EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- The 2019 Blues Festival kicked off Friday, July 5 for the first time on the Illinois side of the Mississippi in years. With LeClaire Park closed in Davenport for flood clean-up, musicians and bands rocked out at Murphy Park in East Moline instead.
"This is great," festival-goer Gwen Phillips says. "It's wonderful music and it's really awesome musicians that get to come together."
She says blues music reflects the human experience. Everyone has to take the good times with the bad times. That's a feeling her fellow blues lovers share.
"There's some toil," Mississippi Valley Blues Society member Lee Lewis says. "There's some suffering in there. Everybody goes through that, but there's also the good times, too. But you don't ride the good times too long, then you're back in the blues."
Lewis says that's how the Quad Cities has been feeling lately.
"They're feeling the blues," he says, "especially after that brutal winter and now we have this long flood."
But just like the blues, the good times are coming around again.
"So I think that's why everybody is really coming together for this," Phillips says. "I think the attendance so far has been really good, and i think it's going to get better. Everybody needed this relief from having all those problems we had this year."
Blues Fest continues the jams Saturday, July 6 noon until 10:30 p.m. A full list of events is on the Mississippi Valley Blues Society website.