If you’re a guitar aficionado, there is simply one tour you do not want to miss this summer as two legends, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, team up for what is certainly to be an all-out powder keg full of guitar riffs and licks. Both are icons in the world of guitar — Rolling Stone included each in its list of the Top 100 Guitarists of all-time, and both are lifetime achievement inductees in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their careers span more than fifty years each and the list of musicians they’ve influenced is endless.

jeff-beck-buddy-guy-2016-tour-dates-ticketsJeff Beck has been turning heads since he replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds in 1965. Twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, first as a member of The Yardbirds and then as a solo artist, he is best-known for albums such as Truth, Beck-Ola, Blow By Blow, and Wired.

Buddy Guy has been the recipient of thirty-four Blues Music Awards and has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame along with his membership in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has a lengthy career that saw him play alongside Muddy Waters and Junior Wells before taking on his own highly successful solo path and is one of the living patriarchs of the blues today.

This is a rare opportunity to catch two of the greatest on one stage in the same night as they’ll be performing at the Maryhill Winery Amphitheater, 9774 Hwy 14, in Goldendale, Washington on Saturday, August 20 at 7:00 pm. This is an all ages event. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketfly.com with prices ranging from $55.00 to $250.00.

Ty Curtis - photo by Cherie RobbinsWe all know that Ty Curtis is a fiery and powerful performer on stage with his dynamic bandmates bassist Tony Valdez and drummer Jerry Jacques, but this special night will be a different take on Ty’s original music as he brings a more intimate feeling to The Lake Theater. If you listen to his recordings, including his latest release Blame Me, you already know that he has a knack for writing beautiful ballads, love songs, and even reggae-tinged tunes that will take center stage during this exceptional evening. There is a lot of passion behind his songwriting and this just may be a variation that will touch your own hearts.

This intimate evening will take place on Monday, August 22, starting at 7:00 pm. Admission is $12.00. Tickets are now available through Laketheatercafe.com. The Lake Theater & Café is located at 106 N. State Street, in Lake Oswego.

Roots on the Rails

Riding a train and playing or listening to music conjures up romantic images of Woody Guthrie and his guitar witnessing the country by boxcar during the Great Depression. The music-train connection runs deep — Boxcar Willie made a career of hobo songs, Steve Goodman had a hit with “City of New Orleans,” and in 1970, the Festival Express rolled across Canada with Buddy Guy, Janis Joplin, The Band, the Grateful Dead, and others on board.

In 2001, music manager Charlie Hunter organized a trans-Canadian train trip to a folk music conference in Vancouver, British Columbia that led to the creation of Roots on the Rails, with the first trip from Toronto to Vancouver in 2003. Hunter now offers four trips each year and has run thirty-five music-themed train excursions since its inception.

The railroad fits quite comfortably into the world of roots music. Folk, blues, western, jazz, and American music will be the order of the day when the Roots on the Rails Revue hits Portland on Thursday, August 25 with a show at The Old Church. The line-up for this event is spectacular, featuring Blues Music Award nominees Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, Grammy nominee Eliza Gilkyson, and singer-songwriter Butch Hancock.

Dave Alvin and his brother Phil formed the roots rock band the Blasters in 1979 and soon developed a strong fan base throughout the United States and Europe. The brothers separated in 1986 with Dave going on to work with the bands X, The Knitters, The Flesh Eaters, and then eventually to a successful solo career. Phil continued to work with The Blasters and after some serious health issues, the brothers reunited in 2013 with a pair of highly acclaimed recordings and tours.

Eliza Gilkyson is a 2-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and activist who has become one of the most respected musicians in Folk, Roots, and Americana circles. Her songs have been covered by musicians as diverse as Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush, and Roseanne Cash.

Butch Hancock is a world traveling troubadour with a long string of recorded songs and albums. Peers and critics alike acknowledge Hancock as “one of the finest songwriters of our time” and as one of the premiere singer-songwriters Texas has ever produced.

Tickets for Roots on the Rails are available through BrownPaperBagTickets.com or at The Old Church office, for $30.00 advance, $35.00 day of show. Show time is 7:30 pm and all ages are welcome. The Old Church is located at 1422 SW 11th Avenue.

Bettye LaVetteThe 18th annual Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival will take place in Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver, Washington on Friday, August 26 through Sunday, August 28. The line-up is still fluid, but major jazz headliners The Manhattan Transfer, Nicholas Payton, Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Grace Kelly, Tiempo Libra, and The Family Stone are all scheduled to perform. But if you’re a blues lover, you’ll definitely not want to miss Sunday, August 28 as the day will feature both Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and Bettye LaVette!

Check the website vancouverwinejazz.com for updated performance and ticket information.

Black_Joe_Lewis__The_Honey_BearsHailing from Austin, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears’ music has been described as  the collision between Southern soul, Midwestern blues, and vagabond punk.  Compared to “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown and inspired by Howlin’ Wolf, Black Joe Lewis let his punk-flag fly on the group’s third studio album, Electric Slave, where he has honed their signature sound and perfected his gritty, shouting, and raw guitar riffs. Lewis refuses to confine himself to genre-defining boundaries and cater to only one of his many musical influences. Having plenty of women chasing, hard-knocks, and all-around good time tales to tell, he also always finds a way to make his tracks full of horns and blues riffs that rival the likes of rocker Iggy Pop.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears will be returning to one of their favorite venues in the Portland area as they perform at the Doug Fir Lounge on Friday, September 2 at 9:00 pm. Tickets for this 21 & over show can be purchased in advance through Ticketfly.com ranging from $15.00 – $17.00. The Doug Fir Lounge is located at 830 E. Burnside St.

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 501(c)3 not for profit organization and your donation is tax deductible!

LIVE BLUES: Terry Robb, Timothy James, Justus Reece, and one more TBA!

BARGAINS: Furniture, tools, kids items, household, collectibles, antiques, musical instruments and more!

WHEN: September 17, 2016, 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 now anyway, so this 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, but futons are okay), tools, kids items, pet supplies, collectibles, and musical instruments highly desired (no full size pianos, but consoles are welcome).

DONATION DROP OFFS: Please bring your good used items to The Bomber Restaurant parking lot before 9am on September 17, before the sale. If you will not be in town that weekend, but feel you have items that would sell well, please contact Cherie Robbins. If in boxes, consider bringing to CBA September meeting where a van will be made available to load items (no furniture at that time).

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:More hands make for quick work, but more bodies make for more fun! To volunteer, please contact sale chair Cherie Robbins at cherieerobbins@gmail.com.

Volunteers are needed all day, but these are the most important times:

6:30AM – Oregon City Storage Location – load moving truck

8AM – The Bomber Restaurant Parking Lot, lots of help needed to unload truck as quickly as possible and place on tables.

9AM-3PM – Helpers needed to work with customers, help load customer vehicles and make things look pretty.

3PM – Loading truck to donate to charity Thrift Store & clean up restaurant parking lot. The more help for this makes it easier at the end.

There are often more people wanting to donate items, but cannot 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 for the sale. Please let Cherie know.

The Bomber Restaurant offers a wonderful selection of breakfast and lunch items. Please consider stopping inside for a bite to eat when you come by the rummage sale.

ramblings on my mind

ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

I hear it all the time. The blues are dying. Bunk! Though it may seem like there are fewer venues and a lot less media attention, the blues as a genre is definitely not on the verge of collapse. It may not look the same as it did twenty, thirty, fifty, or even one hundred years ago. But what does? That may not please everyone’s tastes. There will always be those who want it to remain exactly the same. But it’s all part of the evolution process. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. And believe me, the blues are most certainly growing.

Take a look at the recent Waterfront Blues Festival. I heard many state that there wasn’t much blues at hand. I know I saw a lot of traditional artists, not just Leo “Bud” Welch or Jimmie Vaughan, but a lot of local musicians that could be placed in that very same category. How about Bill Rhoades & The Party Kings/Queens leading the annual Harmonica Blow-Off? Or maybe LynnAnn Hyde & Stu Kinzel, AC Porter, Bottleneck Blues Band, Rogue Rage Duo, Steve Cheseborough, just to mention a few. How about stepping back to the real deal feel of The Ragpicker String Band or International Blues Challenge winners Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons? Jimmie Vaughan, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dr John, Curtis Salgado, Tracy Nelson — they’re all recognized award winning acts recognized as blues performers.

Never in its history has the blues been so available as it is with online media. It is spreading world-wide faster than you can blink. Over the years we’ve seen acts at the Waterfront from far-off reaches as Israel with Lazer Lloyd, India with Aki Kumar, England with Ian Siegal, Brazil with Igor Prado, and of course one of all-time favorites Australian Fiona Boyes. That’s just a few off-hand.

When you look at the International Blues Challenge it is even more impressive with the climb in numbers of acts from all around the world, this past year alone saw twenty different countries participate. There is so much different flavors of blues music going on at the International Blues Challenge, both nationally and internationally, I have repeatedly stated from the stage in Memphis, “If you can’t find a style of blues to your liking on Beale Street during this event, you’re either not looking hard enough or not breathing.”

I am greatly encouraged by the number of younger players who are taking their hand at performing the blues. They may be laughed at or think that they’re weird by their peers for playing an “old music,” but their commitment is impressive. Look at how many of us have watched the growth of local artists like David Jacobs-Strain, Ben Rice, Mac Potts and Ty Curtis for example. They were all in their early teens or younger when they began and look at them now! I see bright futures for two more youngsters, Justus Reece and Timothy James, as they both pursue the genre and are turning heads already. And Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has caught your attention; he was recognized with the performance of the year at last year’s Muddy Awards through your votes. If you really want to receive an eye awakening, go to the International Blues Challenge and watch the Youth Showcase. It is simply amazing the talent levels that many of these young musicians already have.

It’s also nice to see that the Grammy Awards will be recognizing two blues categories in the future rather than just one. It’s a step in the right direction in receiving media attention again. Next, let’s get the blues Grammy Awards to be broadcast live and not regulated to the scrolling list of awards handed out earlier in the day. And while we’re at it, let’s push for the Blues Music Awards to get aired on all Public Broadcast stations if not paid networks. And not several months after they happen. Why should it be any less important than other genres?

The blues does not happen just one week out of the year in Portland during the Waterfront Blues Festival. It is a year-round happening going on all around town, and we have so many of the best musicians to be found anywhere. In fact, we have a plethora of so many that you cannot keep up following them all. There’s simply not enough hours in a day or days in a week to do so. But you all know that already. You are reading BluesNotes here, so you have a liking for the blues already. So let’s get out there and tell our favorite venues and other media outlets that we want more blues music included.

A dying genre? By no means.  As long as we all still love the blues, it’ll live on! Let’s spread the news that the blues are all right!

The Cascade Blues Association is joining the twenty-first century — for the first time we will conduct the Muddy Awards nominations and final voting online. This will allow us to verify that only one vote is received per email address and will also make it easier for us to automatically tally the returns within a firm deadline. It will also save us a great deal of expense and time printing and mailing ballots. The first round nominations will open in mid-August. Watch our website, Facebook page, and CBA email blasts for further information.

Devestatin’ Rhythm

David Vest CD coverEven if David Vest were not the articulate songwriter that he is, his piano playing would still be able to tell stories that’d capture your attention. His expressive boogie style just has a way of its own to speak of the greatest tall tales you may have ever heard, but everything he offers on those keys ring true and deliberate. And it makes you envision images of everyday life or perhaps images you really don’t want to see in reality, but they’re out there.

Vest is a three-time Maple Award (Canada’s own Blues Music Awards) winner for piano player of the year. He is joined once again by The Willing Victims, and a couple of “Special Victims,” too. They have worked with Vest on his previous two recordings since the pianist relocated from Portland to British Columbia, and they are among some of the most highly-regarded blues artists in Canada: Teddy Leonard on guitar from the band Fathead, and Maple Award-winning bass player Gary Kendall and drummer Mike Fitzpatrick, both who have worked countless years with Downchild Blues Band. The Special Victims Unit are Pete Carey on sax and Howard Moore on trumpet. Their horns add an extra spunk to many of the tracks on this album.

“West Coast Saturday Night,” written by the band as a whole, opens the disc with a nice New Orleans approach featuring sharp guitar work by Leonard. That flows into the shuffle of “Stop This Madness” as Vest reflects on current world situations. The boogie is laid all out on “Kingsnake” as he states that music has been said to be a young man’s game, but that’s all right with him as he’s not playing a game. And he’s not joking! He takes a moment to remember a number of blues greats who have moved on to the afterlife, but despite their absence “The Blues Live On.” The only non-original track on Devestatin’ Rhythm is the cover of Leon Payne’s “Lost Highway,” best known as sung by Hank Williams. The country feel is delivered perfectly on this track between Vest’s piano and Leonard’s slide guitar.

Devestatin’ Rhythm continues the remarkable work that David Vest has been enchanting audiences with for nearly six decades. Without doubt he’s going to keep that piano’s keys primed and pumping with the best boogie delivery of its kind anywhere as long as he’s got breath to breathe. He’s no throw-back, he’s bona fide pianist who’s lived the life and still carries the tradition on. And his lyrics are going to make you smile, or maybe just make you think a little deeper on some subjects that we may experience today.

Total time: 40:08

West Coast Saturday Night / Stop This Madness / Staring Down The Barrel Of The Blues / Kingsnake / We’re All Sharecroppers Now / The Blues Live On / Biscuit Rollin’ Baby / Lost Highway / Come Back To Bed / Red Dirt Remedy

By Laurie Morrisey

thadPicture a Portland, Oregon Christmas when a child was 11…“Under the tree, wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with a red ribbon was a long cardboard box containing a guitar bought from the local department store for $13.97. The strings were so far off the frets it took a pair of vice grips to make any discernible musical sounds. A year and 52 guitar lessons later I could play Aura Lee and Amazing Grace and had the grip of a journeyman mechanic. That same year I made my performing debut with my best friend at the school talent show. A disaster.” Thus starts the musical career of Thad Beckman.

“A year later, with money I made from my paper route I bought a Harmony electric guitar and a Kalamazoo II amplifier. It changed my life. The British invasion was upon us. Me and my buddies would strap on our guitars, turn up the stereo full blast and lip sync along with our favorite tunes from the likes of The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, and The Animals. It was glorious. Finally, we got up the courage to plug in our guitars and start playing the songs ourselves. I can’t say it was any good but there sure were a lot of thrills. Like the first time we figured out the chords to a song. It was The Last Train from Clarksville by The Monkees. We sat in my bedroom with a portable record player and moved the needle back and forth over the 45 until it was so scratched it was unlistenable. We finally figured it out though and we were on our way. Those were the days.”

Fast forward a few decades and you have Thad Beckman, a singer/songwriter with a blues bent. “I play nearly all my gigs with an acoustic guitar. My favorite being my 1935 Gibson L-00.”

He is a solo performer, but Kurtis Piltz plays harmonica with Thad often. “Though I don’t do a lot of band work anymore I’d like to tip my hat to Denny Bixby, Dave Kahl, Dave Captein, Jeff Minnick and Bryce Shelton (RIP). Denny, Jeff and Bryce appear on several cuts of Streets of Disaster and Me Talking To Me.”

“I’ve been performing professionally since I was in high school. I really committed to a career in 1980 and have been a full time musician since then. I think my first love was baseball but I injured my throwing arm when I was young. In the 70’s I studied psychology—I was always interested in the workings of the psyche. At the same time I started studying classical guitar and eventually music won out,” Thad said. In addition to performing, he teaches guitar one day a week.

When asked who his musical influences were Thad said, “This is always a tough question to answer. Major name influences would be Mississippi John Hurt, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Charlie Patton, and nearly all of the old blues greats. Dave van Ronk was a huge influence. Hank Williams, George Jones, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Prine, Leonard Cohen. Robby Krieger of The Doors was a big influence in my high school days. (I actually got to play with him for an entire evening back in 1993) Bach, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans.”

“As great as these influences have been I would have to say a lot of local musicians and friends have influenced me just as much. For instance, I saw Jim Mesi playing with Paul DeLay back in the late 70’s and that’s what got me into playing electric blues. Lloyd Jones, Steve Bradley, and Jon Koonce are three more local guys who had an impact. On the acoustic side of things I’d add Mary Flower and Terry Robb.”

Thad studied classical guitar for two years. During that time he took classes in baroque theory, jazz theory and jazz performance. Other than that he is a self-taught musician. He plays guitar, national steel, a little bass and dobro.

Throughout his career Thad has played with Bo Diddley, Tom Russell, Earl Thomas, Ruthie Foster, The Shirelles, and Mary Flower. He has performed on Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble and played The Weight with Levon on drums. He also played with the Late Show with David Letterman’s band in 2009 (playing guitar for Tom Russell.) He has opened for B.B. King, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Dan Hicks, Emmy Lou Harris, and Robert Cray, to name a few.

Additionally, Thad has seven CD’s out. From the latest to the first: Streets of Disaster (2015), When The Sun Goes Down (2013), Beckman–Under The Influence (2012), Me Talking To Me (2009), Blues Gone By (2006), Beckman (2002), and Carry Me Back (1998).

There are two more CD’s in the works. “One is called Born In Smoke and is a guitaristic CD—several solo instrumentals as well as some with lyrics but minimal support. Very blues oriented.”

“I’m working on another called Uprisings, Rebellions and Revolutions. Historical accounts of battles and or revolutionaries. For example: I have a song about Custer’s Last Stand; one about Zapata, the great revolutionary of the Mexican civil war of 1910; one about Gettysburg; and one about the executioner of Paris during the Reign of Terror (1790’s) that has the French Revolution as the background.”

Whether you pick up one of his CD’s or you go to a live show, this is one musician that you don’t want to miss. This month you can find Thad on Aug. 20 at Sweet Basil’s Café in Cannon Beach, and Aug. 21 at O’Connor’s in Portland. For more information on upcoming shows and a sample of his sound, visit Thad’s website at www.thadbeckman.com.