At Home With The Strange Tones
Meteor Sonic Records

Strange Tones CD cover colorLook out! There has been a serious security breach at The Strange Tones secret headquarters. Perhaps somebody left the garage door open or the back gate ajar. But whatever happened somehow I came into possession of a master copy of their yet to be released CD, titled At Home With The Strange Tones. And I have to tell you, this is going to be a favorite recording by the band for many years to come. Filled with the delicious guitar licks and vocals that are the band’s trademarks, the album hits right on target from the first notes heard and  it doesn’t let up.

The Strange Tones have their own unique flavor in their music. Perhaps you can call it Blues Noir, as it seems the perfect backdrop music for that new Dashiell Hammett private Read more

1234669_10201673668474215_605756335_nPortland’s Crime-a-Billy super heroes The Strange Tones have a brand new CD, At Home With The Strange Tones, and they’ll be holding a special gala at The Bossanova Ballroom to officially release it to the public on Sept. 20th. The premier rockabilly-surf-blues band will offer the musical adeptness of Guitar Julie, Suburban Slim, Andy Strange and Andy Gauthier along with their partners in crime The Volcano Vixens and many of the usual suspects and maybe a surprise here and there as guests joining in the fun. One thing you can always count on with The Strange Tones in these special events is that it will be guaranteed to be spectacular.

The Bossanova Ballroom is a beautifully renovated 1920s venue located at 722 E Burnside Read more

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday, September 4th, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – Non-members $3.00

Opening Acoustic Set – David Pinsky & Phil Newton

Second Electric Set – Simplistic Soles

Alright, so we’re rolling into the Fall after a fantastic summer filled with all sorts of great blues music. But there’s no reason to stop going out to see blues music because the weather may be changing. In fact, it should be even more in mind. And living here in the Pacific Northwest, our own little blues mecca, we can certainly catch superb blues musicians just about every night of the week if we’d like. As usual, the best way to start each month off is with your friends down at The Melody Ballroom for the Cascade Blues Association’s General Membership Meeting. Each and every month we bring to you two sets of terrific blues music, whether presented by old friends or new acts you’re just getting to know. The talent in our area is beyond approach and you’re most likely going to enjoy those we have to offer.

David Pinsky and Phil Newton photo by Greg Johnson

David Pinsky and Phil Newton (photo by Greg Johnson)

This month we’ll be bringing up a couple of good friends from Southern Oregon with the acoustic duet of David Pinsky & Broadway Phil Newton. Both are very accomplished artists in the own right with various bands, but together they bring a truly flavorful blend of blues on guitar and harmonica. David has been the band leader for The Rhythm Kings, one of the most popular bands around the south part of the state. He formed the group twenty-five years ago and they’re still going strong, but lately David has focused more on his acoustical side with projects like Read more

Be Somebody
Finedog Records

Mike Schermer CD cover           Mighty Mike Schermer has been a mainstay amongst the elite musicians of the Bay Area for the past two decades, building a name for himself as one of the top guitarists around if you require somebody with the right knack to fill all your needs. He’s been doing so for some of the best over that time, including Elvin Bishop, Bonnie Raitt, Howard Tate and Charlie Musselwhite to drop just a few names. He has also put out five recordings under his own name, with his latest, Be Somebody, standing high above them all and perhaps may be amongst the very best of the year overall. It has that catch to it that is hard to step away from. It keeps drawing you back for replays over and over again, without getting tired at all.

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Raise Your Hands
VizzTone Records

Long Tall Deb CD coverOriginally from El Paso, Texas, vocalist Long Tall Deb Landolt moved to Columbus, Ohio a few years back where she instantly became a part of the city’s wealth of blues talent.  Her debut recording for the VizzTone label features many of that city’s most renowned artists as well as a bevy of others from across the country. The album, Raise Your Hands, is a sensational collection showcasing the collaboration between herself, keyboardist John Popovich and bass player Melvin Powe that had built through a standing Wednesday night idea gathering meet.

Raise Your Hands offers ten original tracks, most of which were penned by the main trio with a hand from people such as Sean Carney, Dave Clo and Philip Pemberton. The other two numbers on the disc are cover tunes by Tom Waits (“New Coat Of Paint”) and Ian Read more

Come On Down
Cordova Bay Records

David Gogo CD coverCanadian blues rocker David Gogo has released his thirteenth album with Come On Down, continuing on his path of creating exceptional music that features his sizzling guitar work and smooth soulful vocals. The new disc was inspired greatly by a pilgrimage that Gogo took to the Mississippi Delta where he soaked in the history of the blues as well as the landscape and its people. It is not all seen as positive revelations, but takes a realistic view on the worn down buildings, the poverty and otherwise not so glamorous, while still maintaining that the future can resolve these blights.

Come On Down is equally mixed with Gogo originals and some nice covers that offer a range of perhaps unexpected tracks such as The Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “So Into You” or Robert Palmer’s  “Looking For Clues.” He opens the disc with a perfectly executed take on The Faces’ “Bad ‘n’ Ruin,” setting the feel for what is to follow and a couple of Fleetwood Read more

Clay Swafford CD coverRooster
Lost Cause Records

Clay Swafford is like a throw-back to days of yore. This 30-year-old red-headed youngster can lay down piano playing as if he were a direct descendant of Otis Spann, Jimmy Yancey, Roosevelt Sykes, Pinetop Perkins and Memphis Slim all rolled into one. And in many ways, he just may be. Swafford has the knowledge of the blues and it comes rolling across the keys every time he steps to a piano. For somebody who has been gaining notoriety for a number of years, working on stage alongside artists like Bob Margolin, Hubert Sumlin, Paul Oscher and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, it is hard to believe that he is just now releasing his first recording. And this presentation is the full package real deal you’d expect.

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As  part of the annual Music Fest NW this season, the powerful double bill of soul man Charles Bradley and funky bluesman Shuggie Otis will be appearing at The Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, September 7th.

LTM - Charles Bradley (10)[1]

Charles Bradley (press photo)

Charles Bradley is a soulful R&B crooner and formerly a James Brown impersonator whose career is skyrocketing following a brilliant performance at SXSW in Austin. He has led a rough life as chronicled in the film Soul Of America, but he knows how to capture an audience with his dynamic stage appeal.

Shuggie Otis press photo

Shuggie Otis (press photo)

Shuggie Otis is the guitar playing son of R&B legendary band leader Johnny Otis and has been an innovative musician in his own right exploring new blends of blues and funky stylings. He was first given a guitar at the age of two and was already performing with his father’s band by the time he was twelve. Over his career he has released a handful of outstanding recordings and has worked with people ranging from Bobby Bland, Etta James and Frank Zappa.

Showtime for this fabulous show is 8:00 pm. It is an all ages event and tickets are $25.00 in advance and day of show, available through Cascade Tickets at

Toney Rocks press photoToney Rocks has been described as having the “soul of the blues…”, being “A cross between John Lee Hooker and Albert King”. But, according to Toney Rocks, “I’m much more than a blues cliche’. My sound is progressive and channels influences from country, arena rock, electronic, and world music.” Diving into the abyss of blues rooted rock music, delivering a bold hybrid of high energy music peppered with electronic elements, his show has earned comparisons by fans to jazz fusion great, Jean Luc Ponty and soul blues giant, Robert Cray.

Mentored by American folk hero, David Bromberg, Toney Rocks is considered an epitome of the do-it-yourself musician, personally recording all the music featured in his solo shows and albums. “David (Bromberg) always tells me to ‘strip it down and work as much as you can’. But really, me going solo and doing-it-myself came out of necessity.” Read more


The 44s press photo

The 44s press photo

Just a few short weeks following their last show at Duff’s Garage, Los Angeles-based blues-roots band The 44s will be making a return trip for an encore performance on Saturday, September 14th. This is a group of road dogs, constantly on the move across the country and they have found a huge following in Portland, making it one of their favorite stops.  Their outstanding blend of Chicago and West Coast styled blues driven by the sizzling guitar and vocals of Johnny Main alongside harmonica master Tex Nakamura is without doubt some of the hottest material stemming from the West Coast today.

The 44s Portland shows are becoming extremely popular, with crowds increasing with every appearance. Make plans early to catch them as they come back to Duff’s Garage, 1635 SE 7th. Showtime is 9:00 with a $12.00 admission at the door. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so you can receive a $1.00 discount when showing your current membership card when you enter.