CBA Holiday PartyThe annual CBA Holiday Party is set for Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Moose Lodge, 16411 NE Halsey, Portland, and it is open to everyone, so bring your family and friends and have some fun. The lodge members are really excited to share their place with us and are preparing a great menu for us to enjoy. Their more than reasonable prices for food and drinks may be your first holiday gift. For faster service, the best way to pay is always cash, but the lodge will accept credit cards. We will again set up a table for you to bring desert goodies to share. Another table will display silent auction items for you to bid on, and a CD raffle will be held after each band, so bring your Christmas shopping list. The Moose Lodge is a very family friendly space: pool and shuffleboard are free and you can play darts for a reasonable charge. CBA Members are free and all others pay only a $5.00 donation to attend this event

It’s the holidays, so please think of those less fortunate than you. Bring cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank as the lodge has barrels set up for us. The lodge also sponsors the Boys & Girls Club. It will have barrels to collect dog and cat food for the Troutdale Humane Society, so bring pet food!

We have great music planned for you: 12:00 – 1:00   Harvey Brindell & the Tablerockers; 1:15 – 2:15 Bottleneck Blues Band; 2:30 – 3:30 Suburban Slim Band; 3:45 – 4:45 Franco Paletta & the Stingers; 5:00 – 6:00 Karen Lovely & Ben Rice

Rae Gordon
Rae Gordon

Rae Gordon; photo by Mike Day

Plan on joining Rae Gordon along with three incredible guitarists representing the West Coast for the annual We Three Kings Christmas Show on Saturday, December 17 at the Trails End Saloon. It will be a sensational  night of celebrating the holiday fun with friends and music.

This year’s guitarists will include Salem, Oregon’s own Garry Meziere, Seattle, Washington’s CD Woodbury, and San Francisco Angelo Rossi (also known as AJ Crawdaddy) representing California’s blues scene. Backing the Rae and the guitar trio will be a fantastic band made up of Pat McDougall on keys, Al Hooten on bass, Ed Pierce on drums, Scott Franklin on sax, and Allan Kalik on trumpet.

This special night will also be aimed at helping the homeless survive the winter cold. There will be a collection of good used coats and for every coat that you donate you will receive a drawing ticket for a chance to win a big prize for your generosity at the event.

It has been rumored that St. Nick will be making a stop by the Trails as well for you photo opportunities with the big guy.

It all starts at 8:30 pm with admission only $15.00. The Trails End is located at 1320 Main Street in Oregon City.

Blues Music Award winner Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band will help you say goodbye to 2016 with a heaping helping of original blues, blues-rock, and R&B when they are joined by special guest International Blues Challenge’s best guitarist award winner Ben Rice! It will all take place at Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Avenue on Friday, December 30 at 8:00 pm.

Lisa Mann Blues Music Awards - photo by Greg JohnsonLisa Mann has been inducted in the Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Fame, has won Blues Blast’s Sean Costello Rising Star Award and received the Blues Music Award for best bassist two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. Mann’s voice effortlessly straddles the line between the honey sweet warmth of the South, and the force-of-nature sound that she has cultivated by mastering everything from rock to Memphis soul.  Her Really Good Band is made up of a trio of the finest blues musicians in Portland, with guitarist Jason “JT” Thomas, drummer Michael Ballash and keyboard master Pat McDougall. Mann’s latest release, Hard Times, Bad Decisions was named as the Northwest Best Recording by the members of the Cascade Blues Association.

Ben Rice

Ben Rice

Ben Rice is also one of the Northwest rising artists as he has continuously been touring around the country with both Lisa Mann and Karen Lovely as well as with his own outfit. Renowned locally as one of the area’s best guitarists and vocalists, he recently received two Muddy Awards from the Cascade Blues Association in November.

Tickets for this incredible night are available in advance through for $12.00 general admission and $15.00 reserved seating.

thunder-brothers-press-photoTwo Muddy Award winning acts will supply a double header at The Trails End Saloon with the Thunder Brothers and Ben Rice. On the heels of their highly successful show at the venue in October, they were quickly booked again. Now, the Thunder Brothers will be celebrating the release of their eponymous titled EP and their recent Best New Act Muddy Award. Michael Quinby, Doug Rowell, Timmer Blakely, and Edwin Coleman III are ready to tear up the stage and bring the crowd to their feet with their brand of power blues.

Opening the night will be an acoustic set by Ben Rice, who also recently was awarded two Muddys for Best Traditional and Best Contemporary Blues Act. He’ll be going solo for this event, showcasing the guitar prowess that earned him the St Blues Guitar Award at the International Blues Challenge in 2015.Ben Rice and Illamatics - Cascade Blues Association

The Trails End is located at 1320 Main Street in Oregon City. Show time starts at 8:30 pm with a $10.00 admission. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so be sure to show your current membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount.

Crime-A-Billy Christmas

strange-tonesThe Strange Tones continue their holiday tradition by bringing an all new Crime-A-Billy Christmas for the holiday season. This year the band will present two shows bringing back all their friends, plus a new Strange Tones “vintage” TV special titled “A Mysterious Encounter on Crime-A-Billy Mountain.”

Count on catching the band starring Suburban Slim, Guitar Julie, Andy Strange and Andy Gauthier with the Volcano Snow Vixens, Jim Wallace, Tracey Fordice, Randy Yearout, Jim Toussaint, Elvin Alfred Priestly, the giant Gingerbread Men, nutcrackers and maybe even a surprise visit from a jolly man dressed in red.

The first show will take place at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd in Portland, on Friday, December 9, starting at 8:30 pm. Admission is $12.00 and can be purchased in advance through This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so show your current membership card at the door for a $2.00 discount. Also consider bringing two cans of food for donation to the Oregon Food Bank.

The second show happens on Saturday, December 17 at 9:00 pm at the Skyway Bar & Grill, 71545 E Highway 26 (milepost 43) in Zigzag. Admission is $15.00.

lloyd-jones-press-photoPortland’s iconic bluesman Lloyd Jones will be helping to bring in the holidays right this year with a special happening at Jimmy Mak’s on Saturday, December 17. Two complete concerts that’ll find Mr. Jones “Singing with Santa’s Sweet Angels.” And angels they truly are, bringing two of Portland’s most beloved female singers, 2016 Muddy Award winner LaRhonda Steele and two-time Blues Music Award winner Lisa Mann, alongside Teresa James, making the trip to the Rose City from Los Angeles just for this occasion. Each of these ladies as well as Lloyd Jones are fantastic performers and vocalists who can offer gospel inspiration as well as soulful, bluesy and rockin’ good times. Filling out the band for the night will be Muddy Award winning drummer Brian Foxworth, who can also bring audience to ecstasy with his singing, and the incomparable Louis “King Louie” Pain on keyboards.

Two shows in one night, the first beginning at 7:30 pm and the second at 10:00 pm. Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th Avenue. Tickets can be purchased in advance through for $12.00 reserved seating and $10.00 general admission. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so use the code CBA when ordering tickets online for a $1.00 discount.

Don’t miss this one-time gathering of incredible talent, as they bring you their best Holiday Cheer!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, Portland
Wednesday, December 7 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00 (NOTE: THIS WILL INCREASE TO $5.00 IN JANUARY 2017)
Opening Acoustic Set – David Brothers
Second Electric Set – The Pining Hearts

It’s December everybody, which means this is one of the most important membership meetings of the year as we will be holding the election to determine who will hold the officer positions for your Cascade Blues Association’s Board of Directors. Make sure that you bring your current membership card to receive a ballot to cast your choices.

Aside from this once-a-year occurrence, we’re still going to have a night filled with friends and music, and we’ll be offering two sets featuring acts that we are sure to both entertain you and surprise you. And yet there is something else that is truly special about this month. It is the CBA’s 30th anniversary, noting the month that the original founders filed papers with the State creating the organization as a non-profit business promoting, supporting, and preserving the blues and blues-related music. Thanks to all of you for helping keep the CBA alive for all these years.

David Brothers press photoOpening the meeting will be a set by David Brothers, a critically acclaimed entertainer and composer, who combines urban folk and blues to create a sound distinctively his own. Playing his original material, David mixes the influences of John Coltrane, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Django Reinhart, and John Fahey in his technique, style, and approach. He first began performing professionally as a teenager in Fort Worth, Texas, inspired by the likes of Leon Rouche (Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys) and Dave Milsap (Delbert McClinton’s band). Following his move to Portland, Brothers was the recipient of the Cascade Blues Association’s Christopher Mesi Memorial Scholarship. Brothers has performed with many of the Pacific Northwest’s most elite musicians and has released several solo and group albums over the years that have earned praise by critics, DJs and fans.

Joining David Brothers for his set will be bassist Rob Busey, who has worked over the years with acts like the Ken DeRouchie Band, Al Perez, and The Newport Symphony. He has also performed with Miss America Katie Harman, Tommy Tutone, Judy Collins, The Vancouver Symphony and The Oregon Chambers Players. Busey’s rock solid bass work will surely enhance Brothers exquisite guitar playing.

For the second set of the night we welcome a newer act in the area, The Pining Hearts. They are a psych-rock band out of Portland, OR and Austin, TX featuring Kivett Bednar from Land of the Living and more recently Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers alongside Eddie Steele from the progressive funk band Entendre Entendre. The pair started jamming in late 2015, and The Pining Hearts officially became a band in March of 2016. The group has appeared at the Alberta Street Pub and Twilight Cafe to sold-out crowds. The originals coming out of the group are rhythmic and upbeat, but in the same breath have a dark surf vibe that leaves you thinking of the ocean at night. Yet you also know that with Bednar’s background there will be a deep bluey approach as well. The group is currently working on a new EP that is scheduled for release in early.

We’ll do our regular give-aways, announcements and winner-take-all CD raffle throughout the night, and before everything is over we’ll let you know who your new officers will be for 2017. Please join us in the very exciting night. It is always so much better when we have so many friends and blues fans with us every month.

Wayne Harrel

Ten years after his untimely death, the much-loved and dearly-missed Paul deLay returns to Portland when playwright Wayne Harrel presents a concert reading of a new musical featuring dozens of deLay’s songs and the story of his redemptive rise from addiction to adulation.

Just This One premieres Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta Street, with a full cast of top local blues performers, including LaRhonda Steele, Lisa Mann, Saeeda Wright, Hank Shreve, and Dave Fleschner, and starring international blues singer Sugaray Rayford.

The event is a co-production with Northwest Theatre Workshop, with additional support from the Cascade Blues Association and United By Music, North America.

Paul deLay (1952-2007) was born and raised in Milwaukie, Oregon. He was a tremendous musician of unfocused potential, until a 1990 drug bust changed his life – for good. Then his harmonica, singing and songwriting prowess soared to national and international acclaim, despite serving time at Sheridan Penitentiary or, as Paul said, “My 41-month federally funded artist’s retreat.”

deLay was a founding member of Portland’s renowned blues scene and his songs are treasured for their poignantly humorous lyrics and jazzed-up, cliché-free melodies. Jerry Portnoy, harmonica player for Eric Clapton, says, “His songwriting is phenomenal – absolutely some of the best stuff I ever heard. He moved me.”

Portland playwright Wayne Harrel agrees. The two-time Oregon Book Award nominee is a longtime fan of deLay’s music and admires its lyrical transparency. The loneliness, the substance abuse, the joy of true love — deLay lays it out with a wink and a tear:

“It’s like she’s Lucy holding the football / and I’m like poor ol’ Charlie Brown. / Not hard to figure out / what’s goin’ down.”

“When I first heard that lyric,” says Harrel, “the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I thought, ‘This is a show!’” Since then, he’s woven deLay’s best songs into a night’s concert that captures the breadth of Paul’s amazing journey from addiction to adulation.

Telling that story on stage are some of the region’s – and nation’s – best blues performers. Leading off is Texas native Sugaray Rayford. Portland Center Stage audiences experienced Sugaray in 2012’s It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, and the Cascade Blues Association voted his 2014 Waterfront Blues Festival performance the Blues Performance of the Year and his 2015 recording Southside won for Best National Recording. Sugaray has been nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards, including B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, and now headlines blues festivals internationally.

Joining Sugaray are three outstanding local singers. Portland’s own Lisa Mann has topped Sugaray with two Blues Music Awards herself, and has won so many CBA Muddy Awards she’s now in their Hall of Fame. Her latest recording Hard Times, Bad Decisions is under consideration for a Grammy and was chosen as the Muddy recipient for Northwest Recording of the Year, and she tours regularly from Oregon to Florida. Lisa also played bass with Paul on occasion, back in the day.

LaRhonda Steele is Portland’s First Lady of the Blues. She’s the current CBA Female Vocalist of the Year, and DownBeat magazine recently featured her new album Rock Me Baby, which she created with Paul deLay’s favorite organist Louis Pain.

Saeeda Wright is a rising star on the Portland scene, now that she’s returned from touring with, and then honoring, Prince. A singer, songwriter, and speaker of great passion, Mama Sae always seeks to love, encourage, and inspire.

Backing this vocal combo is a powerhouse band led by Dave Fleschner, the hardest-working composer-arranger-performer-director in town. His album The Blues Cabaret was recently featured in a full concert performance with the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, and is the foundation of a new musical called Buried Fire. Dave’s a composition instructor at Clackamas Community College, music director for United By Music North America, toured with Curtis Salgado for years, and is a regular performer in multiple groups in Portland.

Joining Dave is self-proclaimed “harp nerd” Hank Shreve, the one dude Paul’s old band mates say can play like the master. Following this gig, Hank’s going to Memphis with his own CBA Muddy Award-winning band to compete in the International Blues Challenge.

Rounding out the band are Carlton Jackson on drums and Freddy Trujillo on bass.

This all-star cast will perform two dozen of deLay’s signature tunes, including “Worn Out Shoe,” “Chalk and Roll,” “Ocean of Tears,” “Remember Me,” and “I Win”. And they’ll share them as part of a dramatic story that unfolds during a single night’s concert at the fictional Muddy’s Bar and Grill in Portland, Oregon.

They’ll also be joined for a brief set by the amazing performers from United By Music North America, a performance-based program for musically talented people with development and intellectual challenges and delays. Pianist Dave Fleschner is also music director for UBM, and says its Halloween benefit performance with Bobby Rush at the Lakewood Theatre brought the house down.

Just This One was created with the full cooperation and support of the Paul deLay estate and the Paul deLay Band, including key members Peter Dammann, Louis Pain, Dan Fincher, and John Mazzocco.

The Saturday, January 21 concert performance at the Alberta Rose Theatre is presented as a celebration of a Portland original. Paul’s birthday is January 31 – he’d be 65 – and this marks the 10th anniversary of his death.

The public is welcome to this 7:30 pm performance, including minors when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available in advance for $20.00 -$35.00 at CBA members will receive a $2 discount by using the codeword “CBA” when pre-ordering, or by presenting their membership card at the door.

Thank You

Beginning this month in BluesNotes, the Cascade Blues Association will recognize the dedicated volunteers who stepped up during the previous month to assist at our events.

The CBA would like to extend a huge thank you to the following individuals who volunteered their time to help us out at this year’s Muddy Awards. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated:

Adam Carter
Carol Hamley
Cathy Merge-Martin
Rick Martin
Susan Johnson
Jon Pierce

The Cascade Blues Association’s 28th Annual Muddy Awards was held on Wednesday, November 2 at The Melody Ballroom to once again another full house of fans and musicians. Honoring those acts, performers, venues, events, recordings and performances who helped raise the bar on the Northwest’s blues scene over the past year in twenty-two categories.

Dave Kahl - "Paul deLay" Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dave Kahl – “Paul deLay” Lifetime Achievement Award.

Three artists were big winners taking home two awards each: Andy Stokes for the “Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist and the “Lloyd Jones” R&B Act; the Ben Rice Band taking both the Contemporary and Traditional Blues Act awards; and Dave Kahl for the Bass award and the biggest honor of the night, the “Paul deLay” Lifetime Achievement.

Dave Kahl’s award noted not only his career as a bass player with a multitude of acts including the Paul deLay Band, Fiona Boyes & The Fortune Tellers, and the Ty Curtis Band, but also due to his tireless work to bring together the music community, seeking recognition from the City and means to make finding and connecting outlets for musicians through such efforts as

The Back What You Believe In Award was presented to CBA Vice President Wendy Schumer. This award notes those in a non-musician role that has made an impact. Wendy’s tireless efforts with the BluesNotes, various CBA events such as the Muddy Awards, a monthly blues emailing and daily posting of events in our area are just a few of the things that she has made her mark with.

The top CDs of the year were awarded to Lisa Mann for the Northwest Album of the Year with Hard Times, Bad Decisions and the National Recording of the Year also stayed at home with Curtis Salgado taking the prize for The Beautiful Lowdown.

Mitch Kashmar was also recognized for the Harmonica Award for the third consecutive year, placing him into the Muddy Awards Hall of Fame.

The Muddy Awards always has terrific music on hand and as tradition goes, we present sets from our Journey To Memphis winners. Band winners Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers opened the night and solo/duo winner David Pinsky played a mid-awards set bringing surprise guest Ben Rice for a dual acoustic guitar performance.

Every year the night closes with a Muddy All Star Band made up of past and present Muddy Award nominees and recipients. This year’s band leader was Ken DeRouchie who was handed the reigns to put together a group for the night, and he came through big time. The All Stars included Arietta Ward, Ben Turner, Brian Harris, Chris Lay, Dave Fleschner, David Chachere, Doug Rowell, Edwin Coleman III, Jeff Knudson, Jimi Bott, Lisa Mann, Noah Bell, Pat McDougall, Pete Petersen, Peter Dammann, Peter Moss, Rae Gordon, Rob Busey, and Timmer Blakely.

A big thanks goes out to The Melody Ballroom, Affordable Trophies, JBL Sound, Big Screen Productions, Cedar House Media, Photographer Tony Kutter, the CBA Board of Directors and all the volunteers who helped make this event happen, and to our membership, without whom none of this could occur.

Please note that we are aware that there were problems with the online balloting that we began this year. It is a first effort and we knew that there would be glitches. Thanks to CBA webmaster Buko and Wendy Schumer for assisting those who needed an extra hand getting their votes entered. We will make improvements next year on the process. But when it was all said and done, we actually received more returns for the final ballot than we have averaged over the past five years.

2016 Cascade Blues Association Muddy Award Recipients

Contemporary Blues Act: Ben Rice Band

Traditional Blues Act: Ben Rice Band

“Lloyd Jones” R&B Act: Andy Stokes

New Act: Thunder Brothers

Regional Blues Act: Hank Shreve Band

“Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist: Andy Stokes

“Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist: LaRhonda Steele

Electric Guitar: Alan Hager

“Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar: Mary Flower

Bass: Dave Kahl

Harmonica: Mitch Kashmar

Keyboards: Steve Kerin

“Jimi Bott” Drums: Brian Foxworth

Horns: Peter Moss

Venue: The Lake Theater & Café

“The Hurley Award”: Barry McKinley

NW Event of the Year: United By Music North America at The Hotel Rose

NW Recording: Lisa Mann – Hard Times, Bad Decisions

National Recording: Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown

Performance of the Year: (Tie) Kevin Selfe Buy My Soul Back CD Release Party at The Bossanova Ballroom / Karen Lovely at the Waterfront Blues Festival

Back What You Believe In Award: Wendy Schumer

Lifetime Achievement: Dave Kahl

New Muddy Hall of Fame inductee: Mitch Kashmar