Entries by Greg Johnson


Jimmy Mak’s Presents The Blues Cabaret featuring Dave Fleschner, Earl Thomas & members of PGMC

Jimmy Mak’s, Portland’s premier jazz and blues venue, presents The Blues Cabaret on Thursday, August 21st. This is a program featuring all original blues compositions by Dave Fleschner, which will feel right at home in the classic supper club environment of Jimmy Mak’s. This show will include one of the West Coast’s finest blues vocalists Earl Thomas, along with soloists from the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus singing music that brings the classic blues themes of love, lust, fear and betrayal to an off-Broadway atmosphere.

The show combines the grittiest elements of the blues with the nuance of jazz. …

Twin Bill of Rockin’ Blues At The Birk with Toney Rocks and Jared James Nichols

On Friday, August 8th, The Birk will be featuring a double-headed bill of some of today’s rising stars in the blues, Toney Rocks and Jared James Nichols. For this special event, showtime starts at 6:30 and will run until midnight. Drop in early for dinner, enjoy the rustic setting and stay all night for a blues party.

Currently promoting his self-titled EP, Toney Rocks dives into the abyss of progressive blues rock music, pushing the culture forward by delivering a bold hybrid peppered with electronic elements. He isn’t just another guitar slinging bluesman. Toney Rocks’ conscious penmanship reveals …

Nikki Hill Returns For Two Great Shows

Those who have seen Nikki Hill sing her ass off agree—this isn’t just another newcomer on the scene, this is a ‘whiplash’ moment. Hill and her band are climbing to the top of the roots music scene step by step and leaving jaws on the floor along the way. With a no-filter energy, they take all the flavors of American roots music and deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock and roll again! Nikki’s gritty and raw voice with Stax soul dynamics, driving rhythm guitar from Matt Hill, and a tight rhythm section provided by Ed Strohsahl …

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Waterfront Blues Festival Hosts The CBA’s Journey To Memphis Finals, Rae Gordon Band Declared Winners

The Cascade Blues Association held the finals for the 15th annual Journey To Memphis competition on July 4th at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Four finalists selected by our judges scoring at the first round held at The Lehrer in early June, faced off against one another in the hot summer afternoon before three new judges. This year’s overall competition was without doubt one of the strongest fields ever, top to bottom. Covering a wide diversity of blues styles, twelve acts started out and four remained at the Festival.

One of the three was a solo/duo act, David Pinsky …


What’s on Tap for August’s General Membership Meeting . . .

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday, August 6th, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – Non-members $3.00

Opening Acoustic Set – Root Cellar

Second Electric Set – Gabriel Cox


August’s Cascade Blues Association’s General Membership Meeting is going to be quite exciting. We will be presenting two acts at completely different takes on the blues. One taking on the earliest patterns of the music and the second the new rootsy rock direction that crosses over genres.

Root Cellar is an authentic jug band that recalls the times when such bands played on street corners and parks …

Mike Eldred Trio / Hank Shreve Band Double Header At Duff’s Garage

Mike Eldred has been tagged with the title of “The Best Unknown Guitarist” by none other than former Stray Cat Brian Setzer. He goes on to say, “Mike Eldred is among the rare breed of guitarists who is not afraid of blurring lines in American Music. By bending all of his favorite musical styles, Mike has created his own original voice in modern electric guitar playing. He’s what it’s all about, Baby!”

Eldred has worked as guitarist in the band of another former Stray Cat, Lee Rocker. Joined by rhythm section John Bazz and Jerry Angel, both who cut their …

2014 Groovin’ On The Grass Concert Features Superb Double Bill with the Robert Cray Band and Shemekia Copeland

The Tualatin Valley Park & Recreation District proudly presents their annual date-night showcase, Groovin’ on the Grass, on Saturday, August 9th. This year’s featured performers is a blues lovers’ dream with two of the hottest acts on the circuit today, The Robert Cray Band and Shemekia Copeland, appearing for the low, low price of just $5.00! And kids under 5 are free.

Robert Cray broke out nationally from the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1980s and has steadily been atop the blues world ever since, earning Grammys, Blues Music Awards and induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. Along the way …

Israel’s Ori Naftaly Band Make Portland Debut

In a very short time this extremely talented band has gained international recognition and support by the international blues community and by an extended fan base, located in the USA, Holland, India, Germany and other countries all over the world. The first Israeli band to reach the semi-finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2013 as well as out-selling every act at the IBC for CD sales, this band is all about energy and soul. Living in the United States the past year on a work visa, the band has been residing in Memphis and winning over audiences …

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Portland Mourns The Loss Of Bluesman Mel Solomon

The Cascade Blues Association is saddened once again with the loss of one of our most beloved performers in the Portland area, Mel Solomon. Mel passed away on June 23rd, just days shy of his 81st birthday, after following a long battle with diabetes.

Mel Solomon moved to the Portland area in the early 1970s and worked at Freightliner until retiring in 1985 when he decided to pursue a renewed career in music. He was surrounded by music growing up in Louisiana and worked in many bands as a young man, moving from locations like Chicago, Dallas …

Kalama Blues Festival, Saturday, August 2nd

kalama bfThe Third Annual Kalama Blues Festival will take place on Saturday, August 2nd along the waterfront at the Port of Kalama’s Marina Park on Hendrickson Drive. Just a short 45 minute drive north of Portland, this event helps support Kalama Helping Hands feed the region’s hungry.

This year’s festival will feature some of the finest blues acts from the Portland area with Ellen Whyte, Norman Sylvester, Kevin Selfe, Bolt Upright and The Bottleneck Blues Band.

Gates open at noon and admission is $8.00 plus two cans of food. Those under 15 are free with two cans of food. Music …