Get ready to have “A Funky Good Time!”

port all starThe Portland Soul All-Stars, who have staged many wonderful soul music tributes at Jimmy Mak’s and at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival over the past decade, return to the club to play some of their very favorite soul songs!

The line-up will feature three incredible NW vocalists, all successful bandleaders in their own right: Andy Stokes, Lisa Mann, and LaRhonda Steele. The three will be backed by an all-star group including Peter Dammann, guitar; Brian Foxworth, drums & vocals; and Louis “King Louie” Pain on B-3. (Double-threat Lisa Mann will play bass.)

This past July 4, this same line-up (augmented by a pair of Bay Area horn players) closed the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, entertaining approximately 15,000 people.

Produced by Soul Sisters Productions, The Portland Soul All-Stars will perform two complete shows, at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm, at Jimmy Mak’s on April 16. The venue is located at 221 NW 10th Avenue, with tickets available in advance through for $15.00 reserved seating and $12.00 general admission.

Bonnie Raitt’s Dig in Deep Tour Stops In Portland

Bonnie Raitt GIWith Dig In Deep, her twentieth album, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bonnie Raitt comes out swinging. The follow-up to 2012’s triumphant Slipstream, the new record illustrates the delicate balance of consistency and risk-taking that has defined Raitt’s remarkable career for more than forty-five years. Raised on the blues with influences such as Mississippi Fred McDowell Son House, Muddy Waters, Sippie Wallace, and John Lee Hooker, Raitt has long showcased her deft skills as an extraordinary guitarist and a knack for holding an audience on the edge of their seats. Hailed as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, Raitt sells out venues around the world and headlines many of the largest musical festivals.

The Dig In Deep tour will be heading into Portland for a sold out show at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay Street, on Sunday, April 17 at 7:30 pm. Though tickets are sold out, they can be found through several brokers online (take care to verify aCalifornia Honeydrops - press photouthenticity of brokers and expect high prices). But if you’re not able to see Bonnie Raitt, she will be returning to Portland with the Dig In Deep tour on September 17 for an outdoor show at McMenamin’s Edgefield, tickets to go on sale soon.

Opening for Bonnie Raitt at the Keller Auditorium will be The California Honeydrops, the Bay Area band that draws on influences from R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line. A popular act in their own right, the  California Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their shows to the delight of their crowds.

Janiva Magness - press photoJaniva Magness is one of the most dynamic and beloved blues musicians today. With twenty-five Blues Music Award nominations and seven wins behind her, including the prestigious BB King Entertainer of the Year Award and taking home last year’s Contemporary Blues Female Artist Award, she has been taking the world by storm as she continues to grow as the full package of performer and exceptionally strong songwriter. This past year has been one of the busiest yet for her as she continues to tour as a performer and advocate for Foster Care, completed a book of her memoirs, had a musical based on the book, married British bluesman TJ Norton, and had her twelfth and latest recording Love Wins Again released on April 8. The album contains eleven original tracks exploring Magness’ observations about love being bigger than hate and darkness, where in the end of it all, love always wins.

Janiva Magness will be touring to support the release of Love Wins Again, with a return to The Lake Theater on Monday, April 18. Tickets are available through for $25.00 general admission; VIP reserved tables for four for $120.00 (these are closest to the stage and there are only six tables available). The Lake Theater & Café is located at 106 N State Street in Lake Oswego. Show time is 7:00 pm.

Joan Osborne.Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation — both a commanding, passionate performer and a frank, emotionally evocative songwriter. Osborne is widely known for her beloved hit song,“(What If God Was) One of Us,” and she is a multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy Award nominee. The soulful vocalist has been influenced by artists like Etta James and Ray Charles and is a highly sought-after collaborator and guest performer who has performed alongside many notable artists, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, and Patti Smith to name a few.

Osborne’s touring in support of her latest solo recording, Love and Hate, and will be coming back to Portland for a night at the Aladdin Theater on Tuesday, April 19, at 8:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Aladdin box office and through for $32.50 advance and $35.00 day of show. This event is open to minors when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Omara “Bombino” Moctar is an internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist and singer-songwriter from Agadez, Niger. His music frequently addresses Tuareg geopolitical concerns and is sung in the Tuareg language of Tamasheq. Many may remember his incredible performance at the Waterfront Blues Festival in 2014 with his musical style that artists from The Black Keys to Robert Plant has praised. His latest album, Azel, will be released on April 1 and will offer a new direction to his blues-rock sound that is now being mixed with a reggae one-drop and bounce that refers to as “Tuareggae.”

Bombino will be bringing his unique performance for a return engagement at Portland’s Star Theater on Thursday, April 28. Show time is 9:00 pm and is open to audiences 21 and over. Tickets are available in advance for $20.00 at The Star Theater is located at 13 NW 6th.

gty_linda_ronstadt_ll_130826_16x9_992On Wednesday, April 30, a handful of Portland’s favorite musicians will gather to pay tribute to the music of Linda Ronstadt. Featuring Anne Weiss, Bre Gregg, Nathan Earle & Juliet Howard, and Nancy Devine, the Heart Like A Wheel concert will be used to help raise money and awareness for the Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon in their efforts to battle Parkinson’s Disease.

Linda Ronstadt is one of the most beloved vocalists of the past fifty years, with hits that have included “Blue Bayou,” “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “Different Drum,” and many more. She has received ten Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And this is a fitting tribute to Ronstadt who suffers from Parkinson’s herself.

Tickets for Heart Like A Wheel are $22.00 in advance through Special preferred seating in the first few rows center stage are also available for $30.00. Show time for this event is 7:00 pm and minors are okay when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Blues & Ballads – A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II
New West Records ‎

Traditionally, the art of folk music is passed down from generation to generation sometimes in written form but usually orally. Throughout his life, Luther Dickinson has collected his thoughts in various drawings and notes that later reemerge as songs. As with any true art, these ideas are constantly evolving, and thus comes the title for this newly released double disc set of 21 tracks titled Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook), Vols. I &II. It is this ever-changing art that Dickinson presents. Many of the numbers collected here have been released previously in other incarnations, whether with his blues-rock outfit The North Mississippi All-Stars with his brother Cody or on solo projects and other groupings he has been involved with. Some of the recognizable pieces include fresh, clever, and smart new takes on “Hurry Up Sunshine,” “Bang Bang Lulu,” and “Shake (Yo Mama).”

Dickinson performs mostly acoustically on the numbers, but many tracks offer electric instrumentation alongside his playing on guitar, mandolin, and piano. There are numerous contributors to the album, including his combining The Cooperators with Amy LaVere on vocals and bass, and Sharde Thomas, the granddaughter of legendary Mississippi musician Otha Turner, on fife, drums, and vocals. Lillie Mae Rische provides fiddle and vocals, Charlie Hodges on keys, Paul Taylor on the tub bass, Jimmy Crosthwait on washboard and backing vocals from Sharisse and Shontelle Norman. His band mates from the South Memphis String Band AlvinYoungblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus also make appearances, as does JJ Grey and Jason Isbell on “Up Over Yonder.” Perhaps the most notable guest on the release is Mavis Staples who teams up with Dickinson on his tribute to the passing of his father on “Ain’t No Grave” which first appeared on the North Mississippi All Stars album Keys To The Kingdom. It is a beautiful and emotional rendition matching his bare slide guitar next to Staples’ voice.

Recorded in a handful of studios, including Memphis’ famed Sun and Royal Studios, the sound is extraordinary. Copies of his handwritten lyrics are included in the CD packaging, whereas printed copies of his notebooks are offered in the vinyl release.

Dickinson continues to explore the natural sounds and roots of his musical heritage raising the bar with his efforts. He is not beyond rediscovering himself time and time again. This is a collection of pieces of his career work that he keeps reinterpreting and bringing more and more into his ideal vision of his music proving that Luther Dickinson is a musician with a lot more to say. Even if it is something we’ve heard before, although in a completely different direction. Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook), Vols. I & II is a very awe-inspiring release that showcases the brilliance behind Dickinson.

Total Time: 1:14:25

Hurry Up Sunrise / Up Over Yonder / Bang Bang Lulu / Moonshine / Jackson / Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down / How I Wish My Train Would Come / Ain’t No Grave / Let It Roll / My Leavin’ / Horseshoe (Reprise) / Highwater (Soldier) / And It Hurts / Storm / Mojo, Mojo / Ol’ Cannonball / Devilment / Blow Out / Mayor Langford Birmingham Blues / Shake (Yo Mama) / Horseshoe

The Journey To Memphis is the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition to select the acts that will represent our organization and region in the next year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, held in early 2017. Up to 250 acts from around the world converge on Beale Street to perform before the music industry searching for new talent, with the chance to win recognition and prizes that include major festival performances and more. But the only way an act may participate is to win a regional competition held by one of The Blues Foundation’s affiliated societies like the Cascade Blues Association.

The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held at Portland’s newest premier venue, The Rose Room, 8102 NE Killingsworth, the first weekend in June.  The event may take place over more than one night depending on the number of acts wishing to compete. Acts are scored by a trio of judges selected for their backgrounds and knowledge of the blues. The highest scoring acts from each night of competition (up to four acts) will advance to the finals held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4.

Applications to participate in the competition will be accepted from now until Wednesday, April 6 at the Cascade Blues Association membership meeting or by mailing at J2M c/o Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566 Portland, OR 97228. No late applications will be accepted. All eligible acts that meet our criteria as described below will be able to compete. The performance schedule for the competition is drawn at random.

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  • Entry fee is $25.00
  • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
  • Only acts located within the region of Oregon, Washington or Idaho are allowed to enter the Journey To Memphis.
  • Any act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete.
  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years, regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year before being allowed to compete again.
  • Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be made aware of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon or Washington Liquor Commission laws.
  • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band members that they won the rounds with. In other words, if you won with a certain bass player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and drummer must be in your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances when not under control of the act, such as health issues.
  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from further competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.

The Visit
Rip Cat Records

If you’re seeking the type of album that can straddle the fence between both blues and jazz, say, in the mold of fellow guitarists Ronnie Earl or Duke Robillard, then Barry Levenson’s latest release, The Visit, is going to be right up your alley. Levenson delivers precise phrasing and in-depth tone that strikes true, and he comments that it is a homage to the players who inspired him, bringing forth his own masterful creations in the styling of his heroes. And when those heroes he mentions in the liner notes include Lightnin’ Hopkins, Albert King, Otis Rush, Grant Green, T-Bone Walker, Mickey Baker, Kenny Burrell, and Magic Sam, you know that with one listen to this album he has done his homework and spent a great deal of woodshedding to reach this high quality of product.

barry levenson The VisitLevenson is not necessarily a vocalist himself, and thus the majority of the offerings on this disc are instrumental. But he has worked as the go-to guitar player alongside a number of musicians over time, such as Johnny Dyer, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield, William Clarke, and Canned Heat — stalwart company indeed. They surely know something that the rest of us should be aware of, too: that Barry Levenson is a hell of monster guitarist! There are a few tracks that he brings his voice to the mix and they work well enhancing the songs. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Levenson was already familiar with vocalist Billy Price, whose last release was a recording of duets with the late Otis Clay. Tapping the singer for a couple numbers, Price lays out prime covers of Albert King’s “You’re Gonna Need Me” and Oscar Perry & Don Robey’s “This Time I’m Gone For Good.”

The instrumental numbers on this disc are extraordinary. Special note to his tribute to his hometown with the tune “Steel City” featuring great accompaniment on the organ from Mike Thompson. Guitar is highlighted throughout with piercing excellence shining on tracks like “The Visit,” “I Wonder Why,” “Shadows At Midnight,” and “Last Train To Nowhere.”

For guitar lovers, both jazzy or bluesy, The Visit is definitely an album worth visiting. Great late night fodder, or any time else for that matter, to enhance your senses.

Total Time: 62:02

I Wonder Why / Ice Cold Kiss / The Visit / Steel City / Magic Groove / This Time I’m Gone For Good / It’s Mighty Crazy / Last Train To Nowhere / Talkin’ To Myself / Shadows At Midnight / Flip Side / You’re Gonna Need Me

The 5th Annual Coyote Kings Invitational Walla Walla Guitar Festival, in conjunction with Feast Walla Walla, is a multi-venue Blues & Roots music, food, and wine celebration weekend in Beautiful Downtown Walla Walla! This year the dates for the event will be April 8 – 10 taking place in various locations in the city, including include The Powerhouse Theater, Sapolil Cellars, The Marcus Whitman, The Elks, The VFW, The Eagles, and the Large Tent.

The line-up for the 2016 Walla Walla Guitar Festival is quite impressive. Alongside The Coyote Kings, artists featured will be Sugaray Rayford, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, The 44s, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, Ayron Jones & The Way,Big Monti & Rae Gordon, Charlie Butts & The Filter Tips, Randy Oxford’s All-Star Slam, The Stacy Jones Band, The Trevalyn Triangle, The Sara Brown Band, The Wasteland Kings, Billy Stoops, Vaugn Jensen, Tuck Foster, Shanks Pony, Pappa Frita & The Hot Mustard, Gary Winston & The Real Deal, The Barn Dwellers, Iguana Hat, Winston/Hemenway, and more!

Tickets for the event may be purchased through with a variety of price ranges depending on how many events/days you wish to attend. A full festival package is $100.00 for all events. Lodging is also available and details can be found on the site.