Legendary Shack Shakers - press photoThe Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their charismatic, rail-thin frontman and blues-harpist JD Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock, and country have made fans, critics, and legions of potential converts into true believers. Although not yet legendary, the band has grown into its reputation the last several years due to their heavy tour schedule, six critically acclaimed studio albums, and songs that have been featured on television shows such as HBO’s True Blood. Past tour mates and fans include Robert Plant, Rancid, The Black Keys, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Hank Williams III.

Armed with a new album, titled The Southern Surreal, The Legendary Shack Shakers will steam into Portland for a performance at The Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, on Saturday, March 12 starting at 8:00 pm as part of a bill that also includes Reverend Horton Heat, Unknown Hinson, and Lincoln Durham. Tickets for this 21 & over event are $23.00 advance and $25.00 day of show and can be purchased at TicketFly.com.

For those of us on social media, not a day goes by without seeing a health-related crowdfunding request or an invitation to a benefit for friends and families devastated by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  On Sunday afternoon, March 13, we have a chance to take the fight to the source.

Give Cancer the Boot is a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one of the most respected organizations in the race to the cure for blood-related cancers. The organization directly funds much of the world’s most promising research, resulting in breakthrough treatments and drugs that have helped tens of thousands recover fully and live the rest of their lives cancer-free.

The organization’s mission also includes providing direct financial support to patients and families throughout the course of diagnosis and treatment. This can range from copays and drug subsidies, to transportation, housing, and other support that reduces financial stress while patients focus on their health.

Rich Layton - photo by Bill Dutkovic (for Give Cancer the Boot article)The March 13 event is part of the fundraising effort that Shelley Layton (wife of CBA member and musician Rich Layton) is doing to participate in her FIRST marathon (that’s 26 miles!) as a member of Team in Training®, the nationwide fundraising army of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The TNT program brings together thousands of everyday heroes who commit to raise money while they train to run half and full marathon races around the country. On the race day, the runners’ T-shirts carry the names of leukemia patients whose inspiration helps every runner to make it to the finish line.

Produced by Cherie’s Blues Highway, Give Cancer the Boot features an all star lineup including Kevin Selfe, Ben Rice, Sister Mercy, Michael Osborn, rocker Mike Branch and, of course, Rich Layton & The Troublemakers. Also making a pit stop that afternoon will be The Randy McAllister Band, on tour all the way from the Lone Star State. The requested donation is $10 at the door. There will also be some cool silent auction items. Don’t miss this Kick-A$$ Party to Kick Cancer’s A$$!!  Sunday, March 13, 1:00 -5:00 pm, at The Trail’s End Saloon, 1320 Main Street, Oregon City.

Harlis Sweetwater - photo by Tony KutterCalifornia guitarist and vocalist Harlis Sweetwater originally made a name for himself with the bands Barrelhouse O.C. and the Bastard Winos, but his deep affection for the blues, soul, and Americana music — these are the styles of music that he feels most comfortable performing — led him to put together his own outfit, The Harlis Sweetwater Band, in 2012. Known for his intense guitar work and gravely vocals — the Orange County Register claims that he’s “the best singer in any genre” — the party Sweetwater and his band have on the stage rival the party the audience has on the floor, making their performance highly entertaining and mesmerizing. With two highly praised albums under its belt, The Harlis Sweetwater Band is starting to spread its name across the country.

After a well-received show at The Birk last September, the band returns to the venue for two performances, Saturday, March 12 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 13 for an afternoon show at 1:00 pm. The Birk is located in Birkenfeld at 11139 Hwy 202. Head on out for your only chance to catch the Harlis Sweetwater Band on this tour in Northern Oregon. It’s not that far.

Randy McAllister - photo by Kim LatheIf Mark Twain had envisioned a twenty-first century roots musician, he might have created a character like Randy McAllister. With his easy-going persona and wry, observant wit, McAllister’s music calls to mind that of Doug Sahm, John Hiatt, and Delbert McClinton, with a blues man’s background and sensibilities thrown into the mix. McAllister weaves material in the singer/songwriter tradition, with nods to a variety of styles. He is one of those rare artists who is able to meld genres such as gospel, blues, country, Tex-Mex, rock, and zydeco together and come away with something that is uniquely him. In performance, his songs combine an uncontainable energy and intensity with lyrics that dig into the tough topics. From urban violence, homelessness and other harsh realities to more common concerns like love and dating, McAllister’s songwriting approach is particularly skillful, able to be both truthful and funny.

McAllister takes universal feelings and translates them into today’s reality, with his own pointed style expressed through his distinctive, soulful voice.

With ten critically praised albums and a 2002 Grammy nomination under his belt, Texas-based harmonica player and songwriter Randy McAllister will be appearing at The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202, Birkenfeld, on Tuesday, March 15 for a 7:00 pm show. Admission is $15.00.

Also, don’t miss catch Randy McAllister as part of the Give Cancer The Boot Benefit Concert on Sunday, March 13 beginning at 1:00 pm at The Trails End Saloon, 1320 Main Street, Oregon City. Suggested donation of $10.00.

Hillstomp - press photoAfter first forming nearly fifteen years ago, the Portland-based junkbox blues band Hillstomp has released a trio of acclaimed recordings and has toured around the country and to Europe. Infamous for digging through the dumps and forgotten backwoods of American music and recycling traditional elements into a refreshing and distinctive brand of do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp. Take North Mississippi trance blues, add a bit of Appalachia, a dash of punkabilly, a spoonful of clanging and tumbling from assorted buckets, cans, and BBQ lids, drench the whole thing with rambunctious slide guitar, and you have the recipe for unique, home-grown Americana music.

Henry Christian and John Johnson do not play too often in their hometown, so when they do it is worth noting. Hillstomp will be appearing on Thursday, March 17 at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Avenue, at 9:00 pm. Tickets for this 21 & over event can be found at TicketFly.com for $10.00, or at the door for $12.00 day of show. Portland’s Americana band Kory Quinn & The Comrades will share the bill.

tinsley_promo_smallSouthern blues-rocker Tinsley Ellis may speak no evil, but he sings and plays with the conviction of, as Billboard wrote, “…a man possessed.” Over the course of eleven albums and thousands of live performances, Ellis easily ranks as one of today’s most electrifying blues-rock guitarists and vocalists. He approaches his music with rock power and blues feeling, in the same tradition as his southern musical heroes Duane Allman and Freddie King and his old friends Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. Atlanta Magazine declared Ellis “the most significant blues artist to emerge from Atlanta since Blind Willie McTell.”

Touring is support of his most recent recording, Tough Love, that has been awarded the best rock blues album of 2015 by Blues Blast and has received a Blues Music Award nomination, Ellis will be bringing his exhilarating live show to Dante’s on Friday, March 18. Tickets are available through TicketWeb.com for $15.00. Dante’s is located at 350 W Burnside. Show time is 9:00 pm. 21 and over only.

Dana Fuchs - photo by Greg JohnsonOne of the most emotional and enrapturing performers you’re going to find on any stage today, Dana Fuchs brings a fiery energy seldom rivaled by anyone. Her deep, gravelly vocals draw you seductively into her trance with a powerhouse range and spark that may remind you of artists like Janis Joplin, Maggie Bell, or Bonnie Raitt. Guitarist Debbie Davies exclaims, “Dana holds the crowd in the palm of her hand with a charismatic and soulful delivery that’s rare in artists twice her age.” Her website tolls that her live show is an assault on the senses as perfectly proven on her latest live recording Songs From The Road. And that is an assault worth witnessing as a Dana Fuchs concert is something that will be remembered fondly for some time.

Don’t miss out on your chance to catch Dana Fuchs for her only Oregon appearance on this tour at The Birk on Thursday, March 17 for a 7:00 pm show. Tickets are $25.00 and available through TicketTomato.com. the Birk is located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld.

She was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music. She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot, as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion, and love through a magnificent body of works that crossed over various genres including jazz, soul, gospel and the blues. She earned the moniker ‘High Priestess of Soul’ for she could weave a spell so seductive and hypnotic that the listener lost track of time and space as they became absorbed in the moment. She was who the world would come to know as Nina Simone.

larhondaOn March 19, Portland’s The Adrian Martin Sextet featuring powerhouse vocalist LaRhonda Steele will present a tribute to the late Nina Simone, “I Put A Spell On You,” at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta Street. Guitarist Adrian Martin has performed with a variety of Portland-based blues and jazz artists as well as working on stages across the country. Joining Martin and Steele will be bassist Leah Hinchliff, drummer Mike Snyder, saxophonist Pete Petersen, and keyboardist Mark Steele.

Showtime for this tribute concert is 8:00 pm and it is open to all ages with minors under twenty-one being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tickets can be purchased through AlbertaRoseTheatre.com for $20.00 advance or $24.00 at the door day of show.

Daniel Castro - press photo“Daniel Castro is the latest and one of the greatest blues guitarists to come bursting out of the highly competitive West Coast scene. To the classic music of B.B. King, Albert King, and Albert Collins he has added the three T’s taste, tone, and technique. His raw passion warms your soul while his deep groove kicks your butt on fine, fresh originals and well chosen covers.” – Dave Rubin — Guitar Player Magazine

Describing Daniel Castro as a blues artist doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. A highly accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter with a strong musical point of view grounded in the very best blues traditions is more like it. Combine those talents with original blues-based material and you begin to understand Daniel’s strengths as an artist. Well-known for being a dynamic performer who “leaves it all on the stage” night after night, Daniel brings crowds to their feet with his blistering solos, soulful singing, and tight arrangements. Daniel has always played with seasoned musicians, but with his newest incarnation, the Daniel Castro Band raises the bar and is truly a force to be reckoned with.

The Daniel Castro Band will be making a return trip to The Birk where its last performance had been well-received and enthusiastic. The visit will take place on Sunday, March 20 with a special afternoon show starting at 1:00 pm. The Birk is located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld.

life-for-lynnOn Sunday, March 20th, 2016, the grand opening event at the beautiful, new Rose Room Bar and Grill, will be a benefit for beloved blues musician Dave Kahl and his wife Lynn, who suffers from advanced multiple sclerosis.  Funds will also go to the MS Society.

The Rose Room, on NE Killingsworth just west of I-205, is the former site of Taylor’s Viewpoint, once one of the top country & western clubs in the western U.S.  More recently, the building housed a strip club until it finally closed, and now owner Amy Ravagni and her partners have completed a stunning renovation of the sprawling, 13,000 square foot building

The Rose Room is now a bright, beautiful multi-use venue, featuring attractive decor, three bars, a large stage & dance floor, two gleaming kitchens serving exceptional food, ADA bathrooms with granite countertops, a high quality sound system, a huge green room for performers, VIP seating, handy free parking, and much more.  The downstairs capacity is approximately 400, with room for 100 overflow customers on the second level, which will include summertime rooftop seating with a splendid view of Mount Hood.

Ms. Ravagni and her partners are involved in charity work, so they felt that a benefit for Dave and Lynn would be an appropriate grand opening event for their venue.  Dave, of course, is a respected bassist who has worked with many top blues artists, including Lloyd Jones, Ty Curtis, Fiona Boyes, and the late Paul deLay. A Life for Lynn will help raise funds for the care, equipment, and housing Lynn desperately needs.

A Life For Lynn, produced by Soul Sister Productions, LLC,  will feature an all-star musical line up including: Terry Robb w/Mary Flower and Alan Hagar; LaRhonda Steele and Louis “King Louie” Pain w/Arietta Ward & Brian Foxworth; Andy Stokes; Karen Lovely; the Lloyd Jones Struggle w/Mick Kashmar; Big Monti w/Rae Gordon; Ty Curtis; Sonny Hess; Ken DeRouchie; the Knuckleheads w/special guest Curtis Salgado, and more!

A Life for Lynn will kick off Sunday, March 20th, 2016 at 3:00. Advanced tickets will be available thru  Paperbagtickets.com.  $20 for General Admission; $35 for VIP seating by the stage; and $50 for seating in the special VIP area (featuring champagne, etc.).