Entries by Greg Johnson

Muddy Award Nomination Ballots Have Been Sent – A Few Helpful Tips

Your first round Muddy Award ballots for nominating your favorite acts, performers, performances, and venues should have arrived at every members’ home by the time you read this. Remember, this is your opportunity to decide who ends up on the final ballot. If you do not nominate, do not complain about who is on that final ballot. This is a majority result of all the ballots received to select the top three vote getters. If there is a tie in any category that results in more than three, we will include all. The Board of Directors does not make the …

2014 Muddy Awards – Northwest Performance & Event Considerations

Here is a list of performances and events that occured between September 2013 and August 2014 that you can use for considering nominations for the Muddy Awards for Performance of the Year and Northwest Event of the Year. This is not necessarily all-inclusive, so let us know if you see something missing.

We do list every local musicians’ performances as that would amount to quite a bit of space, and how would we determine one show over another. Overall performances by an act should be considered under the various catagories for individual achievement such as Contemporary Blues Act, R&B Act, …

2014 Muddy Award Considerations – Northwest Recordings

Here is a list of CDs by regional artists that we are aware of that were released in the Northwest from September 2013 through August 2014 that are eligible for nominations for this year’s Muddy Awards. This list may not be all-inclusive, so if you see anything missing let us know.

Alan Hager & Dave Fleschner Live From The Vault
Arthur Migliazza Laying It Down
Big Monti Dangling From A Rope
Bonepickers Strollin’
Chris Lord & Cheatin’ River Chunkabilly Blues
Duffy Bishop Find Your Way Home
Ellen Whyte & The Blackbird Flyers Good Luck Charm
Frank E.

Topcat Records 20th Anniversary Blues Extravaganza!

Topcat Records 20th Anniversary CD coverVarious Artists

Topcat Records

Topcat Records celebrates their twentieth anniversary by releasing this wonderful two-disc set that focuses on musicians from Texas as well as presenting some of the legendary artists of the genre who have had material released under the label’s name. It is filled with roadhouse blues, traditional and classic live recordings that document just how vital the music under their brand has been.

Texas musicians take the front seat in this collection, many you may know or are just hearing about here. They are all worthy of inclusion. Important pieces of the scene within Topcat’s Dallas home …

Ramblings On My Mind

ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

It’s already mid-July as I write this column. What? The summer is half-over and it seems like it just begun. So much happening around Portland and the area it is next to impossible to keep up with it all. As I sit here behind my computer screen, I am seeing photos and notices reported from shows all around town happening just tonight. It makes your spin, and it is not slowing down any come August.

One thing I do want to say, though is, enough is enough. Two months and two of Portland’s blues icons …

Duffy Bishop Farewell Performance At Duff’s Garage

A message from guitarist Chris Carlson, “Yes, I’m goin’ down in Florida, where the sun shines damn near every day…Yeah, I’ll take my woman out on the beach fellas, and sit down on the sand and play.”

He may be quoting Muddy Waters, but Carlson grew up in Northern Florida and the time has come where he and his wife Duffy Bishop have decided to make the move down to the Southeastern corner of the country.

Now, now, do not get too overly upset just yet. The plan is that they will move down at the end of September and …

Vaneese Thomas

W166-OUTLINED-REV-APRIL15Blues For My Father
Segue Records

Here is another example of the apple not falling too far from the tree. Vaneese Thomas is the daughter of famed Memphis icon and bluesman Rufus Thomas and the sister of Carla and Marvell, both who have also set a permanent marker in the music world with their own contributions. Vaneese is a terrific vocalist and proves herself on this outing as a strong songwriter, penning ten of the twelve selections.

Though she has lived in New York City, her music maintains a knack for the sounds of pure Memphis soul and R&B. If …

Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival Hosts Coco Montoya, Blind Boys Of Alabama

The 17th Annual Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival is scheduled to happen Friday, August 22nd through Sunday, August 24th at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Tickets are available in advance through the festival’s website at www.vancouverwinejazz.com. Several headliners are scheduled to perform, though the line-up is not complete as of BluesNotes deadline. Blues-related artists this year include The Blind Boys Of Alabama on Friday night, and Coco Montoya and The Heritage Blues Orchestra on Sunday. Other acts include Lee Ritenour, Stanley Jordan, Don McLean and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Please check their website for further updated …

MARY FLOWER: CD Release Show Aug. 24 at Secret Society Ballroom

The Local Show:

Sunday Aug 24: Secret Society Ballroom, 116 NE Russell, Portland

7 pm/Tickets $10 at the door

Press Release:


When My Bluebird Sings is Mary Flower’s 10th release, this time on her own label, Bluesette Records. Mary says this about her new, all solo CD: “This CD is a departure stylistically from my previous recordings. The CD is a mix of lap slide instrumentals and guitar pieces with vocals, all original. Some of these tunes have been rumbling around in my head for quite a while and seemed well-suited for a solo project. Many of …


Wumbloozo CD coverHouse Money
Delta Baby Music

Every now and then I have a CD passed on to me by a band I am not familiar with that really catches my ear. At this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival a disc from the Los Angeles-based band Wumbloozo came in my direction and when I gave it a listen I was immediately ensnared by the instrumentation and stories that their songs relayed.

The tunes are all originals filled with down on their luck individuals written by guitarist/vocalist Michael Richard. They’re moved along by nice, tasty string work from Richard accompanied effectively by guitarist Gary …