Passing the Torch, and Celebrating New Orleans Recovery 10 Years After
– by Polly O’Keary

The 2015 Portland Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival will tie tomorrow and yesterday together in two big ways this year. The first is to celebrate the survival and revival of New Orleans music, 10 years after Portland rallied to support the city following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The second is to celebrate the passing of the torch from founding legends of blues and southern rock to the up and coming stars that will reinterpret those traditions for coming generations.

In late September of 2005, while America was still trying to understand the scope of the disaster wreaked on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, some of New Orleans’ finest musicians headed for Portland.

The festival, since its start in 1987, had established a long history of working with Louisiana musicians such as Irma Thomas, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Rosie Ledet, and the Nevilles. So the festival organizers worked fast, putting together a huge benefit concert to give back to the state that had given them so much. The concert went on to raise $125,000, and the Oregon Food Bank sent two trucks of food and eight staff members to the Gulf Coast for several months to help with recovery efforts.

This year marks a decade since Hurricane Katrina, and again some of Louisiana’s finest musicians are headed for Portland’s Waterfront, this time for a special 10 Years After Katrina Recovery Celebration, a day-long event featuring the vastly diverse music of New Orleans, from the frenetic “bounce” funk of Galactic to the grit of bayou blues-man Lil’ Buck Sinegal, the zydeco of Chubby Carrier to the celebratory R&B of Charmaine Neville.

“We are celebrating New Orleans recovery,” said Waterfront organizer Peter Dammann. “To those of us who visited soon after the floodwaters subsided, it wasn’t at all clear that the Crescent City would survive. It’s been a hugely inspiring that New Orleans music scene didn’t just survive, but is today thriving.”

The 10 Years After Katrina Recovery Celebration will fill Friday, July 3, one of four days of music featuring southern rock and blues legends, up and coming soul and blues musicians, and much more.

Throughout the festival a second theme will emerge: that of passing the torch. Many fathers and mothers of modern music will be there, including Charmaine Neville, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy and Gregg Allman; at least one, Gregg Allman, will have his son (Devon Allman) with him. The rest will be able to see the generation of young, rising blues stars that are following in the path they cut: stars such as 16-year old Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, 30-year-old blues guitar phenomenon Jarekus Singleton, and 16-year-old Quinn Sullivan, who will appear with his mentor Buddy Guy.

With a lineup up like this year’s, you won’t want to miss any of it. Get a “Buddy Pass” for early entry to the festival grounds, guaranteed reentry even if the park is too crowded to admit new entries, and entry to the After Hours parties at the Marriott Ballroom.

Thursday, July 2
Thursday will contain a heaping helping of all things Allman, as Gregg Allman appears after health concerns forced him to cancel last year. This year he’s back, and he’s not alone; appearing the same night will be Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, the project of drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, long-time Allman Brothers Band band mate and co-founder; as well as the Devon Allman Band, fronted by Gregg Allman’s son.

Gregg Allman Band
Allman01Blues fans who were disappointed last year when Gregg Allman had to cancel his performance for health reasons will be excited to know that the Gregg Allman band is back this year, because Gregg Allman wanted to make it up to the festival and offered them an unbeatable deal.

Today, Allman is stronger than ever, says festival organizer Peter Dammann. “People, I think, will be blow away by Allman’s power and vocals,” he said. “I expect a massive opening night.”

Jaimoes Jasssz Band
Another founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, better known as Jaimoe, will appear the same day with his jazz rock band Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Jaimoe toured as the drummer for Otis Redding before joining the fledgling Allman Brothers Band. He stayed with the band until back problems forced him to retire for a while in 1980. He returned to the band later in the decade, and formed Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band to play while the band was on breaks, and the band often tours with and opens for the Gregg Allman Band. Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band combines jazz with blues, rock and R&B, playing both original music and remixes of classics.

Devon Allman Band
Gregg Allman’s son Devon grew up in St. Louis, where he emerged as a respected musician in the 1990s. After experimenting with a number of styles, he found he was best suited to blues and rock. He toured extensively with his band Honeytribe before joining supergroup the Royal Southern Brotherhood with Mike Zito and Cyril Neville. Devon put out his first solo album, “Turquoise” in 2013, which includes a duet version of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Samantha Fish.

Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
Thursday also features Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, a seven-piece soul band from New York. The band formed around sister and brother Arleigh and Jackson Kincheloe, she a songwriter and performing singer from the age of 9, and he a harmonica virtuoso. Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds started out in 2009 playing every Saturday at New York’s Rockwood Theater, where they got exceptionally tight and developed a large and enthusiastic following. The band’s first tour in 2011 covered 50,000 miles, and since then, the band has released three more albums, including Weather Below in May.

Late Night DME Hoodoo Moon Cruise
Thursday comes to a close with the Late Night DME “Hoodoo Moon” Cruise, a boat cruise of the waterfront with upstairs and downstairs stages that will feature the Devon Allman Band; Bentonia, Mississippi Delta blues man Jimmy “Duck” Holmes; 15-year-old  Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, whose recent performance credits include a gig at the White House and an appearance on the Rachel Ray Show; and Australia’s singer and songwriter Harper, known worldwide for his harmonica, soulful vocals and creatively played didgeridoo.

Friday, July 3
Friday, July 3, is the all-day 10 Years After Katrina Recovery Celebration, with a stellar line-up of New Orleans and Louisiana talent.

Galactic with Macy Gray
For 18 years, Galactic has been playing the most cutting edge of New Orleans music and exporting it to the nation. The five members of the group, all master musicians, put together funk, brass, jazz, and the frenetic New Orleans funk known as “bounce” for a truly unique sound. The band has no lead singer, but instead frequently collaborates with other singers from soul queen Irma Thomas to cross-dressing “sissy bounce” diva Katey Red. At Portland Waterfront, the band will feature R&B Grammy winner Macy Gray.

Allen Toussaint
Appearing for the first time at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Allen Toussaint, one of New Orleans R&B’s most influential artists. In 40 years, Toussaint has worked with or written for Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello and Etta James among many more.

Charmaine Neville
Charmaine Neville, daughter of Neville Brother’s saxophonist Charles Neville, has been a star in her own right for more than 20 years, due in large part to her electrifying stage performances. She and her band, joined this year by her former saxophonist Reggie Houston, now a Portland resident, play searing blues, funk and R&B with technical proficiency and enormous flair.

Christone Kingfish Ingram
Teen prodigy Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is a don’t-miss act. The native of Friar’s Point, Miss. took up the drums at age 5 and bass at 8, picking up guitar at age 11. At 16, the young singer and guitarist has already toured in Europe and played for the Obamas at the White House, was a guest on the Rachel Rae Show, and has a video clip on youtube that boasts more than 8 million hits.

After Hours Party at the Marroitt Ballroom
A highlight of the festival every year is the After Hours Party at the Marriot Ballroom, where some of the best acts of the festival appear to do less formal shows and even jam with each other. Friday night, get to the ballroom early to watch Galactic work their magic , with Portland’s own Roseland Hunters opening the show, joined by special guests Charmaine Neville, Reggie Houston and zydeco master Chubby Carrier.

Saturday, July 4

Phil and Dave Alvin
When they were teens, brothers Dave and Phil Alvin were both captivated when they first heard the music of Big Bill Broonzy. The two went on to form cult favorite band The Blasters, playing an eclectic mix of Americana, punk, rockabilly and blues. In 1986, Dave Alvin left the band to start a successful solo career, and the two did not work together again for nearly 30 years. But after a near death experience reunited the two, the brothers returned to their roots, recording Common Ground, a selection of songs of Big Bill Broonzy’s.

The Paladins
The Paladins are giants in the history of rockabilly. Formed during the rockabilly renaissance of the early ‘80s, the band went on to tour all over the world (and put in two of Waterfront’s most memorable performances in 2000 and 2004) until the band was put on hiatus while band members pursued other projects, including the Hacienda Brothers. The Paladins reunited in 2010 and began doing select performances. This appearance is one of a handful the band will do in the United States this year.

Con Brio
This up and coming San Francisco soul band draws on the tradition of James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone, as well as more recent R&B masters such as D’Angelo, and features dynamic showman Ziek McCarter, a young man of inexhaustible energy.

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
Detroit-based Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas bring a blistering fusion of rockabilly, surf, jazz and reggae to the festival Saturday. Hernandez’ clear, quirky and powerful voice and Betty Page retro cool look combined with the clever sass of the band’s material, makes for a show impossible not to enjoy.

Jarekus Singleton
A new act not to miss is Jarekus Singleton; of whom Downbeat magazine wrote “Jarekus Singleton is one of the most exciting blues guitarists to come along in years.” Just 30, Singleton was nominated for three BMAs this year, including two for his debut album on Alligator records.

Terry Harmonica Bean
Fans of roots and traditional blues will love Terry “Harmonica” Bean, a Mississippi native whose father taught him both how to play the blues and how to pick cotton. He started playing festivals at a young age as a one-man band and has made a long career of touring overseas and, when home, playing juke joints and venues around the Delta.

After Hours at the Marriott
Preview Sunday headliner Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and get down with the Paladins.

Sunday, July 5

Buddy Guy with Quinn Sullivan
Much of what the blues is today, it owes to Buddy Guy. One of the last players of the great age of Chicago blues, Guy’s influence on modern music extends far beyond Chicago; Eric Clapton said seeing Guy’s trio gave him the idea that eventually became Cream, and both Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page were heavily influenced by Guy.  He is not only in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he holds six Grammies, and even got President Obama to join him on a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago” during a concert at the White House.

Joining Guy, in keeping with the theme of passing the torch, will be Quinn Sullivan, 16, who started playing at 3 and was joining legends on stage by the age of 7. He met Guy at the age of 8, and astonished the blues great with his skill. Guy invited him to appear as a guest at his show that night, then later got him to record some tracks on his album Skin Deep. Sullivan will play a set with his own band, then joins Buddy Guy during Guy’s set.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Swing fans will get a fix from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, a swing revival band from Southern California.  The band got its name from an encounter band co-founder Scotty Morris had with Albert Collins, who signed one of his concert posters for Morris with the inscription “To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy.” From the band’s formation out of the punk rock scene of the 1980s, the group has gone on to appear on film and television soundtracks (including 3rd Rock from the Sun), played at the 1999 Super Bowl half time show, and continues to be regulars at major festivals and on television shows such as The Tonight Show and Dancing With the Stars.

Rick Estrin and the Night Cats
Returning to the Waterfront Stage will be long-time favorites Rick Estrin and the Night Cats. This dynamic band was formed in 2008 out of the band Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and led by harmonica man and master front man Rick Estrin, who is known as much for his suits and humor as his skills as a songwriter and musician.

Little Village Foundation Revue: Ron Thompson, Wee Willie Walker, John Blues Boyd
Little Village Foundation—a non-profit founded by former Robert Cray/Etta James keyboardist Jim Pugh to discover, record and expose unsung blues/soul talent—presents this riveting revue featuring Bay Area guitarist Ron Thompson, Mississippi bluesman John “Blues” Boyd, and Minneapolis soul singer Wee Willie Walker. The late Stevie Ray Vaughan said on his first visit to San Francisco, “The only guy I want to hear in California is Ron Thompson, the rest are all bulls–t.” Born in Greenwood, MS and now part of the burgeoning South Bay scene in California, John Blues Boyd is a powerhouse vocalist in the tradition of Junior Parker, BB King and Wynonie Harris. He is currently working on a release of original blues songs that features Rick Estrin, Kid Andersen, Jim Pugh and Big Jon Atkinson. Long based in Minneapolis, soul singer extraordinaire Wee Willie Walker cut a number of sides for the Memphis Goldwax label in the 1960s. The backing band for this lineup includes members of the Nightcats as well as Pugh and the phenomenal Mississippi blues drummer D’Mar (Derrick Martin).

Turkuaz is not to be missed. described the nine-piece Brooklyn horn funk band as “like tossing a lit match into a dumpster full of fireworks,” and they are as visually stunning as they are musically amazing.

Stone Foxes
The Stone Foxes are a San Francisco rock band with a vast following and politically aware sensibilities; the band has recorded some of their music in homeless shelters, including the voices of the homeless, to create a recording that will appear later this year. The band sound is rock with roots deep in the blues; according to the band, “the rock is raw, blues is the filter.”

Sail on Sister Cruise
Conclude the festival with this popular cruise, but be aware it sells out every year. The river cruise features some of the top women of the festival, including headliner Charmaine Neville in a laid-back trio setting. Also performing will be Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, and the NW Women in R&B—a powerhouse lineup that will include Karen Lovely, Sonny Hess, Lady Kat and more.

Look for the festival’s complete schedule—including such regional blues/soul stars as Duffy Bishop, Ben Rice, Andy Stokes, Ty Curtis, Lisa Mann, and more — in the special July issue of Blues Notes.

For complete lineup, info on ticketing, artist bios and more, visit

The opening round of the 2015 Journey To Memphis competition will be held at The Lehrer, 8775 SW Canyon Lane, on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6. This year’s line-up has eighteen acts vying for the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association in Memphis next January at the International Blues Challenge. To get there, they have to go through this opening weekend and then the finals at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4. All acts will perform twenty minute sets before a group of judges scoring them on blues content, originality, instrumentation, vocals, and presentation. The top two highest scoring acts from each night will move on to the finals.

Show time each night begins at 8:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 each night. Please note that this is the main fundraiser for the prize money for the Journey To Memphis competition, no family members, spouses, roadies, friends, or special guests of the performers are allowed free entry. This includes the acts not performing if they chose to attend both nights. We want to raise enough money to offer as much as we can to the winners.

The Journey To Memphis is like a mini blues festival: nine acts each evening over two nights with enough musical variety to appeal to everyone. Always one of the most entertaining events of the year for the Cascade Blues Association.

This year’s competitors and schedule is as follows:

Friday, June 5

8:00 – Holfar Blue
8:30 – Mick Knight
9:00 – Symplistic Soles
9:30 – Tim Connor
10:00 – Tracey Fordice & The 8 Balls
10:30 – Still Water Vibes
11:00 – Missi & Mister Baker
11:30 – Sister Mercy
12:00 – The Mojoblasters

Saturday, June 6

8:00 – Bottleneck Blues Band
8:30 – Rogue Rage Duo
9:00 – Gabriel Cox
9:30 – Ted Vaughn Blues Band
10:00 – Ken West
10:30 – The Eric Sugar Larsen Band
11:00 – Drop Dead Red
11:30 – Justus Reece
12:00 – Beacon Street Titans

(Times and order are subject to change)

Robben Ford - photo by George WellsGuitar hero Robben Ford has always been a popular attraction whenever he plays in Portland. Over the years, Ford has worked with an impressive and varied collection of jazz, rock, and blues artists such as Charlie Musselwhite, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Ruthie Foster, Barbara Streisand, Rickie Lee Jones, and Tom Scott while working on his own solo and family projects with his brothers. With his instantly identifiable, signature sound, Robben Ford continues to produce cutting edge performances whatever the musical genre, and with 35 recordings under his belt as both a solo musician and a supporting player, plus his five Grammy nominations, this is an artist of legendary caliber.

Robben Ford will return to Portland for one night only at The Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue, on Tuesday, June 2 for an 8:00 pm show. Tickets are $32.50 advance and $35.00 day of show and can be purchased at the Aladdin box office or through Those under 21 are permitted when accompanied by a parent or guardian.


BB King - photo by Greg JohnsonThe Cascade Blues Association is saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary BBKing on Thursday, May 14 at the age of 89. BB King is arguably the most important blues musician to ever grace a stage or recording. He was a world-wide ambassador of not only the blues, but American music as a whole, and he toured endlessly, averaging well over 300 shows a year for most of his six decades-plus career. BB was a humble and gracious man who took the time to meet with as many of his fans as he could — including presidents, kings, and religious leaders. He was honored with 15 Grammy Awards, nominated 39 times for Blues Music Awards winning 15 and eventually having the Entertainer of the Year Award named for him. BB was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. King possessed a unique and instantly recognizable style of playing and singing with his call and response interplay between his voice and the strings of his guitar, “Lucille.” His guitar style unquestionably influenced every guitar player since, no matter what genre he or she plays. An icon of the music world has left us physically, but through his music, BB will live on as one of the greatest artists of his time.

The Cascade Blues Association and the BluesNotes will feature a full tribute to BB King in the July issue. We want to recognize the impact he had on us all in greater depth, something that we’re unable to accomplish with his passing at the monthly deadline for our June edition.

The 2015 Blues Music Awards were held in the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN, on Thursday, May 7, honoring The Blues Foundation members’ selections for the finest blues musicians and recordings of the past year. Two of Portland’s most beloved musicians were chosen individually for this award, Jimi Bott for Instrumentalist – Drums and Lisa Mann for ILisa Mann Blues Music Awards - photo by Greg Johnsonnstrumentalist – Bass. This was Bott’s sixteenth nomination and his first win; for Mann it was her first nomination and follows on the heels of taking home the Blues Blast Award for the Sean Costello Rising Star honor last fall.Jimi Bott Blues Music Awards - photo by Greg Johnson

For the first time in its thirty-six year history, the Blues Music Awards was sold out. Those in attendance saw 24 awards handed out and twenty ten-minute sets of many of the most prestigious blues artists performing today, including Elvin Bishop, Keb’ Mo’, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Nemeth, John Hammond, and Charlie Musselwhite as well as rising stars like Jarekus Singleton and Selwyn Birchwood. Portland’s own Lisa Mann and Kevin Selfe performed with Candi Staton and Jimi Bott played behind Sugaray Rayford. This year’s big winners were Elvin Bishop taking home three awards, John Hammond with two and Bobby Rush also with two including the coveted BB King Entertainer of the Year Award.

The night also paid tribute to Blues Hall of Fame members with many in attendance, including 2015 inductee Tommy Brown. Also inducted this year but not able to attend were Eric Clapton and Little Richard. The Blues Music Awards celebration was completed on Friday with the grand opening of the Blues Hall of Fame on South Main Street in downtown Memphis, directly across from the National Civil Rights Museum. It’s a beautifully designed museum honoring the inductees who have been the most influential and innovative artists in the genre. A statue of Little Milton holding his guitar on a park bench greets visitors just outside the museum, just one of the many fine exhibits offered.

The 2015 Blues Music Award winners are:

Acoustic Album: Timeless – John Hammond
Acoustic Artist: John Hammond
Album: Can’t Even Do Wrong Right – Elvin Bishop
B.B. King Entertainer: Bobby Rush
Band: Elvin Bishop Band
Best New Artist Album: Don’t Call No Ambulance – Selwyn Birchwood
Contemporary Blues Album: BluesAmericana – Keb’ Mo’
Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Janiva Magness
Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Gary Clark Jr.
Historical: Soul & Swagger: The Complete “5” Royales 1951-1967 – The “5” Royales (Rock Beat)
Instrumentalist-Bass: Lisa Mann
Instrumentalist-Drums: Jimi Bott
Instrumentalist-Guitar: Joe Bonamassa
Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Charlie Musselwhite
Instrumentalist-Horn: Deanna Bogart
Koko Taylor Award: Ruthie Foster
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Marcia Ball
Rock Blues Album: Step Back – Johnny Winter
Song: “Can’t Even Do Wrong Right” written and performed by Elvin Bishop
Soul Blues Album: Memphis Grease – John Németh
Soul Blues Female Artist: Sista Monica
Soul Blues Male Artist: Bobby Rush
Traditional Blues Album: For Pops (A Tribute to Muddy Waters) – Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson
Traditional Blues Male Artist: Lurrie Bell

So Close To It
WindChill Records

Breezy Rodio CD coverFabrizio Rodio is another transplanted musician who’s found a home in an American blues mecca, and he certainly fits into the mix like he was born to it. Originally from Italy, “Breezy” Rodio has settled into Chicago with his extraordinary new release, So Close To It. Not only does he cover some of the greatest songs from the city’s masters, he also writes tunes that sound as if they’d been written by those famed musicians. This album is pure Chicago blues bliss — from start to finish. Breezy Rodio has it goin’ on!

It doesn’t hurt that Breezy has established himself well enough that many of the best players want to work with him. Special guests on the album include artists such as Billy Branch, Carl Weathersby, Lurrie Bell, Chris Foreman, and Joe Barr. Breezy also recorded with Chicago guitarist Linsey Alexander on both So Close To It and his first release from 2011 Playing The Game. Between these albums, Breezy also released a reggae album, showing that he can work his musical magic in other genres too.

Throughout the album, Breezy conveys his respect for those musicians who’ve influenced him, especially BB King, as Breezy covers three tracks best known for King’s versions, “When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer” (originally written by Sonny Boy Williamson), “Sneakin’ Around,” and “Please Accept My Love.” There are also two numbers associated with T-Bone Walker, “Too Lazy” and “Evil Hearted Woman,” one linked to Ray Charles, “Just About To Lose Your Clown,” and even an Elvis Presley tune, “One Broken Heart For Sale.”

His own originals are every bit as captivating as the covers. Stylistically, they jump all over, from the guitar bites of “Mary” or “I Win Some More,” to the ballad of “The Day I Met You,” to the slow blues on “How Much Can A Poor Man Take.” Rodio’s guitar is full of tone and right on the money.

In the long run, when everything has been said and done and the disc stops playing, So Close To It drips and oozes pure Chicago blues, and no matter how you shake it, Breezy Rodio has captured that city’s sound. Who said that you had to be American to capture that blues feeling?

Total Time: 66:39

When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer / So Close To It / Just About To Lose Your Clown / Walking With My Baby (She So Fine) / Sneakin’ Around / Time To Come Back Home / Too Lazy / Mary / The Day I Met You / I Can’t Get Enough Of You / Please Accept My Love / I Win Some More / One Broken Heart For Sale / How Much Can A Poor Man Take / Evil Hearted Woman

 Fred Meyer



Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Cascade Blues Association at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 84376.
  • Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping the CBA earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
  • For more information, please visit
Robin Gibson Blues Band

Robin Gibson Blues Band

As many of you know, Robin Gibson is always ready to lend his talents and efforts to help out whenever the call goes out. Today, we’d like to show him we appreciated his work.

On June 7, we will be holding a benefit to help save Robin Gibson’s home. His lender is trying to foreclose on it, and for the past three years have said that they want to “work with him” but give him the run around whenever he tries.

So, with the help of The Lehrer, Robbie Laws, Dave Melyan, Lisa Mann, Ben Rice, and many others in our blues community, we’re going to have a party at The Lehrer from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Sunday, June 7.

There will be a silent auction for many items, including custom hand-wired guitar pick-ups from Dave Stephens, water color art work from Ward Jene Stroud, guitar lessons with Robbie Laws, and a few other things yet to be donated.

There will be music as well. The Robin Gibson Band, Lisa Mann, Dave Melyan, Ben Rice, Jeff Knudson’s new project, and possibly other bands will play short sets, and then we’ll also have all-star jams with Robbie Laws, possibly Duffy Bishop and Chris Carlson, Pat McDougall, and maybe even some of Seattle’s finest will join in.

On a side note, Robin has managed to enter a program that has put a freeze on the foreclosure process, but we had already booked The Lehrer for the benefit when he joined the program. He has said, as such, if it turns out he doesn’t need the proceeds from this benefit, he will open a bank account for the funds to hold them in, and they will be there to be added to if someone else in our community comes into the same sort of situation.

We’re still getting notices of players that want to be part of this, so rest assured, it’s gonna be a party!

Sugaray Rayford (photo by Alejandro Rodriguez)

Sugaray Rayford (photo by Alejandro Rodriguez)

Sugaray Rayford will be making his only Oregon appearance this June at The Birk on Friday, June 12. He was recently nominated for two Blues Music Awards, including the prestigious BB King Entertainer of the Year Award and he has a brand new CD out that will likely be a focus of his latest tour.

When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage; he is a superb vocalist and entertainer. His dynamic voice is just as large as the man. Within his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6’5” he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy. His fluid dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown.

The Birk is located at 11139 Highway 202 in Birkenfeld, OR. Showtime is 7:00 pm and tickets are $25.00 advance through and $30.00 at the door.

Etta James was without doubt one of the most influential vocalist and beloved Tell Mama - press photomusicians of the past sixty years. The recipient of four Grammy Awards, seventeen Blues Music Awards, induction into the Rock & Roll, Blues and Rockabilly Hall of Fames, she is best known for a long string of hits including songs like “Tell Mama,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “At Last,” “Something’s Got A Hold On Me,” and “Damn Your Eyes.”

When Etta James passed in 2012, a special tribute concert was held in Portland featuring a handful of the finest women vocalists in the city, backed by an all star band led by pianist DK Stewart. That performance led to a sensational live recording released on CD and several more performances that have become highly popular and regularly sell-out.

On Sunday, June 14, there’s another opportunity to catch this amazing show. Five fantastic vocalists: Duffy Bishop, Lisa Mann, LaRhonda Steele, Lady Kat and Rae Gordon, will be joined by The DK Stewart Sextet featuring guest guitarist Chris Carlson for one show only at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta Street. Show time is 8:00 pm and tickets are $18.00 advance general admission, $22.00 at the door. Limited preferred seating is available for up front and center for $30.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event and you can receive a $2.00 discount when ordering tickets online at and using the promotional code “CBA.”