OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHoning a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. Smither returns to the Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E Main, Hillsboro, on Friday, April 10, for a solo acoustic concert supporting the release of his latest albums, Still on the Levee, and Link of Chain.  The Associated press called Smither “one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world.” He’s been dazzling audiences with his masterful guitar stylings and original songs since the 1960s and continues to deliver evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs. Acoustic Guitar magazine describes Smither as singing about “the big things – life, love, loss – in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way.”

Tickets for Chris Smither are available through BrownPaperTickets.com for $20.00 advance, $25.00 day of show at the door. Showtime is 7:30 pm.

The 4th annual Inner City Blues Festival returns with an all star line-up of the finest musicians in the Portland area to benefit Health Care For All Oregon (www.hcao.org) on Saturday, April 11, from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am. The location moved this year to the North Portland Eagles Lodge, 7611 N Exeter & Lombard. Admission is $20.00 and tickets can be purchased in advance through www.TicketTomato.com.

This year’s line-up is amazing, with headliners including Andy Stokes, the Norman Sylvester Band, Bill Rhoades, LaRhonda Steele, King Louis & Friends, The Strange Tones with The Volcano Vixens, Tevis Hodge Jr, Steve Cheseborough, Bloco Alegria, Richard Arnold, Dave Kahl, Sarah Billings, Jay “Bird” Koder, Newell Briggs, Renee Mitchell, Paul Knauls and The Mad As Hell Doctors.

The event will also honor the memories of these community and music ambassadors who were lost this past year: Janice Scroggins, Mel Solomon, Linda Hornbuckle, Jim Miller, Lucinda Tate, and Geneva Knauls. They are all dearly missed.

This is a 21 & over event, with food, desserts, and drinks for sale. There will be a silent auction, raffle prizes and a Community Village with information tables. The show will also be simulcast live on KBOO Radio for those unable to attend.

Let’s all get together and join forces — together we can “Heal the Healthcare Blues.”

Tillamook Burn
Self Produced

Lauren Sheehan CD coverThough this is a fairly brief five-song EP, it does prove the old adage that the acorn does not fall too far from the tree. Renowned roots performer Lauren Sheehan teams up with her daughter Zoe Carpenter to show us that they’re both quite adept at presenting superb Americana music at its finest on Tillamook Burn.

Sheehan is known for being a multi-instrumentalist and works her way through guitar, mandolin and banjo on the selections offered here. Carpenter blends her own guitar playing and the two alternate vocals and harmonize beautifully. Guest artists include Laura Quigley, Greg Clarke and Phil Wiggins.

The selections are all fairly well-known covers and traditional pieces. Wiggins displays his harmonica work on his version of the song “Roberta.” Other tracks include Blind Willie McTell’s “In The Wee Midnight Hours” and Geeshie Wiley’s “Skinny Leg Blues.”

The nice thing about so-called roots or Americana music is that it covers a wide range of popular music from the early twentieth century through to the modern era. Therefore, an album like Tillamook Burn can appeal to fans of blues, folk or country quite easily. With its vocal harmonies and the exquisite instrumentation on the recording, this is a very pleasing release and well worth spending some time to hear.

Total Time: 16:51

Corrina / Honey Baby Blues / Roberta / Skinny Leg Blues / In The Wee Midnight Hours

Experienced, road-tested and tougher than a two-by-four, The 24th Street Wailers are five musicians who originally met in music school. Their major influence? The sounds of the freewheeling period in the ‘40s and ‘50s when the Blues gave birth to Rock and Roll in the black communities of major American cities. Showmanship mattered then, and it was the sax player, not the guitarist, who got the girls.

This Toronto Canada based band has received Juno Award nomination and in March released its fifth album, Where Evil Grows.

“New face of the blues?” Yes, the band members like that. “We’re just trying to restore faith in what the Blues and Rock and Roll were meant to be,” they’ll tell you. But just don’t call the Wailers a “young” band, okay? Instead of pissing them off, call The 24th Street Wailers exactly what they are: one of the hottest groups of blues rockers you can find, and one that always makes the crowd drink, dance and cheer. Tell them that and they might buy you a drink.

The 24th Street Wailers will be heading to Portland for a show at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd, on Wednesday, April 15, for a 9:00 pm show. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so don’t forget to show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount on admission.

CD Woodbury - photo by Greg JohnsonSince The CD Woodbury Band’s earliest gigs, fans and fellow musicians have called them “the Northwest’s best kept secret.” They’re definitely not a secret anymore though. Their 2013 release Monday Night was selected as a top five finalist in The Blues Foundation’s Best Self Produced CD competition, they were chosen as The Kings of Beale Street in 2014, semi-finalists at the 2015 International Blues Challenge, and have been receiving many accolades and awards over the years. This is without doubt one of the Northwest’s best bands going.

C.D. Woodbury has performed in Texas Roadhouses and in Stadiums. He has performed for two US Presidents, foreign dignitaries, and Jimi’s music for the Hendrix family. He has jammed with jazz legends, international blues stars, and has worked with sidemen to the biggest rock acts. Though he has played many styles, he always returns to the blues and American roots music on his guitar.

Opening the night will be one of Portland’s up-and-coming great bands Get Down Jones, featuring the sizzling guitar work of Barney Murnin. With influences from Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Albert King, and Robert Cray, Get Down Jones blends their own originality into a fiery performing band.

The CD Woodbury Band will be returning to The Lehrer, 8775 SW Canyon Lane, on Friday, April 17, for a 8:00 start time. Admission is $10.00, a real bargain for a great double header event. And, if you’re a Cascade Blues Association member, show you current card to receive a $1.00 discount on admission.

Coco Montoya is hailed nowadays as one of the blues world’s finest guitar players, yet he began his musical career playing drums, including a stint manning the kit Coco Montoya - press photobehind the legendary Albert Collins. While Montoya is a self-taught guitarist, Collins took him under his wing and helped the young musician to grow on the instrument, not by giving Montoya lessons, but by having the young guitarist jam with him after-hours to learn the ropes. Following his departure from Collins, Montoya spent ten years playing with John Mayall before beginning his own solo career in 2000. With many accolades over the years along with numerous gigs and festivals, Coco Montoya is riding high as a sought out headliner around the world.

Make a point to be at The Birk, 11139 Highway 202, on Saturday, April 18, for a 7:00 pm show. This will be Coco Montoya’s only Oregon appearance on this tour, so if you’ve been waiting to see him, now is the time — and The Birk is not that far away.

Janiva Magness - press photoJaniva Magness is one of the most popular blues artists in the world today, with multiple Blues Music Awards nominations and wins over the past few years, including the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. This year is no exception as she has been nominated for three more awards, which will be presented in Memphis at this year’s Blues Music Awards in early May. You can catch this phenomenal vocalist just a couple weeks prior to that awards show and see just why Janiva Magness is a constant favorite amongst her fans. This is a performer who delivers every time she steps to the stage with her knife-sharp band, and they leave you with a show that you’re likely not going to forget anytime soon after.

Touring in support of her latest, highly praised album, Original, Janiva Magness will return to the Portland area for her first ever performance at The Lake Theater & Café, 106 North State Street, Lake Oswego, on Monday, April 20. Doors will open at 6:00 pm for a 7:00 pm show. Tickets are $25.00 and available at http://laketheatercafe.com/#music-mondays  or at the venue. Up front VIP tables are also available for $120.00 and seat four people.

Mia Dyson is an award-winning guitarist and singer/songwriter, and is the daughter of famed bluesman Jim Dyson. Originally from Australia, she struck fame pretty quickly in her native homeland with the release of her first album Cold Water in 2003. Since that time she has released a total of six discs and toured around the world with the likes of Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak, and many more. Now living in Los Angeles, Dyson has been consistently touring the United States for the past two years,  currently in support of her most recent recording, Idyllwild. Mia Dyson has been playing major festivals like the High Sierra Music Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, and California World Festival since her move to California.

Please take the opportunity to catch this phenomenal artist as she makes her way back to Portland for an evening at Duff’s Garage on Tuesday, April 28. Show time is 8:00 pm and admission is $8.00. This is also a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so bring your membership card to receive a $1.00 discount at the door.

The NW Musician 101 Workshop and Jam is set for Sunday, April 26, at The Trails End Saloon.

This fun and fact-filled day-long workshop will be held from 11am to 4pm with optional jam afterwards. The workshop will introduce you to a variety of helpful information and people in the know to help you to be a successful part of this rich music community.

Get a backstage pass—Tickets are limited, advance purchase, only $29, includes lunch, handouts and special offers.

Whether you are a live music lover, a venue owner, a new musician looking to establish yourself and get a band, a working musician looking for some marketing tips and tricks, or a seasoned band leader looking to connect with venue and festival coordinators face to face, this is the day. This will be an open communication workshop followed up with an open jam.

The Trails End Saloon, a local favorite “Home of the Blues” will be closed for the workshop session, then the jam will be open.

All attendees will get a packet of helpful information and special deals from the speakers at this unique networking event. Some scholarships are available.


$29 includes workshop packet with incentives, discounts, coupons from speakers, and lunch (chicken, vegetarian or hamburger.)

MARKETING—strategy, materials, promotions, website, e-newsletters, building a brand and an email list (speakers for website, E-newsletter providers and newspaper media representative). Being active in associations (Cascade Blues Association, etc.)

PHOTOGRAPHY—developing good relationships with the people who capture the moment, copyrights, etc (Q&A panel with local photographers)including Jim Dorothy.

BOOKING—how to successfully book, booking agents and festival organizer panel discussion give you helpful tips to make it to their stages, Q&A with top festival coordinators, including Jason Fellman (J-Fell Presents; Harefest) and Joey Scruggs (Duff’s Garage, Etta James Tribute & Candye Kane benefit/Alberta Rose.)

EQUIPMENT—sound technician and equipment representatives help you figure out what you need to succeed and put on a good show.

VENUES—developing good relationships with venue owners, how to have a successful partnership. Panel discussion, Q&A with bar/theater owners, including Brad Lehrer, Lehrer Pub, Portland; Mark & Linda Temple, Trails End Saloon, Oregon City; and Brian Whitehead, Roadhouse 101 & Rusty Truck Brewing, Lincoln City.

STORYTIME—from little to big stages, local to international stories with musicians under contract and who have toured internationally: Ellen Whyte (www.ellenwhyte.com); Kevin Selfe (www.kevinselfe.com); and Monti Amundson.

RECORDING & DISTRIBUTION—panel discussion, Q&A with distributorships and recording studio owner.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER—learn from a local legend.

JAM ETIQUETTE—how to be a good team player and get the most from the local jams, AKA-how to not get kicked off stage-taught by a successful jam leader.

OPEN JAM—hosted by the Rae Gordon Band-put what you learned to the test. Musicians bring your axe—drums and bass rig provided, no keys available. Guitar players bring your instrument and amp.

Maria Muldaur - press photoMaria Muldaur is best known world-wide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received several Grammy nominations and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere. Yet, despite considerable pop music success, her 50-year career is best described as a long and adventurous odyssey through various forms of American Roots Music. During the folk revival of the early ’60s, she began exploring and performing early Blues, Bluegrass, and Appalachian “Old Timey” music, beginning her recording career in 1963 with the Even Dozen Jug Band and shortly thereafter, joining the very popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band, touring and recording with them throughout the ’60s.

In the 40 years since “Midnight at the Oasis,” Maria has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 40 solo albums covering all kinds of American Roots Music, including Gospel, R&B, Jazz, and Big Band (not to mention several award-winning children’s albums). She has now settled comfortably into her favorite idiom, the Blues. Often joining forces with some of the top names in the business, Maria has recorded and produced on-average an album per year, several of which have been nominated for Grammies and other awards.

Always a favorite with audiences in Portland, Maria returns to the Rose City for an evening at The Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Sunday, April 26. Showtime is 7:00 pm, with an opening set by Joy Pearson, This is a 21 & older only event. Tickets may be purchased in advance through TicketFly.com, $20.00 – $25.00.