The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland’s (MSSP) fourth annual Blues 4MS concert is coming up on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at the Aladdin Theatre.  Great thanks to the Cascade Blues Association for co-sponsoring the event and an even greater thanks to CBA’s President Greg Johnson for putting together a spectacular line up.

The fun starts at 3 pm with The Fabulous Bad Cats. This five-piece outfit offers original and classic rock, funk and blues. These guys have one aim in mind, that’s to get you onto the dance floor and show you a good time.

Soul Cookin’ is an all-star line-up that has been hosting Wednesday nights at Blackwell’s for the past couple of years. Led by Oregon Music Hall of Fame members Lloyd Jones and Carlton Jackson on guitar and drums respectively, alongside bassist Dave Kahl (Paul deLay Band, Fiona Boyes) and keyboard master Louis Pain (Paul deLay Band, King Louie & Sweet Baby James). Expect to hear some funky cool tunes and steamy blues as this group sets the groove.

The Robbie Laws Band is the resident act for Blues For MS, having performed every year at this event. Cascade Blues Association Muddy Award winner twenty-one times over, including nine times for electric guitar player of the year, Robbie Laws is a true icon of the Northwest Blues scene. This performance helps celebrate the band’s latest release, Between the Lines.

The Rae Gordon Band is fresh back from a successful showing at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, where they advanced to the semi-finals. Rae was also named the recipient of the 2013 Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist of the year at the Muddy Awards and her latest CD Blue Lemonade was named one of the top CDs in the State of Oregon for the year by 1859 magazine.

Since taking second place overall at the International Blues Challenge in 2010, Karen Lovely has been on a steady rise toward the top of the blues world. With three Blues Music Awards nominations, appearances at some of the largest blues festivals and tours throughout the United States, Canada and into Europe, Karen is about to unleash her third CD to a highly anticipating audience. Her shows feature top-shelf musicians and cover not only her own material, but often what she terms as Prohibition Blues, exploring the female artists of the early years of the blues.

And to close the evening, be prepared to party New Orleans style, as one of the city’s most funky bands, The Roseland Hunters, promises to get you out of your seat and setting your backside into motion, Another all-star conglomeration that stretches across genres from Portland’s musical grab-bag of talent, with guitarist Michael Quinby leading the pack on guitar and vocals, alongside the talents of percussionist/drummer/vocalist Brian Foxworth, bassist Damian Erskine, keyboardist Chris Phillips and drummer Reinhardt Melz. This is a dream band that starts a party every time they perform.

A $10 suggested donation is encouraged.  Donations will remain in Oregon to support the local MS community.  MSSP seeks to improve the quality of life for those living with MS, including family members and caregivers.  We help take care of the here and now needs.

This year, we are raffling a fabulous Normandy electric guitar, hand signed by the Doobie Brothers.  Raffle tickets will be sold at $5 each or 6/$25. The winning tickets will be selected following the last set on March 2nd and the lucky ticket holders need not be present to win.

Come prepared to have a great time listening to some of the best blues talent around.  In the meantime, go to www.blues4ms.org or call 503 297-9544 for more information.

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Bossanova Ballroom

722 East Burnside • Portland, OR 97214


As the clouds and fog roll over Portland Oregon in the middle of winter, a select group of Louisiana aficionados are dreaming up a hot time for Fat Tuesday in the Rose City.

Mysti Krewe of Nimbus presents the Fourth Annual Portland Mardi Gras Ball at the Bossanova Ballroom on March 1st, 2014.

This year’s theme is “Saints and Sinners”.

Planning for the annual Mardi Gras Ball takes place all year long.  Mysti Krewe of Nimbus – the Portland based New Orleans style Mardi Gras Krewe – pulls from member’s Louisiana and Gulf Coast heritage, and from locals want to bring a taste of the Louisiana experience to the Pacific Northwest.

What to expect? One thing Portlanders enjoy is dressing up in costume and heading out for a night of revelry.  Bring out your best over the top finery and participate in the Costume Contest. Watch the crowning of the new Mardi Gras King and Queen. And dance the night away to live Cajun and Zydeco music. Of course expect plenty of beads and King Cake.

The ball is the brainchild of Steve and Jane-Clair Kerin, who moved from Louisiana to Portland eight years ago. They hoped to see the kind of Fat Tuesday celebrations they were used to, but all they found were drink specials in local bars. So they gathered other Louisiana transplants and their friends to launch the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus with the goal of bringing some Louisiana-style Carnival mojo to the Rose City.  Learn more about the Krewe: Listen to details about the upcoming Mardi Gras Ball here

For additional information contact:     Steve Kerin, 503-442-6602

Email:  portlandmardigras@gmail.com

Web:    www.portlandmardigras.com; www.mystikrewe.com


Tevis Hodge Jr. and Norman Sylvester to be featured at the Inner City Blues Festival (photo by Greg Johnson)

The Inner City Blues Festival: Healing the Healthcare Blues was created three years ago to help benefit the growing campaign for Health Care for All Oregon (www.hcao.org). The mission is to provide no cost health care to all Oregonians, young and old. Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out! This event is aimed at furthering the goal while at the same time being the party of the year to attend!

Performers at this year’s event will include: Norman Sylvester Band featuring LaRhonda Steele, Duffy Bishop Band, The Strange Tones with The Volcano Vixens, Boogie Cat Blues Guitar Explosion with Lloyd Jones & Jim Mesi, Tevis Hodge Jr., Nico Wind Full Circle, Steve Cheseborough, Too Loose Cajun-Zydeco Band, Chata Addy & Friends, Shoehorn, and the Mad As Hell Doctors.

This year’s event will happen on Saturday, April 5th at The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, in both the Grand Ballroom (upstairs) and The Blue Heart Bar (acoustic acts, downstairs) from 7:00 pm ‘til midnight, doors open at 6:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance at any Norman Sylvester Band shows, Music Millennium, Geneva Shear Perfection, the Musicians’ Union or through tickettomato.com for $15.00 or $20.00 at the door. This is a CBA co-sponsored event and members may receive a $1.00 discount on admission at the door. If you cannot make the event, Tickettomato.com also offers donations for $25.00 or more to be made through their website.

The year to attend!

Janiva Magness - photo by Greg Johnson

Janiva Magness – photo by Greg Johnson

“One of the most fiery and original vocalists in contemporary blues and soul…thoughtful, inventive and almost unerringly on the money.” – Mojo Magazine

One of the blues most electrifying entertainers, Janiva Magness returns to Portland for what is sure to be another spell-binding performance at Jimmy Mak’s on Thursday, March 6th. The awards and accolades attributed to Magness keep piling up, as in this last year alone she was honored with the Living Blues Readers’ Award for Blues Artist of the Year and took home two Blues Music Awards for Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “I Won’t Cry” from her latest Alligator Records release Stronger For It. She writes her music based on life experiences and delivers with strong emotion backed by a solid tight band. It is no wonder that she has also been awarded with the Blues Music Awards Entertainer of the Year recognition in the past and is a perennial nominee.

Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th. Showtime is 8:00. Tickets are available through tickettomato.com and are $13.00 general admission and $17.00 for guaranteed seating (dinner purchase required). 21 and over only. This is a CBA co-sponsored event, members showing their current membership card will receive a $1.00 discount at the door. Discount may also be used on-line when ordering tickets by using the code “cba.”

Nikki & Matt Hill - photo by Greg Johnson

Nikki & Matt Hill (photo by Greg Johnson)

 Following her highly-praised performances at this last summer’s Waterfront Blues Festival and her sold out show at Duff’s Garage back in December 2012, Nikki Hill returns to deliver more of her high octane entertainment. Those who have seen her sing her ass off agree—this isn’t just another newcomer on the scene, this is a ‘whiplash’ moment. Drawing on vintage female R&B influences such as LaVern Baker, Etta James and Ruth Brown, as well as some of her favorite male singers Otis Redding and Solomon Burke, Nikki Hill’s tough vocal style fits with contemporary sensibilities yet evokes all the great blues shouters of previous decades.

Based in St. Louis, Nikki Hill’s background in music began singing in gospel choirs at church. Along with her Blues Music Award winning guitarist husband Matt Hill, they have established themselves as roots rock, R&B powerhouses and an outstanding not to miss act.

In March, Nikki Hill will return to Northwest Oregon for two dates. On Wednesday, March 5th she will be at Duff’s Garage, 1635 SE 7th, for a 9:00 pm show. Admission is $15.00 and as a CBA co-sponsored event, card carrying members may receive a $1.00 discount at the door. Then on Thursday, March 6th, Nikki will appear at The Birk, 11139 Highway 202, Birkenfeld, OR., for an early 5:00 pm show. Contact the venue for admission price and further information at (503) 298-6697.

Carla J. Lehrer is the sister of Brad Lehrer, who owns and operates The Lehrer Bar & Grill, a venue that supports our local blues and music community. She is currently in a battle with breast cancer, having gone through surgery and now undergoing chemotherapy treatment.  In support of Carla and to honor anybody who has gone through cancer or been affected by someone who has, Brad has gathered some of the finest blues ladies in town for a benefit show to show solidarity and to help with the mental, physical and financial burdens that Carla is facing.

This event will take place at The Lehrer, 8775 SW Canyon Lane, on Sunday, March 30th, beginning at 2:00 pm. Suggested donation is $10.00. The line-up for the day is as follows:

2:00 – Lisa Mann & Sonny Hess

3:00 – Ma Fondue featuring Naybie Rojas

4:00 – Ellen Whyte

5:00 – Sandy Saunders

6:00 – Lucy Hammond

7:00 – Tracey Fordyce & The 8-Balls

Not only is there going to be some great music, we’re also going to have a silent auction, raffle, beach volleyball and other fun activities. Ok, no beach volleyball, but other fun activities. If you or someone you know, has anything to donate for the auction or raffle (product or service) please contact Brad Lehrer (private message through Facebook, e-mail at lehrer14790@yahoo.com or phone the venue at 503-384-2442. If for some reason you can not make the event or live too far away to attend, you can still donate by sending your gift, via US postal service, to “The Lehrer” at 8775 SW Canyon Lane, Portland, Oregon, 97225. We will also be setting up a bank account for those of you that would rather donate a gift using transfer or deposit. In the meantime, get your calendar out, turn it to the month of March, and mark the 30th with a big pink “X”

“The blues is the roots, the rest is the fruits.” Willie Dixon

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness” Martin Luther King Jr.

It was a gloomy, rainy, winter night about 3 years ago. LeeAnn Gibbons, and some of her friends were sitting together, at one of their favorite venues. The group, in a great mood from the night’s entertainment, found themselves reminiscing about the fun they had had at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival earlier that year. They smiled as they exchanged stories about the performances of their favorite acts and spoke with awe of how successful the food drive for the Oregon Food Bank always seemed to be. “You know, the food bank always needs help all year long” says LeeAnn, a veteran volunteer with the Oregon Food Bank. It’s a shame most people aren’t aware of how bare the shelves get in January and February.” Then, in a split second instance of clarity she excitedly exclaimed to her friends “Why can’t we have a blues festival in the winter to help tie us over until the Waterfront Blues Festival starts?” she stated matter of factly “We can bring the community together with music and help the food bank and other charities too!” They all, without hesitation, enthusiastically agreed. Thus became the birth of the Winter Blues Music Festival.

The festival, now going into its’ third year, not only supports the Oregon Food Bank but the Children’s Healing Arts Project as well.

The WBMF has featured in its’ tenure a wide variety of national and local artists. Previous performers have included the infinitely exuberant local favorite Rae Gordon and blues great Janiva Magness to name a couple.

Founder Gibbons promises that this year’s event will offer the same fun and excitement that Portland has grown to expect from the festival “It is important to give back to the public what it gives to us.” She said somberly “I am amazed at how the blues community always comes together to support these causes. The Portland blues scene is like a big family and the people here repeatedly show love for each other. ”

The festival is continuing its two day tradition with the 2014 line-up including nationally
known artists Davina & The Vagabonds and 2012 IBC winners The Wired! Band. The audience can also expect knock-out performances from Oregon’s IBC representatives Ben Rice and Tevis Hodge Jr. plus with a 11 other bands to complete the weekend event.
Gibbons is also pleased to announce that the festival has collaborated with Amanda Gresham’s Delta Music Experience and Barbra Gresham Hammerman’s United By Music. These two organizations have helped solidify a sense of community by providing musical mentors to those with physical and intellectual disabilities such as Aspergers, Autism and Williams Syndromes who have a desire to learn how to play an instrument. “The Winter Blues Music Festival is a great opportunity for us to showcase our performers while giving those less fortunate, an opportunity to play in front of a live audience.” explains Gresham.

The Winter Blues Music festival is being held February 22 and 23rd at the Bobwhite Theatre 6423 SE Foster Rd in Portland. For a complete line-up, show times and ticket information you can go to the Winter Blues Music Festival website at www.winterbluesfest.net or their Winter Blues Music Festival Facebook page.  Winter Blues Festival

Additional information about United by Music and The Delta Music Experience can be found at www.UBMNA.org and www.amandagresham.com/dme.

Big Monti Amundson - photo by Greg JohnsonBig Monti Amundson explains in his liner notes for his latest recording, Dangling From A Rope, that over the years he has written a lot of songs. Some that make it to albums and some that are filed away for future reference. “Then one day you’re playing guitar, working on something new and a song just seems to fall out of the sky. Like you had nothing to do with it at all. You realize that song is special and it requires a place to exist.” Monti states that song is the title track from the new album and it caused the beginning of an intensely creative period. With new ideas and digging through those files of stored songs, he has put together this exciting new project and he is ready to let everyone hear it for themselves.

For more than two decades, Monti has thrilled audiences from the Pacific Northwest to Europe with his sizzling guitar, as the leader of The Blubinos, with The Sultans of Slide and under his own name. He will be holding a CD release party for Dangling From A Rope at Duff’s Garage (1635 SE 7th) on Friday, February 21st at 9:00 pm. Joining him in the band will be long-time friends and collaborators Kelly Dunn on bass and CBA Hall of Famer Boyd Small on drums. Admission is $10.00 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event, so show your membership card at the door to receive a $1.00 discount. And prepare yourselves for a rockin’ great night of guitar driven blues!!

The fourth annual Homegrown Mardi Gras will be held on Fat Tuesday, March 4th, at the Alberta Rose Theatre (3000 NE Alberta Street) and features four great local (homemade) bands and much more excitement. Music will be provided by The New Iberians Zydeco Blues Band, Lloyd Jones, DK Stewart and The Transcendental Brass Band. Also appearing will be the LoveBombGoGo Marching Society and Lively & Luscious Burlesque Dancers. Beads, King Cake and sundry for all.

This is a 21 & over event. Tickets are available at www.albertroseatheatre.com for $15.00 advance and $20.00 at the door day of show. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, and members can receive a $1.00 discount by using the code “CBA” when purchasing tickets. It will all start at 7:00 pm Mardi Gras night. Come on out, join in the second line and have your King Cake, too!!

If you had intentions of seeing B.B. King at the Elsinore Theater in Salem on March 1st and you do not have tickets, then you’re probably out of luck. The show has been sold out for a few weeks now, but if you’re really intent on catching the show, there are tickets available throughout second-hand ticket sellers, but expect to spend about 10 times the original price.

But if you have not seen B.B. King before this might still appeal to you. After all, we’re talking about perhaps the single most identifiable name in the history of the blues. He’s a Grammy winner, a Blues Music Awards winner, inducted into both the Rock & Roll and Blues Hall of Fames, and a Medal of Freedom recipient, the most highly prized award bestowed by our country for the arts. B.B. King is an American icon with more than six decades of awe-inspiring performances and recordings to his name.

And to make the event even more appealing, add a special opening set by Cascade Blues Association International Blues Challenge representative Ben Rice. Certainly another milestone in young Rice’s career portfolio and highly deserved.

Showtime is 8:00 pm. The Elsinore Theater is located at 170 High Street SE in Salem.