2016 Webster-Wagner Scholarship

2016 Webster-Wagner Scholarship

quay thomasCIBS is proud to announce that the recipient of the Webster-Wagner Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year is Pella blues guitarist Quay Schaus, better known to many CIBS members as Quay Thomas.  Quay is currently in his 3rd year at the Berklee School of Music in Boston where he is majoring in Electronic Production & Design with a Spring 2017 graduation date.  He was also the 2014 Iowa Blues Challenge Solo/Duo champion as 1/2 of the Quay Thomas Duo.  A presentation ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Iowa Blues Challenge Finals on June 18th, where Quay will receive his accolades, along with a $500 check to assist in completing his academic endeavors.

The Webster-Wagner Scholarship is funded through the Carol Thomas Memorial Endowment Fund for youth education.

CIBS Welcomes Danielle Nicole to Lefty’s on April 24


Doors at 6pm Show at 7pm • $15 general public / $10 CIBS member

Her powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence have played a major role in her success, helping the band earn numerous awards over the years, including “Best Instrumentalist-Bass” at the Blues Music Awards, being the first female to ever claim that BMA title. Drawing comparisons to Susan Tedeschi and Etta James, Danielle is primed to be a powerhouse in the music industry for years to come. Danielle will be joined on stage by her powerhouse blues band which inlcudes: Mike “Shinetop” Sedovic on the soulful keys, Brandon Miller on ripping lead guitar, and Jan Faircloth keeping rhytmn on the drums. A 2014 Blues Music Award winner, there’s not a time in her life that singer/bassist/songwriter Danielle Nicole (born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen) doesn’t remember loving to perform.

As founding member and bass player of Kansas City blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot, Danielle Nicole Schnebelen spent years growing her fan base worldwide. Stepping out on her own, Danielle Nicole expands on the raw, gritty, blues sound she created as part of TUF by adding distinct flares of R&B and soul to her music.

To help polish her sound but maintain the blues-rock edge that defines her, the singer brought on, GRAMMY®-winning producer-guitarist, Anders Osborne to produce and record her debut solo album, Wolf Den, on Concord Records.

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CIBS Welcomes Albert Cummings to Lefty’s on March 6th


2607 University Ave.   Des Moines

SUNDAY, MARCH 6. 2016 – Doors at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm

$15 Admission – $10 for current CIBS members

(Not a member yet??  Sign up at the door and get the discounted price!!  $20 Single, $25 Family)


Someone Like You, the latest album from master guitarist, master builder, and fan favorite Albert Cummings, marks his return to noted roots label Blind Pig Records.

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” to the deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc, Albert’s songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, “This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings’ guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old “little jewel box” – that’s what James Taylor calls it – that’s hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night.”

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert’s incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.”

Music Connection called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time” and Blurt added, “Cummings’ first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist’s axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.”

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings’ next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

For his newest recording, Someone Like You, Albert chose to record in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov’t Mule) at the helm. Said Z, “Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles.” One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts. Cummings said, “I’m tremendously excited about this CD and the team of people that will be working this record. It was such a pleasure to also work with David Z and Jimmy Vivino and so exciting to share their excitement about the potential this record has.”

Elvin Bishop to be Inducted into Blues Hall of Fame

Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee Elvin Bishop is among 5 performers who will be inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame on May 4th in Memphis.  Bishop was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

elvinbishopbychristuitephoto by Chris Tuite

Congratulations to the 2016 Class of Inductees:
Elvin Bishop
Eddy Clearwater
Jimmy Johnson
John Mayall
Memphis Jug Band
Early Downhome Blues, Jeff Todd Titon

“Crazy Blues”, Mamie Smith
“That’s All Right”, Jimmie Rogers
“I Wish You Would”, Billy Boy Arnold
“Merry Christmas Baby”, Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, featuring Charles Brown
“Blues Before Sunrise”, Leroy Carr
Blues in the Mississippi Night, Various Artists (1959)
Tommy Couch, Sr. – Malaco Records
Wolf Stephenson – Malaco Records

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Dine To Donate at Granite City on Feb. 11th

Granite City Food & Brewery, 12801 University Ave in Clive is once again extending a Dine To Donate opportunity on Thursday, February 11th (what a way to get warmed up for the Winter Blues Fest!!)  This time around, Granite City will be generously donating 20% of your tab to CIBS if you present a Dine to Donate Flyer.


Rob Lumbard Wins Best Self Produced CD at 2016 IBC

Blues in a Bottle by Rob Lumbard (sponsored by CIBS) was selected by the Blues Foundation as the Best Self Produced CD at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  Rob was joined by fellow central Iowan Matt Woods, whose Sawdust and Gasoline disc was also one of the five finalists.  In addition to an impressive plaque, Rob also received a $1,000 cash prize and his disc will receive airplay on Music Choice (on satellite & cable TV) as well as on the radio shows of the DJ judges of the Blues Foundation.  CIBS congratulates Rob on this fantastic (and now award-winning) effort.  It is truly well deserved!!!


Rob is congratulated by Blues Foundation COO Joe Whitmer and President/CEO Barbara Newman at the IBC Finals in the Orpheum Theatre
photo by Jen Taylor

BSPCD Finalists:
Rob Lumbard – Blues in a Bottle (Central Iowa Blues Society) – WINNER

Matt Woods – Sawdust and Gasoline (South Skunk Blues Society)
John Maxwell – Blues for Evangeline (Golden Gate Blues Society)
Michael Jerome Browne – Sliding Delta (Montreal Blues Society)
Lloyd Spiegel – Double Live Set (Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society)

Matt Woods CD advances to Final round of BSPCD judging

Sawdust and Gasoline by Matt Woods (sponsored by the South Skunk Blues Society) has advanced to the final round of judging in the Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition.  Matt is joined by fellow Central Iowan Rob Lumbard, whose Blues in a Bottle CD (sponsored by CIBS) is also a finalist, as well as 3 other submissions.  The winner will be announced at the International Blues Challenge Finals at the Orpheum Theatre on January 30th.  CIBS is incredibly proud of both Matt and Rob and wishes both the best of luck in bringing a win back to Iowa!!

Rob Lumbard – Blues in a Bottle (Central Iowa Blues Society)
Matt Woods – Sawdust and Gasoline (South Skunk Blues Society)
John Maxwell – Blues for Evangeline (Golden Gate Blues Society)
Michael Jerome Browne – Sliding Delta (Montreal Blues Society)
Lloyd Spiegel – Double Live Set (Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society)

CIBS named 2016 KBA award recipient

The Central Iowa Blues Society is honored to be named a recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) award for 2016 by the Blues Foundation in Memphis TN.  KBAs are awarded annually to non-performer individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Blues world.  Selection of recipients is conducted by a select panel of blues industry professionals.  Representatives of CIBS will be presented with the award at a recognition luncheon on Friday, January 29, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel in Memphis as part of the week-long International Blues Challenge festivities.

2016 Keeping the Blues Alive award recipients:

  • Chenango Blues Fest
  • Noel Hayes
  • Eric Suher
  • Sharon McConnell-Dickerson
  • Central Iowa Blues Society
  • Fred Delforge
  • Todd Glazer
  • Cahors Blues Festival
  • Yellow Dog Records
  • Erik Lindahl
  • KZUM Radio
  • Scott Cvelbar
  • Darwin;s Burgers & Blues
  • Alan Govenar
  • Greg Johnson

2016 Winter Blues Fest


2016 Winter Blues Fest Schedule


5:30 pm Admissions & Will Call open 3rd floor
6:00 – 7:00 Private Buffet/Reception Dubuque Room
7:30 – 9:30 IBHOF Class of 2015 Induction Ceremony Des Moines Room
10:00 – 1:00 John Primer Des Moines Room


2nd floor 4:00 pm Admissions & Will Call open
Lobby 4:00-5:00
Matt Woods
Rock River Lounge
2nd floor
Rob Lumbard
IBHOF Class of 2015 Inductee
Salon D
2nd floor
The Soul Searchers
Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea
Minnesota Blues Challenge
Salon E
2nd floor
The Hector Anchondo Band
Nebraska Blues Challenge
Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats
Kansas City Blues Challenge
11:30-12:30 Scotty & the Wingtips
12:30-??? After Hours Jam hosted by
Scotty & the Wingtips
Dubuque Room
3rd floor
5:15-6:45 Tina Haase-Findlay & Brandon Findlay
Iowa Blues Challenge Solo/Duo
The Butter Cow Blues Band
Candye Kane
Des Moines Room
3rd floor
5:30-7:00 The Blue Band feat. Jeff Petersen
IBHOF Class of 2015 Inductee
Danielle Nicole Band
11:00-1:00 The Chris O’Leary Band


  • FRIDAY ONLY + BUFFET (CIBS members) $45
  • FRIDAY & SATURDAY $40 (save $5)
  • FRIDAY + BUFFET & SATURDAY (CIBS members) $65 (save $5)
  • BUFFET ONLY (IBHOF members w/VIP pass) $25

Please note: Children 12 and under free if accompanied by a parent. Two-day tickets and Buffet tickets are only available for purchase in advance. Admission at the door is $20 Friday and $25 Saturday. Buffet ticket purchase is restricted to CIBS and IBHOF members and the invited guests of inductees and must be purchased by Friday, February 5, 2016. CIBS membership can also be purchased at the CIBS website. Advance ticket sales will end at 5 pm on Thursday, February 11, 2016. Advance tickets will be available for pickup at the Will Call table beginning at 5:30 pm on Friday (3rd floor in front of Des Moines room) or at 4 pm on Saturday (2nd floor near Salon D). Please bring a copy of your receipt, paper printout or digital copy on your phone, or be prepared to show a photo ID. If you are purchasing tickets as a gift, please list the name of the authorized recipient in the comments section when placing your order. Advance tickets are only refundable in the case of event cancellation.

Hotel Rooms

The block of rooms available at special WBF rates on Saturday at the Marriott has SOLD OUT!!

The Hyatt Place Downtown, 418 6th Avenue (one block east of the Marriott & accessible via the Skywalk) is offering us a block of rooms at $119 for Saturday night only.  (515) 282-5555  Act soon, this block will likely sell out quickly too!!
UPDATE: as of Jan. 22, only 5 rooms remain available and any unused rooms will be returned on Jan. 29 so don’t delay!!

Thanks to the Sponsors

KCWI 23, Budweiser, Summit Brewing, Cityview, Downtown Des Moines Marriott,
VividPix & Design and the Central Iowa Blues Society

Press Credentials

Media outlets wishing to provide coverage of the Winter Blues Fest please contact CIBS Treasurer Jeff Duskin (jeeff@netzero.net) to obtain press credentials.

Promo Items

Download the printable poster by clicking the poster above. Click the image below to download the Facebook banner.


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