the band winner of that competition, J.P. Soars & the Red Hots, shared the same venue as the Avey Brothers. This May, the Avey Brothers again were back in Des Moines for the Iowa Blues Challenge finals, where they once more came out on top against some heavy competition: Matt Woods & the Thunderbolts, Trouble No More, and Blues Explosion (the kids from Omaha). That victory has earned them - again! - an impressive prize package, including a slot at the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and the right to represent the state of Iowa in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next year.

The Steady Rollin' Blues BandThe Steady Rollin' Blues Band, 2 p.m.

If you're into the Quad Cities blues scene, you're bound to be into the Steady Rollin' Blues Band featuring Jimmie Lee Adams. The hippest Quad Cities blues fans have been listening to them every Sunday night at Creekside Bar & Grill when they host a jam that's frequented by every local blues musician worth hearing.

Radoslav LorkovicRadoslav Lorkovic, 5 p.m.

In 1985, Radoslav Lorkovic played at the first Blues Fest. At last year's festival, Radoslav was the piano man with the Holmes Brothers. He adds their name to a long list of musicians he's collaborated with in performance and on recordings, including Odetta and Greg Brown. His long touring career on the R&B and folk circuits has led Radoslav from the venues of the Midwest's upper Mississippi River area to Italian castles, the Canary Islands, the Yup'ik villages of Alaska, and Carnegie Hall.

Larry McCrayBlues singer, songwriter, and guitarist Larry McCray lost two brothers in the past two years, and a sister in 2000. But through the blues, he has found a means of dealing with his loss.

"There is something missing there, and I got to figure out a way to express what I feel about it," McCray said about the deaths of his brothers. The loss of his sister became the inspiration for his work "Picture on the Wall."

The blues have also provided the Michigan-based McCray with an avenue for dealing with other aspects of life, from family to money, he said.

"There are at least 500 shades of the blues," McCray said, echoing Gil Scott-Heron. He works with many of those shades in songs such as "Blues Is My Business," "Feel So Damn Good (I'll Be Glad When I Got the Blues)," "Soul Shine," and "Don't Need No Woman Like That."

Roy RogersSinger, songwriter, and slide-guitarist Roy Rogers is not a blues purist. He could write a song in the style of Robert Johnson - the reason he became a blues player in the first place - but what would be the point of that?

"I'm just trying to stretch it," he said in a recent phone interview.

So on his new recording Split Decision - his first studio album with his Delta Rhythm Kings trio in seven years - there's the instrumental "Your Sweet Embrace," with a flamenco section by Ottmar Liebert, and "Rite of Passage" has a warm, funky jazz groove before taking a guitar-solo detour into the blues. "Bitter Rain" deals with Hurricane Katrina and has what Rogers called "almost kind of a tempest riff," and closing instrumental "Walkin' the Levee" features sax and a guitar tone simultaneously fuzzy and razor sharp. "River of Tears" is an irresistibly upbeat pop number despite its theme of sadness.