Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival
The Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival descends on the Rivloli Theatre stage every Fall. Bringing nationally-recognized, award-winning blues musicians to Monmouth, this day-long festival draws friends and fans from around the country.
- Published on Monday, 06 May 2013 16:46
The 2013 Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival date is locked down: Saturday, October 26th! Of course, it will be at the awesome Rivoli Theatre here in beautiful Monmouth, Illinois. Check back soon to see the line-up announcement - it'll be a good one!
- Published on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:27
Matthew Skoller is one of Chicago's most respected harp blowers and blues bandleaders. For the past 20 years he has played in all of Chicago's heaviest showcase venues and toured much of the world with his super tight ensembles. Deeply rooted in the tradition of the Chicago blues elders with whom he worked and studied, Skoller has developed a unique style that conjures the past while being firmly planted in the present.
His blues wardrobe clothes a range of original songs whose subject matter comments on many of the issues and realities of life during this age of technology, information and upheaval. Skoller, known for his fiery and engaging performances, combines passionate harp playing and singing with original song writing and prodigious production skills. He has self produced 4 of his cd's and the critically acclaimed, award winning Let's Talk About Love by Lurrie Bell.
Most recently Matthew collaborated with his brother Larry Skoller (producer and guitarist extraordinaire) on the Grammy nominated, historical project, Chicago Blues A living History. He lent his production experience, deep knowledge of Chicago Blues history, and his harmonica to this project that is now being hailed by critics as one of the greatest Chicago Blues events of our time. Matthew has emerged as one of Chicago’s most accomplished blues-based artists.
As with many blues performers of his generation, Skoller has been influenced as much by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers as he has by Little Walter , Muddy Waters, Percy Mayfield and other legends of the blues. Skoller's take on the blues tradition is about letting his own voice come through – his culture, his experience.
Skoller moved to Chicago in January 1987. His already mature harmonica playing led a number of musicians to take him under their wings. He paid his dues backing up a "who's who" of creative and passionate musicians, including the legendary Jimmy Rogers, Big Time Sarah, and Deitra Farr. Skoller's emotional, high-energy style caught the ear of veteran bassist/vocalist J.W. Williams who invited Skoller to join his band, the Chi-Town Hustlers. The next year, Skoller became a member of Big Daddy Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, recording and touring with the band throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Despite his success working with others, Skoller heard the crying of an inner voice and since 1992 has led his own band. Like a tornado, he's blown through the Chicago blues scene. During the 1996 Democratic convention, Tom Brokaw's NBC Nightly News In-Depth Report featured the Matthew Skoller Band performing live at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted St. in Chicago. Also in '96, the band was awarded an artist-in-residency position at the Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida.
(edited from www.matthewskoller.com)
- Published on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:19
Rising up from the dusty Delta lowlands and muddy bayou banks of Indianola, Mississippi through the bluffs of Memphis to the mountains of east Tennessee, comes the unique Southern Soul sound of Blue Mother Tupelo.
Blue Mother Tupelo, the husband and wife team of Ricky and Micol Davis, deliver deep Mississippi Delta Blues seasoned with a delicious and eclectic blend of musical spice. Formed in 1995, the duo has paid their dues in Southern juke joints and festivals here and abroad, sharing the stage with some of the blues’ living legends.
It’s been said that a Blue Mother Tupelo performance is like stepping into a “pentecostal revival” — with Ricky and Micol’s gritty, sweet, soulful harmonies, earthy sounds of gutbucket guitar and slide, gospel piano & roadhouse pounding of tambourines. But the foundation to all of their work is to channel what is innately deep within them and to let it come forth naturally without definitions or restrictions.
Blue Mother Tupelo has been nominated several years in a row as “Best Acoustic Blues Act” and Micol as “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the Music City Blues Society in Nashville.
“It’s Tupelo, honey… the songs blend N’Awlins-style blues with spare Appalachian acoustic grit, Southern rock grooves, 60s flower-power dreaminess and rootsy rock. Ricky’s dobro is slick and juicy as a ripe peach and Micol’s voice is both steely and delicate, a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris’ ”
“Like a meal of homegrown vegetables: fresh, authentic, lovingly cared for and hand-crafted. Earthy, gritty, celebratory. It’s a slurry of sound from a grab-bag of Southern soil. The sound of two people not afraid to get that dirt beneath their nails… ”
-The Maryville Daily Times
For more information on Blue Mother Tupelo, please visit their website: http://www.bluemothertupelo.com/
- Published on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:00
Scott Ainslie heard Virginia Bluesman and grave digger, John Jackson play a couple of songs in the middle of a Mike Seeger concert just outside of Washington, DC, at Groveton High School back in 1967. Things haven’t been the same since.
Scott started playing guitar a month later and has now spent nearly forty years studying and playing traditional music, visiting and documenting senior musicians in America’s old-time banjo and fiddle music, Blues and gospel traditions.
With four CDs, a teaching DVD on the guitar techniques of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, and a book on Johnson’s music “Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads” (Hal Leonard, 1992) to his credit, as a performer and a teacher, Ainslie continues to present programs that are vital and entertaining. He currently makes his home in of Brattleboro, Vermont after transplanting there from North Carolina.
Ainslie’s deep voice and powerful slide guitar technique command attestation and pull the listener back in time, back before amplifiers and top-40 radio, to a time when the blues was a mirror of the lives working familes lead.
“I’ve played house concerts and sold out 1800 seat auditoriums,” reflects Ainslie, “and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d enjoyed them both. But, if I had to choose my favorite setting, it would be something in between: a small theater whose stage has seen generations of my brothers and sisters over the years where, rather than separating the audience and the artists, the stage is a place where we come together and get to know each other. The Rivoli is one of those places. It has soul, a history, and when it’s filled up with people and artists, a living presence. It is going to be a real pleasure to join the ranks of musicians and performers who have walked onto that stage.”
To learn more about Scott Ainslie, check out his website.
- Published on Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:28
Fred Dixon is a self-taught, raspy-piped troubadour. He started out on a Fender bought from "some guy", and he taught himself by listening to Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland and others. In the early 60s he started playing out at local clubs and getting paid in beer.
Fred really admired Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and picked up some electric and acoustic approaches from that era. Fred's a born story-teller, so folk songs and shanties are a natural. Now he plays some traditional folk music with his family band, but his heart and his voice belong to the Blues.
Fred is one of the key reasons the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival was founded. After hearing Fred perform for the first time at Danny's in Monmouth, future festival impresario Paul Schuytema decided that Fred needed a bigger stage so that everybody could hear his music. From that initial thought, the DBI blues festival was born!
- Published on Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:27
Charlie Hayes and Joel Fleming have been fixtures on the local music scene for decades. Together, they make a powerful blues duet, sensing each other’s musical energy and crafting brilliant blues improvisations.
Charlie’s acoustic blues range from the classic sounds of Robert Johnson to the contemporary picking of Keb Mo. Charlie is known for his rock-solid back beat (both mono and alternating bass) and multi-string leads, coupled with searing vocals and the ability to either play dead-on “in the pocket” or mix it up with some rough and savage playing. Charlie has also been working on blues banjo and the pedal bass, which provides him with even more musical territory to explore.
Joel performed in the mid-1980s with the Air Force Tops in Blue, a musical showcase, touring overseas. In the 1985 Hohner Harmonica contest he placed second in the nation. He is an accomplished harmonica player on both diatonic and chromatic. Joel plays with a unique, jazzy style, employing subtle tones, phrasing and echo effects to create a compelling, mesmerizing counterpoint to Charlie’s guitar.
Joel has been playing harp for over 40 years and Charlie has been playing professionally for over 30 years. On October 20th, they’ll take those 70+ years of combined experience to deliver an amazing opening act for this year’s Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival.
- Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:10
We’re pleased to announce the line up for the 2012 Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival, which will be on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Rivoli Theatre in Monmouth, Illinois. This year, our theme is fan-favorites! We’re bringing back some amazing musicians that the fans just couldn’t stop raving about!
- Hayes & Fleming and friends
- Fred Dixon
- Scott Ainslie
- Blue Mother Tupelo
- The Matthew Skoller Band
- Published on Friday, 01 June 2012 15:59
The date for the 2012 Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival has been set! Marke your calendars and save the day: this year’s event will be on Saturday, October 20th, at the historic Rivoli Theatre, right here in Monmouth, Illinois. We are close to finalizing the line-up for the event – it’s going to be an amazing show – we’ll see you there!