Blues Ed/BITS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in the Portland/Vancouver area and is sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association. The program is modeled after nationally recognized “Blues in the Schools” programs offered throughout the United States. With the exception of Native American music forms, the Blues is the first pure American music form to have originated in this country. Coming from the oral traditions of folk music, the blues is the foundation for all other popular music forms that students listen to today.
The last month has given me a lot to be thankful for. In light of my wife’s emergency, the outpouring of concern and love was astonishing and our family thanks you all. Add to this the news of my hearing-related issues and, again, the remarkable support and offers – I am breathless and affirmed. This is one incredible community.
Suggestions have been made and I’ve acted on all of them. I am certain that this old guy will see – and hear – some positive changes very soon. Thanks, again for your love. There are just too many of you to name, but you know who you are.
I’d like to take the opportunity to mention the two week night gigs that have held me up, have offered some great moments and memories, and that I’d like to see you attend. Tuesdays at 9pm, the Dover Weinberg Quartet at Duff’s Garage (corner of S.E. 7th Avenue and Market Street), with Chris Carlson, Kelly Dunn, and me, along with special guests, is happening. Looks good for this one to last through the end of the year, but it is certainly better when there are people to share with.
On Wednesdays, Blackwell’s (1815 N.E. 41st Avenue) hosts Soul Cookin’ with Lloyd Jones, Carlton Jackson, Dover Weinberg, and, again, me. Killing, stinky, greasy, funky blues and soul. Need I say more? Okay, how about some very talented guests, who just all happen to be musical friends. We’ve met some new ones on this gig, so the circle is getting bigger. We’d love to have you support this wonderful group of guys and this very cool venue.
I’d like to thank Ty Curtis and Bill Rhoades, especially for filling my calendar. Looks good for me to hook up for one night in September with Fiona Boyes and Jimi Bott. Although it’s in Illinois, hopefully we can find some compelling reason for Fiona to come to Portland.
That is all for now, but it’s more than enough. Thanks again.
Hey everybody, just a quick news flash from the volcano hideout. Exciting times in the land of Crime-A-Billy! We are wrapping up our latest CD and planning on an early fall release. As a band we take care of all the song writing, recording, engineering, graphics, promotion, and pretty much everything else all by ourselves – it’s as home made as it can be, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The project is very bluesy and also true to our Crime-A-Billy mission to bring original sounds to life. So stay tuned for details on the upcoming release!
While we are secreted away in an undisclosed secure location working on the recording, we won’t be playing local clubs very much, but we do have a very special show this month. On Saturday June 1st, we’ll be playing on a float for Portland’s famous Starlight Parade. The Strange Tones and our loyal and trusty partners, The Volcano Vixens will be performing on the Waterfront Blues Festival float. We’re honored to represent such a great event and are very excited about it. If you don’t want to brave the crowds, the Starlight Parade will be broadcast live on FOX 12 T.V. , for those who want to enjoy it from T.V. Land. So for now, call us on the red phone if you need us. Until then… over and out.
The Strange Tones
Hey, Blues lovers, supporters of local live music, and our fans! We love you and thank you!!!
Matt Conroy here again with The Vermen… This month I really want to send thanks out to some folks, first to Randy Lilia for booking us into some great venues over the last months and the months ahead. We’ve had a blast and our gratitude goes out to you.
Next, we’d like to deeply thank Brian at Roadhouse 101 and Rusty Truck Brewing for the wonderful times we’ve had at 2 big shows last month.
Thanks also go to The Viewpoint in Estacada and all the great staff and patrons who made Charles Pike’s birthday party so fun last month.
We have been honored with the offer of a weekly show at Cadigan’s Corner Bar. Thanks Darcy! We will be playing there every Wednesday, 8-Midnight, (at least through June) and have special surprise guests. Come by every week because it will be a little different every week because we’ll be unveiling new songs, some of which will be included on our upcoming CD. Stay tuned!
Lastly, but not leastly, I personally would like to thank our new bass player Eric (Haus) Krabbenhoft for working so hard to learn the wide variety of complicated material that The Vermen play. (You really do your homework, Haus… and you’re a great addition to the band! Thank you, brother!)
If you haven’t yet done so, check out our website TheVermen.com and also see some new videos found on our facebook page. Our calendar of upcoming shows can be found in both places.
Thanks again, everyone… especially those of you who have supported us. Have a great and musical June!
Matt Conroy and all The Vermen
Nice seein’ you again. The CD Release Party at Trail’s End was a blast!… We were glad to see so many new faces mixed in with a lot of you Stinger veterans. And a fine party it was! We shot a video, recorded the whole shebang, and the Portland Blues and Jazz Dance Society showed us how it was done all night long!
A big shout out to Eric, Cindy, Darlene, Tina, and the rest of the staff from Trail’s End, all the Fans(old and new), Jeri(My Babe), Paula(Timmer’s Babe), Chrissy(Jason’sBabe), Jane(steve’s Babe), Rick Gordon from American Sound, and Rob Trujillo and Sam, the video guys from Rock PDX…Many thanks from the band! I’d be totally remiss if I didn’t thank Steve Kerin on keyboards, and Scott Franklin, who joined us on saxophone for most of the evening!
June finds the band out of town for the whole month, except for a Blue Diamond appearance on the 8th. Come see us that night and maybe you’ll be part of another video we’re shooting!
Be sure to get out and support LIVE BLUES MUSIC!!! somewhere this month, and don’t forget to “CATCH A BLUES BUZZ!!!”
Fellow Blues Lovers,
Just returned from Memphis & Clarksdale! BMA’s & the “Rum Boogie” were big fun! Curtis Salgado swept the awards, and Portland was strongly represented with Curtis, Jimi Bott, Kevin Self, Peter Damman getting out and mixing it up. Wonderful to see & hear that happen. If ya’ll get a chance to make the trip (every May), be sure to make the trip down to Clarksdale as well. Incredible blues & soul history! Speaking of history, Sun Studio, Stax Museum, and Royal Studio, are worth the visit as well. Just this month Boz Scaggs hit #1 on the charts with his new release recorded last December at that very “Royal Studio in Memphis”! Willie Mitchell produced AL Green, OV Wright, Ann Peebles, Denise LaSalle, etc. out of his “Royal Studios” and now his family has continues to keep the struggling Memphis sound and Royal Studio tradition alive. It’s fantastic for Boz Scaggs to put a hit out of there TODAY!
Check it out!!!
Also in the news…. Saturday June 1st , I’m bringing the “One & Only Teresa James” from Los Angeles to Jimmy Mak’s! One night only! Don’t miss this one.!!!
We met on Delbert McClinton’s “Sandy Beaches Cruise’s” a few years back. She has been at the Waterfront Blues Fest a couple of times… and now…the super “Starlight Review” will feature the full Band Extravaganza of the Lloyd “Have Mercy” Jones Struggle with special guest Teresa James!
It’s early. 7-10pm. Best get your tickets soon. To reserve a spot now, go to www.tickettomato.com. Stay for the Starlight Parade at 10pm.
We’re going to miss the Waterfront Blues Festival this year for the first time since it began! Not to worry, I’ll be touring Denmark & Norway this year (you can check the website www.lloydjonesmusic.com for the specific dates) to promote “Doin’ What It Takes” in far away lands!
Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, June 5th – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – The Hitmen
Second Electric Set – The Fat Tones
With some of the weather we had in May, you’d think that it was already deep in the summer months. Well, we’re about to get started there and a good way to start it out is by attending the Cascade Blues Association’s June General Membership Meeting. Whether the weather changes back to cold or continues to cook, one thing is guaranteed, you’re going to have things heat up every month at our meeting with two sensational acts to check out.
This month’s meeting brings “The Hitmen,” this duo of Ron Rocci (The Hitman) on drums and Bill Hyland (Froggy) on Lap steel, vocals, acoustic guitar and various harmonicas are heading up from the Eugene/Springfield area. Froggy of course is the host of perhaps the longest running jam at one venue in Oregon with his Sunday afternoon shows at Albany’s Calapooia Brewing Company. “All things spring from the ‘Pooia,” says Froggy, whose jam has been termed as the friendliest around, not plagued by endless guitar wanking. Everybody gets to play.
The duo were the brains and heartbeat of the Vicki Stevens Band which made the semi-finals at the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis (along with Lisa Mann), where they later that same week took second place in the prestigious Beale Street Kings contest. “We really appreciated Lisa’s Read more
I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t enjoy my recent trip to Memphis to assist with The Blues Foundation once again at the Blues Music Awards. I arrived Wednesday morning around 9:00 am and Deputy Director (and one of my closest friends) Joe Whitmer had me working as soon as I stepped foot through the office door. And it didn’t end until the awards show ended late Thursday night (or should I say Friday morning). But I loved every minute.
My main role at the Blues Music Awards the past three years has been working as a stage manager with Paul Averwater. Paul is one of the best in the MidSouth and always in demand. We spent all day Thursday doing line-checks with the performers and then returned less than an hour-and-a-half later to run the stage for the show for the next six-to-seven hours. It is my job to make sure that all the artists are ready to go on stage well in advance and have them in place so when one act ends, the other starts immediately. Kind of like the way the Waterfront Blues Festival runs the two main stages in the bowl, alternating back and forth. But this is one large stage divided into two parts, and I am running back and forth to opposite sides, changing acts every ten minutes. Always great sets delivered by the showcased acts. If I had to pick and choose my favorites this year I would have to top it off with Victor Wainwright’s extraordinary solo piano that brought the entire audience to a hush to listen closely. The Heritage Blues Orchestra was sensational, even more so when they had Eric Bibb sit in for a number. Joe Louis Walker has always been a favorite and having him trade guitar licks with Murali Coryell was superb. As was Mud Morganfield backed by one of the tightest Chicago all stars bands running. Curtis Salgado burned the house down with his soulful set. As did John Nemeth. And Royal Southern Brotherhood was the perfect act to close the night leaving the audience wanting more after a terrific cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” had them on their feet.
Aside from the Blues Music Awards, I was fortunate to catch many fantastic artists that I do not get a chance to see too often like Greg Nagy, Gina Sicilia, Diunna Greenleaf, JW-Jones, EG Kight, Lisa Biales, Paula Harris, Dennis Gruenling, John Primer and more. Of course there are long-time friends I always try to catch up with like Jeff Jensen, Brandon Santini and Eric Hughes.
But the best times are always those spent with close friends, not necessarily at a show. Being able to hang out with Henry Gavaldon . . . these are the people who make memories special. Big thanks to Joe, Sara, Jay Sielman, Priscilla Hernandez and Cindi James for making me feel as part of The Blues Foundation family. Cannot wait to head back again.
But back to home, and the first matter of business is the Journey To Memphis competition. We have another strong line-up this year, so we hope to see you come out to the Trails End the first full weekend of June to help us select our next International Blues Challenge representatives and to raise some funds to help them get back to Tennessee. This is always one of the most fun events that the CBA holds, so hope to see many of you there. The summer just does not start right until the Journey To Memphis begins.
Alas, as I did last month with the passing of my good friend, drummer Pete Muir, it is my unfortunate position to let you know that we lost another friend and musician right at the BluesNotes deadline arrived. Most people may remember Henry Gavaldon as the longtime bassist with Boogie Bone and those who knew him will forever remark what a kind, wonderful person he truly was. Henry passed following complications from surgery. Godspeed Henry. It surely is only the best who seem to be taken away from us way too soon. Sending my deepest condolences and best thoughts to Henry’s family and friends.
Always one of the Cascade Blues Association’s largest events of the year is the Journey To Memphis; our regional competition to select our representatives from the region to compete in The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge next year in Memphis, Tennessee. This year’s event returns to the newly renovated Trails End Saloon in Oregon City on Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th, starting at 8:00 pm both nights.
This year we have fourteen entries; seven will compete each night before a set of three judges scoring the acts on blues content, instrumentation talent, vocal talent, originality and stage presence. All will have a timed 30-minute set and the two highest scoring acts from each night will advance to the finals held on July 4th at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival.
Admission to the Journey To Memphis is $10.00 each night. All admissions will cover the cost of production and form the base prize received by the winners to help defray their traveling expenses to Memphis.
Scheduled Times and Act Sets are as follows (note: these are subject to change as the acts are not required to play a full 30-minute set. If they go overtime, they will be penalized a point for every 10 seconds over.)
Friday, June 7th:
- 8:00 – Howard Wade
- 8:40 – Alan Hager & Dave Fleschner
- 9:20 – Rae Gordon Band
- 10:00 – Alan Benson Experience
- 10:40 – Chad Rupp & Josh Makosky
- 11:20 – The Mojo Blasters
- 12:00 – Ben Rice Band
Saturday, June 8th:
- 8:00 – Rose City Rats featuring Savanna Coen
- 8:40 – David Pinsky & Phil Newton
- 9:20 – Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band
- 10:00 – Tevis Hodge, Jr.
- 10:40 – Beacon Street Titans
- 11:20 – The Hitmen
- 12:00 – Rae Gordon & Gaddis Cavenah (Duo)
Named in honor of one of blues music’s most influential forces —McKinley Morganfield, or Muddy Waters — the Cascade Blues Association’s annual Muddy Awards Celebration honors local, regional, national and international stars of the blues.
Every September, the Cascade Blues Association solicits award nominations from the CBA Membership. The top three nominations in each category are used to form the official Muddys Ballots. In October, the ballots are mailed out to the CBA Membership. The votes are tabulated in time for the November General Meeting, where the winners are announced. Over 1,000 CBA members participate in the Muddy Awards process, making it one of the most prestigious blues awards in the world.