girlpARTs Fest

Schwiebert Riverfront Park

Saturday, July 11, 4-10 p.m.


Designed to raise awareness and funds for gynecologic- and ovarian-cancer education programs, the Norma Leah Ovarian Cancer Foundation's inaugural girlpARTs Fest takes place on July 11 at Rock Island's Schwiebert Riverfront Park, and the event's headliners are the alternative folk rockers of N.E.D. You could probably make a strong argument for the musicians composing our country's smartest touring ensemble. Or, in the spirit of the festival, the smARTest.

The Stooges Brass BandMusic

"A Taste of New Orleans" featuring the Stooges Brass Band

RME Courtyard

Wednesday, July 8


On July 8, Davenport's River Music Experience presents a mid-week happening titled "A Taste of New Orleans," featuring an informative workshop on the city's rich musical history and the Woodfire Grill selling delicious Cajun appetizers and entrées. But the event's spiciest treat will likely be its RME Courtyard performance by the jazz, hip-hop, funk, and R&B artists of the Stooges Brass Band, and I gotta say, ga lee! I'm getting major freesons knowing they'll be bag daer! Weh!

Yeah, I'm pretty fluent in the Cajun dialect. You'd never guess I was actually of German and Danish descent, would you? [Editor's note: We guessed, Mike.]



The Redstone Room

Thursday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.


According to Iowa City's Little Village magazine, "Some mad scientist somewhere took a bunch of marching-band geeks who died in a bus crash outside his castle, reassembled their bodies, laid them out on a platform, zapped it with a lightning bolt, and brought them back to life as a monster, all the while cackling as he admired his creation."

That's author Yale Cohn's description of the high-energy, genre-defying musical powerhouses of MarchFourth!, who'll be bringing their traveling party to Davenport's Redstone Room on June 18. But your confusion is understandable if you thought that opening paragraph was actually meant for the What's Happenin' below.

Shania Twain @ the Adler Theatre - July 26Events

Adler Theatre and i wireless Center

June through August


Just how built-for-summer are the pop icons and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers known as the Beach Boys? Well, if the band's name alone wasn't enough of a hint, the Beach Boys are so built-for-summer that, in promoting the Grammy winners' July 29 concert at Moline's i wireless Center, I could devote this entire space to their seasonally themed recordings and still have song titles to spare. "All Summer Long." "Surfin' Safari." "Catch a Wave." "Surf's Up." "The Warmth of the Sun." "Surfin' U.S.A." "Summer Means New Love." "Surfer Girl." I could go on and on, but (a) my editor says that's a cheap way to flesh out the article, and (b) that would leave no room here for the summer's other big-ticket events at the i wireless Center and Davenport's Adler Theatre.

Bruce KatzMusic

Bruce Katz

The Muddy Waters

Saturday, June 6, 8:30 p.m.


Good news, gang: Summer is fast approaching! As opposed to previous summers, however, we'll have to wait a little longer for this year's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the traditional Fourth-of-July-weekend event that's now a Labor-Day-weekend event.

But fret not, blues fans! The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is ready to ease your impatience with a bunch of summertime concerts held at The Muddy Waters in Bettendorf, beginning with the June 6 engagement featuring Bruce Katz. A four-time Blues Music Award nominee for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year, the pianist, organist, and bass guitarist has been described by JazzTimes magazine as "a multi-directional cat with a lot of music inside him." Much like my parents' cat, but you really don't wanna know what's inside him.

Mona MansourTheatre

The Way West

Village Theatre

Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 24


The final production in New Ground Theatre's 2014-15 season is author Mona Mansour's The Way West, which runs at the Village Theatre May 15 through 24. The Chicago Tribute wrote that Mansour's 2013 play "captures how fast technology reveals the skeletons in our closet." The Windy City Times called it an exploration of how "poor judgment can squander millions in stocks or pennies in a jam jar."

New Ground director Christina Myatt, however, has her own description: "Family dysfunction, old boyfriends, bad business schemes, financial distress ... . You know, a lot of comedy." And she's not being sarcastic.

Erin FoleyComedy

Erin Foley

Radisson Quad City Plaza

Thursday, May 7, 5:30 p.m.


The Women's Connection's 11th-Annual "Celebrate a Special Woman" Signature Event will take place at Davenport's Radisson Quad City Plaza on May 7, and the celebration's featured speaker is actress and comedienne Erin Foley. At the Internet Movie Database, you'll notice that Foley's first film credit was Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning Almost Famous, in which she played "Alison the Fact Checker." With 15 years having now passed, Crowe could easily cast Foley as the lead in that movie's sequel - so long as its title found Crowe ditching the "Almost."



Rock Island Brewing Company

Saturday, April 18, 9 p.m.


If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you go to RIBCO? It's ... puttin' on the Rittz!

That intro's probably more clever if you sing it in rhythm to the Fred Astaire song. Please don't make me tell you which one.

Liz LongleyMusic

Liz Longley

The Redstone Room

Wednesday, April 15, 7:30 p.m.


Davenport's Redstone Room will host a very special concert event on April 15, and I know what you're thinking: Ugh - April 15. That annual day of dread, knowing the obligation you have to attend to before midnight that, as usual, you're almost criminally - perhaps literally criminally - unprepared for.

I'm referring, of course, to April 15 being my dad's birthday. How does this date keep sneaking up on me? I mean, I had a whole year to pick out the perfect tie!

Happily, though, this year's April 15 will be made much sweeter via the Redstone Room concert with songwriting chanteuse Liz Longley, whose album-release tour makes a local stop in support of her new, self-titled offering.

Leon Russell


Leon Russell

The Redstone Room

Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.


Leon Russell will soon be taking the stage at Davenport's Redstone Room, and calling the 72-year-old singer, songwriter, session musician, producer, pianist, guitarist, and recording-company owner a musical icon is practically an understatement.

He's worked professionally, and consistently, since 1956. He's mastered the genres of rock, country, pop, blues, jazz, gospel, and even surf music. He's enjoyed a chart-topping duet with Willie Nelson. He's performed and collaborated with artists as disparate as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and Doris Day. And in 2014, 44 years after the release of his self-titled solo debut, he delivered a new album of classic favorites titled Life Journey. So why don't we take an abbreviated look at Russell's?