AJ CroceFrom his debut as a jazz-influenced, blues-based artist to his evolution into a pop music iconoclast, singer-songwriter A.J. Croce has traveled a circuitous musical road. The son of legendary singer-songwriter Jim Croce, A.J.’s career began with at age eighteen opening for B.B. King. In the span of a twenty-plus-year career, A.J. has headlined festivals, concerts, and major listening venues worldwide. He has performed on shows including Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Austin City Limits, Good Morning America, E!, and CNN, and he has shared the stage with an innumerable list of eclectic artists from Willie Nelson to Ray Charles, Bela Fleck to James Brown, Lyle Lovett to Morphine, and Rod Stewart to Ben Harper. An ivory-searing New Orleans piano style established an essential juju, but his exploratory pop gems revealed a spectrum of influences from art rock to Americana and beyond. As the late Allen Toussaint described Croce: “It is a pleasure to witness triple uniqueness: pianist, songwriter, singer and at such a level. Who does he sound like? The answer is himself: AJ Croce.”

On Monday, August 1, A.J. Croce will be appearing at The Lake Theater & Café, 106 N State Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets for this 7:00 pm show are $20.00 and are available in advance through the venue’s website, Laketheatercafe.com.

cba-picnicIt’s time for one of the most anticipated events of the year — the annual Cascade Blues Association members picnic. Taking place on Sunday, August 7th, it is open to CBA members and their families only, and is one of the best perks of belonging to the CBA.  What does that mean? Who can come? FAMILY= 2 adults and up to 3 children under 18 living at the same address.  Additional “family” will be subject to a $5.00 entry fee.

Not a member or your membership has expired? Not to worry. You can join or renew at the picnic.

The picnic will return again to Tomahawk Moorage at Columbia Crossings on Hayden Island, 515 NE Tomahawk Island Drive, Portland, and will run from noon until 6:00 pm.

The Cascade Blues Association will be providing hamburgers, hot dogs, and beverages. The rest is a pot luck. We’re asking members to bring an item to share, so using the first letter of your last name, we are asking you to bring:

A – C: Hot Dishes

D – H:Salads

I – M: Goodies/Desserts

N – Z: Chips, Dips & Veggies

We are also in need of volunteers to help make this year’s picnic a success.  If you can spare a few hours of time for set-up, tear down, check in, raffle sales, or other help please let us know! Send us a message on Facebook or contact us via email at cascadebluescalendar@gmail.com

The CBA is an organization devoted to our love for blues music, so you know we are going to have an all-star line-up highlighting the afternoon. Four great regional bands will be on hand. Here are short bios of each and a tentative schedule:

12:30 – 1:30: Beacon Street Titans Daryl Boggs – Guitars Bill McNamera – Drums Howard McClung – Vocals, Harp, Sax Steve Malski – Bass Tom Ladouceur – Sax John Swecker – Trumpet – we are in for a dancing treat! BST made it to the finals of the CBA Journey to Memphis 2 years running now so they are perfectly suited to kick off the CBA picnic with their lively foot tapping music. Tasty jump blues and swing with just a touch of honey.

1:45-2:45: Gabe Cox, Gabriel Cox is a true songwriter at heart. This multi-talented artist is creating his own fresh, innovative, and quality sound that you will love. His music blends elements of blues, rock, pop, funk, and soul, which comes straight from the heart of the great northwest. He is dedicated to his fans, and always reaches for that one person out there that needs to be inspired. He made headlines with his first album in early 2014, and now he just released his 2nd groundbreaking album June 2016 that is already gaining national attention. Backed by a powerhouse band of all-star musicians, he has a fun, energetic, and truly unique show lined up that you simply can’t miss! He has performed all over the west coast including the Waterfront Blues Festival. His music has been featured on commercial radio, he’s had the privilege to work with many national touring acts, and he was nominated for several prestigious awards from the Cascade Blues Association.

3:00-4:00: Billy D & The Hoodoos is an award winning local blues band. Billy D’s life experience has given him the strength to write his brand of “Bluzy Rock” with a passion that only comes from living it. Heavily influenced by Chicago blues, Rock & Roll, and “Backbeat Roots” music of all types, his songs reflect the tough lessons of his past and show his love for Mother Blues and her first-born, Rock & Roll. Blues influenced roots music with a sexy backbeat!

4:15-5:15: The Thunder Brothers : Michael Quinby-Vox and Guitar Doug Rowell-Vox and Guitar Edwin Coleman III-Drums Timmer Blakely-Vox and Bass – WOW – now that’s a combination perfectly suited to the grand finale of this year’s picnic. The Thunder Brothers have rumbled into the Portland blues scene and are taking it by storm. They were also a finalist this year in the CBA Journey to Memphis completion.  This is a group that has played with others locally and in other configurations, but joined together to compete this year. We are sure to have a blast enjoying their upbeat energy and talent.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!

Fiona Boyes - press photo by Brandy Kayzakian-RoweReviewers have described blues guitarist and singer, Fiona Boyes, as a “musical anomaly,” “Bonnie Raitt’s evil twin,” or simply as “scaring the hell” out of them.  She was the first woman and non-American to win the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and blues greats Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin described her as one of the best female guitar players since Memphis Minnie, which would place her in the running as one of the best guitarists, period. Her career spans over twenty-five years and thirteen recordings, and it has also taken her around the world and earned her multiple award nominations with a range of blues guitar styles that would instinctively lead one to believe had emerged from a musician raised in the Delta or the backstreets of Chicago, rather than from Australia.

Having lived in the Portland area for a year, Fiona Boyes has developed a robust relationship with blues fans and fellow musicians in Oregon, and she will be returning to her adopted second home for a week in August with a couple of highly anticipated shows.

On Monday, August 8, Boyes will be joined by Blues Music Award winning drummer Jimi Bott for an appearance at The Lake Theater & Café. The pair will be featuring music from their upcoming recording Professin’ The Blues due to hit the street in October. Boyes has also been exploring Mississippi style folk art, inspired by the works of Dan Dalton and Stan Street, that ties in with the themes on the new album and will provide the backdrop for her performances. The Lake Theater & Café is located at 106 N State Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets are $15.00 and available at laketheatercafe.com. Show time is 7:00 pm.

Thursday night, August 11, Boyes will perform at Vie de Boheme, 1530 SE 7th, in Portland. Joining her will be good friends and three of Portland’s best-loved artists Dave Kahl, Mitch Kashmar and Carlton Jackson. Contact the venue for time and admission price — 503-360-1233.

devon-allmanTwo of the blues world’s fast-rising stars, Devon Allman and Owen Campbell, are currently on tour throughout the United States together with a stop at The Birk on Tuesday, August 9.

Devon Allman could have coasted through a career with his surname alone. In the world of rock ‘n roll, being an Allman is like being a Kennedy — you’re born into prestige, but much like Jakob Dylan (son of Bob) or Nora Jones (daughter of Ravi Shankar), Allman has proven hesitant to cash in on his revered heritage. Rather, he’s forged his own path as a blues rocker, forgoing opportunities to piggyback on the success of his famous father, Gregg.

Still the two run in similar circles. Devon has spent the past four years playing with the blues super-group Royal Southern Brotherhood. But lately he has been exploring his own solo work and released his debut recording Ragged & Dirty, a gritty, Chicago blues-influenced release, and taking on the road with his eponymous band.

Ireland’s Argus News hailed Owen Campbell as “possibly one of the best performers to come out of Australia for quite some time, amazing lap steel slide guitar and a songwriting ability that belies his years.” Still in his mid-twenties, Campbell has been playing guitar since he was ten years old, developing his own gravelly blend of blues, roots, soul, and country.

This outstanding double-bill will start with a performance by Campbell at 7:00 pm, with Allman taking the stage at 8:00 pm. Tickets can be found in advance at Tickettomato.com for $20.00. Admission will be $25.00 at the door. The Birk is located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld.



The Cascade Blues Association Muddy Award winning Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in style with perhaps its strongest line-up ever! Located in Joseph, Oregon at the base of one of “Oregon’s Seven Wonders,” the Wallowa Mountains, this event will bring over twenty micro-brews on tap, Northwest wines, and some of the very best national and regional acts within the unique backdrop of Joseph City Park.

This year’s event will begin Friday, August 12 starting at 6:00 pm, with a jam night hosted by the 2016 International Blues Challenge winning band The Delgado Brothers, alongside Portland’s own harmonica favorite Franco Paletta.

Then on Saturday, August 13, the main festival will get underway at noon, starting with Australian bluesman Owen Campbell. The day will carry on with outstanding sets coming from Devon Allman; the Danielle Nicole Band; Harp Attack featuring Portland’s Mitch Kashmar and Franco Paletta alongside Memphis’ Brandon Santini; guitar master Chris Cain; and closing the night with the Sugaray Rayford Band.

Advance tickets are only $30.00 and can be purchased using PayPal at the event’s website bronzebluesbrews.com. Tickets at the gate will be $35.00 on Saturday. Kids 10 and under are free. Go to the website to check on lodging, camping, complete bios on the artists, and other information about the festival.

toney-rocksToney Rocks is an artist who can never be pigeon-holed into one specific style of music. While Rocks has been influenced by pretty much everyone from Curtis Mayfield and Smokey Robinson, to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa, he is a unique player who often describes his music as “progressive blues-rock.” Rocks further explains his style this way: “think about if Keb’ Mo’ and Jackson Browne were stuck at Jimi Hendrix’s House” or if we were to “Just imagine if Pink Floyd went blues.” In other words, Rocks music is an intriguing concoction of many influences and styles

Usually performing as a solo musician, Toney Rocks plays both a varied selection of guitars and piano, with a presence that is quite engaging and spell-binding. Touring in support of his most recent release, No Road Too Long, he will be appearing for two shows in Oregon this August.

On Friday, August 12, Toney Rocks will be heading back to The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202, Birkenfeld, for a 7:00 pm show. Admission is $5.00.

Then on Saturday, August 13, he will be stopping in for an appearance at the Calapooia Brewing Company in Albany, located at 140 Hill Street NE at 8:00 pm.

cain-chitownChris Cain’s jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery, while his passion and intensity are a blend of his mother’s Greek ancestry combined with his father’s soulful black heritage.

Hailed as one of the finest guitarists on the West Coast since his debut 1987 recording, Late Night City Blues, garnered four WC Handy Awards (now named Blues Music Awards) nominations, the self-taught Cain is innovative, creative, and one of the most imaginative guitarist playing today. Through his guitar mastery and remarkable songwriting ability, Chris Cain has established himself as a musical force to be reckoned with. And as San Jose Mercury News music reviewer John Orr argues, “more than anyone else, anywhere, Chris Cain represents the future of the blues.”

Chris Cain will be playing on Saturday, August 13 at the Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival in Joseph, Oregon. For those unable to make it to the eastern reaches of the state, he will be performing on Sunday, August 14 at The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld, for a 3:00 pm show. Cain is a “not-to-be-missed” performer — his shows are never identical as he improvises guitar solos on the spot! Make a point to catch him whenever you can!

Danielle Nicole - photo by Greg JohnsonDanielle Nicole (born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen) has lived a lifetime of music. Since she was a little child, she grew up in a musical family and had her first public performance at the age of 12. Learning various instruments early and exposure to a wealth of music through her parents and grandparents, she was part of the band Trampled Under Foot with her two brothers that went on the win the International Blues Challenge in 2008 and saw her receive a Blues Music Award for bass player of the year in 2014. After nine years in Trampled Under Foot, Nicole decided to pursue her own solo career that has been highly successful including a well-received recording, Wolf Den.

Nicole last appeared in Oregon in November with a pair of shows in Portland and Birkenfeld. She will be returning to the state in August with three more dates, including an all ages appearance at the Volcanic Theatre Pub (70 SW Century Dr) in Bend on Wednesday, August 10; the Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival in Joseph on Friday and Saturday, August 12 & 13, and then in Portland on August 14 at The White Eagle Saloon (836 N Russell St). Tickets for the show at The White Eagle are $8.00 in advance through etix.com. This is a 21 & over only show starting at 7:00 pm.


“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

Daniel Castro - press photoDescribing Daniel Castro as a blues artist doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. A more accurate description would be that Castro is a highly accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter whose strong musical approach is grounded in the best blues traditions. Combine those talents with original blues-based material and you begin to understand Daniel’s strengths as an artist. Daniel is a dynamic performer who “leaves it all on the stage” night after night and 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 played at The Birk last March which was well-received and enthusiastic. He will be making a return engagement on  will take place on Friday, August 19 for a 7:00 pm show. The Birk is located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld. Admission is $10.00.

Karen Lovely and Jonn Del Toro Richardson - photo by Greg JohnsonThere is one thing for certain regarding the International Blues Challenge — the people you meet there often become life-long friends. Many musicians have forged strong bonds at the IBC over the years and as a result work with one another frequently. Such is the case with Karen Lovely and Jonn Del Toro Richardson.

Karen Lovely burst into Oregon’s elite blues scene with her participation in the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey To Memphis that led her to the IBC where she claimed second place in 2010. Since then she has been skyrocketing as a major artist with international tours and Blues Music Award nominations and renown for being one of the strongest vocalists working. Her current album, Ten Miles Of Bad Road, continues to climb the charts.

Jonn Del Toro Richardson was the driving force behind the Houston-based band Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy when they claimed first place at the 2005 IBC. Richardson also took home the Albert King Award as the event’s most promising guitarist. Since then he has won a Blues Music Award, has worked and recorded with such noted musicians as Pinetop Perkins, Robert Lockwood Jr, Honeyboy Edwards, Henry Townsend, Otis Taylor, Rich DelGrosso, Sean Carney, and Gary Moore, and has recently released his well-received first solo album, Tiengo Blues.

Karen and Jonn have worked together numerous times over the years. Sharing the stage during the IBC jams, with the Project Blues cancer research fundraising shows in Columbus, Ohio, and at festivals, most recently in Iceland. They have an undeniable chemistry onstage, and they have both received nominations for this year’s Blues Blast Awards.

For one show only, Jonn will be traveling to Portland to perform with Karen at Jimmy Mak’s on Friday, August 19 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $17.00 reserved, $15.00 general admission and can be purchased at Tickettomato.com. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so use the passcode “cba” when ordering your tickets online to receive a $2.00 discount. Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th.