Sunday, May 7, 3 p.m.
Best Western Steeplegate Inn, 100 West 76th Street, Davenport IA
With the Chicago Blues Guide deeming them “excellent” and Emmy-nominated actor Hugh Laurie upping the praise by calling them “bloody excellent,” the blues artists of Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys featuring Westside Andy play Davenport's Best Western Steeplegate Inn on May 7 in a concert co-presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, the artists noted for albums include Big Bee, Slow Burn, and Shake Your Boogie.
Born and raised in the Englewood neighborhood on south side of Chicago, the good Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971, when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After a 16-year tenure in the Navy, Raven moved to Milwaukee, where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, the longtime harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers. Since 1990, the blues artist has opened for the likes of B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals. The Reverend can also frequently be seen at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where he has been on rotation as a headliner for 20 years.
“Hard-driving, passionate blues” is how Raven describes the sound of his group, which also boasts the talents of Westside Amdy on harmonica and vocals, Craig Panosh on drums, and P.T. Pedersen on bass. “I’d like to say ‘50s and ‘60s inspired Chicago blues, and I’ve had bands and been in bands where we’ve done that, but we’re really not like that. We try and present our music like what I saw back in the early ‘70s when I went to the clubs in Chicago to see these great blues bands. They were there to entertain you and make you have a great experience so you’d come back and drink more. So that’s what we try and do.” Reverend Raven and Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, who have played the Quad Cities several times since their 2013 appearance at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, were chosen by the Wisconsin Music Industry as Best Blues Band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, and again in 2015. They also received the People's Choice Award in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys featuring Westside Andy plays Davenport's Best Western Steeplegate Inn on May 7, admission to the 3 p.m. concert event is $12 for MVBS members and $15 for non-members, with a $10 taco bar and beverages also available. For more information, contact the Mississippi Valley Blues Society at (563)322-5837 and MVBS.org.