At a recent Chicago Blues Festival, following the passing of Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland was proclaimed the new “Queen of the Blues.” With her passion and energy that she gives forth with every performance, there can be no question that she well deserves the title.

Born as a legacy of the blues, the daughter of the late guitarist Johnny Copeland, Shemekia found herself gracing stages at a young age with her father. She learned her skills by a baptism of fire on these stages and she learned quite well as she has been graced with many awards over the years, including Blues Music Award and Grammy nominations. There is a lot of power with her vocals that come from deep within her, one listen and she will make you a believer as well.

Shemekia Copeland is currently touring on the merits of her latest CD, 33 1/3 and will be returning to Portland for a night at Jimmy Mak’s (221 NW 10th) on Friday, May 3rd for an 8:00 pm show. Tickets are $18 for advance reserved seating and $15 general admission. Tickets can be purchased

Franco Paletta and The Stingers will be having a release party for their latest album, I Like It Just Like That, on Friday, May 10th, at the Muddy Award winning Trail’s End Saloon, 1320 Main Street in Oregon City. You will have a chance to hear some of the fantastic music they took with them to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and to be able to take it home with you, too. There will be a raffle for prizes and CDs and the venue will have specials on selected food and drinks. Plus, you have a chance to be a part of the live video the band will be recording that night.

The cover for admission to this incredible night is only $8.00. But wait, if you are a current CBA member just show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount as this is a CBA co-sponsored event. Showtime is 9:00 pm. As Franco and the band say, “Catch a Blues Buzz.” Coming out to celebrate their new disc at The Trails End is the perfect way to do so!

The Soul of John Black press photoJohn “J.B.” Bingham has a fairly diverse background having worked with bands like Everlast, Fishbone and jazz great Miles Davis. Influenced by the soul-blues and doo-wop he heard as a child growing up in Chicago, then hearing the guitar power of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, and combining the grooves of Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker, Bingham has created his own unique funky blend of blues, soul, rock and hip-hop. It is visionary music combining everything he loves that he performs under the name of The Soul of John Black. Aside from being a guitarist of merit, Bingham is also a skilled songwriter and performer.

Touring in support of his latest Yellow Dog Records release, A Sunshine State Of Mind, The Soul Of John Black will be appearing in Portland at Duff’s Garage (1635 SE 7th) on Friday, May 10th for a 9:00 pm show. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure you show your current membership card at the door to receive a $1.00 discount on admission.

Take one red-hot horn section – we’re talkin’ alto, tenor, baritone saxes and trombone – down and dirty. Add liberal amounts of barrelhouse boogie-woogie piano and stinging Fender guitar. Pour over a funky and swinging rhythm section that Blues Review magazine called “the best in the business”, and top it all off with a crazy and charismatic front man, Eddie Scheer, with one of the biggest blues voices around. Season with a few years on the road tearing up juke joints, festivals and concert halls across the U.S. and Canada and on both sides of the Atlantic. Sound tasty? It’s a recipe for music and mayhem, for intensity and irreverence; it’s The Love Dogs.

Based out of Boston, this hard blowing septet just celebrated its sixteenth year wowing audiences and critics alike with their combination of great musicianship and pure fun. The Dogs combine elements of jump blues, New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll into their own powerhouse sound. FMQB magazine called Love Dogs’ concerts “the stuff of legend” where “soulful vocals, killer grooves, unpredictability and pure entertainment play equal parts”.

It has been about five years since The Love Dogs last played in the Portland area and they’re just itching to head back. The Love Dogs will be appearing at Duff’s Garage (1635 SE 7th) on Sunday, May 12th. Don’t forget to bring your CBA membership card to receive a $1.00 discount at the door as this is a co-sponsored event. Get ready to have some fun; you do not want to miss out on this one!

Blues and roots fans know that the soundtrack to early rock’ n’ roll ran on three-minute instrumentals with sax in the lead, and was directly related to 1950s and 1960s New Orleans R&B hits, along with that deep-fried wildness that came from Memphis. With this history lesson, old school rock ‘n’ soul saxophonist and singer Terry Hanck makes perfect sense. Clearly, Hanck has worshipped at the right Southern altars–those of such iconic R&B brothers as Fats Domino, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Lee Allen and King Curtis. “I write songs that you think you’ve heard for years,” says the South Florida-based Hanck, who’s got suave movie-star looks and a good time presence that immutably anchors the old-style R&B he adores.

As Living Blues writer Lee Hildebrand testified, “Hanck is one of the most formidable saxophonists in the blues and soul business. He has a virile tone and attack and an uncanny command of upper-register notes.” But, whether it is a joyous jump blues romp or a steamy slow dance of a stroll–this is the kind of music that has mattered to the tall tenor man all his life.

Terry Hanck received the 2012 Blues Music Award for Horn Player and he is nominated once again this year. He will be returning to Portland for a show at Duff’s Garage on Thursday, May 16th, joined by an outstanding band of some of California’s finest sidemen, “Johnny Cat” Soubrand on Guitar, Butch Cousins on Drums and Tim Wagar on Bass. Tickets are $12.00 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event, so show your card at the door for a $1.00 discount. Duff’s Garage is located at 1635 SE 7th and showtime is 9:00 pm.

The New Iberians, one of Portland’s premier zydeco-blues bands are going to hold a fais do do at The LaurelThirst Public House in celebration of their latest CD release, Pingaddamidy! Join them Friday May 17th. You’re always guaranteed a good time when it comes to The New Iberians, who just dare you to try to sit still while they play their infectious dance tunes flavored with the hot sauce of Louisiana-based themes and rhythms. Led by the sensational trio of Evan Shlaes on accordion/vocals, Claes Almroth on harmonica and Paul Bassette on rubboard, they present a authentic sound that proves that you do not need to travel to Louisiana to hear some of the best renditions of this genre when you’ve got a band like The New Iberians right here in the Northwest. Grab your Mardi Gras beads and second line over to The LaurelThirst for a rousing party.

The LaurelThirst Public House is located at 2958 NE Glisan. Showtime is 9:00 pm.

In 1952, ethnomusicologist Harry Smith released the seminal recordings The Anthology of American Folk Music. The 84 songs collected on the original three 2-LP sets became some of the most influential numbers for the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s, with renowned musicians such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez citing its impact of their songwriting. ” It is like looking back in time, sort of like the Hubble telescope, only we are looking at images from our own human heritage, and perhaps ourselves. a “genetic code” for modern music.”

Harry Smith was born in Portland, Oregon in May 1923, so in recognition of his birthdate the Mission Theater will be hosting a little hometown celebration on Saturday, May 18th. Emcee’d by Miz Kitty and following the artist direction of Joe McMurrian, the event will be an all-star extravaganza featuring artists from multiple genres proving that the recordings released back in 1952 still have an impact today.

Among those appearing will be several blues artists to note. Along with Joe McMurrian, they will include Alice Stuart, Mark Lemhouse, Lauren Sheehan, Tony Furtado, Tevis Hodge Jr, Anne Weiss, Thad Beckman and multitudes more.

The Mission Theater is located at 1624 NW Glisan. Showtime is 7:00 pm and tickets are available through, $15 advance and $20 day of show. This is a 21 & over event only.

Last fall, Steve Kerin went back home to visit his friends and family in Lafayette, Louisiana. While there, he gathered a few of his friends and laid down the tracks that make up his latest CD titled Joy. Though he has already celebrated its release with shows down South, it is now time to throw a little party in his current home town of Portland. Joy is filled with various musical visions behind the mind of Steve Kerin and the dozen numbers on the disc are all well-crafted and a delight to hear. Here’s your chance to catch the songs performed live by Steve and a few of his friends, plus the opportunity to pick up a copy of your own. The CD release party will be held at Duff’s Garage (1635 SE 7th) on Sunday, May 19th. This will be an early show, starting at 7:00 pm. Ticket price is $12.00, but as a CBA co-sponsored event, members can obtain a $1.00 discount at the door by showing the current membership card.

Song Isle Publishing

 Since first moving up to the Portland area from Louisiana just a few short years ago, Steve Kerin has captured the listening audience here with his stunning work on the piano and has earned himself two Muddy Awards as keyboardist. Well versed in the styles of New Orleans masters like James Booker, Dr John and Professor Longhair, Steve is quite the accomplished crafter of his own material as well. Having showcased his talents with several bands in Portland, including Atomic Gumbo, Berthaline, Franco & The Stingers and Kolvane as well as others, Steve returned to his native Lafayette, Louisiana to put together his new CD, Joy.

The album features almost entirely Louisiana-based musicians, such as Jerry LeJeune on drums, Pat Breaux on accordion and Michael Juan Nunez on guitar, providing that truly authentic flavor of the Bayou and Crescent City. Portland guitarist Bob Shoemaker also makes an appearance throwing down some fine slide guitar. And Steve himself did the work of a one-man army of studio sidemen having played not only piano, but also guitar, bass, organ, triangle, accordion, ukulele and various strings and percussion.

Like the music of Louisiana, Joy takes on a variety of different sounds. They come across very chameleon-like with their interpretation with Steve rolling through several approaches that can cross-over to genres like Cajun, country, folk, rock, funk and blues. All done in spectacular fashion, the twelve selections are all Steve Kerin originals.

There is much to like here. I love the sassiness in “Everything Is Temporary,” uh-huh, yeah right! The deep down bluesy sound on the piano on “Bonnie And Clyde.” How much that “Greg’s Song” sounds like it could’ve been pulled right off from a Robbie Robertson recording. The beauty of “Joy” and “Blueberry Way.” The funkiness on “Cards.” The interplay of piano and slide guitar on “Yesterday,” that comes across to me as very John Lennon-like in its lyrics and approach. And closing with the acoustics of ukulele, fiddle, accordion and percussion on “Waikiki Yacht Club” weaving into the dialing of a radio focusing into the Lafayette station and segueing into an incredibly played piano solo that leaves a nice gentle flavor in your mind that makes you want to turn around and play the whole disc all over again.

Steve Kerin has a definite winning release with Joy. An amalgamation of fun sounds that befits the title.

Total Time: 50:47

One To The Bottle / Bonnie And Clyde / Joy / Everything Is Temporary / Yesterday / Going To Louisiana / Greg’s Song / Walking Down The Road / Cards / Blueberry Way / I Aint’s Complaining / Waikiki Yacht Club

New Iberians CD cover Pingaddamidy

New Iberians CD cover PingaddamidyPingaddamidy!
Argess Records

Portland’s favorite purveyors of good-time Cajun and zydeco are back at it again with a brand new release, Pingaddamidy!, that proves that a band does not have to hail from Louisiana to do this music right. The New Iberians have been showcasing their local blend of blues and zydeco for a number of years and are always the life of any dance party.

Pingaddamidy! was recorded at Falcon Studios under the ever keen direction of Terry Robb and Dennis Carter. These guys know how to capture the true essence and talent of the performers they work with, and with The New Iberians it’d be hard to miss with such stellar players on hand. Evan Shlaes is front and center on every track with his cool hand accordion and vocals, enhanced by Claes Almroth’s harmonica and Paul Bassette’s rubboard providing a truly authentic sound.

These are songs that are meant to be danced to and if you can make it through the opening track “Are You Ready?” without feeling the urge to move around, you might want to check your pulse. It’s just natural to want to get up and shake it with The New Iberians. The feeling holds throughout the nine selections on the disc, all originals written by Evan Shlaes, with themes about barbecue, holding Sundays close to his heart as the day his baby and he get to spend together, and gathering for a second line with mention of some of Louisiana’s most favored musicians leading the way.

For those with a passion for all things Louisiana-based, zydeco or just plain fun, Pingaddamidy! will keep you happy with much repeated plays for sure. Oh yeah, if you’re trying to figure out how to pronounce the title, it is Creole slang for “Pink God Almighty.”

Total time: 35:53

Are You Ready? / The Barbecue Song / Mercy / Soul Creole / Port Soleil / Pingaddamidy! / Sweet Sunday / Place In The Sun / Second Line