Your Cascade Blues Association NEEDS you ! Every year the Officer positions for the Board of Directors are selected by the membership at the December General Meeting. Open positions are President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary. These are the key positions of the Board of Directors and the voting positions that elect the At-Large Members. If you would like to run for one of these positions, submit your letter of intent to run to or mail to PO Box 14493, Portland, OR 97293. If received before November 15th, we will include your letter in the December BluesNotes.

Please note the following message being rerun from last month. We really do you’re your help. You do not have to run for an Officer position in order to be a member of the Board of Directors or a Volunteer.

Have you ever thought about getting more involved? Well now is the time!!  You can choose to be a part of the CBA Board or a volunteer – whatever you choose – we welcome (and need) your help.

We have open At-Large Board positions available for those who would like to get in behind the scenes and make our events happen.  Just think – you can take part in shaping and influencing this great organization.  You can help us keep it running on a monthly basis. We really do rely on you – our members – to continue to make the CBA better and better.

Yes, it’s fun and games – because if it isn’t fun – why do it!  But don’t be fooled – we do work! Board members attend the monthly board meetings where we discuss budget, membership, merchandise, sponsorships and events.  We do ask that each board member take a turn at the merchandise booth at our monthly membership meetings at least once a year and help out at various events – but actually – that’s the fun part!

Do you have a special skill or talent – like managing databases or financial statements?  Running the CBA takes skill (we are a non-profit business) sometimes above and beyond just loving the promotion of blues.  We have a need for help in a variety of areas and I bet there’s something here for you!!  Officer positions naturally take more time – when considering running for either the Membership Secretary or Treasurer positions, we require that you have sufficient background to fill the needs of the Cascade Blues Association. The Membership Secretary maintains the membership information, renewals and address changes that require the ability to keep up an ever-changing spread-sheet and a knowledge of mailing is also preferred. The Treasurer must be able to balance the CBA’s bank accounts, pay due bills on time and keep funds at the Post Office readily available for BluesNotes mailings. The Treasurer is also responsible for maintaining all business filings for annual taxes. These are the two positions that require the most knowledge to keep up, so consider the expectations if you select to run for these officer spots.

Do you just want to be a volunteer with no board commitment – well guess what – we have things you can do! Some options are maintaining merchandise, working with a volunteer list, BluesNotes distribution, writing for the BluesNotes. These functions do not have to be handled by board members. If this interests you please let someone on the current board know!

Every year we put out a request for members to get involved. This year is no different other than we really REALLY do need your help.  Please consider this great opportunity and if your schedule and interests allow – then come join us!  Get involved.

You are welcome to attend one of our monthly Board meetings at 2020 SE 7th (about four blocks south of the old Duff’s Garage), the third Tuesday following the monthly General Membership Meeting.

Cee Cee James has been on a steady rising climb the past few years as she continues to break open doors to venues and stages around the country. The 2014 winners of the Britt Festival Rising Stars competition and the 2013 recipient of the Blues Blast Award for song of the year for her original “I Have A Right To Sing The Blues,” Cee Cee has been receiving huge praise for her recordings and her dynamic performances. A deep throated voice that is easily recognizable makes for her blues uniquely her own. Add in a snap perfect, on the mark band featuring guitarist Rob “Slide Boy” Andrews and you have a winning combination that’s going to spark excitement and emotion into your soul. Cee Cee James’ performances are like a roller coaster ride that always catches you breathless just before taking that plunge down the slope into blues ecstacy.

Cee Cee James returns to Duff’s Garage for one night only on Saturday, November 22nd at 9:00 pm. Duff’s Garage is located at 2530 NE 82nd. Admission is $10.00 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event, so bring your membership card to receive a $1.00 discount on admission.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Cee Cee James will be celebrating her birthday at this show? Just another reason not to miss what will certainly be a rambunctious affair for sure! Be there!

Beats Workin’

Self Produced
Ashbolt Stewart CD cover

It has taken him fifty years of performing professionally, but drummer Ashbolt Stewart has finally released a recording under his own name titled Beats Workin’. Not that he has not had discs out before with his band Bolt Upright, this one is all his own. And what a superb recording it is.

Ashbolt made a couple trips down to the Bay Area earlier this year, hooking up with Kid Andersen at his Greaseland Studios in San Jose. Andersen is a brilliant studio whiz alongside being one of the West Coast’s top guitar aces playing with Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. And he put his magic to the touch on Ashbolt’s material, giving it enormous clarity and sound.

Over the years Ashbolt has travelled down to Northern California where he plays with a number of good friends in various events. Many of those friends dropped by to lend their hands on this studio outing. With Kid Andersen supplying keyboards and some guitar, other guests included guitar masters Terry Hiatt and Johnny Cat, bassist Steve Ehrmann, and harmonica player Aki Kumar. It all comes across sensationally. These are some of California’s best and it will leave little doubt why they’re amongst the first-call musician for studio and road work.

The material found on the album includes a number of tracks that have long been Ashbolt Stewart staples when performing with Bolt Upright, Dub Dubrie, Buzz Holland, in jams or any of many other partnerships he has worked with over the years. Seventeen tracks, with eight covers he has made his own like “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “Who’s Been Talkin’” and “Sugar Sweet”; one tune written by Buzz Holland, “Bluesed”; one from his wife Susie McDonald, “Up For Grabs”; and the remainder all Ashbolt Stewart’s own penned numbers.

There’s a little bit of everything on Beats Workin’. The disc opens with a beatnik track that could’ve come straight from a 60s coffee bar with spoken word and poetry at hand. That drops right into a rockin’ number “Goin’ To The Roadhouse” where Ashbolt lets loose on drums while the guitars rip it up. The only thing missing from the liner notes is detailing who is taking the guitar leads, as all three are super players it’d be nice to differentiate. There are moments of classic blues standards, followed by some nice funky grooves, and even a little surf. The true surprise is Ashbolt on solo piano for “Center Peace,” a very soft and mellow piece that places a nice break to the usually driving pace laid for on the rest of the album. The album closes with the haunting “Home In One Peace” that almost comes across as a dirge despite its message for a call for peace everywhere.

Beats Workin’ is performed exceptionally well, sounds great, fantastic production, nice songwriting; overall this is a career recording for Ashbolt Stewart to date. Nicely done.


Total Time: 63:32

Smitten With A Kitten / Goin’ To That Roadhouse / Too Many Drivers / Oh Carol / Gypsy / Who’s Been Talkin’ / Bluesed / Route 66 / Center Peace / Blues Down To My Shoes / Good Morning Little Schoolgirl / Up For Grabs / Snatch It Back / After Midnight Blues / Sugar Sweet / Wipe Out! / Home In One Peace

The deadline to turn in discs for consideration as the Cascade Blues Association’s entry into The Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition came and went on Wednesday, October 1st. Due to the early deadline for BluesNotes publication this month, we have not yet held the judging to select which CD will be sent to Memphis, but rest assured, we will have our selection in The Blues Foundation’s hands on time.

This year we have eight submissions for consideration, with some mighty tough choices to choose from. They are:

Ashbolt Stewart – Beats Workin’
David Pinsky & Phil Newton – Over The Moon
Gabriel Cox –Gabriel Cox
Lisa Mann – Move On
McFadden Planet – Stories
Robbie Laws – Between The Lines
Tess Barr – Do What You Want
Tommy Hogan – Howl Like The Wind


What: Jazz clinics for teachers and students of jazz, with Chris Brown (drums), John Nastos (saxophone), Susie Jones(saxophone), Kenney Polson(saxophone), Stan Bock(trombone),

When: October 10, 2014, 10:00am-2:30pm

Where: David Douglas HS Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th, Portland, OR

Who: Music teachers, music students if accompanied by music teacher, and general public

Admission: Free!


What: Live jazz in Historic Downtown Gresham

When: October 10, 2014

Admission: Free!


Chris Brown Quartet @ Spinellas Restaurant, 436 N. Main, Gresham, 7:30-8:30, 9:00-10:00pm

Dan Balmer and Go By Train @ Hoppy Brewer, 328 N. Main, Gresham, 7:30-8:30, 9:00-10:00pm

Paul Mazzio Quartet, @ Ulys Taco Bar, 124 NE 3rd, Gresham, 6:00-7:00, 7:30-8:30pm

Tom Wakeling/Randy Porter Duo @ Boccellis Ristorante, 246 N. Main, Gresham, 6:00-7:00, 7:30-8:30pm

still waterBy Laurie Morrisey

“Still Water Vibes is…putting classic blues guitar, grooving bass lines, funky drumming and ‘Where did that come from?’ vocals into one tight group…With original tunes that bridge the gap of traditional blues and modern blues funk, you’ll find yourself going out of your way to catch another show!” That is how their website describes them, and that description is spot on.

Still Water Vibes, a blues band out of Salem, is made up of: Nick Wixom, lead vocals; Brandon Logan, guitar; Jarred Venti, bass; Mike Windsor, keys; and Derek Jones, drums. Nick and Brandon began working together about five years ago and Jarred joined the group about two years ago. “We met Mike in December 2013 and asked him to join the group. Then in April of 2014, Derek joined. His second public appearance with the group was the first round of the Journey to Memphis Competition,” according to Nick.

BluesNotes: Did each of you always want to perform professionally or if not, what did you “want to be when you grew up”?

Still Water Vibes: Brandon, Derek and Mike currently work in the music industry exclusively. Derek is pursing working as a musician and currently giving lessons out of ABC Music in Salem. Jarred has a day job as a “Beer Czar”, he makes purchasing decisions and manages the beer inventory of two local tap houses in Salem, and has taken some schooling for bass. He also gives lessons on occasion as a private instructor. Nick is a full time employee of the Department of Transportation and operates a small-time sound company. He also provides the sound system that the band uses for shows and recordings. He has the least experience of the group musically, but hopes to build his sound company into a full time career, splitting time with performing.

BN: Do each of you have day jobs?

SWV: Currently Jarred and Nick have traditional day jobs. Derek does some teaching and works occasional nights. Mike and Brandon are focused solely on performing, with Mike just finishing high school earlier this summer.

BN: Who has influenced your music?

SWV: The band has a wide variety of musical influences, each of us grew up around completely different styles of music.

Brandon: His major influences are Joe Bonamassa, early Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Chris Cain. His other influences vary, but his playing lends to a funky groove found in some lesser known BB King music.

Nick: His major influence was the church. Growing up his family played a lot of southern gospel style music—his dad’s side of the family all came from the south and shared a love for performing. Currently he gets a lot of his styling from the likes of Jonny Lang, John Mayer, and Robert Randolph. He loves the style of music that Salem local Ty Curtis writes, as well.

Jarred: He has the widest variety of influences of the whole group. From the Beatles to Led Zepplin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He started to really enjoy the style of Robert Randolph and Joe Bonamassa, having been exposed to them through Brandon and Nick.

Derek: His major influences are from local jazz musicians, which is where he got his first opportunities to play in Salem. Derek’s jazz and Latin influences bring a different flair to SWV’s music. His ability to create music from his kit comes from a minimalist take on the instrument from his gigs playing in jazz trios at local jams and street corners.

Mike: Another member influenced by the church. Mike currently plays modern worship style music at church and grew up playing traditional piano for events. His introduction into playing blues and these styles was the day he was contacted to try out for the band. His musical intelligence and hard work has helped him make a big transition from genre to genre.

BN: How would you describe your music?

SWV: While a lot of our music has traditional blues progressions and we cover a lot of familiar blues standards. We tend to believe that our style pushes the envelope of modern blues and funk. Our grooves are based around a very technical drummer and non-traditional bass lines. Brandon’s style of writing stretches the definition of blues and Nick’s vocals more closely match with soul and gospel music.

BN: Did you have any formal training or self-taught?

SWV: Jarred, Derek and Mike have the most traditional training out of the group. Brandon is mostly self taught, although he has taken lessons in the past, most notably a short stint with local pro Garry Meziere. Nick has no formal training, having learned to sing harmony and lead through family gatherings.

BN: What CD’s do you have out?

SWV: Still Water Vibes is currently working on recording our debut CD, it is yet to be titled. There are rough tracks of three of the songs that will be featured on our web site right now.

BN: What other band have you played with?

SWV: All of us have played in multiple local bands, mostly in non-blues genres. Jarred and Brandon play in an original modern rock band, Groove Thief, that was voted Salem’s best local band a few years ago. All of the group, except for Nick, currently play in other projects and work as subs for multiple groups when not performing with Still Water Vibes.

BN: Are there any former band members you want to mention?

SWV: Still Water Vibes got a lot of its styling from the original drummer, and Nick’s younger brother, Brian Wixom. When Brian was unable to continue playing, it was extremely difficult to find a replacement. Brian began recording the album earlier this year and the album has been on hold since his departure. His style of play can still be heard in the way we play several of our songs today.

BN: Any other comments?

SWV: Being from Salem we are trying very hard to get work in the Portland area and would like to thank the Cascade Blues Association, Rae Gordon and Ben Rice for all of their help while we participated in the Journey To Memphis Competition. We have a new level of confidence and really appreciate all of the publicity that the event provided for us. We look forward to being more visible in the area and have a few events scheduled in the Portland Metro area in the next several months.

For more information about the band and where you can see them, visit their website at

The NW Film Center presents their 32nd annual Reel Music Festival, and as usual they have included a little blues music as a treat. This year’s event will be held at The Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum from October 10th through the 22nd.

Gary DavisOn Saturday, October 18th, at 7:00 pm, be sure to catch “Harlem Street Singer: The Guitar Gospel Of Reverend Gary Davis.” One of the truly great American ragtime, blues and gospel musicians, Reverend Gary Davis’ (1896-1972) unique style and virtuoso skill on the guitar made him an icon during the 1960s folk revival and inspired a generation of musicians. “Harlem Street Singer” celebrates the beauty and spirituality of his North Carolina–bred music as well as the human qualities that made Davis a much beloved teacher and minister. Featuring great performances and interviews with musicians he influenced and taught, including Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane, David Bromberg and Woody Mann. (78 mins.)

Then later that same night at 9PM, stick around for “Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty.” Director Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny Johnny WinterWinter to France, Japan and beyond to create this intimate, aptly named portrait of the Texas musician as famed for his sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle as his blazing blues guitar. Winter’s recent passing at age 70 recalls not only a storied life—Woodstock, partying with the Rolling Stones and John Belushi, dating Janis Joplin, and jamming with Jimi Hendrix— but fantastic playing and the respect of legends like Muddy Waters, who said: “When I first heard him, I thought he was one of the greatest blues players in the business.” (94 mins.)

Each show requires a separate admission. General admission prices are $9.00, $8.00 for Portland Art Museum members, students and seniors. Advance tickets are available at or may be purchased at the door one-half hour before screen time. Visit the website to also find out about all the other great films being presented at this year’s festival.








Rick Estrin & The Nightcats CD coverYou Asked For It . . . Live!

Alligator Records

If there is any one way you can describe Rick Estrin and The Nightcats, it would have to be it’s time for some fun so let’s get this party started! And you get exactly that whenever you attend one of their performances. It’s no wonder why so many people have begged for a live recording over the years. In fact, that is just what they decided to name the new album, too, You Asked For It . . . Live!

This isn’t the first time that Estrin has been involved with the release of a live album. But it has been more than twenty years since that last one he did when the band was still known as Little Charlie & The Nightcats. And overall in the band’s time frame under that name, that live disc was one of legends, displaying all the good times to be had at one of their shows.

You Asked For It . . . Live! has all of those same qualities. Recorded in San Francisco at Biscuits and Blues, it is filled with the humorous stories and the knock-out playing of every one of the band members. Estrin is a Blues Music Award winning harmonica player and songwriter, who has quite the glib turn of the phrase. This live show features many of his best-known and most loved songs, including “My Next Ex-Wife,” “Dump That Chump,” “Smart Like Einstein,” “That’s Big” and “Don’t Do It.”

Little Charlie Baty was renowned for his extraordinary guitar work and when he retired it was questioned whether the band could survive. With the addition of Kid Andersen it was proven right away that there was no need for worry. After first cutting his teeth in America playing with Charlie Musselwhite, Andersen has become the perfect foil for Estrin with his imaginative and tuneful string work. And during this show he was really allowed to stretch out with some over the top runs and solos.

Filling out the band are two long-time cohorts of Estrin. Bass and keyboard player Lorenzo Farrell and drummer J. Hansen who also takes his turn on vocals on “Baker Man Blues.”

If you have the opportunity to catch Rick Estrin & The Nightcats live on stage, make every effort to do so. In the meantime, pick up a copy of You Asked For It . . . Live! It’s the next best thing to being at a club watching them, and you can relive it over and over again.

Total Time: 75:31

Handle With Care / Clothes Line / New Old Lady / My Next Ex-Wife / Baker Man Blues / Keep Your Big Mouth Shut / Smart Like Einstein / That’s Big / You Gonna Lie / Never Trust A Woman / Dump That Chump / Don’t Do It / Too Close Together

The nomination round ballots for the 2014 Muddy Awards have been returned and calculated. Cascade Blues Association members should have received their final ballots by now.  Please take the time to fill out your ballots and mail them back to us postmarked no later than Wednesday, October 15th in order to be counted. Remember, no write in votes on the final ballots. These will automatically make the selections for that category null and void.

Mark your calendars to be at The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., on Wednesday, November 5th for the 2014 Muddy Awards Ceremonies and Concert.  Yes, I said Wednesday, the church group who had been occupying the upper ballroom are no longer meeting in the building, so we’re able to move back to our original meeting dates.  Admission to the Muddy Awards is free for CBA members and only $5.00 for non-members. It all starts at 6:30 pm with an opening performance by this year’s Journey To Memphis band winners, The Rae Gordon Band. Also performing will be midway through the night, David Pinsky & Phil Newton, the Journey To Memphis solo/duo winners. And closing the night will be an All Star Muddy Awards Band pieced together by piano maestro Dave Fleschner.

A listing of new music received at the CBA office or purchased personally that should be noted:

Albert Castiglia – Solid Ground (Ruf Records)
Chicago Blues All Stars – Red, Hot & Blue (Azure Music)
David Pinsky & Phil Newton – Over The Moon (Self Produced)
E.G. Kight – A New Day (Blue South)
Elvin Bishop – Can’t Even Do Wrong Right (Alligator Records)
Fo’ Reel – Heavy Water (Self Produced)
Generation Blues Experience – Private Angel (R Music Inc)
Grady Champion – Bootleg Whiskey (Malaco Records)
House Of Dues – Cross That Line (Self Produced)
Hurricane Ruth – Born On The River (Self Produced)
John Hammond – Timeless (Palmetto Records)
JP Soars – Full Moon Night In Memphis (Soars High Productions)
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown – Goin’ To The Delta (Ruf Records)
Kirby Sewell Band – Girl With A New Tattoo (Smelly Cat Records)
Lisa Biales – Belle Of The Blues (Big Song Music)
Louisiana Red – The Sky Is Crying (Wolf Records)
Marcia Ball – The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man (Alligator Records)
Markey Blue – Hey Hey (SoulOSound Records)
Missy Andersen – In The Moment (Main Squeeze Records)
Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson – For Pops: A Tribute To Muddy Waters (Severn Records)
Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls – Soul Brothers (Catfood Records)
Pete Karnes Blues Band – Live At The White Eagle 1982 (Self Produced)
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – You Asked For It . . . Live! (Alligator Records)
Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Too Many Roads (Ruf Records)
Twice As Good – That’s All I Need (Self Produced)