​​​​South Skunk Blues Society

Rob Lumbard







Self-Produced CD

Blues In a Bottle

Bob Dorr

and the

Blue Bland

Iconic Iowa

Party Blues Band

Turns 35







Electric Blues

St. Louis


“The blues has passed to me through the blood.”
    He’s the whole package. A throwback blues master on the rise. Anybody believe in reincarnation? When you listen to Marquise you get the sense that this is what great blues masters must have sounded like as young men. Marquise’s blues are so transparent and bare. It’s so easy to feel his music as totally legitimate. That’s above all what makes it so appealing. That’s what makes Marquise Knox special. Marquise's talents have earned him performing rights with some of America’s most notable blues performers such as blues legends B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards (the latter two also NEA Heritage Fellows). He has also performed at dozens of festivals, and has toured all throughout Europe. 
    Born St. Louis Mo, Marquise hails from a musical family deeply rooted in the Blues. He spent his early teenage years in St. Louis mentoring under the late great Blues legend, N.E.A. Heritage Fellowship recipient and Grammy Award winner Henry James Townsend. 
    During a visit to Clarksdale, Mississippi, Marquise was introduced to Sam Lay. Like other statesmen of the Blues, Sam took an immediate liking to Marquise and took it upon himself to help give Marquise's career a boost by insisting that Chad Kassem bring Marquise to the celebrated Blues series "Bluesmasters at the Crossroads", which has showcased a virtual who's-who of the Blues at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. Marquise was an immediate crowd favorite, and was adopted by all of the elders of the Blues in attendance that year. His obvious talent along with his deep knowledge of the Blues and vast respect for his elders made it clear Marquise had something special, and Kassem signed him to a three album deal.
“Sweet Sixteen”
Live at Blues Deli
Serious blues cred—
Johnny Be Goode—

Tina & Brandon


2015 Iowa

Blues Challenge

The South Skunk Blues Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving and cultivating Blues music. The Society promotes public performance opportunities for Blues artists, and seeks to increase the exposure to and appreciation of Blues music by the general public.


Queen of

Chicago and



Party Sass

"Hey, Mr. Sexy Man!"




Travis couldn’t be more destined to sing the blues. She was born deep in the delta of Mississippi in the early 60′s. As in most small towns, the church was a main focal point and Nellie grew up singing gospel music.Since then, Nellie has come a long way and in November 2009 was crowned the New Queen Of The Blues for Chicago by Bluesman and WVON radio personality, Purvis Spann who previously had bestowed that honor on Ms. KoKo Taylor the original Queen. KoKo was a mentor and friend to Nellie, and when she passed in early 2009, Nellie used her songwriting skills to write and record a tribute song to her friend Ms. KoKo Taylor titled “KoKo” (Queen Of The Blues). This soulful tune was also performed and used to eulogize Koko as part of her last rites and is on one of Nellie’s latest albums, I’m Goin’ Out Tonight.Today, Nellie has one of the tightest Chicago Blues bands found anywhere in the world comprised of the best musicians from Chicago’s Blues scene.
     Nellie Travis has headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and at numerous festivals/clubs around the world in countries such as Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil, as well as her hometown of Mississippi. In November 2013 Nellie’s just finished another very successful twenty-one date concert tour of Europe to packed houses everywhere she performed.She’s a permanent headlining personality at Chicago’s most successful blues clubs, The Kingston Mines, Buddy Guy’s Legends and Blue Chicago where she continues to pack them in.She has shared the stage with such legendary greats as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Glady’s Knight, Ronnie Baker Brooks just to name a few. Her influences are such powerful performers as Big Mama Thornton, KoKo Taylor (of course) and Etta James.The nickname “Tiger” was born after Nellie came to Chicago. She and a cousin were hanging out at B.L.U.E.S on Halsted brainstorming about what to call her. Nellie wanted the nickname “Angel”, but her cousin quickly rejected that and came up with “Tiger” which aptly describes her feline-like, intense vocal style as well as her feisty, independent personality.In addition to being an outstanding singer and songwriter, Nellie is an accomplished actress. She has performed in plays “The Lust Of A Man” and “I was There When The Blues Was Red Hot.” Nellie has won several awards and many nominations. Nellie “Tiger” Travis is one the best of Chicago’s Blues and R&B/Soul music exports. She is a worldwide touring headliner.
Nellie Tiger Travis Video Links—
Mr. Sexy Man, at 2015 Chicago Blues Festival
I’m With You, Baby (video about her man losing his factory job; Jasper county, and many communities around our country can can relate!)
Hoochie-Coochie Woman, at Atlanta Blues Festival:
I’d Rather Go Blind, at Race & Gender Symposium:
Oil & Water, at Blue Chicago:
Mr. Sexy Man, line dance:
I’m No Superwoman, Vicksburg, MS;
For those interested in the experience of blueswomen, watch Ladies Sing the Blues: The Lived Experience of Chicago’s Blues Divas (a panel discussion, which includes Nellie)




Queen of




"When I was little, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I would say 'Jimmy Page.’"



   Joanna's signature sound is an amalgamation of vast influences and sheer, natural talent. Although she is typically categorized as a blues artist and is widely known for her fierce attack and searing slide skills, her style is an unconventionally convincing and potent mélange of funk, rock, jazz, world music and, of course, blues.
    In 1990, Joanna was the first independent artist to receive an endorsement from Gibson Guitars.
    Newer generations are being captivated by her incendiary artistry, while longtime fans (many of whom have seen her as a result of her diligent and extensive touring) are able to rediscover what drew them to her in the first place, as the audiences that she worked so hard to reach out to are now reaching out to her.
    Her fan base has also expanded astronomically as the result of an enrapt concertgoer who captured a few moments of her performance at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in July of 2014. The video, posted in November of 2014, went viral and has been viewed upwards of sixteen million times, having been copied to several profiles. This unexpected surge of recent attention has baffled and thrilled this grounded, humble artist and has injected a spirit of excitement of the unknown into her career. Out of the blue, Joanna has been approached with opportunities ranging from film work to a request from "America's Got Talent" to schedule an audition.
    Blind Pig Records signed her in 1989, and the subsequent touring for her debut album moved Joanna out of the fishbowl of the Chicago scene and into major blues venues and festivals around the U.S., Canada and Europe. The momentum swelled and she toured relentlessly, traversing the European continent an impressive thirty-two times from 1990-1999. Her travels gained her a strong legion of followers in Europe, South America and Japan, and in 2007 she became the first American artist to tour Taiwan. 
Video Clips:
North Atlantic Blues Fest, slide guitar shred
Walkin’ Blues, electric heavy
At Kingston Mines, Chicago, blue shred, plus extended solos by band:
Buddy Guys Legends, online Artist Series Interviews, with Joanna Connor:

SUNDAY • SEPTEMBER 3, 2017 • Maytag Park • Newton, Iowa • Noon - 10pm

Est. 1992

These Performers from our 2016 Bowlful of Blues were FANTASTIC!

MARK CALENDARS for 2017 & Watch For Line-up Info Here



Blues Band


of 2015

Iowa Blues