Tag Archive: live music


Preliminary Round of the Iowa Blues Challenge

This just in: Admission is now $5, $4 for Mississippi Valley Blues Society members.

The preliminary round of the Iowa Blues Challenge will be held at Rascals (1414 15th St., Moline) on Sunday April 11th starting at 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10, $7 for Mississippi Valley Blues Society members. The Pocket Deuces Blues Band takes the stage at 5:00, V.J.J. Groove comes on at 6:00, and the Steady Rollin’ Blues Band starts at 7:00. Each band will play a 30- minute set, and after the challenge there will be a jam session.

The bands will be judged by three experts from as far away as Des Moines and Peoria. Each band will be evaluated in five categories: blues content, vocal talent, instrumental talent, originality, and stage presence. The winner of this Quad-City round will travel to Des Moines on May 22 to compete at the state level. The winner of the Iowa Blues Challenge will then travel to Memphis in early 2011 to compete in the International Blues Challenge. The winner of the Iowa Blues Challenge will also have a slot at the 2010 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Last year’s winners of the Iowa Blues Challenge were The Avey Brothers Band of the Quad-Cities; they went on to become finalists in Memphis.

Visit Rascals online here.

Tommy Castro Band

Tommy Castro

The Tommy Castro Band will be appearing at Galesburg’s Fat Fish Pub on Sunday, April 18 (showtime is 6pm).

Castro is a rising star of the blues, and has been honored with a slew of award nominations for 2010, including Band of the Year and the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year by the Blues Music Awards.

Check out Tommy’s website here.

Brooks Williams at Tri States NPR

Brooks Williams

The amazing Brooks Williams brings this season’s Celebration Concert series to a close at 7PM on Saturday, March 27th in Tri States NPR’s Music Performance Studio in Macomb.

You can buy tickets here.

Matthew Skoller Poster

Here’s the poster you’ll see around town. Matthew also send some groovy full color posters that you’ll see out an about as well.

Matthew Skoller

Matthew Skoller Band in Concert!

Matthew Skoller

On Saturday, June 6th, MonmouthBlues.com has a real treat in store for you!

The Matthew Skoller Band will come down from Chicago to deliver an amazing night of harmonica powered blues at the Rivoli Theatre.

If you were at last Fall’s Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival, than you know that the Matthew Skoller Band nearly stole the show. Raw energy, passion and musicianship are the hallmarks of this hard working Chicago original.

Sally Weisenburg

Blues and jazz singer Sally Weisenburg and her band will open the show and will deliver a set of solid vocal-driven tunes to get the night rolling.

Mark your calendars for this exciting show – can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday night?

Tickets will be $12 at the door or $10 in advance, and will be available online this week and at local retailers next week. Doors to the Rivoli will open at 7pm and the music will get rocking at 7:30pm.

Matthew Skoller Band Website

Matthew Skoller Band MySpace Page

Sally Weisenburg MySpace Page

Kelly Rocks the High School

The Kelly Richey Band performed before the students of Monmouth-Roseville High School on Friday, March 13th. The students learned a bit about blues history and also had a chance to see how a master can shred on guitar.

The full story is here.

Kelly Richey in the News

With only a little over a day to go until the Kelly Richey Band hits the stage at the Rivoli, both regional papers are providing some exciting coverage of the event. Click the links below to read more.

Monmouth Review Atlas: Kelly Richey Band to perform Friday

Galesburg Register Mail: Richey brings blues to Maple City

What Does It Mean To Be “On”?

Last week, I played a short set at Budde’s open mic over in Galesburg. It was one of the best sets I ever played… but why?
I wasn’t particularly technical; I screwed up a few times, but kept going. So why did it feel so good? I think part of the answer lies in audience reaction – for some reason, they were paying more attention than normal and supported my playing with cheers and hoots. Obviously, that gets a musician motivated.
But I think it was more than that… for some reason, confidence was strong (that’s not a given), so I sang louder and with more conviction. Though I’m not sure why I felt better that night than others.
What I noticed most was that I felt part of the music. I wasn’t just playing a few songs – I was inhabiting them. I was feeling the strings, flowing with the music, almost surfing over the music with the lyrics. I was in there and believing it, and because of that, I think the end product was greater than the sum of its parts.
I was a magical feeling, but certainly elusive for me. Maybe one day, the recipe for that magical musical gumbo will reveal itself for me; until then, I’ll be content for those rare moments when I truly inhabit the music. After all, that why I keep coming back to play!

Last week, I played a short set at Budde’s open mic over in Galesburg. It was one of the best sets I ever played… but why?
I wasn’t particularly technical; I screwed up a few times, but kept going. So why did it feel so good? I think part of the answer lies in audience reaction – for some reason, they were paying more attention than normal and supported my playing with cheers and hoots. Obviously, that gets a musician motivated.
But I think it was more than that… for some reason, confidence was strong (that’s not a given), so I sang louder and with more conviction. Though I’m not sure why I felt better that night than others.
What I noticed most was that I felt part of the music. I wasn’t just playing a few songs – I was inhabiting them. I was feeling the strings, flowing with the music, almost surfing over the music with the lyrics. I was in there and believing it, and because of that, I think the end product was greater than the sum of its parts.
I was a magical feeling, but certainly elusive for me. Maybe one day, the recipe for that magical musical gumbo will reveal itself for me; until then, I’ll be content for those rare moments when I truly inhabit the music. After all, that why I keep coming back to play!

Kelly Richey Tickets On Sale!

Kelly Richey tickets

Tickets to the Friday, March 13th concert, featuring Mike Budde’s Rhythm Circus and the jaw-dropping Kelly Richey Band, are now on sale at our online store. Tickets will also be on sale locally in early February.

To buy tickets online, click here.

Charlie, Joel and Fred

Last night, I had the pleasure of hearing both Charlie Hayes/Joel Fleming and Fred Dixon prepare for their upcoming Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival performances at an open mic at McMahon’s Pub in Monmouth.

Charlie and Joel were on fire, with Charlie playing both acoustic and electric Dobro slide guitar. It was amazing hearing the tone and range from Joel’s harmonica playing–certainly not the sound you hear from your garden variety blues harpist. His high-end solo on Shake Your Money Maker was simply amazing!

Fred was working through a potential set, trying out the best flow and fit of a number of way-old-school blues songs. It’s simply amazing the depth of material he has access to. He was telling me that his love of deep blues came from his childhood in Chicago (he moved up there at 12), where his “hillbilly” accent and poverty governed who he could and could not hang out with. There, with the poor kids on the streets of Chicago, he fell in love with the authenticity of the blues.

I’m getting psyched about the show–I can hear in my head the flow from one act to the next and I think it’ll be a day to remember!

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