by Wendy Schumer
Saturday night after enjoying an hour or so of the great jam at Hotel 50 we strolled over to the Marriott to enjoy the RRFB. The room was pleasantly full, not too crowded, and the music was great, as expected. What wasn’t expected was the surprise performance by a random musician in the audience. About ¾’s of the way through the show Robert picked up one of the many guitars on the stage and held it out to the crowd. This was immediately following the hip-shaking of about 20 women dancing on stage so needless to say the security guards were nervous about more audience participation. To everyone’s surprise the guy who took the guitar from Robert could REALLY play. Robert then invited him up on stage and even got up from his pedal slide to play with him. So who was this random musician? I had to find out.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jeffree White after the show and today spent some time chatting with him to find out more. Jeffree came to the after hours show in hopes of being picked to play. I have since learned that Robert does this for many of his shows. And when Robert offered the guitar out to the audience Jeffree jumped at the chance to play. And play he did!
It appears that Jeffree is no stranger to the music community here in Portland albeit blues hasn’t been his focus. Back in the 90’s he resided in Eugene and played regularly at the Rooster Blues Jams – even being selected to play in the Roosters All-Star Jams. If you were around then you would know that this is a big deal. Add to that, his singer, songwriting, electric and acoustic workshops and the numerous bands he plays in – he certainly was in the right place at the right time on Saturday night. His dream was to play with Robert – and now that dream has been realized. It was so exciting to see him float off that stage I just had to write a little something about it to share with our Bluesnotes readers. After speaking with Jeffree he said he’ll work to focus more on blues and maybe even get a chance to perform for one of our CBA membership meetings.
Jeffree currently has about 8 on-going projects but the two he asked me to reference here were Thermal Boogie and Train River. You can catch Thermal Boogie on August 9th at Biddy McGraws, 6000 NE Glisan. Train River plays at Biddy McGraws on the 3rd Thursdays of the month. www.jeffreewhite.com