Gulf Coast Records’ Blues Music Award-Winners Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia bond as Blood Brothers on new CD coming early 2023. Blood Brothers was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana.
Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia are true “Blood Brothers” in life and in the music they create both individually and collectively, joining forces in a collaborative effort of songwriting and performances to create a total listening experience greater than the sum of its parts. Added to that process are the talents of producers Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, who brought fresh ideas to the recording sessions, pushing Mike and Albert creatively and musically to present their best work to date.
“Mike and Albert have a special chemistry together when they plug in and play that few have. They finish each other’s sentences musically,” award-winning guitarist Joe Bonamassa said about the sessions. “Great tunes, great people, great hang! What’s not to like? It was an honor to be involved in this project.”
“Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia have done something special,” added co-producer Josh Smith. “They have both found their musical confidante. Most solo artists never even look – let alone find – theirs. They have brought together a real ‘band’ using members of each’s solo acts. The sum of all these parts added with a tremendous effort to both write and perform the strongest record of their respective careers has paid off in a special album. Blood Brothers indeed! Joe and I are proud that these brothers trusted our partnership to produce this special album!”
Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia will be hitting the road again in support of the new Blood Brothers album. They will bring together their two powerhouse bands, featuring Matt Johnson: drums; Ephraim Lowell: drums; Doug Byrkit: bass; and Lewis Stephens: piano/organ. Both Mike and Albert will be onstage performing together for the entire show, so fans can enjoy the amazing chemistry and creativity that these two musicians share with each other – and the audience. In addition to their own rock, blues and roots individual tunes, the set will feature a number of songs from the Blood Brothers album.
Both Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia are celebrating their most recent albums: Zito’s double live set, Blues for the Southside (released Feb. 2021), debuted at number one on the Billboard Blues Chart; and Castiglia’s latest solo disc, I Got Love, (released in May, 2022) also charted very high.
Mike Zito won the 2022 Blues Music Award for “Blues Rock Album;” and Albert Castiglia won the BMA for “Blues Rock Artist.” With both artists on the exciting Gulf Coast Records label, it only made sense to join forces and give the fans what they’ve long been clamoring for: “Blood Brothers.”Visit Official Website
Sugaray Rayford returns with In Too Deep, the follow up to his 2020 Grammy® nominated Somebody Save Me, an album which also earned Rayford two major Blues Music Awards for B.B. King Entertainer and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year (2 straight years).
Recorded with Producer Eric Corne (John Mayall), In Too Deep combines classic soul melodies with funky R&B grooves and raw blues power, mashed up with modern sensibilities. The album takes on issues, such as PTSD, civil rights and social justice. With vibrantly detailed arrangements tailored to showcase Rayford’s deft portrayals and interpretations, In Too Deep is a poignant album that seeks to inspire and uplift.
Albumism described Rayford as having “a sound that’s undeniably fresh and inspired,” while PopMatters declared it "will appeal to fans of Gary Clark Jr. and Chicano Batman." At his core, Sugaray Rayford is a galvanizing uniter. His live shows are a party. Some conversations may be had, and some self-reflection may occur, but at the end of the day, people leave feeling a sense of joy and togetherness.Visit Official Website
As a teenager in the early ‘90s growing up in the muddy potato fields of Idaho, John Németh was drawn to the hard-edged hip hop sounds and rock bands of the day, until a friend, Tom Moore, introduced him to the Junior Wells and Buddy Guy classic “Hoodoo Man Blues.” Together they formed Fat John & the 3 Slims, which is still regarded as a legendary band in the Boise region. John played harp and sang in local bands, often opening the show for nationally touring blues acts and quickly caught the ear of established blues musicians. It didn’t take long before he was releasing his own recordings, “The Jack Of Harps” (2002) and “Come And Get It” (2004), featuring Junior Watson, and performing in Junior Watson’s band.
John relocated to San Francisco in 2004, where he had the bitter-sweet good fortune to undertake a two-year stint with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, filling in for the ailing Sam Myers. Németh immersed himself in the deep musical waters of the Bay area, absorbing more of the soul and funk grooves of what he calls “the early East Bay Grease sound” of San Francisco and Oakland bands.
John’s talents did not go unnoticed and he soon signed a recording contract with Blind Pig Records. His national debut for that label, “Magic Touch” (2007), produced by Anson Funderburgh and featuring Junior Watson on guitar, received an ecstatic response from fans and the media, and he was hailed as the new voice of the blues. Living Blues enthused, “Magic Touch gives hope that the blues will survive.” In 2008 Németh was recruited by Elvin Bishop to do some performances and contribute four vocal tracks to his Grammy-nominated album “The Blues Rolls On.”
Németh released two more albums on the Blind Pig label, “Love Me Tonight” (2009) & “Name The Day (2010), both hitting #6 on the Billboard Blues Chart, and beginning his long string of Blues Music Award (BMA) nominations, numbering 20 at last count. John has also won two Blues Blast Music Awards – Best New Artist Debut Recording and Sean Costello Rising Star Award. John followed up with two independently released live albums in 2012, “Blues Live” and “Soul Live.”
In 2013 John relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, where he teamed up with producer Scott Bomar and his classic Memphis Soul band, the Bo-Keys, to create an album of revisited soul classics, “Memphis Grease” (2014 Blue Corn), which debuted at #4 on the Billboard Blues Chart. John won the 2104 BMA for Best Soul Blues Male Artist, followed by “Memphis Grease” winning Best Soul Blues Album in 2015.
In 2017 Németh released “Feelin’ Freaky” (produced by Luther Dickinson) on his own Memphis Grease label, crushing all barriers of style and genre with an album of original songs that defied all the usual pigeonholes, drawing from his strong influences in blues and R&B, as well as contemporary sounds in hip hop and rock ‘n’ roll. Later that same year, Németh was part of a side project “The Love Light Orchestra Featuring John Németh” recorded live at one of Memphis’ favorite watering holes, Bar DKDC. The 10-piece band was initially envisioned by guitarist Joe Restivo, vocalist John Németh and arranger/trumpeter Marc Franklin.
Németh returned to Electraphonic in December of 2019 with his seasoned road band of young gun players, The Blue Dreamers, featuring 19 year-old guitar phenom from Philadelphia, Jon Hay, drummer Danny Banks and Matt Wilson on bass for a rowdy southern swamp roots session resulting in his 10th album, “Stronger Than Strong” demonstrating, yet again, his uncanny ability to skillfully blend retro and modern blues and soul into compelling music that is simultaneously old and new.Visit Official Website
“Not unreconstructed but not modern just for the sake of it…The spiritual granddaughter of Koko Taylor and southern blues show bands, Riggins has the stone cold knack for hitting it out of the park that would make all the blues greats before her quite proud.”- Midwest Records
Inspired by the variety and abundance of music in her parents’ collection, it makes sense that her own music is peppered with hints of R&B, soul, country, gospel, hip-hop, and rock-n-roll. Make no mistake; however, Kat Riggins is undeniably a BLUES WOMAN! She travels the world with the sole mission of keeping the blues alive and thriving through her Blues Revival Movement.
What is a “Blues Revival” anyway? According to Kat, it is a musical revolution that aims to awaken the masses and introduce them to the sincerity behind blues music. “It’s about the raw emotion in every note”, exclaims Kat Riggins as she attempts to describe her love of the genre. Backed by a dynamic band, Kat invokes said emotion through high energy soul shakers as well as heart breaking ballads. During a meet and greet after a sold out show in Belgium, a fan once jokingly asked Kat if ever there was a time she “phoned it in” to avoid ending up exhausted, sweaty and bruised from the tambourine… “If I can move someone to feel what I feel when I sing a song, then it's all worth it", said the Miami born singer-songwriter.
“The diminutive Ms. Riggins may be small in stature, but she’s blessed with a powerhouse voice that will grab listeners.” – Graham Clarke
She has been vocally compared to Koko Taylor, Etta James and Tina Turner to name a few. While obviously influenced by those icons, Mrs. Riggins has a voice and delivery all her own. Full of power, rasp and grit she can belt out one of her contemporary blues originals one minute, then deliver a tender, sultry standard the next. She does this all while making each person in her audience feel as if she is speaking directly to them. Blues Revivals are interactive and personal no matter how large the crowd. This intimacy is what makes every Blues Revival a memorable experience…not only for the audience, but for Kat.
“A petite vocalist with a potent delivery and electrifying voice, Kat Riggins holds nothing back…”- Blues Blast Magazine
"I thank God that my passion is my purpose... That is to help preserve this endangered species called The Blues." - Kat Riggins
"Support LIVE music, because if you don't... eventually you'll have to settle for YouTube alone. It's just NOT the same."- Kat RigginsVisit Official Website
"Chickenbone Slim is an original Blues/Americana touring artist based in San Diego, CA. Signed in 2021 to Vizztone Records, Chickenbone is garnering national and international attention with his unique roots sound. Mixing blues with west coast swing, rockabilly and roots rock and inspired by local roots artists The Paladins, Candye Cane and dedicated to blues legend Tomcat Courtney, Chickenbone’s 4th all-original album, “Serve It To Me Hot” showcases Chickenbone's songwriting and the wide range of the band’s talent, and is a solid artistic updating of roots music for the 21st century.
Chickenbone Slim and the Biscuits are a four piece band that features Laura Chavez on lead guitar (2021 BMA Blues Guitarist Nominee) Marty Dodson on drums (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and 20 year old prodigy Justice Guevera on electric and standup bass. The band performs 1-4 hours of primarily original music, from low volume dinner shows to full concerts, suitable for dancing and fun! Highlights in 2021 include a performance at the San Diego Music Awards, where Chickenbone Slim and The Biscuits were nominated for best blues album with his 2020 album release “Sleeper” and received a standing ovation by their peers and music fans.
Chickenbone's newest album, “Serve It Too Me Hot” was released on November 19, 2021 to rave reviews, and in January,2022 December climbed to #4 on the Living Blues Album Charts, and reached #2 on the Roots Music Contemporary Blues charts. The album is also charting at #14 on the Alt Country Specialty Chart for December 2021. Recorded at the famous Greaseland Studios in Campbell, CA with Christoffer "Kid" Andersen, reviews are strong internationally and across the United States.
The band is fully equipped and available for national and international touring, including festivals, club dates, and concerts. Plot plan and additional information available on request.”Visit Official Website
Internationally renowned guitarist Ana Popovic has built her career on defining and describing, on her own terms, the essence of American music, simultaneously pushing limits, bending genres, and reinventing her music and herself with each new record.
Not surprisingly, she can claim any number of notable accolades and achievements from the highest quarters of the music industry. She's shown her commitment to celebrating her guitar-driven, eclectic music style through consistent touring, awards, and recognition for the past 25 years. In the process, she's emerged as one of the most thoughtful, dynamic, and committed performers in modern songwriting and guitar.
Ana's new album, Power, due for release on May 5, 2023, on ArtisteXclusive Records, brings those dynamics to the fore and, in the process, turns this set of songs into both a powerful and personal tale of survival through faith, determination and tenacity. They were spawned from a decidedly tricky set of circumstances that tested Ana's devotion to making music and her perseverance.
'Power' symbolizes unity. Album cover art: two holding hands, black and white, is what this world needs. It's the power, and it's the force that's going to move this world forward. Without that power, there wouldn't have been so much remarkable music today, ideas, and reforms. And indeed, not this record. This story is about friendship and embracing yourself with everything life throws at you.Visit Official Website
Mr. Sipp is the alter ego of gospel guitarist Castro Coleman. One of the hottest new names in the blues world, Mr. Sipp made his debut on Malaco Records in 2015.
Malaco Recording Artist, Castro Coleman a-k-a Mr. Sipp, was born August 25, 1976 to Johnelle and the late Vera Coleman in the small town of McComb, MS. He began playing the guitar at the tender age of 6. Through hard work and perseverance, Mr. Sipp has become a Delta Blues Force to be reckoned with! Being recognized for his amazing vocals, songwriting ability, musicianship, ability to produce records and entertain Fans with an upbeat, outlandish show all make Mr. Sipp “The Total Package.” Above all of that, Mr. Sipp is a God fearing family man. With over 125 recording credits to his name, Mr. Sipp has played on over 50 national recordings with several Grammy ® nominated projects. He is well traveled and ready to come to play for you and spread his great gift of music to the World.
Mr. Sipp is the 2014 International Blues Challenge Winner by way of The Vicksburg Blues Society as well as the 2014 Gibson Best Guitarist Award Winner. The same year Castro was given the Bobby Rush Entertainer of the Year Award by the Jus' Blues Foundation. In 2015, he won several Jackson Music Awards including International Male Blues Artist, Blues Artist of the Year, and Entertainer of the year.
He was the BMA Best New Artist Album winner 2016 and The Spirit of Little Walter Award 2016. The same year, Castro was the first blues artist to have his handprint inducted into the Wall of Fame in Fredrikshavn Denmark. For the 25th Annual Living Blues Awards, he won the Best Blues Album of 2017 New Recordings award (Contemporary Blues) with "Knock a Hole In It," and in 2018 he won the National Blues Artist of The Year award at 44th Annual Jackson Music Awards.
In 2014, Mr. Sipp was cast in the James Brown movie, “Get on Up”, in 2016 he was casted as the young B.B. King on three episodes of the CMT series “Sun Records” and in 2021 he was casted as a blues singer and musician in the movie “Texas Red” performing one of his original songs from his new album “Sippnotized” with special arrangements for the movie.
Mr. Sipp’s favorite quote, “I’m living to love the life that I live, Music!!!!”
Mr. Sipp spent more than 25 years in the Gospel Music Business as a Recording Artist and a Producer! Since his BIG WIN at The International Blues Challenge in 2014 and the release of his debut Blues CD, “It’s My Guitar,” the music community has been a Buzz and welcomed him with open arms! He fills venues, theaters and festivals all over the world with his second Malaco multi award winning album “The Mississippi Blues Child” (2015). In 2017, with "Knock a Hole In It' he shares his music all over the planet from France to Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, and USA... and in April 2021 he “Sippnotized” the world in the middle of the pandemic.Visit Official Website
At 32 years old, Jose Ramirez is Costa Rica’s premier blues artist and has played with some of the biggest names in the blues industry. These artists include Buddy Guy, Anson Funderburgh, Janiva Magness, Mark Hummel and Bryan Lee, to name a few.
The Jose Ramirez Band recently won second place at The Blues Foundation 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The band performed in the finals at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis after advancing to the quarter and semi-finals against over 230 bands from around the world.
In the past couple of years, Jose has traveled the world playing the blues. His two European tours included more than 45 concerts in England, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. His U.S.A. tour included shows around the Midwest and the South. Highlights included shows at legendary clubs such as Buddy Guy’s Legends and The House of Blues in Chicago.Visit Official Website
Rick started playing Blues Guitar in his late teens influenced by Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Rory Gallagher,Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix & BB King. Rick played clubs in town even though he was barely old enough to get into a bar. While living in Colorado Rick put together an All-Star Blues Rock band .Heavily influenced by his friend Albert Collins "The Master Of the Telecaster ". Rick was the opening act for touring bands traveling though Colorado. The band started touring in the 80's. After moving to LA in 1988, Albert Collins helped Rick put together a band of the best blues players on the West Coast. Rick has performed at festivals and concerts in Europe, Canada and USA . After 40 years the band and their music is better than ever. Rick's contemporary influences are Robben Ford, Warren Hanes & Larry Carlton.Visit Official Website
Blues Fest 2023 will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, at the historic LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa. This year we have over 10 food and merch vendors!
Tickets can be purchased in advance at MVBS.org or at the gate on September 15th and 16th. Attendees 16 and younger get in FREE with an adult!
For the past 35-plus years, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society has continued to bring both national and regional Blues legends and rising stars to the Blues Fest. Also featuring over 10 food and merch vendors!
This year's Blues Festival will be at the historic LeClaire Park. A 400-acre public park located along the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport. Situated between Centennial Park on the west and River Heritage Park.
400 Beiderbecke Dr, Davenport, IA
Voted "Best Casino" in the region, the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf is also Iowa’s largest hotel, with over 500 rooms. It is nestled right on the banks of the Mississippi River, and its well-appointed rooms and excellent restaurants make this a terrific deal.
Rates are deeply discounted for Blues Fest 2023 attendees! Get booked by September 9th.
We want every fan to feel safe at the festival. Specific questions regarding safety, security, medical, and any others can be directed to the MVBS.org contact form. If you have an immediate need while on-site seek out any festival staffer, police, or security personnel.
MVBS seeks to present a welcoming summer festival and community. As a festival guest, you have an active role in creating an enjoyable and accepting environment for your fellow attendees, including speaking out when you see unacceptable behavior. MVBS has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination of any kind.
No weapons of any kind. No pets, unless it is a service animal. No outside food or drinks. No coolers, unless empty. No video recorders and no cameras with detachable lenses.
There are no refunds available for Blues Fest. In the event of an artist cancellation, MVBS reserves the right to substitute a suitable replacement performer.
Dr. V’s BlueSkool is an interactive workshop where you can learn the history of blues, listen to blues, and play the blues. It is open to all ages on Saturday, September 16th. Kids 16 and under get into BlueSkool and Blues Fest FREE!
Bret Dale has been sharing his love of blues music with students of all ages since 2010, learning how to deliver its history from Iowa Blues Hall of Famers, Ellis Kell and Hal Reed. Bret’s passion for the blues started at an early age, teaching himself guitar, he fell in love with the emotional expression the genre offers. Bret’s band history includes, The Lonnie Brooks Blues Band, The Candymakers, Hal Reed and Mississippi Journey and The Dale Burton Band.
Rick Berthod is a well known blues guitarist and composer who tours across the country and in Vegas and California. Rick has shared the stage with B.B. King, Gregg Allman, John Mayall and Savoy Brown on several occasions and with Robin Ford, Etta James and the Yardbirds. In 1988, Albert Collins, “The Master of the Telecaster” helped Rick put together a band of the best blue player on the West Coast. Rick has performed at festivals in Europe, Canada and the USA. Indicted into the Las Vegas Blues Hall of Fame in 2017, Rick says, “Music has made me into the person I am today. It has taken me upon many journeys, from my first guitar almost 40 years ago to when Rita King inducted me into the Las Vegas blues Hall of Fame in June 2017. One of the best moments in my life. Music has defined me my entire life.”
David Berntson is a Tulsa area educator and musician. Berntson has played blues harmonica for over 30 years, currently playing in a duo with guitarist Bob Parker. As a Prevention Educator and Drug/Alcohol Counselor, he has many opportunities to share his enthusiasm and passion for the Blues with young people. In partnership with state and local Arts organizations, Blues societies, and private funding, Berntson presents his unique "Blues in Schools" program at festivals, workshops, rehab centers, summer camps and schools, including alternative schools for at-risk students. In January, 2006, he was presented the "Keeping Blues Alive in Education" award by the National Blues Foundation in Memphis for his Blues education programs around the country. Berntson's gifts at connecting with people and his passion for Blues are apparent in every one of his presentations.
In addition to the phenomenal acts on the historic bandshell stage, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society is proud to present what has come to be known as the Pedigo-Jones Stage. Named after long time volunteers Steve Pedigo and Jimmie Jones, this is where we feature both local and regional talent.
Joe and Vicki Price are an electric-powered blue-roots duo from Iowa, featuring dueling guitars, Joe’s tap-dancing feet and bluesy vocals. Joe has been performing for over 50 years. He is a member of both the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame and the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of fame. His slide guitar playing is a cross between Mississippi Fred McDowell and Elmore James. Vicki has been performing with Joe since 1982. She also a member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. Both are talented guitarists, vocalist and song writers. The couple travel the nation bringing their finger-style guitar and original tunes to a wide variety of audiences. That music has been described as “a righteous, joyful, foot-stomping jubilee.”
The Matt Woods Band is a Des Moines based blues band specializing in old school urban electric blues. The band’s hard-hitting rhythms and powerful guitar lines evoke a sound right out of the early Chess Records catalog. Featuring Matt Woods on guitar and vocals, Dwight Dario on drums and Patrick Recob on bass, this band boats some of the finest roots musicians in the Midwest. The Matt Woods Band has the ability to turn any situation into an old-fashioned blues party! Whether playing an old favorite or cranking out a clever original tune, The Matt Woods Band can deliver!
The Tanya English Band has been playing women’s empowerment blues for the eastern Iowa audience for over 12 years. A life-long fan of the blues, it all began when Dr. English heeded the call to unleash her inner blues singer. Her husband, “Uncle” Ed English, is a renowned local bass player and a steadfast supporter of her healing work. Together, they have witnessed powerful healing; while performing and in her clinic. Together they began Healing with The Blues! TM They have assembled the finest area musicians to bring blues and healing to you! We are Dr. Tanya English - Vocals, Sam Price - on guitar, Sean Seaton (Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) on keyboards, Paul Cunliffe (Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) on drums, and introducing Patrick Seaton - on bass. ("Uncle" Ed sends his love to all y'all!)
The Quad City (QC) All Stars is led by veteran front man, Ric Burris. Burris was a member of the Mercury Brothers band who made it to the semifinals and finals in two separate trips to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
Ric brings many of the top blues musicians in town with him including Bret Dale who played guitar with Lonnie Brooks. Also on board is the young firebrand guitarist, Matt Fuller, who plays regularly at Buddy Guy’s Chicago club and at clubs and festivals in Mississippi with Kent Burnside.
This will be an excellent example of the talent we have right here in the Quad Cities.