The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.

- Willie Dixon

2014 Iowa Blues Challenge Solo-Duo

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents the 2014 Iowa Solo/Duo Blues Challenge Preliminary Round to be held Sunday, July 27 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State St., Bettendorf,IA. Four Solo/Duo groups will compete starting at 4:00 p.m. The cost of admission is $5 for all persons.

For 21 years, the competition has been sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society in cooperation with the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and other blues societies of Iowa. The contest is open to any Iowa blues groups that have not been nominated for the Blues Music Awards (formerly Handy Awards).

Competitors on July 27 are 'Detroit' Larry Davison & Charlie Hayes, Dan Peart, SaJes, and the Zach and Mike Show. The solo and duo groups will start at 4 PM and perform 20-minute sets.

The winners here will go on to compete at the Finals in Des Moines. The winner of the final round earns the right to compete in the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis next January. The prize package, considered one of the best for such a competition, includes cash, travel expenses, and recording time.


The Holmes BrothersThe internationally acclaimed Holmes Brothers will make their only Quad-Cities appearance at The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf IA) on Saturday August 16. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and admission is $15. Advance tickets are on sale at the Muddy Waters for this special show in an intimate venue.

The Holmes Brothers perform "Timeless, deeply soulful and uplifting gospel-drenched blues, street corner doo-wop, ballads, R&B, country and funk" (New York Times). Their brand of roots music was recognized this year when the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the Holmes Brothers a National Heritage Fellowship in the Folk and Traditional Arts. The NEA Fellowships recognize the recipients' artistic excellence and support their continuing contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage.

The Holmes Brothers – Wendell Holmes (guitarist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter), Sherman Holmes (bassist/ vocalist/songwriter) and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon (drummer/vocalist) – are true treasures of American roots music. For


Keeping the Blues AliveJust in time for its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has been honored with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN, the world-renown organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. The coveted award, in the U.S. Festival category, is the equivalent of lifetime achievement recognition.

The Blues Foundation notes that the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has become "one of the longest running, most prestigious blues festivals in the world. Held on the shores of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa, this event features music on two outdoor stages and educational presentations. Four different times, the festival has moved due to river flooding, but each time, festival organizers have been up to the task.

Beginning in 1995 with Honeyboy Edwards, the festival inaugurated its RiverRoad Award to honor the true legends of the blues. Thus far, 36 men and women have been so honored." The Festival is also the only major blues festival in the nation to be produced by a non-profit, all-volunteer organization — the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.

Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world. Unlike the Blues Music Awards, which recognize the past year's best in recordings and performance voted on by thousands of The Blues Foundation's members, the KBAs are awarded to non-performers strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals. Affiliated organizations, past KBA recipients and members of The Blues Foundation's Board of Directors are eligible to submit nominations.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival was nominated for the KBA award by musician Michael "Hawkeye" Herman, himself a KBA recipient for Education in 1998 and a former member of the board of directors of the Blues Foundation. In his nomination, Hawkeye noted that "The 2014 KBA Award would be a most auspicious way of honoring this event's 30 years of hard work and dedication to 'Keeping the Blues Alive' in both spirit and action."


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