I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of the amazing volunteers that took time out of their days and nights during the Waterfront Blues Festival to help us in the CBA booth.

Thank you for your support, your time and your dedication during the Festival. You were all “over the top” fabulous. Arriving on time, talking to so many people and just doing whatever needed to be done. We couldn’t have pulled these four days off without your help. We exceeded our goal Read more

ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

Shortly after we went to press for the July issue last month, the blues world was struck a terrible blow with the loss of Bobby Bland. Without doubt one of the most important figures in post-World War II blues who helped usher in the modern sound and kept at it right up to the day he passed. So much unforgettable music and so many musicians that he influenced. It just seems inconceivable that he is no longer with us.

I had the chance to meet Mr. Bland a couple times with my visits back to Memphis. He always came across as such a polite and nice individual. I had the opportunity to do the stage introduction for Mr. Bland the last time he played at the Aladdin Theater in Portland. What a thrill! But it quickly turned into embarrassment for me as I announced to the crowd to please give a big welcome to “Bobby Blues Band!” Argghh!! The words Read more

Tevis Hodge Jr - photo by Greg Johnson

Tevis Hodge Jr – photo by Greg Johnson

Tevis Hodge Jr. is the Cascade Blues Association’s winner of the Journey To Memphis in the solo/duo category and will be representing the organization and region in Memphis, TN at the International Blues Challenge this coming January 2014. Though he will receive a cash prize from the CBA to help offset some of his expenses traveling to Memphis, it is not inexpensive and he will need to raise more funds to ensure he makes it back.

The first fundraiser that Tevis Hodge Jr. will be holding to help him raise funds will take place at The Central Hotel (8606 N Lombard, easy access right off the St. Johns Bridge in the heart of downtown St. Johns) on Saturday, August 17th. Show time is 7:00 pm with a $5.00 cover. This Read more

Robin Gibson Blues Band

Robin Gibson Blues Band

The Ilwaco Blues and Seafood event returns for their 2013 version which may just be the strongest line-up yet in the event’s history. Happening Friday, August 16th and Saturday, August 17th at the Port of Ilwaco in Ilwaco, Washington.

The Robin Gibson Band with featured guest Kenny “Blue” Ray will open up the festival on Friday night followed by the North Coast Blues Band and our famous All Star Jam with the Heartbreakers, featuring a terrific line up of the Northwest’s premier female blues singers including Lucy Hammond, Rae Gordon, Lady A, Lady Kat True Blue, Maggie Kitson and Mary McPage.

Saturday night kicks off with Muddy Award Hall of Famers Kevin Selfe & the Tornadoes. He’ll be followed by The Strange Tones, who will be bringing the Volcano Vixens along to help blow the roof off. The original NW Boogie Cat, Norman Sylvester, is back by popular Read more

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday August 7th, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – Non-members $3.00

Opening set – Papa Rocket

Second set – Martin Henry & The Blues Benders

You can always count on some smokin’ hot blues happening each month at the Cascade Blues Association’s general membership meetings and this month will certainly be no exception. Normally we offer a set of acoustic to open the night followed by an electric set. But this month we’ve changed things up a little bit, as we do on occasion, and will have two bands performing.

Papa Rocket press photo  Opening the night will feature some old friends that have played in a couple of the most popular bands from the past, Papa Salty and the Hudson Rocket Band. Papa Rocket is fronted by the “Papa” of Papa Salty himself, Tim McAllister on guitar and vocals. He will be joined by three former members of the Hudson Rocket Band, Mike Taylor on bass, Ron Solomon on keyboards and saxophone, and founding member of the band Ken “Honeybucket” Johnson on drums and vocals. This is sure to be an exciting set, featuring classic blues tunes, fresh material and more than likely some of your favorite numbers from Papa Salty and Hudson Rocket.

Read more

tromboneshorty        The Oregon Zoo’s Summer Concert series always brings in some of the most popular talent every year, but with this show they have really outdone themselves. One of New Orleans’ most highly acclaimed musicians, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, along with the premier roots-rock of JJ Grey & Mofro is a night that’ll be pure magic and entertainment.

Since the release of their Grammy-nominated 2010 debut album, Backatown, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have grown creatively while winning hordes of new fans performing nonstop on five continents. Their latest album, For True, offers substantive proof of their explosive growth, further refining the signature sound Troy “Trombone Read more

t bone walker poster yellowJimmy Mak’s, the premier Portland destination for jazz and a whole lot more is proud to present the T-Bone Walker Tribute band on August 10th.  This all-star lineup brings back the classic T-bone Walker following the teachings of T-Bone to the letter and performing classic hits such as “Street Walkin Woman” and “Strolling with the Bone” in the period correct style that he made famous. The band consists of guitarists Franck Goldwasser (Paris Slim), Chris Carlson, Vyasa Dodson, with Reinhardt Melz. Louis Pain. Stevie Kerin, Jim Wallace, John Mazzocco, Chris Mercer, Joe McCarthy, and Bradley Ulrich. “What makes this project exciting to us and hopefully attractive to the public is the ability of these musicians to play his music with the same grits, groove and gravy that he brought to the stage. We are trying to play these songs with the cultural integrity that Portland demands from their bands.” said John Mazzocco. “We believe that the fans of T-Bone deserve a full Read more

Kenny Neal

Kenny Neal

The inaugural Island Park Blues Festival will be held on the banks of the beautiful Willamette River in Springfield, Oregon, on August 9 and 10, 2013.  This event is a fundraiser for FOOD For Lane County. Headliners appearing on the Rooster’s Main Stage will include Lydia Pense & Cold Blood on Friday night and Kenny Neal on Saturday.  You’ll be immersed in all styles of blues music — from roots tunes on handmade instruments up through high voltage progressive tunes.   Multiple generations of performers will join us with elders like king of the buskers Eagle Park Slim and 14 year old sensation Savanna Coen. Beer, wine and hard cider will be available, along with delicious food and non-alcoholic beverages and “Artisans Row” will offer up all sorts of art work and crafts.

After-hours performances will also take place at Mac’s Night Club Stage, at 1626 Willamette Street, featuring the original Rooster’s Blues Jam both Friday and Saturday night, hosted by Skip Jones and Bryon Case, from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am with no cover Read more

Ben Rice

Ben Rice

The Kalama Blues Festival returns on Saturday, August 17th for another full day’s worth of terrific blues music featuring several regional bands and headliner Studebaker John & The Hawks. Just a short drive north of Portland, this event is located right on the banks of the Columbia River at Waterfront Marina Park. Food vendors will be on site including local wine and beer. Admission is only $8.00 and two cans of food to assist Kalama Helping Hands.

Studebaker John will bring his classic traditional Chicago sounds that have been fan favorites since the 1970s. Also on the line-up will be The Bill Rhoades Band, The Robbie Laws Band, The Ben Rice Band and The Vermen.

It all starts at 1:00 pm. Camping and lodging are available nearby. For more information check out www.cityofkalama.com.

Kenny Blue Ray press photoKenny “Blue” Ray has led a storied life as a bluesman. He has worked with the best in the business, including acts like Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Mitch Woods, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, William Clarke and way too many others to name. He is known for his fat guitar overtones, complex chord changes and lightning-fast chops that tend to draw rock fans into the blues fold. Since 1994, he has released many outstanding solo CDs that showcase his musical prowess as well as the sound quality of the guitars he makes himself.

For many years now, Kenny “Blue” Ray has called the San Francisco Bay Area home, but Read more