Home of the Live Music Calendar Follow STLBlues on Twitter Follow STLBlues on Facebook Home of the Live Music Calendar Live Music Is Better, Book It Here!! Live music is better, book yours now!
Blues on the road

This is the festival season, a favorite time of year for music lovers. STLBlues has been to a few great ones lately - the Blues on the Fox in Aurora, Il., and the Mid-Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA. Both of these events have one thing in common, besides the blues, and that's the rich musical history that both cities possess. In 1937, Henry Townsend, Big Joe Williams, Robert Nighthawk and the original Sonny Boy Williamson traveled to Aurora, Illinois to record one of the most important sessions of the Prewar period for the Bluebird label. The songs from that session went a long way towards influencing the direction of the genre, particularly as Williamson's harmonica work transitioned that instrument from an accompanying role to that of a lead instrument, joining the guitar and piano. Many of America’s most famous blues composers and musicians performed and recorded legendary songs in Aurora between May 1937, and December 1938. They include John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, Yank Rachell, Robert Lee McCoy (Robert Nighthawk), Washboard Sam, and Bill “Jazz” Billium. They recorded for Bluebird Records/RCA Victor in the Sky Club at Leland Tower (7 S. Stolp Avenue). Sonny Boy Williamson, a songwriter and performer, became widely accepted as the single most influential blues harmonica player of his day and possibly all time.

Keeping the blues alive in Davenport today is the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, with thier annual festival, and ongoing Blues in the Schools events throughout the year! The Mid-Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is in beautiful LeClaire Park, with the Mississippoi flowing by on one side. The sight and sound of trains passing along the other side of the park lent a strong feel to the atmoshpere of this exceptional blues event! (For a great view of the river, pedestrians can walk along the 50-foot high Skybridge in downtown Davenport that spans 600 feet and links the downtown with the waterfront).

With well over 35 years of performing experience, Michael “Hawkeye” Herman is a Davenport native who exemplifies the range of possibilities in acoustic Blues, and personifies versatile musicianship, originality, and compelling artistry as a Blues storyteller. Not to mention his award-winning Blues in the Schools shows. Long before Hawkeye, there was Bix Beiderbecke, born in Davenport, Iowa, on March 10th, 1903, who came to symbolize the archtype of the Roaring Twenties, and developed a unique jazz sound.
Then it was back to St. Louis! There's always lots of great music to be found 7 days a week in this musical mecca known affectionately as 'Da Lou'. Some great events are coming soon, and one of the favorites is the Baby Blues Showcase! This annual event keeps getting better and better, the brainchild of Jeremy Segel-Moss. One of those 'baby blues' himself, Jeremy is a founding member of the Bottoms Up Blues Gang (Bottomsupblues.com).

 Live Music Calendar | Send Blues News | © STLBlues 2000 | Privacy Policy