A message from Anne Weiss:

Eric and I are working on adopting a beautiful baby girl from Ethiopia!!!

A fundraising concert is planned for Saturday, May 16 at St David of Wales Church, 2800 SE Harrison, Portland, Oregon….save the date!

There will be a potluck dinner at 5:30 with the benefit concert to follow from 7 pm- 10:30 pm, featuring these wonderful performers: Mary Flower, LaRhonda Steele, Mark Steele, Ara Lee, JP Garau, Adam Sweeney, Joe McMurrian, Bre Gregg, Nathan Earle and Juliet Howard of “The Get Ahead”, the Everyone Welcome Community Choir, and, of course, I’ll be playing too!

More info: www.anneweiss.com

We will be holding a silent auction at the event and are currently in need of auction items.

If anyone would like to host a fundraising concert at their home, please contact me!

Eric is also selling his beautiful hand made wooden bowls as a fundraiser. His work is incredible. Take a look at: http://www.nwfinewoodturning.com/

Please share this with as many people as you can…sometimes it takes a village to adopt a child!


A little it about our baby…She is two months old. She is from the region of Gambella, which has a rich culture but also, unfortunately, a lot of extreme poverty as does most of Ethiopia. After 3 years of filling out paperwork, waiting, hoping and jumping over tall buildings with a single bound, we joyfully received and accepted her referral on March 5th, my birthday—What a birthday present!?

There are still so many more steps to bringing her home—another 7 months of paperwork and at least two round trip flights to Ethiopia, but we are bound and determined to get to our little baby. We can’t wait to bring her into our loving home and wonderful community.

We decided to adopt from Ethiopia for many reasons, but one of them is that Ethiopia has one of the largest populations of orphans in the world: 13 percent of children throughout the country are missing one or both parents. This represents an estimated 4.6 million children—800,000 of whom were orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

One of the big hurdles left in order to adopt our baby is funding. We need to raise $30,000. Adoption is tragically expensive and complicated, tragic because so many families can’t afford it and can’t take all the complicated steps necessary to adopt here or elsewhere, and that leads to many parentless and homeless children.

But adopting her means one less homeless child, and Eric and I will become one less childless family. This is our dream.

If you can donate money to help us, we would be so grateful. Just go to our gofundme page and help bring our precious baby home—http://www.gofundme.com/r3b77yc

Part of what we are raising the money for is specifically for her adoption, but another portion pays for the foster care center where she is now and for other children living there. Many of those children are unlikely to ever be adopted and would otherwise become street kids without resources, family, food or protection.

We may also be in need of baby clothes, furniture, strollers, car seats etc.

If you are able to donate frequent flyer miles to help us get to Ethiopia, that would be wonderful.

Thank you, in advance, to all the wonderful people who are helping make this dream come true.


Anne and Eric

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Joe McMurrian
Second Electric Set – Sammy Eubanks

Normally we offer a pair of acts that might include one well-established group or performer, while we also introduce an artist or band people should be aware of from the ever-growing wealth of regional blues talent. But this month is an exception. Two well-known and highly acclaimed performers from the Northwest will take the stage, making May’s gathering one of the most amazing nights at a Cascade Blues Association meeting. This is a meeting not to miss.

Joe McMurrian - photo by Greg JohnsonOpening the night will be one of the most innovative and creative acoustic guitarists, not only in Portland, but anywhere. Joe McMurrian takes the values and traditions of the older blues artists of the Delta or the Piedmont and brings them to life with his own modern outlooks. Be it acoustic or electric with his band Woodbrain, McMurrian develops catchy and hypnotic music that is driven by his fleet fingerpicking and slide playing and master storytelling. Twice selected by the Cascade Blues Association as their entry into The Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition, McMurrian each time reached the five finalists and took home the overall prize for his incredible 2010 release Get Inside This House.

Currently, McMurrian has released two new discs simultaneously: Old Blood which offers exciting new material recorded in a cabin where he secluded himself from the rest of the world for a few days to create and his first ever live recording, Live At The Aztec Theater. Both are as superb as we would imagine from the brilliant mind of such an artist. Expect to hear several selections from these albums and his previous releases during his set at the CBA meeting in May.

For the second set, we’ll also be treated with a visit from Sammy Eubanks. Coming to Portland all the way from the Spokane/Couer d’Alene area, Sammy has been recognized multiple times as one of the Northwest finest vocalists and is an outstanding guitarist. Sammy Eubanks, who is often referred to as “The Voice,” is quite possibly the most reputable musician in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, where, along with the late Ted Todd, he helped develop the Inland Empire Blues Society. Sammy Eubanks delivers a quality performance every time he takes the stage, playing a variety of Blues, Country and Rock n’ Roll Classics as well as originals. Influenced by many artists and styles, he too demonstrates diversified talent rarely seen in music today.

Sammy Eubanks - photo by Greg JohnsonSammy Eubanks’s band is also a powerful working trio in itself. Joining him are bassist Dave Nordstrom and drummer Michael Hays, and as stated on the band’s website, they make up the swingin’est rhythm section in the business.

Accolades for Eubanks speak volumes as well, when you consider people like James Harman refers to him as “The Real Deal” and Sunbanks Blues Festival producer Billy Stoops explains that “if you look up COOL in the dictionary, you’ll see this cat’s picture.”

Do not miss this meeting. You’ll be very sorry if you do. You get two of the Northwest’s premier artists in one evening, plus your chance to win prizes by attending, too. It doesn’t get much better than this.

By John Rumler

Get Down Jones - press photoGet Down Jones, an eclectic and versatile 7-member band founded in 2007 in Southeast Portland, plays scorching, steaming, authentic blues—including some jaw-dropping Howling Wolf songs — to growing legions of regional fans.

But GDJ might not even be in existence today were it not for a judge’s decision to sentence a troubled teenager to perform community service at the Oregon Food Bank during one of the early Waterfront Blues Festivals.

Barney Murnin, Get Down Jones’ founder, front-man and band leader, was born and raised in Portland and has been playing blues/roots music for over 17 years. Murnin credits the blues and blues music for helping reverse his downward spiral after his parents divorced and he began running with the wrong crowd.

On top of his mom and dad separating, Murnin lost not one, but two close friends to cancer.  In the latter stages, they both ended up in wheelchairs, and Murnin assisted them and became angry when other kids made fun of them or picked on other youngsters who were physically or mentally impaired.

After standing up to several bullies in a neighborhood gang, Murnin, then 15, faced assault charges. Fortunately, the judge sentenced him to perform community service which turned out to be collecting and sorting canned goods at the gate of the 1991 Waterfront Blues Fest.

That’s when he first heard Chicago blues legends Jimmie Rogers, long-time guitarist for the Muddy Waters Band, and Hubert Sumlin, Howling Wolf’s lead guitarist.

“Man, I was instantly hooked! That turned out to be a huge turning point for me.” Up until then, Murnin didn’t find older music relevant, but the blues spoke clearly to him.

“I was instantly attracted to those sounds, the pain, hurt, and frustration…It was good for me to take my anger and bottled up emotions out on my guitar instead of adding to my juvenile record.”

The rest of that summer, Murnin saved all the money he earned mowing lawns and plunked down $600 at Showcase Music on Hawthorne Blvd. for his first guitar, a white Stratocaster,  Although he is left-handed, Murnin learned to play right-handed because the selection of guitars was much better.

He continued practicing and improving and soon was playing in local bands such as The Rising Buffalo Tribe, Green World Vision, Dead Conspiracy, and Omelet. As he grew more proficient and confident, Murnin’s itch for the blues deepened and he decided to start his own group with the idea of providing a blues-centered rhythm section and having a variety of musicians sit in.

This solidified into Get Down Jones and the Delegation which played its first gigs in 2007 at the Roots Organic Brewery in inner Southeast Portland. “Delegation meant that any of our friends were welcome to bring their instruments and play with us. We had several different lineups of talented artists during that phase,” Murnin explains.

GDJ now plays festivals from Seattle to Northern California, including HempStock, World Music Festival, Organic Brewers Festival, Gresham Art Festival, Pioneer Festival, the Astor Dam Festival, and the Steel Head River Festival.  Earlier this year, GDJ played at Jim Miller’s memorial at the Trail’s End Saloon. “Jim was a terrific guy and a big part of the Waterfront Blues Festival. His passing is a real loss to Portland music scene,” Barney said.

The Waterfront Blues Festival’s seminal influence on Get Down Jones is entirely appropriate. Benevolence is a recurring theme with GDJ, as Murnin & Co. continue to invest considerable time and energy appearing at benefits for a variety of worthy causes, particularly pediatric illness fundraisers such as Brave Mykayla’s Cancer Fund, Hope for Leah, Blues for the Cure, Baby Thomas, and dozens of others “No matter what we have going on, we always slip a few benefits into our schedule,” says Murnin.

GDJ has also performed at Plews Brews, Cadigan’s Corner, Roots Brewery, World Famous Cannabis Cafe, Bob White Theater, the Trail’s End, among others, and blew the roof off at the CBA Membership Meeting last November.

Members of GDJ have been around the blues-block in Portland and elsewhere. Drummer Smokin’ Chris Hoke, a co-founder of the band, got his first snare drum at the age of 7, his first kit at 14, and has been playing drums for 35 years and 20 years professionally.  Growing up, he played to CCR, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and the Beatles and his favorite drummers are still John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr. Through the 90s he toured with various punk rock bands, mainly in Seattle, including the Valentine Killers, Cookie, Jimmy Flame and the Sexxy Boys.

Hoke, who grew up listening to blues, says he came full circle, returning to the blues about 10 years ago. “My mom was a huge blues fan: I heard threads of blues in everything I liked. In my mind, blues was the original building block for modern music and it still is.”

During the day, Hoke works with the developmentally disabled, mainly one-on-one with schizophrenic clients.

He describes his drumming style as, “playing within the song, not on top,” and says that he strives to be a solid anchor while dancing in his seat. “I’m real happy with the GDJ lineup now, great people with a family atmosphere, and am proud to be in a band that is involved in so many good causes.”

Pianist Richard Sanders grew up in a musical home and started playing piano at age of 5. He studied music theory, composition and performance as well as piano, voice, and trombone at George Fox College.  Growing up, his favorite piano player was Elton John. Although he played many different styles of music from classical to Lynard Skynyrd and Metallica to Pink Floyd and Styx in bands from Oregon to New Mexico, he drifted musically for several decades, unable to find his niche until joining GDJ.

Sanders went to the Farm Jam outside Oregon City in 2013 looking to play some music. “That’s how I met Barney and his band and I have been playing the blues with them ever since.” The best thing about playing with GDJ, Sanders says, is “the freedom the blues offers musically and the good people I meet along the way.”

Bass player, David Balding has also played keyboard and guitar in several bands in the last ten years. Some of his favorite musicians include Albert and BB King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. Starting off in a jug band in the late sixties, Balding gave up performing for the next three and a half decades except for playing piano for himself.  In 2005, he picked up a bass that his son abandoned and has been playing ever since. His current role model for playing bass is Carol Kaye.

A recording engineer by trade, Balding, 66, previously worked as a publishing consultant. He also hosts an open jam in his own studio on Thursday evenings and when time allows. Balding loves playing songs with classic bass lines such as Hey Joe, Space Cowboy, and Low Rider and he enjoys learning new songs for GDJ.  “If I’m not trying to cover someone else’s bass lines, I like to come up with my own chordally harmonic melody lines that enhance the songs,” Balding said.

Blues harpist Chuck Gilman taught himself to play harmonica in the early-mid 1970s while serving in the navy on board the USS Fox (CG-33) H. As he became more serious, Gilman took advanced classes with harmonica maestros Lee Oskar, Norton Buffalo, Paul DeLay and Arthur Moore. He’s blown harp with several regional bands, including The Dismal Niche Orchestra, Grey Matters, and now GDJ. Gilman, who joined Get Down Jones about 18 months ago, has appeared at Arthur Moore’s harmonica parties and his Waterfront Blues Festival Harmonica Hoedowns,

Growing up, Gilman listened to a lot of Beatles and Stones. Later, Neil Young’s soulful harmonica playing caught his ear along with John Mayall. A mechanical engineer in the daytime, Gilman lists Paul Butterfield and Little Walter as major influences. “I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Beth Hart recently and another influence is Howard Levy. He isn’t a blues player, but it’s phenomenal what he does with a diatonic harmonica!”

“I like the energy of GDJ, the style of music we play and the band is a bunch of very cool and nice guys,” says Gilman. “There’s no big egos, just good, rockin’ blues.”

A long time fixture on the Portland music scene and active on many fronts, Sean Derrickson does keyboards and vocals for GDJ. Derrickson started playing the trumpet when he was 7 and studied music at Mt Hood Community College and Portland State University and went on to play in, write for and/or produce many bands with many styles of music ranging from punk rock to polka, and from opera to hip hop.

Some of the groups that stand out are Truth, a rock band,  Bus Stop, a funk group that played covers, Whiskey Flynn, and the Crazy 8s.  Derrickson was also the front man for The Heavy Brothers, a power funk band that played all over the Pacific Northwest and he also played keys and did vocals for Mike Leach and the Dreadnaughts. Derrickson, who holds an MSW and works in counseling, met up with GDJ about 3 years ago and meshed almost instantly.

“I felt that the Portland blues scene needed someone like Barney to keep things moving forward. He’s an amazing musician and we both like to give back to the community and do many fundraisers and help others in need.”

Bob Poetzsch, one of GDJ’s two guitarists, started playing guitar at 15 on a cheap Teisco hollow body that he bought with his savings from a newspaper route. After a few lessons he started teaching himself through chord books and by, “dropping the needle over and over on LPs.” At first, his favorite bands included pop groups such as the Beatles, Stones, and CCR, but he quickly converted to Muddy Waters, Johnny Winters, Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

During the 70’s and 80’s, Poetzsch played in variety of bands in Long Island and Oregon and then due to work and family commitments, he took a long break from music and then he resumed playing around 2010.

He met GDJ through his friend Chuck Gilman and after auditioning a little over a year ago, he joined the band. “These guys are a great bunch of musicians and we play songs that you don’t hear other bands playing. Everyone can pretty much add their personal touch to the songs.”

Although Poetzsch enjoys playing rhythm guitar, he does much more. “Barney and I weave like Keith Richard and Ron Wood in some songs and I also throw in a lot of fills and stabs to keep things interesting. I also take a solo in every song, but Barney is the lead guitarist per se.”

Now that the band is solidified and firing on all cylinders, Murnin says the goal is to add to the repertoire and keep building the fan base by providing high quality shows and participating in more regional festivals. “I’d also like to find a way to capture the energy and excitement of our live shows on a recording. That’s something we really hope to do.”

Get Down Jones will soon be releasing their debut EP entitled Bang Bang Boogie on HWY 99. The CD includes 4 original songs and covers by Howling Wolf, Hubert Sumlin and other blues legends. Their first show after the CD release is at Cadigan’s Corner Bar, 5501 SE 72nd Ave., part of a June 25th block party. GDJ will also play at the Gresham Art Festival on July 18.

For more info, go to www.GetDownJones.com

A musical extravaganza to benefit the Clark County Veterans Project will be held on Tuesday, May 5, from 4 to 8:30pm at the 40 et 8 Bingo Hall, 7607 NE 26th Ave., Vancouver

The purpose of the Clark County Veterans Community Garden is to provide a community garden specially created to benefit veterans, and in clues raised beds for disabled vets. The garden promotes self-reliance, physical activity, social interaction, and contributes to the health and well-being of veterans in the community.

Norman Sylvester - photo by Greg JohnsonTickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and are available at Beacock Music, Hazel Dell Animal Hospital, all Riverview Bank branches, Music World, Fargher Lake Grocery and online at www.ClarkCountyVetsCourtBoard.org/events For VIP Tables of 10 for $150 contact Lisa Biffle at (360) 907-2391. Included in the ticket price is a Taco Bar, beverages & gourmet desserts.  A tax-deductible donation can be made at any Riverview Community Bank branch or online at www.ClarkCountyVetsCourtBoard.org

Performances for Cinco de Mayo with the Stars will be:

4 pm         Art Miller ~ Ragtime and Blues
4:30 pm   Rachel Len ~ Country and Pop
5 pm         Doug Smith ~ Grammy Award winner with Judy Koch Smith
6 pm         National Anthem with the Lewis & Clark Young Marines and the Ft. Vancouver                                     Pipers
6:15 pm   Groove Nation Dance ~ Rose Garden Performers
6:30 pm   Norman Sylvester ~ Music Hall of Famer appearing with Sarah Billings
7:30 pm   The Ricky Lee Jackson Band featuring Shawna Quade ~ Country and Pop

The Keeping the Blues Alive Award winning Winthrop R&B Festival returns for its 28th season featuring one of their best line-ups ever! Located in Winthrop, Washington, the festival will run from Friday, July 17 – 19.

Plenty of big time talent will be on hand as Elvin Bishop, who performed at the very first Winthrop R&B Festival returns, along with Grammy Award winning Los Lonely Boys, Southern soul blues master Bobby Rush, The California Honeydrops, Kenny Neal, acoustic guitar great Mary Flower, Studebaker John, Samantha Fish, Stan Street, and Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble. Northwest favorites Too Slim & The Taildraggers, Duffy Bishop, Ayron Jones & The Way, Polly O’Keary, and Lady A will also perform.

Festival Admission: $90 in advance, $100 at gate. Camping is available for $45. Friday Night show featuring Ayron Jones & the Way, The California Honeydrops, and Too Slim & the Taildraggers benefits the Cove Food Bank in Twisp, Washington, with an admission $10 or free with festival pass.

For more information, tickets, and camping visit www.winthropbluesfestival.org or contact our ticketing partner www.TicketTomato.com at 800-820-9884.

Lisa Mann - press photoIt’s ladies blues night at The Lehrer on Friday, May 1 as Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band and Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method will team up for a sensational night as two of the hottest Northwest bands come together for one event. Both Lisa and Polly are two of the most highly awarded musicians in the region with multiple honors from several blues societies.

Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method will open the night. Bass player Polly O’Keary has been named the Best Female Vocalist and Songwriter by the Washington Blues Society and aside from leading her own band has also worked with Too Slim & The Taildraggers and The Randy Oxford Band. She is joined by Clint “Seattle Slim” Nonnemaker on guitar and Tommy Cook on drums, two of the fines players in the Puget Sound area. Touring in support of their latest release Compass, this band is always a fiery and entertaining act.

Following Polly O’Keary will be Portland favorites Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band. Lisa Mann has been on a steady roll this past year since the release of her album Move On, winning three Muddy Awards, the Blues Blast Magazine Sean Costello Rising Star Award, feature stories in various publications, performing throughout the United States and Europe, a featured act at the massive Blue Bender Festiva in Las Vegas and has been nominated for a Blues Music Award for her bass playing. Lisa Mann is one of the must see performers in the Portland area.

This amazing double bill happens at The Lehrer, 8775 SW Canyon Lane, at 8:00 pm. Admission is $10.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so show your current membership card at the door and receive a $1.00 discount.

If you do not get enough of Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method, or you had to miss Friday’s show due to other obligations, you can still catch Polly on Saturday, May 2 at The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202, Birkenfeld, Oregon. Admission is $5.00 for a 7:00 pm show.

Kenny Blue Ray - press photoKenny Blue Ray has a resume that would make many a guitarist envious. How many people can say that they have been a member of such bands as Little Charlie & The Nightcats and Marcia Ball, plus doing many sessions with artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mitch Woods, William Clarke, Charlie Musselwhite and Tommy Castro among many more. With a deep, fat tones and fleet-fingered playing, Kenny Blue Ray makes it all look so easy and is one of the finest guitarists on the West Coast today.

Now calling Bend, Oregon home, Kenny Blue Ray will be coming to Portland for a show at Duff’s Garage with his good friends and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame members Kinzel & Hyde. Stu Kinzel and LynnAnn Hyde are the epitome of classic blues harmonica-guitar duos performing their original music alongside traditional numbers by greats like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Slim Harpo and more, plus a little Cajun thrown into the mix.

Kenny Blue Ray and Kinzel & Hyde will be at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd, on Saturday, May 9 at 9:00 pm. Admission is $10.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure to show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount.

Boise, Idaho is certainly not the first place anyone would think of as producing one of the most sought after blues artists working today, but John Nemeth has come a long way from his beginnings there. His travels have landed him at home in Memphis where he put together perhaps his finest album to date, Memphis Grease. That album has earned him six nominations for this year’s Blues Music Awards, including the coveted BB King Entertainer of the Year Award. The Blues Music Awards show will take place in Memphis on May 7 and John Nemeth will be present at the ceremonies. Now that may seem odd considering that in order to do that he will have to split dates in Oregon on both sides of that show.

John Nemeth - photo by Jon PearsonOn Tuesday, May 5, John Nemeth will be at The Birk, 11139 Highway 202, Birkenfeld, for a 7:00 pm show, doors open at 5:30. Cover is $8.00 at the door. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored show, show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount.

After flying to Memphis for the Blues Music Awards, Nemeth will return to Oregon on Friday, May 8 for a performance at Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th. Showtime is 8:00 pm. Advance tickets are available through TicketTomato.com, $16.00 for reserved seating. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event and members can receive a $2.00 discount on admission when purchased in advance, using the code “CBA” until May 7.

Tim Too Slim Langford - photo by Dean DavisThis past February, a concert was held in Portland to help raise funds to cover expenses for Tim “Too Slim” Langford’s cancer treatments. It was a huge success with many of the best performers in the city taking part. In appreciation, Tim will be bringing his band to Portland to say thanks in the best way they know how — by having a concert.

Northwest favorites and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame members Too Slim & The Taildraggers will be appearing at Peter’s Room and The Roseland Theater on Thursday, May 7. This band of blues rockers are known for their incendiary performances filled with slashing slide guitar and heavy backing rhythm. This is the ultimate in power blues trios, and be sure to get there early as this room will fill up quickly.

If this wasn’t a barn-burning show in itself, opening the night will be guitar hero Big Monti Amundson, with his own power blues.

Show time is 7:30 pm and this is a 21 & over only concert. Tickets may be purchased in advance at CascadeTickets.com for $16.00 (plus service charge and handling fee) This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, and tickets are available at the door for members showing their current CBA cards for $15.00 (no extra fees). Peter’s Room at The Roseland is located at 8 NW 6th.

Sultans of Slide - Monti Amundson photo by Greg JohnsonFor those who love the sounds of slide guitar when played by the masters, The Sultans Of Slide are always a show that must be caught. Over the years, the group has gone through many line-ups, all of them sensational, but at the core there has always been Monti Amundson and Henry Cooper. For the latest edition, the pair have hooked up with Northwest favorite and Delta Groove recording artist Kevin Selfe for their new string slinging partner. And if this triple attack of guitar is not enough for you, throw in the rhythm section of bassist Allen Hunter and drummer Boyd Small. Now that is a line-up of stars not to be overlooked. For those who like the slide blues of artists like Robert Nighthawk, Hound Dog Taylor or JB Hutto, The Sultans Of Slide should be just what you’re after. Guaranteed to sizzle!

The Sultans Of Slide will be performing at The Trails End Saloon, 1430 Main St, Oregon City, on Friday, May 8 at 9:00 pm. Admission is $8.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so bring your current membership card and receive a $1.00 discount at the door.