Jimbo Mathus - press photoMississippi rocker Jimbo Mathus, perhaps best known as the frontman for The Squirrel Nut Zippers, has a long association with the blues as an artist and studio wizard, having worked with musicians like Buddy Guy and as a member of the South Memphis String Band alongside Alvin Youngblood-Hart and The North Mississippi All Stars’ Luther Dickinson. Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition will be returning to Portland on Friday, February 6th at The White Eagle for a 9:30 pm show. His latest recording, Dark Night Of The Soul on the Fat Possum label releases just days after his appearance in Portland, so expect a nice sampling of newer music combined with old favorites. The new album is a hodge-podge of all things Southern, with bits of Southern rock, funky pieces, swampy blues and other roots forms.

McMenamins White Eagle Saloon is located at 836 N Russell St. This is a 21 & over only show. Tickets can be purchased in advance through www.cascadetickets.com for $10.00 general admission. Portland renowned roots musician Lewi Longmire will open the show.

Heart O’ Chicago
Blue Kitty Records

Liz Mandeville has long been a figure on the Chicago blues scene and with her latest release Heart O’ Chicago she pays tribute to the city and its music that she loves. This is her second album on her own Blue Kitty label, following her well received Clarksdale from 2012. Prior to that she had a handful of discs that had come out on Earwig. Liz Mandeville CD cover

Great listening here, as Mandeville delivers with her smooth vocals and is backed by an incredible band of Chicago blues veterans, including Blues Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Shaw on sax for a couple numbers and the always sensational Billy Branch offering harmonica on a couple more. The core band includes Mandeville on guitar alongside Minoru Maruyama, Daryl Wright on bass,Jermiah Thomas on drums and Joan Gand on keys. Terrific horn work provided by trumpeter Wade Baker, trombonist Eric Campbell and saxophonist Oz Landesberg. Also, aside from Billy Branch, Dizzy Bolinski adds harmonica on one track, making his debut recording.

On “Quit Me On A Voice Mail” Mandeville emotes her best Etta James-like phrasing, just one of her on the money singing approaches. There is truly a lot of vocal highlights throughout the album provided by Mandeville, and two of those of note are the duets with Charlie Love on “Don’t Doubt My Love” and “Smart Women Foolish Choices.” The first is just soulful bliss as the two share the spotlight. With a funky guitar riff and snappy horns, Mandeville gives a new original reading behind BB King’s theme on “Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues,” while detailing how since day one in the garden of Eden and throughout history she’s still paying her dues. Throw  in a couple of stinging guitar solos and this song takes off. It’s obvious that Mandeville has a knack for writing clever and fun lyrics, such as her ode to quitting smoking “every silver lining has a black cloud” stated on the song “Silver Lining (Shirley’s Blues).”

Heart O’ Chicago is a tremendous album, full of the variety of blues, soul and R&B that make up the musical textures of the city. And Liz Mandeville gets it right every time on these eleven prime tracks that showcase her abilities to make you take note that she is a force to reckon with. Very much recommended.

Total time: 49:12

Cloud Of Love / These Blues / Don’t Doubt My Love / So Called Best Friend / Quit Me On A Voice Mail / Party At The End Of Time / Silver Lining (Shirley’s Blues) / Tic Tok / Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues / Smart Women Foolish Choices / (Life Is Like A) Wave

The Cascade Blues Association would like to say congratulations and good luck to Portland’s own Naomi Tatsuoka, who works locally under the name Naomi T, for being selected as one of this year’s contestants on American Idol. Naomi travelled to Kansas City a few months back to take part in the audition process and was sworn to keep the results under her hat until the show was Naomi-Tatsuoka-press photobroadcast in early January. The song that she sang in the audition was Adele’s “Someone Like You,” impressing the three judges, Harry Connick, Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. The next step will take her to Hollywood, California to continue the competition which airs on the Fox Network.

Locally Naomi T works in a variety of projects that she fronts, including Soul Provider, The Diva Project, and August In Blue. She recently released her debut album, Flight Of  The Dragon and also appeared on the compilation Shari’s 3am Sessions.

Lucky Peterson - photo by Greg JohnsonLucky Peterson has been amazing audiences since he was discovered as a child prodigy at the age of three by Willie Dixon. The son of blues man James Peterson, Lucky grew up surrounded by the blues and has shown his adeptness at guitar and keyboards, as well as his outstanding vocals and songwriting, for more than four decades. His music fuses the blues with soul, gospel, R&B and rock, he is a versatile musician whose talents have been termed as mind-boggling.

Touring on the recent release of his latest album, The Son Of A Bluesman, Lucky Peterson brings his electrifying performance to The Aladdin Theater for one night only on Sunday, March 1st as part of the PDX Jazz Festival. Show time is 8:00 pm and The Aladdin is located at 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. Minors are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets are available at The Aladdin Theater box office or through www.TicketFly.com for $30.00 advance, $35.00 day of show.

Lucinda Williams - press photoSince recording her first albums in the late 1970s, Lucinda Williams has been one of the country’s most favored cross over artists. Starting out her career blending country and blues, she has since been able to draw attention from the folk, rock and Americana genres, too. With three Grammy Awards and another five nominations, Williams latest release is a double-album titled Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone that has been described as “leaving no emotional crevice left unexplored, drinking deeply from a well of inspiration that culminates with an offering that overflows with delta-infused country soul.”

Lucinda Williams will be returning to Portland for a two-night stand at The Aladdin Theater, Sunday, February 8th and Monday, February 9th. Show time is 8:00 pm each night and Monday’s show is open to all ages when minors are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets are $42.50 in advance, $45.00 day of show, available at The Aladdin Theater box office or through www.TicketFly.com.

In the Moment
Main Squeeze Records

Missy Andersen CD coverMissy Andersen has released a delicious sophomore recording with In The Moment. Based in San Diego, by way of Detroit and New York, she has built a reputation that is well deserved for her soulful and powerful voice that has been featured in the past working with Earl Thomas and backing at times people like Ray Charles, Cissy Houston and BB King.

A truly exciting band including husband Heine Andersen on guitar, Hammond master Ben Moore, and one of California’s premier rhythm section in drummer Marty Dodson and Bill Stuve on bass. The sound also receives a lot of power from the horns of Robbie Smith on trumpet and saxmen Gerald Nolan and Bob Mathes. Other guests of note are James Harman blowing harp on “Better Or Worse,” Nathan James on guitar for a couple tracks and pianist Sue Palmer who also wrote the number “Ladies Shoes.”

The album bursts out of the gates with the lively “Rent Party” which sets the jumping theme for the disc. Missy tells us all that she is proficient as a “Night Stalker,” able to catch a cheating man. There are eleven tracks on this superb disc including eight originals, five that Missy co-penned with Heine. The remaining three offer exceptional takes on Snooks Eaglin’s “I’ve Been Walkin’” with Sue Palmer’s burning keyboards, Benny Clark’s aforementioned “Rent Party” and “Same Things Make You Laugh Will Make You Cry” from Sly & The Family Stone’s repertoire comes across with that perfect sense of soul groove. Tracks like “Reach Out” and “More Than Enough” also bring about that feeling of classic 60s/70s soul.

Missy Andersen is a natural talent, full of passion in her singing and a seeming ease with her presentation. This is an artist to keep a watch on. She certainly has a winning disc with In The Moment that should be a cross-over delight for fans of blues, soul and jazz.

Total Time: 50:17

Rent Party / Whole Lotta Nuthin’ / Night Stalker / More Than Enough / Better Or Worse / No Regrets / Same Things Make You Laugh Will Make You Cry / Reach Out / Ladies Shoes / Hey Now / I’ve Been Walkin’

The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of- a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. In 2010, she was inducted into the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and in 2012 into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. She’s received a total of six Living Blues Awards and nine Blues Music Awards (and has a whopping 42 nominations). She’s received five Grammy Award nominations, including for four of her five previous Alligator albums. Always a songwriter of renown, Ball delved deeper into songwriting than she ever had in her career
with her Grammy-nominated 2010 Alligator release, Roadside Attractions, creating
one of her best and most personal albums.

Marcia Ball is currently touring in support of her latest Alligator Records’ release, The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, and she also once again nominated for two Blues Music Awards in 2015. Ball will be performing at The Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., on Thursday, February 5th, for an all ages (21 & younger when accompanied by a parent or guardian) show starting at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at the Aladdin Theater box office or through www.TicketFly.com, $27.50 advance, $30.00 day of show.

Looking for a little Mardi Gras happening on Fat Tuesday? The New Iberians will be joining Bon Ton Roulet, two of Portland’s finest zydeco and Cajun themed acts for their annual Mardi Gras party at Duff’s Garage. This year they will also feature chef Terry Anne who will be cookin’ her famous chicken and andouille sausage file’ gumbo.

For seventeen years The New Iberians have been bringing their fun-filled, energetic dance music that reflect their roots in Louisiana zydeco, Northwest rock and Chicago blues to fans in the Northwest. The band is made up of sensational musicians: bandleader, accordion player and vocalist Evan Shlaes, rubboard player and vocalist Ural Thomas, Clark Salisbury on guitar, Linc McGrath on bass, drummer Fred Ingram and keyboard and harmonica man Claes Almroth.

Bon Ton Roulet has also been a long-time zydeco favorite in what they term “the Willamette Valley Bayou.” And they also feature fantastic musicians with Ted Hart on accordion, vocalist and fiddle player Annie Rosen, Dominic Maze on Bass,  Dave Muldoon on Drums, and guitarist Eran Schweitzer.

This is one event sure to get your gris gris going for Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday happens this year on Tuesday, February 17th. Duff’s Garage is located at 2530 NE 82nd. Showtime is 9:00 pm. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure to show your membership card for a $1.00 discount on admission.

ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

Well, it happened again this year. The International Blues Challenge (IBC) takes place shortly after the BluesNotes is going to press so we cannot give you any details right away about the outcome. And by the time you receive the paper chances are more than likely that word will already have spread on how our representatives for the Cascade Blues Association and the other outstanding acts representing the various Northwest societies fared. But I’m liking our chances and hopefully the word will be favorable for the musicians from our area.

This year’s IBC will not only feature nine acts from the Northwest, but for the first time a showcase will be held with all of the regional acts displaying their talent in one location. It is pretty much impossible to catch all the acts you want to on Beale Street during the event, so this gives friends and fans an extra chance to see our groups in Memphis.

For me, it is also a special week as the book that I have collaborated on creating with Baton Rouge photographer Jenn Ocken, Blues On Beale Street, Memoirs Of The International Blues Challenge, is being released with a special VIP party and live music from our good friends and past IBC winners Jonn Del Toro Richardson and Sean Carney. I cannot wait to see and hold a physical copy of this work that we’ve been busy putting together for the past two years.

I hope that everybody has a chance to attend this year’s Red & White Blues Dance at the Trail’s End Saloon. Originally titled the Sweethearts Dance, we changed the name because a number of people felt that they were not welcome to attend if they didn’t have a sweetheart. Well, we don’t want anybody to feel left out, thus the new name.

This event is one of only four that we regularly hold each year, other than the Journey To Memphis. It is also the only one we ask for admission for from our members. The purpose of this event was created to offer a winter time happening from the CBA, but also to try to recoup some of the heavy expenses we incur annually from the summer picnic, holiday party and Muddy Awards. We rely on memberships and BluesNotes advertising to make ends meet during the year, and we receive a good chunk of our income from our merchandise booth at the Waterfront Blues Festival. That Waterfront money is pretty much exhausted with the three late year events, so it is tight making ends meet without holding this show that really does not bring in too much our way, but every penny counts to keep the CBA in business. Believe it or not, the CBA does not roll in money, we wish that we did so we could offer more great events and to offer the musicians in town paid opportunities. We thank those acts who generously offer to perform for us, who tell us that they’ll always be available to us if asked.

Over the years the event has brought great performances from a number of artists. Among those, but by all means not everybody who has played, include acts like The Strange Tones, Duffy Bishop, Mary Flower, Boogie Bone, Atomic Gumbo, Too Scoops Moore, Robbie Laws, Bill Rhoades, Rollie Tussing, Madman Sam, and who could ever forget the set at the very first Sweethearts Dance that found our late pal The Original Snakeboy teamed up with Watermelon Slim. This year’s show will be another fun line-up with Rae Gordon & Gaddis Cavenah, the Bottleneck Blues Band, and Jesse Samsel & the East Wind Band.

We hope that you can make this show; it’s not just another night of great music, it is also a means of helping the CBA keep up with our expenses. And we want to thank you in advance for your support, at this show and all CBA events.

The Cascade Blues Association presents its 13th annual Valentine’s Day celebration with the Red & White Blues Dance (formerly the Sweethearts Dance). This year’s event will be returning to Oregon City’s Home of the Blues, the Trails End Saloon, on Saturday, February 14th, starting at 8:00 pm.

We will have entertainment from three terrific acts this year, opening the night with a performance from the Rae Gordon Trio featuring Rae with her sensational vocals, Gaddis Cavenah on guitar and . . . Following Rae will be the hot sounds of the Bottleneck Blues Band, fresh off the release of their great new recording, Twenty First Century Blues, with Noah Bell on guitar, Seth Zowader on keys, Ethan Bear on bass and Devon Shazier on drums. Closing the night will be the always entertaining Jesse Samsel & East Wind, with John Cavanaugh on bass and Nathon Powell on drums providing the strong backbeat to Jesse’s incendiary guitar playing. Three truly smokin’ acts for certain!

poster wendyThe Trails End has put together a special menu for the Red & White Blues Dance featuring great choices like prime rib, house made macaroni & cheese, pork nachos, fish & chips and three choices of salad meals (Greek, BBQ chicken, and chicken Caesar), plus plenty of other options, too.

There will also be raffle tickets and a silent auction with lots of great items, including a package from River Trail Outfitters of your choice of a McKenzie River Fly Fishing Trip or a McKenzie River Rafting Excursion. More information about both of these can be found on www.rivertrailoutfitters.com under the browser tabs ” McKenzie Fly Fishing” & “McKenzie River Rafting”.

Admission for the Red & White Blues Dance is only $10.00 person, or come as a couple and get a bargain rate of $15.00 for the two of you. The Trails End Saloon is located at 1320 Main Street in Oregon City. Hope to see you there.