On February 1, a new music-cinema project takes flight at the Clinton Street Theater. Called Reel Relics, it features an assortment of the best, unseen live performances from a broad mix of talent. Probing deep into the vaults of history finding meticulously curated live performances. Seeking to educate through direct transmission and purposeful alignments that encourage the desire to alleviate suffering through universal music. This self-produced program by local independent film producer and musician Darren Aboulafis showcases some of the finest live performances from a diversity of talent spanning the last 40-odd years that have never been seen before.

Of special interest to CBA members will definitely be the February 22nd showing of Down So Long that captures performances by Bonnie Raitt (from 1974), Memphis Slim (1976), B.B. King (1971) and Koko Taylor (1988), and also the Slowhand showing on May 10th & 11th, an unreleased documentary on Eric Clapton filmed in 1979.

The Reel Relics schedule is as follows:

Feb. 1-2: David Bowie/Story of Ziggy Stardust; Feb 8-9: 70’s Women Rock; Feb 22: Down So Long; Mar 8-9: Conspiracy; Mar 22-23: Revolutions; Apr 12-13: Adjustments; Apr 26-27: Wonderland; May 10-11: Slowhand; May 24-25: Who is Poly Styrene/X-Ray Spex?; Jun 14-15: MC5: A True Testimonial; June 28-29: Synthestesia; Jul 12-13: The Who: Can You See the Real Me?

The Clinton Street Theater is located at 2522 SE Clinton Street.

Ramblings On My Mind

Ramblings On My MindGreg Johnson / CBA President

Wow! Putting together the BluesNotes for February I am overwhelmed by the number of shows happening throughout the month. And that is on top of all the great local music that takes place every single night of the week all year long. I for one have to say I need somebody to give me a loan, because there is just no way I can afford to make all of these events, let alone having the time to see them all. Unless somebody has one of those “Way Back Machines” from the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons so I can time travel and hit them all.

My month really starts out busy, though, away from home. I will once again be traveling back to Memphis to help The Blues Foundation with the International Blues Challenge. This is always a privilege for me as I get to assist my good friends in Tennessee, while being able to see lots of great acts I may have never heard of or only seen a few times. Plus I get to be around first-hand for our own entries in the competition, Franco & The Stingers and The Muddy Sons. Let’s wish them great success in Memphis. If not coming home as the winners, which we hope they do, they will also make top contacts that will help to further their careers.Go get ‘em guys!!

As happens quite often in a city filled with so many wonderful musicians and events taking place all the time, many happen on the same date. That occurs this month with the CBA’s Sweetheart Dance and the Winter Blues Festival and again in early March with B.B. King and Bill Rhoades’ Harmonica Summit. The CBA is not going to recommend one event over another, even if it is our own. We want you to decide what shows you want to see. Our job is to let you know about all of the blues happening in our area so you can make a thought-out decision on what to attend. You really cannot go wrong with any choice you make. And maybe you’re a brave and challenging soul, like I have been known to be, and find yourself bouncing from one venue to another trying to take in as much as you can. But at least we have this option here as many cities across the country, and many far larger than Portland, do not have the number of choices we do on a regular basis.

Which leads me once again to state to all of you performers and venues out there, please submit your dates to the BluesNotes (by the 15th of the month) so we can include them in our calendar. If people don’t know, they’re not going to show up to see you. And isn’t it a lot more fun when you can have a crowd in a room to hear you perform?

Anyway, after February is over with and trying to see as many acts as possible, it might be time to take a nap to catch up on some rest . . . but I am more than certain March will be just as exciting, and then April, May and so on. Don’t you just love how much blues there is in our little Northwest corner of the country? See you out there and enjoy!!

North Mississippi Allstars formed in 1996; the product of a special time for modern Mississippi country blues. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson soaked up the music of their father, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson, and absorbed the North Mississippi legacy while playing and shaking it down in the juke joints with their blues ancestors. R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Otha Turner and their musical families were at their peak, making classic records and touring the world. Eventually, Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody (drums, vocals) formed the North Mississippi Allstars and pioneered their own brand of blues-infused rock and roll that has taken the blues world by storm. With bassist Chris Chew, they are a powerful trio that has earned many accolades, including Grammy and Blues Music Awards nominations. Very intriguing and original, Rolling Stone magazine stated, “the Allstars may be children of tradition, but they’re digging deep in undiscovered country.”

Touring in support of their latest release, Live in the Hills, Vol. II, they will be returning to Portland for a night at the Doug Fir Lounge (830 E Burnside) on Tuesday, February 12th. Showtime is 9:00 pm, 21 & over only. Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketfly.com for $18.00. Rocking duo The London Souls will open the show.

“Nobody else these days plays so many styles so well, be it old time country blues, low down Memphis or Chicago blues, or even uptown string bending blues.” -Rick Holmstrom

High praise from a well-respected guitarist in his own right, but Rick Holmstrom is spot-on correct when it comes to Nathan James. Having played with a virtual who’s who of West Coast blues musicians, including a long-time stint as James Harman’s ace stringer and an International Blues Challenge win in the solo/duo category with former partner Ben Hernandez, Nathan James is one of the finest players around. He has made frequent visits to The Rose City over the last few years, building a steady following of faithful fans that just cannot get enough of his blues and roots music.

Nathan’s band The Rhythm Scratchers are Troy Sandow on bass and Marty Dodson on drums, two of the finest rhythm in California. They provide that snappy drive behind Nathan’s tasty fingerpicking guitar work and the infectious rhythms from his washtar, baritar and tritar instruments that combine the guitar design with a rub-board that can pick up scratchy sounds much like a zydeco artist, only while still able to play the stringed pieces.

Touring in support of their Delta Groove debut recording What You Make Of It, Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers head back for what is sure to be another sensational night at Duff’s Garage on Thursday, February 28th for a 9:00 pm show. This is a CBA co-sponsored event, so bring your current membership card to show at the door to receive a $1 discount off admission. Duff’s Garage is located at 1635 SE 7th.

When it comes to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, people may come for the competition, but it is not unusual to make good friends that you keep in touch with for years to come. In 2011, two award winning artists from opposite sides of the country made such a friendship, Portland’s own Lisa Mann and Boston’s Diane Blue. They have worked out an arrangement where they will each travel to the other’s area and work a number of shows with one another. They will be making one such appearance in Portland on Saturday, February 16th at Jimmy Mak’s.

Diane Blue is a strong vocalist, skillful harmonica player and a crowd pleasing entertainer who was selected in Boston area readers’ poll as Outstanding Female Singer in 2011. Soulful and sassy, she has a strong, confident attack and energetic delivery, serving up her own spin on soul, blues and R&B. Diane Blue has performed with such blues luminaries as Ronnie Earl, Big Jack Johnson, Luther Guitar Jr. Johnson and Irma Thomas.

Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band were the 2012 Muddy Award recipients of Best Contemporary Blues Act and Lisa was also selected as the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist and is a Muddy Hall of Fame member as bass player. The band also took home the 2012 Portland Music Award for best blues act. Always entertaining, they will be performing their own sensational music and backing Diane Blue for what should make for an exciting evening.

Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th Avenue, show time is 8:00 pm. Ticket price is $10.00 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event, so show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount on admission. Reservations are highly recommended for Jimmy Mak’s and can be made by calling the venue at 503-295-6542.

Colorado’s Lionel Young, the only two-time winner of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, once as a solo act and once with his band, will be returning for a night of jumping blues at Duff’s Garage on Sunday, February 3rd for an 8:00 pm show. Known for his exceptional work on both the violin and guitar, Lionel is also a solid vocalist, with a top of the line tight band. Nominated for a 2012 Blues Music Award for his violin prowess, this is one performer who knows how to incite an audience to excitement as seen this past summer with his set at the Waterfront Blues Festival. If you missed his set at the fest or his last show at Duff’s, don’t make the same mistake again, this is one act well worth catching every time he comes around.

The Lionel Young show is a CBA co-sponsored event, so bring your membership card and present it at the door for a $1.00 discount on admission.

Kevin Selfe Celebrates Debut CD
on Delta Groove

with Release Party at Duff’s Garage – Feb 24

Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame member Kevin Selfe is set to release his debut recording on world renowned blues label, Delta Groove. The CD, entitled Long Walk Home, includes 11 original compositions demonstrating Selfe’s musical depth and diversity with forays into West Coast, Texas, Chicago and Delta blues. Long Walk Home features longtime Tornadoes bandmates Jimi Bott on drums (formerly with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Piazza) and Allen Markel on bass, with guest appearances by veteran blues and roots musicians including Delta Groove labelmate Mitch Kashmar on harmonica, Gene Taylor (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Blasters, Canned Heat) on piano, Doug James (Roomful of Blues, Jimmie Vaughan) on baritone sax, Joe McCarthy on trumpet, Brad Ulrich on baritone sax, Chris Mercer (John Mayall, Freddie King, Paul deLay Band) on tenor sax, Steve Kerin on piano, and Dover Weinberg on organ.

A CD release party for Long Walk Home will be held on Sunday, February 24th at Duff’s Garage at 1635 SE 7th Ave in Portland from 7-10PM. An all-star cast of artists from the recording will be on hand for the show including Tornadoes Jimi Bott and Allen Markel, Mitch Kashmar, Joe McCarthy, Chris Mercer, Brad Ulrich, Steve Kerin, and Dover Weinberg. Cover for the show is $12 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event with members receiving a $1 discount when presenting their current membership card at the door.

From their days playing together as teenagers to their current acoustic and electric blues, probably no one has more consistently led American music for the last fifty years than Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the founders and continuing core members of Hot Tuna. The pair began playing together while growing up in the Washington D.C. area, and later moving to San Francisco they developed the definitive sound of the Jefferson Airplane as original band members in the 1960s. Crafting amazing renditions of classic early blues alongside their own compositions, Hot Tuna has thrilled audiences in both their electric and acoustic …

Trying to shake those Winter Blues – Looking towards Springtime – Here’s a good way to start that all off. The 2013 Blues Harmonica Summit will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Melody Ballroom (Downstairs). Located at 615 S.E. Alder St. – Portland, Oregon – Some of the Northwest’s Greatest Harpmen will be blowing the frost off their lips for an evening of tongue blocking, note bending, screaming, trilling, soulful, over blowing Harmonica work!

Starting at 8:00 pm and going until 12:00 midnight or ?

You’ll be able to hear the expertise and extraordinary finesse of Harmonica …

Eugene native David Jacobs-Strain is one of the most inspirational young slide guitarists working the blues and roots circuit today. He is a storyteller with a passionate one man show that is both humorous and deeply lyrical. A bridge between today’s indie folk troubadours and the Delta guitar slingers of the 1930′s, David plays with precision and sings with emotional abandon. He’s a six-foot-two Jewish blues singer, a Stanford drop-out in a trucker hat, and a Left Coast poet; one part Leo Kotke, one part Ken Kesey, and one part Robert Johnson. Is it Delta Blues? Gangsta Grass? Geekabilly? Secular …