Greetings Blues Friends,
On behalf of the board of Cascade Zydeco, Happy New Year! Cascade Zydeco is happy to be a new member of CBA. Like CBA, Cascade Zydeco is a non-profit 501(c) (3) and like CBA, entirely run by volunteers. Zydeco is the kissing cousin of the blues and our connections to the blues in the Portland Metro area run deep; we are there with you and other blues fans from all over the country every summer at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, filling the dance floor in front of the Front Porch Stage at the annual ‘Swamp Romp’ and the Cascade Zydeco booth (like CBA) greets hundreds of visitors from all over the country each year during the best party on the west coast! We have an exciting new partnership with Brad Lehrer and the Lehrer Pub; hosting two Sunday afternoon gigs with the Too Loose Zydeco/Cajun Band in November and December and like they say in Louisiana, everyone ‘passed a good time’! We invite blues fans to check out our weekly CD zydeco dance lessons and DJ dance parties and come around when we host a live band; next up is Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble at the Lehrer on Wednesday evening January 28. Check out our website at www.cascadezydeco.com and like us on Facebook!
Cascade Zydeco President
First things first: A shout out and big ‘Thank You!’ to Steve and Beverly at The Blue Diamond for keeping the music rolling SEVEN nights a week in a town with a bazillion musicians and only a handful or three of cool clubs out there bringin’ on the Blues!
So, on that flatted 5th note, I’m extremely happy and humbled to be hosting Blue Tuesdays there EVERY week!
I am so spoiled to get killer guest musicians I rarely if EVER get a chance to play with otherwise, and January is LOOKIN’ GOOD (as Magic Sam might say…)
On Tuesday 1/6, it’s my band, The LIVEWIRES kickin’ off the New Year. Then, 1/13 will feature the greasy, soulful Keys of DAVE FLESCHNER…1/20 has my very good friend KEVIN SELFE and I trading T-Bone Walker and Guitar Slim licks, and to round out the Cool Blues of January, 1/27 will feature a certain PETER DAMMANN schooling me on the fine art of playing matching Gibson ES-330’s on stage…
Now do y’all see why I’m so spoiled? Big thanks to all these fine musicians for saying ‘Yes’ when they coulda said otherwise! All shows are from 8:30 to 11:30pm, every Tuesday at The Blue Diamond, and NO COVER.
And one last-but-definitely-not-least thing— I know the ‘big’ party nights are the weekends, so head on down to HALIBUT’S on FRIDAY Jan. 23rd to listen to the LIVEWIRES doing our best to bring it, 8 to 11pm. See ya soon-
Bill Rhoades & the Party Kings
If you didn’t get enough music on New Years Eve, we’ll be starting out 2015 with a bang. There’s a two night blues show at Duff’s Garage on January 2, and January 3, that will feature two of the biggest names in Portland Blues.
On Friday, Jan. 2, “the Italian Chainsaw” guitarist Jim Mesi will appear, backed up by Bill Rhoades & the Party Kings. Jim has been one of the main fixtures of Portland Blues for over 40+ years. Having played in Brown Sugar, Paul deLay Band and his own Jim Mesi Band, he has been recognized as one of the leading guitarists in the Northwest and has received accolades from B.B. King, Les Paul and many other worldwide. He has also received numerous awards and is known among his peers as “one of the Best guitarists out there!”
On Saturday, Jan. 3, “the Boogie Cat” guitarist/vocalist Norman Sylvester will appear backed up by Bill Rhoades & the Party Kings. Norman is another local Bluesman, who has been responsible for for the resurgence of Blues, R&B, Soul and Gospel in the Northwest. Norman is also an award winning musician and fronts one of the tightest units in the area. With his “Musical Family” Norman has spread the word of good sounds and many of the top players in the Northwest have been through his bands. An added bonus on this night will be the addition of Norman’s longtime Bassman Rob Shoemaker.
On both nights, Bill Rhoades & the Party Kings will be playing their own Northwest sounds plus backing up the two special guests. Bill Rhoades is an award winning harmonica player and vocalist. With Newell C Briggs (formerly of Curtis Salgado & the Stillettos, African Kings and many others) on guitar; Katy “May” Angel (Alan Hager Group) on bass; and Jolie Clausen (Norman Sylvester Band) on drums, it will be two nights of “The Real Thing” blues music. Blues Revue magazine called their first recording Don’t Lose Your Kool, the “ultimate party album!”
So, right after New Years Eve, Friday & Saturday Jan. 2 & 3, kick off 2015 the right way with some of the best the Northwest has to offer. 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight both nights with a$10.00 cover. Live at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd St, Portland. Two blues greats, Jim Mesi and Norman Sylvester with Bill Rhoades & the Party Kings.
Tracey Fordice and the 8-Balls
Hello Blues Lovers,
All we can say is look out Memphis! We are on our way, representing the Ashland Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge. This will be a new, exciting, and rewarding experience, and we are looking forward to have a great time, hearing great music, meeting many new and old friends and networking! Oh yeah, our guitarist, Randy Yearout, wrote a new tune for Tracey to sing which will be part of our IBC set. It’s called “Left Us in Memphis”.
Here’s the lyrics, hope you like it:
I wanna tell you all a story
About this band of mine
And how we flew out from the west coast
Multnomah County line
Now that our feet’s down here in Memphis
We’ll have a real good time
We play the music of Chicago
And Mississippi too
Marched in the Jazz of Louisiana
They got the Mojo Krewe
But now we’re standing here in Memphis
Playing the Blues for you
You know we love the streets of Portland
Although the skies are grey
When the sun shines in the Northwest
That’s where we love to play
But if they left us in Memphis
Well that would be ok
Our work continues on our CD project, slow but sure! We want it to be a worthy contribution to the Blues music that is currently being produced, so we are taking our time. We’ll have EP demos available in Memphis though, so if you see us there, ask for one!
In addition we are still playing gigs around town, some new venues for us (Byno’s in Vancouver & Halibut’s in North Portland), as well as many long standing venues. Be sure to join us at one or more this month. The HOT JAM at the Lehrer is drawing record numbers of super talented jammers! Be sure to come out and support this great jam, as the players that appear are some of the best around!
Finally, we also want to mention that Randy Yearout and Tracey Fordice are now engaged to be married!
Blues to you!
Tracey Fordice and the 8-Ball
For anybody who may be headed to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, here is an event you may be interested in. My photographer friend Jenn Ocken from Baton Rouge, LA and myself have collaborated on a new book titled Blues on Beale Street, Memoirs of the International Blues Challenge. This book documents the growth of the IBC over the past decade through photos and stories as told by the musicians, volunteers, fans and staff themselves. On Thursday, January 22nd, we will be holding a special VIP party and book release at a venue to be determined, beginning at 2:00 pm. Tickets to the event are $30.00 or a pair for $50.00, but this does not include the book, but you will be able to purchase a copy there. The event will include a special performance by IBC winners Sean Carney and Jonn Del Toro Richardson. This will be the only location and time that you will be able to have your books signed by both Jenn and myself. Tickets for this event, copies of the book and many other special perks to help us cover the printing expenses are still available at documentingblues.com. 20% of all pre-sales will be donated to The Blues Foundation’s Generation Blues program offering scholarships and educational opportunities for kids to attend blues camps and workshops at many events around the country.