On October 3, The Portland Spirit will again host the Cascade Blues Cascade Blues CruiseCruise with excited partygoers and the winners of Cascade Blues Association’s Journey to Memphis contest held this last July at the Waterfront Blues Festival: Sister Mercy, Rogue Rage Duo and Justus Reece (Youth).  The J2M contest sends acts every year to the International Blues Challenge (IBC), a renowned contest held every January on Beale Street in Memphis.  In addition to the acts that will represent the CBA, Rae Gordon (last year’s band winner & IBC Semi Finalist) and Karen Lovely (2010 2nd Place IBC Winner) will be aboard as well. The Spirit sets off from the Willamette waterfront at 3 pm.

People who missed the boat for last year’s cruise still talk about the party they missed,  but you won’t have to imagine what you missed since you will be there this time.

Help bring the Northwest blues scene international exposure and glory by supporting those acts the Cascade Blues Association sponsors and sends to the International Blues Challenge. Above all though, support live music by setting sail on October 3.

Last year’s Journey to Memphis winner Rae Gordon Band used the band’s prize money to rent the boat. The Portland Spirit was open to the idea of bringing some great exposure to Portland, its vibrant blues scene, and its dedicated blues association. RGB was able to use the money to pay guest bands and helpers on the cruise and best of all, send the bands to Memphis and pay for their lodging. When the Portland Spirit approached her to do the cruise again, even though she wasn’t competing, she jumped at the chance, as a musician helping musicians.  She knew all to well that the most important thing is for the acts to be able to concentrate on their musical performances in Memphis, not how to raise the money to get there.

So, mark your calendars now for October 3, but buy your tickets early as the Portland Spirit does have a guest limit and you don’t want to miss the boat! You can find more information on the Spirit here: http://www.portlandspirit.com. Tickets for the cruise may be purchased at www.casacadebluescruise2015.brownpapertickets.com. See you there.

The Sunbanks Festival is a four-day, semiannual music festival located against the backdrop of Banks Lake near Grand Coulee Dam at the beautiful Sunbanks Lake Resort in Electric City, Washington. The prestigious event was founded in 1995 and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is a six-time Washington Blues Society B.B. Award recipient for “Best Music Festival” in the state, and features local, regional, national, and international artists. Sunbanks offers a diverse selection of rhythm & blues, rockabilly, funk, roots rock, Americana, singer songwriters, and more.

This year’s event starts on Thursday evening, September 10, with acoustic music in the Cantina, followed by three days on the main stage with a backdrop of awe-inspiring scenary of the lake framed by the foothills.

Performing this year will be Sugaray Rayford Band, The 24th Street Wailers, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, Little Bill Trio, Bump Kitchen, Daniel Castro Band, Robbie Laws Band, Hillstomp, Sammy Eubanks, Rod Cook, Virgil Brown & The Wired Band, Wasteland Kings, Robin Barrett & Coyote Kings, Massey Ferguson Band, Rafael Tranquilino Band, The Skiffs, Steve Cooley & The Dangerfields, Junkyard Jane, Ruby Flambe, Sister Madame, and Emily Aldridge & Matt Stoops.

Festival-goers can enjoy a variety of accommodations; tent camping, RV sites with full hook-ups, rustic cabins, as well as one, two, and five bedroom villas with all the amenities of home. The resort also features a boat launch and moorage, miniature golf course, and beach access behind the stage with views that rival music festivals far and wide. The lodge features a restaurant and bar, and also houses a boutique, general store, a TV/ lounge area, and an espresso cafe. Massage therapy is available by appointment.

The Sunbanks Festival is a 21 and over event, and pets are not permitted. Information on tickets and lodging can be found at sunbanksfestival.com.

1 – Do not select a person who has already been awarded a lifetime achievement award for this category. You can only win this once as you only have one life. Check the back of the ballot for the list.

2 – The categories that have artist names in front of them are honoring those individuals for the number of times they have received the award. In order to have one named after them, they must have received the award no less than 12 times and agree to no longer be eligible for that category. So, if the category is named after somebody (i.e. the “Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist) please do not nominate that person.

3 – There is always confusion about Traditional and Contemporary. Traditional applies to acoustic blues or those performing in the classical electric styles of early regional styles like Chicago or Texas (i.e. Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, etc.). Contemporary is modern electric blues that may encompass newer genres like rock, metal, hip hop, etc.

4 – A Performance is recognition of a single artist or band for a gig that they played; this can be a collaboration of musicians for a single performance.

5 – An Event refers to a setting with multiple artists playing individual sets. This would include festivals, fundraisers, benefits, tributes, etc.

6 – A Venue is a location be it a club, store, theater or wherever that holds regular shows. It is not a location that is holding an event or a one-time scheduled show.

7 – Regional acts refers to those artists outside of the Portland metro area within Oregon, Washington or Idaho – if an artist is from Louisiana, California, Europe or anywhere else outside of the described region they are not eligible for this category.

8 – If an act was previously nominated for New Act then they’re not really a new act, are they?

9 – Albums to be counted for the ballot, whether Northwest or National, must have been released during the time period between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015. We will check on release dates.

10 – Do not enter an act more than once in a category, it will still only count as one nomination. (Yes, we do have people send in their ballots like this).

11 – If you enter more than three nominations in any one category, all will be voided and not counted for that category.

12 – Do not write in comments or complaints on the ballots. They are not going to be considered or read, so don’t waste your time with them here. We’re only interested in who your selections are.

13 – Please use your best judgement on your selections. If you’re unsure, you’re not required to enter all categories or all three permitted spaces. If you don’t know the artists in the categories, don’t just look back on past nominees, we want everybody deserving to have a chance, which means many newer acts or long-time acts who have been overlooked deserve the opportunity, too.

14 – Please fill out your own ballot. This is a benefit of being a member, only members are supposed to be voting. Do not give them to a friend or team up with others to “stuff” the ballots. Let’s make them meaningful as they’re meant to be. And don’t ask us, we have no intention of telling you who you should nominate. Make it open and fair to all.

15 – Consider everybody. Please go out and check out different performers along with your favorites when you decide to spend time listening to music. There are a lot of musicians, recordings, venues out there that are deserving, but we’re limited to who we can place on a ballot. Remember, the final selections come from our members. This is your choices. If you do not take the time to nominate, or if you’re not a member, you cannot complain about the outcome.

Imagine making a big difference to your blues association while cleaning your closet of your unneeded items, and imagine having fun while you are making that difference!  The annual rummage sale is coming up where you can donate your good used items and turn it into cash for the CBA and offer just a little bit of your time helping to run the sale and introduce new people to the CBA . The CBA is a 5013c and your donation is tax deductible!

WHAT:  BLUES & BARGAINS Rummage Sale for Cascade Blues Association (501c3)
BARGAINS:  Furniture, tools, kids items, household, collectibles, antiques, musical instruments and more!
WHEN: September 12, 2015, 9am-3pm
WHERE: The Bomber Restaurant, 13515 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97222
WHY: To help fund programs of the Cascade Blues Association and offer live blues music and bargains while educating the public on all that the CBA does and grow membership and awareness of the organization.

To make this year’s rummage sale a success, we need you and your stuff!  You need to clean your house, garage and tool shed anyway, now is the perfect time to do it, don’t wait until Spring!

DONATIONS NEEDED:  Furniture (dressers, shelves, small desks, coffee tables, etc, SORRY NO couches, futons ok), tools, kids items, pet supplies, collectibles, and musical instruments highly desired (no full size pianos, but consoles welcome).

DONATION DROP OFFS:  Please bring your good used items to the Bomber Restaurant parking lot before 9am on September 12th, before sale.   If you will not be in town that weekend, but feel you have items would sell well, please contact Rae Gordon to arrange a pick up at 503-452-0440.


A passenger van (no seats) will be at the September CBA meeting to load smaller items in boxes.  This has worked in the past, but no large furniture can be picked up.   Rae Gordon will be at 6:45pm outside the meeting to help load.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED (more hands make for quick work, but more bodies make for more fun!): Volunteers needed all day, but most important times.

7AM – Oregon City Public Storage Location – load moving truck

8AM – The Bomber Restaurant Parking Lot, lots of help needed to unload truck as quickly as possible

9AM-3PM – Helpers needed to work with customers, help load customer vehicles and make thing like pretty!

3PM – Loading truck to donate to charity Thrift Store & clean up restaurant parking lot


Please email blues_rae@msn.com to donate your time leading up to the sale to pick up donated items.

There are more people wanting to donate items, then people who can drop off themselves the day of the sale.  If you can donate a couple hours to pick up some great items that will help make a big difference the sale, please let Rae know.

It’s that time again everybody. Muddy Award ballots have been mailed to Cascade Blues Association members’ home addresses (sorry only members may vote). Please select carefully, for the top three choices in each of the three categories. If more than three choices are filled in, all will be disqualified from your ballot on that category. Also, make a point to check out the names on the back of the ballot for those no longer eligible to be nominated in certain categories. All ballots must be postmarked no later than Saturday, September 12 for us to send out the final ballot that includes your top choices in mid-September. There are a lot of great performers, venues, festivals, events and recordings to choose from. We are over-abundantly blessed to have so much talent to select from.