by Wendy Schumer

The 2016 picnic was a huge success! Even the folks at Columbia Crossing said it was the best picnic ever in their history. And of course we could not have done it without the help of many great volunteers and the CBA board. Thank you to board members Wendy Schumer, Merry Larsen, Brenda Docken, Fred Morgan and JoAnn Morgan—all of whom worked tirelessly to prepare, set up, work and then tear down at this year’s picnic. Thanks to Jody Gunn for signing up volunteers.

As you can imagine, this takes a lot of work and time so this year’s picnic would be great for our members. In addition to the board members, we need to thank all of the volunteers who helped to make this possible. Without these volunteers I don’t know what we would have done. So let me list the names of those who I want to thank and apologize to anyone I may have overlooked:

  • First of all, Jon Pierce, Rich- ard LaChapelle and Ed Seifert. Thanks to Everyone Who Made the 2016 CBA Picnic a Huge Success These three worked tirelessly to pick up and load the truck. They had to get tables and ice, then unload the truck.
  • Dan from Dano’s Dogs for cooking and providing all the hotdogs, hamburgers and buns. We love you Dan!
  • Bryan Olson, Al Raines, Holly Thomas, Pat Rolsing, Vince Rolsing, and Matt Northy for setup.
  • Ron Beed, Barbara Sandoval, Robert Jones, and Mark Rankin for cooking under the hot, hot sun!
  • Lucia Michaud for being the master of the food table—cutting, prepping and cleaning! Judith Ellis for helping her.
  • Bonita Davis, Carol Hamley, Beverly Jones, Don Geren, and Michelle Bean for the hectic oversight of checking members into the area and signing up new members.
  • Imperial Bottleshop for providing the beer.
  • Carl Lehman, Danny Knoll, Mark Von Pressentin, Mary Maxson, Darren Maxson, Rick Ivey, Kim Wrabel, Will Crowe, Mary Cummings, and Priscilla (don’t know her last name) for overseeing pouring the beer and wine.
  • George Stevenson, Kathy Rankin, and Mark Rankin for tear down.
  • Gary Jazkoviak and Jim & Nancy also helped.

I know there were a lot more people who helped us load the truck and bring everything back to the office—I apologize if I didn’t get everybody’s names. But I want to thank you as well!

OK, now for the music. What a stellar line-up: starting off with Beacon Street Titans, followed by Gabe Cox, then Bolt Upright and concluding with The Thunder Brothers! What a day?! A warm thank you to all the musicians who graciously donated their time to help us put on this event. I just hope everyone had a great time and I would encourage the membership to think about volunteering to help us next year!

Tim Too Slim Langford - photo by Dean DavisIf Tim “Too Slim” Langford only played slide guitar, he would slither around most other blues guitarists and put a ferocious bite on their pride. However, as the sole six-string slinger, songwriter, and lead singer of the power trio Too Slim and the Taildraggers, he is a complete force of nature.

After leaving his mark in his native Northwest by tearing up stages for the best part of three decades and receiving hall of fame status from three blues societies, Langford moved to Nashville piecing together a new version of The Taildraggers (Eric “Stretch” Hansen on bass and Jeff “Shakey” Fowlkes on drums) and crafting  some of the finest blues rock material of his career. With around twenty discs under his belt, “Too Slim” explores a diverse range of musical approaches that appeals to a variety of audiences. But when it comes to taking their spot onstage, Too Slim and the Taildraggers take no prisoners. This is one show that is going to rock the house every time. Powerful is an understatement.

Touring in support of their latest release, Blood Moon, Too Slim and the Taildraggers electrified the stage at The Birk last June and the Waterfront Blues Festival in July. The band will return to The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202, Birkenfeld, Oregon, for an encore performance on Sunday, September 4, for a 3:00 pm show. Tickets are $15.00 advance and $20.00 at the door. Head on out and see why Too Slim and the Taildraggers have long been considered one of the Northwest’s greatest live blues act of all time!

Then on Monday, September 5, Too Slim & The Taildraggers will be coming back to Portland for an 8:00 pm show at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd. This special night will also be a birthday celebration for promoter Joey Scruggs. Tickets can be obtained in advance through for $10.00. Admission at the door is $12.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so bring your current membership, show it at the door, and receive a $1.00 discount on admission.

The Nick Moss Band is beyond any doubt one of the most exciting and dynamic Chicago-based blues acts on the circuit today. The band’s website describes them as “Distinct, honest, and intense, a blend of traditional blues and progressive, jam-oriented blues rock. Face-melting guitar solos that rise above the crowded field of pretenders, and a versatile band that brilliantly delivers unparalleled improvisational jams to packed houses night after night, city after city.”

Nick Moss - photo by Mark GoodmanGuitarist and songwriter Nick Moss has worked with legendary blues greats such as Jimmy Dawkins, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Scott, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith before forming his own band Nick Moss & The Flip Tops in 1999. Having Nick in a band would be way more than any one act could hope for, but The Nick Moss Band is a double-edge powerhouse with Michael Ledbetter on vocals and guitar. Inspired by vocalists like Donnie Hathaway, BB King, and Stevie Wonder, Ledbetter is one of the finest voices you’ll find anywhere in the blues. Throw in the adept drumming of Patrick Seals, and you have the recipe for Chicago’s premier blues outfit.

The Nick Moss Band will be heading to Oregon for a pair of dates in early September, starting on Labor Day, September 5 at The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202, Birkenfeld. Show time is 3:00 pm. Tickets are $15.00 advance and $20.00 day of show.

Then on Tuesday, September 6, the band is scheduled for a 7:00 pm performance at the Springhouse Cellars in Hood River, located at 13 Railroad Street.

Timberbound - photo by Greg JohnsonAfter reviving Northwest sawmill ballads from an obscure songbook, local folk/acoustic/blues band Timberbound is now interpreting the Northwest songs of Woody Guthrie for a forthcoming album, Roll On, Columbia. With an upcoming performance at The Lake Theater & Café, fans have the opportunity to get a live preview of these obscure songs Guthrie penned while living in the Portland area and working for the US government’s Bonneville Power Administration. This November, Timberbound will release a double album recording of Guthrie’s songs!

Timberbound is led by banjo player and guitarist Joe Seamons (half of the 2016 International Blues Challenge solo/duo winning act Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons), and the group features multi-instrumentalist Gavin Duffy, fiddle player Jenny Estrin and vocalist Kate Sandgren.

Timberbound will be returning to The Lake Theater & Café on Monday, September 5 for a 7:00 pm presentation of these Woody Guthrie songs. Tickets available online at for $20.00 general admission.

Golden State Lone Star Revue - photo by Rachel KumarThe blues have long played a major role in both Texas and California’s musical culture. Some of the most renowned artists have hailed from these two states, so it would seem quite fitting that pairing musicians from both these states would produce fiery results. In the form of the Golden State Lone Star Revue that paring is definitely igniting some impressive sparks. Guitar heroes Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty join up with harmonica ace Mark Hummel and between the three of them there are some 47 Blues Music Award nominations and 10 wins. With this line-up, how could they possibly go wrong? Then throw in two of the finest rhythm guys going with RW Grigsby on bass and Wes Starr on drums and things just get the musical stew cooking even hotter. All combined, they are a jumping band that can be heard on their outstanding Golden State Lone Star Revue disc.

Needless to say, having the chance to see this group of all-stars is something not to be missed. And that will happen on Tuesday, September 6 at The Lake Theater & Café, 106 State Street, Lake Oswego. Show time is 7:00 pm and tickets are available at for $20.00 advance general admission or reserve a VIP table down in front of the stage for four people at $120.00.

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears - photo courtesy of Funk U MagazineHailing from Austin, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears music is a collision of Southern soul, Midwestern blues, and vagabond punk. While he’s been compared to “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown, and counts among his inspirations blues deity Howlin’ Wolf, Lewis let his punk-flag fly on the group’s third studio album, Electric Slave, where he has honed its signature sound and perfected his gritty blues shouting and raw guitar riffs. Lewis refuses to confine himself to genre-defining boundaries and instead indulged all his many musical influences. With 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 ranging from $15.00 – $17.00. The Doug Fir Lounge is located at 830 E. Burnside St.

Ruthie Foster - photo by Mary Keating-BrutonFrom houses of worship to houses of blues, Ruthie Foster has always been a rafter-rattler. And with a soul-filled voice honed in Texas churches, she can move audiences to tears or to ecstasy, sometimes during the same song. Foster is a blues-world rarity: an original voice who honors her forebearers, yet transcends gentrification. She has been honored with six Blues Music Awards, including three Koko Taylor Traditional Female Artists of the Year nods, multiple Grammy nominations, and is currently up for two Living Blues Music Awards, Female Blues Artist of the Year and Best Live Performer. Those who have followed Ruthie Foster’s eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk, and gospel.

Ruthie Foster returns to Portland for one night only, Wednesday, September 7, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $28.00 general admission and $40.00 for limited preferred seating (first five rows, front and center) at the venue’s website, This is an all ages event, with minors okay when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Sunbanks-festivalFounded in 1995, the Sunbanks Music Festival in Electric City, Washington is a twice-a-year event that offers the best in national and regional musicians. This four-day festival will take place on September 8-11 against the backdrop of Banks Lake, near the Grand Coulee Dam. This year the event will feature another amazing line-up of performers with the Golden State Lone Star Revue with Anson Funderburgh, Mark Hummel, and Little Charlie Baty, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Leroy Bell & His Only Friends, Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Harlis Sweetwater, Duffy Bishop, Junkyard Jane with Sue Orfield, The Americans, Lee Bob & the Truth, Courtney Marie Andrews, Rich Layton & the Troublemakers, Little Bill Trio, Cee Cee James & Mission of S.O.U.L. Duo, Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, RB Stone, The Thunder Brothers, Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely, Rob Tudor, Michael Coucoules, and a Songwriter’s Showcase.

For more information, including tickets, camping and lodging, visit the festival’s website at

New Orleans Suspects - photo by Jeffrey DupuisThe New Orleans Suspects began playing together in 2009 as a pick-up band at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. Comprised of some of the most seasoned, highly respected players in NOLA, the group originally called themselves The Unusual Suspects. Their chemistry was undeniable and by the summer of 2011 they decided to tour full-time, and renamed the band New Orleans Suspects. They quickly began attracting large crowds from San Francisco to New York. In four short years they released three CDs and established themselves as one of New Orleans’ best supergroups.

The band features drummer “Mean” Willie Green, a thirty-year veteran of the Neville Brothers, bass player Reggie Scanlan, who spent thirty-three years with The Radiators, long-time Dirty Dozen Brass Band guitarist Jake Eckert, classically trained pianist CR Gruver who immersed himself in New Orleans piano styles after touring with national bands such as Outformation and singer/songwriter Angie Aparo, and finally saxophonist Jeff Watkins who served twelve years as leader of the James Brown Band.

New Orleans Suspects will be appearing in Portland on Thursday, September 8 at 10:00 pm at The Goodfoot Pub & Lounge, 2845 SE Stark Street. Admission is $12.00.

Opening the night will be a performance will be Portland R&B band Boys II Gentlemen.

amber-martinThe highly celebrated cabaret star, vocalist, and former Portlander Amber Martin returns to Portland on September 9, to perform her tribute to iconic rock and blues legend Janis Joplin, Janis: Undead. Martin is an acclaimed New York City performing artist, comedic monologist, and vocalist inspired by the traditions of Lily Tomlin, Janis Joplin, Carol Burnett, and Dolly Parton whom The New Yorker named as one of the top performers of 2010.

Amber Martin channels Janis in this 90-minute live musical rock showcase of the beloved singer’s greatest songs. Amber has chosen her own personal favorites along with Janis’s greatest hits to create a thrilling night of unforgettable music and performance. As an added treat, the performance will feature the original Joshua Light Show/Liquid Loop Projections from Joplin’s 1969 Fillmore East performance.

This one night only event will take place at Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside. 21 & over only. Show time is 9:00 pm and tickets can be purchased for $12.00 in advance through