Jolie Clausen

By Laurie Morrisey

Jolie ClausenWho is that gal drumming that crazy beat? None other than the talented Jolie Clausen. Being a performer wasn’t exactly a plan for Jolie, it just sort of happened. “I never thought about growing up—I still don’t! I guess I just kept getting calls for gigs so I kept playing. I never sat down and thought, ‘Man, I’d really like to play some gigs.’ I was already doing that. I love performing and plan to do it forever!” she said.

She started playing with the Walla Walla Symphony when she was 14 and did all the musical theatre productions in town. She joined the Community College Jazz Band. “I also had a rock band then, we played at Frat parties at Whitman College.”

When discussing training, Jolie says she’s had both formal training and is partially self-taught. “I attended workshops in high school and studied privately on and off. I also studied with Mel Brown when I first moved to Portland. I graduated from the Mount Hood Community College music program. I still take lessons here and there from friends and drummers in town: Don Worth Jr., Ron Tuttle and Carlton Jackson. Reinhardt Melz, Brian Foxworth, Andy Gauthier and Cory Burden are other favorite local drummers who are always inspiring me and giving me tips of the trade.”

She plays with a variety of local bands which cover different genres of music. “When I play with Michelle DeCourcy and The Rocktarts its heavy rock, although we are currently working on some new originals that have a bit more of a southern swamp rock feel. With Bill Rhoades and the Party Kings and Queens we play traditional blues. With Malachi Graham it’s alt country.”

During the day Jolie works at a law firm downtown and has been doing that for about eight years. “It’s a great part-time gig that allows me to teach and play music. I teach private lessons at students’ homes and at Rhythm Traders here in Portland.”


When asked about musical influences, Jolie said, “What a big question?! When I sat behind a kit for the first time my teacher put headphones on me and cranked up “Misty Mountain Hop” by Led Zeppelin. I was so excited; I had never heard music like that before, so John Bonham definitely influenced me. I love all the jazz greats—Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes… I also love Steve Gadd, Sly Dunbar, Fred Below, Levon Helm, Jim Keltner, Ginger Baker, Taylor Hawkins to Evelyn Glennie and Layne Redmond. Favorite drummers that I’ve met who just blew my mind—Billy Cobham, Gary Husband, Mark Schulman, Brian Blade, Gerald Heyward, and I recently met drummer and producer Butch Vig—What a cool guy?! They all have inspired me.


Jolie has performed on two CD’s: Broken Glass by Michelle DeCourcy and The Rocktarts (currently being played on Kink FM); and Silverado by Nervous Jenny Band. Additionally she’s working with songwriter Tom Holland in the next few months on a second Nervous Jenny album with producer Dean Baskerville. Malachi Graham Band and The Rocktarts have plans to get in the studio in 2017.


Jolie has performed with several different bands: Norman Sylvester, Robbie Laws, Michael Osborn, Duffy Bishop, Tracey Fordice, La Rhonda Steele, Janis Scroggins, AC Porter, Kevin Selfe, Freak Mountain Ramblers, Billy Kennedy, James Lowe Band, Al Perez Band, Tom Grant, Singing Christmas Tree, and Martha Davis from The Motels. She also opened for Peter Frampton and recently the Dandy Warhols.

Legendary blues harmonica player Bill Rhoades called her in 2013 and they’ve been working together ever since. “What a fun band with Katie Angel on bass plus Newell C. Briggs and Chuck Laiti on dueling guitars.”

”I’ve been working with singer and songwriter Michelle DeCourcy for about two and a half years now along with guitarist Steve Adams and Mick ‘Lord’ Ramsdell on bass. I’ve also been working with guitarist and songwriter Tom Holland with Nervous Jenny Band for about two years now. I work with Americana singer/songwriter Malachi Graham and long-time friend and local guitar picking badass Jamie Stillway on upright bass, with Erin Elliot on backing vocals.”

In Closing

“I am honored to be able to share a part of my musical life with the BluesNotes.” Keep an eye out for one of Jolie’s performances and experience her energy for yourself.

Sunday Wilde

Blueberries & Grits
Hwy 11 Records

Sunday WildeCanadian blues artist Sunday Wilde with her sixth release, takes her down South to the land of the Delta where she has created a nostalgic feeling collection of songs that are truthful and sassy. Recorded in Memphis and Clarksdale with all the acoustic instrumentation, Blueberries & Grits features Wilde’s outstanding piano work and sultry vocals. Many of the tracks sound as if you’re being thrown back in time as it echoes the classic, timeless feel of bygone early blues.  It’s like they could have been taken directly out of a Storyville bawdy house in early 20th century New Orleans with her piano backed by horns, or sitting on a back porch in a scorching sun-drenched Delta day while guitars and washboards bring across the musical patterns.

Sunday Wilde shows a lot of the desires she has toward men in a number of offerings, starting out of the gate with “Show Me A Man.” It’s a prayer asking for the man of her dreams and she is not too shy to describe exactly everything she is looking for. The theme continues over the course of the first nine tracks, ranging from deftly-crafted originals like “The Man Drives Me Mad” with vocal backing from Watermelon Slim, to covers of Ruth Brown’s “Daddy Daddy,” Louis Jordan’s “Early In The Morning” and Bessie Smith’s “Sorrowful Blues.” Perhaps the most distinctive cover is Willie Dixon’s “John The Conquer Root,” which may or may not have been how Dixon imagined the tune being presented. Wilde is not too subtle in her delivery coming across as a potent sexually fired piece. Oh my!

In a different vein, Wilde closes the disc out with a gospel piece titled “Come On In.” A song of praise telling of the welcoming arms of Jesus. It is a complete turn-around from the rest of the album, but what a sensational song to end it all with.

The musicians appearing on Blueberries & Grits are all first flight talent. Guitar players Johnny Cass, Dave Fecca, Robert Hughes, Gary Vincent and Sturgis Nikides deliver remarkable stylings. Reno Jack on bass and Ricky “Quicksand” Martin are an ideal rhythm section, with April Mae throwing in rhythms on the washboard. Roger Reupert plays trumpet on a handful and Billy Earheart of The Amazing Rhythm Aces masterfully shines on a J. Estey 1850 Cottage Pump Organ on four tunes. And aside from the aforementioned Watermelon Slim, Mandy Lemons is also on board for back-up vocals. All of these musicians enhance Wilde’s excellent vocals and piano work.

Sunday Wilde states that she has always wanted to do an acoustic album. Blueberries & Grits prove that her efforts were well conceived. An outstanding recording start to finish.

Running Time: 37:34

Show Me A Man / Early In the Morning / Momma’s Drinkin’s Done / That Man Drives Me Mad / Too Many Troubles / John The Conquer Root / Daddy Daddy / Sorrowful Blues / One Of These Days / Come On In

Ramblings On My Mind

Ramblings On My MindGreg Johnson / CBA President

Well, 2017 has started off with a little good news and some very sad. The good news for the time being is that we do not have to worry just yet about The Melody Ballroom and the status of our monthly meetings. This can always change at any time, but I spoke with the manager prior to the January meeting and was told that we would be given a 90-day notice one way or the other. Meaning if we need to relocate temporarily or permanently.  Hopefully only temporary for the remodeling of the building. That would give us time to find another location if necessary. But rest assured they like us at The Melody and the staff is hoping that we are allowed to continue there as we have for more than the past twenty-five years.

Because we do not know the status, I have not filled a lot of dates for the performers at the monthly meetings just yet. Normally these spots fill up quickly for the entire year, but I do not want to have to cancel anybody in the event we need to move someplace else, so have not pursued doing this too strongly just yet. I did have a couple cancellations early in the year and I sent out a notice on Facebook for acts to cover these upcoming dates and had good response, so we have them filled. I did have to ask a few acts to hold off because I wanted to give opportunity to those who have not performed for us in the past year first. Thanks to those of you who offered, I will try to work something out for you in the near future.

The year did begin with a bit of heartbreak, however. We knew that Jimmy Mak’s would be closing after New Years Eve due to owner Jimmy Makarounis’ on-going fight with throat cancer. But we did not expect to lose him the day after. Jimmy had built one of the absolute best venues in the country, bringing jazz, blues, funk and soul to fill the room night after night. Some of the finest musicians in our area made their name at the venue and Jimmy would bring in top touring, too, along with fundraising events for musicians in need.

Jimmy had spoken with me a number of times, asking about touring blues artists. He had also met with myself and Vice President Wendy Schumer with a desire to do shows with the Cascade Blues Association. We had talked, but never got around to creating an event in the realm he had in mind to bring the CBA a piece of profit with shows up to multiple times a year. But he was quite open for co-sponsorships and he did bring in some of the best touring blues artists from time to time including the likes of Janiva Magness, Joe Louis Walker, Shemekia Copeland and Dana Fuchs among the many who appeared on his stage. Local artists like Curtis Salgado, Karen Lovely, Lisa Mann, Linda Hornbuckle, and Louis Pain were frequent guests and regulars. It had been billed as one of the top 100 venues to see jazz in the world and for good reason. It was a Portland icon for venues to look at for success and it will be missed. Jimmy even more. RIP in Jimmy, you fought a long hard battle with cancer, but your legacy will always be here.

As a side note this month, I want to recommend something that I usually do not do. Of course I consistently try to tell you about CDs in our review columns, but I want to bring to your attention one of the finest magazines on the market, the Oxford American. I have been picking up copies of this literary periodical for many years, but specifically when they run their annual music issue. Focusing on the South and its culture. Oxford American offers stories and biographies of the musicians in their region with this issue each year. Usually for the past few years the issue would designate a specific state. One year it would be Arkansas, another Louisiana and so on. But the reason I suggest picking up a copy this year is because the theme is on the blues. Great pieces on artists like Big Mama Thornton, Bonnie Raitt, Cedell Davis, as well as the spread of the blues around the world are featured, all written by some of the South’s most creative writers. The issue also comes with a CD compilation based on the music theme every year and this is one to note with twenty-three songs missing the various aspects and approaches to the music. From the classic musicians of the genre like Charlie Patton, John Lee Hooker, Koko Taylor, and Bobby Rush to modern artists like Adia Victoria, and the Alabama Shakes. There’s also world visions by West Africans Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, the street smarts of the late Gil Scott-Heron and the guitar mastery of John Fahey. Oxford American is worthy of reading through with each issue they put out, but if you love the blues you don’t want to miss their latest release.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi HendrixLauded by both critics and fans, the multi-artist Experience Hendrix Tour is set to return in 2017 to celebrate one of music’s greatest innovators: Jimi Hendrix. This latest edition of the annual tour will kick off on Friday, February 17 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland.

Now in its second decade, the tour celebrates the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix by bringing together a diverse array of phenomenal musicians. Billy Cox, bassist for both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys, anchors a rhythm section that provides the foundation for exciting renditions of numerous signature Hendrix favorites such as “Purple Haze” and “Little Wing.” Artists scheduled to appear in Portland include Buddy Guy, Keb’ Mo, Zakk Wylde, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, Chris Layton, Mato Nanji, Noah Hunt, The Slide Brothers, and Henri Brown.

Jimi Hendrix was a pioneer in both rock and blues; he expanded the possibilities of what could be achieved on his instrument and in popular music. Likewise, the Experience Hendrix Tour continues to expand as Jimi’s legacy grows. In 2004, the first tour came to fruition with a three-date string of shows on the west coast, starting in Hendrix’s hometown of Seattle. By 2008, the Experience Hendrix Tour had become a full-fledged, coast-to-coast expedition and continuing to date without showing any signs of slowing down. Audiences are presented the opportunity to see great artists paying homage to Hendrix while collaborating with each other in ways they’d never do in their own live shows.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album Are You Experienced (released on May 12, 1967) as well as the follow up album Axis: Bold as Love (released in the UK on December 1, 1967). 1967 was also the year Jimi Hendrix rose to intercontinental prominence when he made his U.S. debut at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, lighting his guitar on fire to a mesmerized audience. The repertoire from this stage of Jimi’s career serves as a cornerstone in Experience Hendrix Tour sets, as songs like “Fire,” “Manic Depression,” and “Are You Experienced” are played by various musicians on a nightly basis.

Experience Hendrix at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway Avenue starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets range from $42.50 to $95.00 and can be purchased online at or at the Portland’5 Box Office.

Every pair of tickets purchased comes with one (1) physical CD of the new Jimi Hendrix album, Machine Gun. You will receive an additional email with instructions on how to redeem your CD.

An Evening With Del Rey and Suzy Thompson

An Evening With Del Rey and Suzy ThompsonOn Friday, February 17, the Portland Folk Music Society will present An Evening With Del Rey and Suzy Thompson two outstanding acoustic blues favorites at Colonial Presbyterian Church — Seattle’s resonator guitar and ukulele goddess Del Rey and Bay Area blues fiddler Suzy Thompson. Having worked as a duet since the mid-1980s, Rey and Thompson explore the upbeat, positive side of the blues in a show that is wise, womanly, witty, and well-played, always stirring things up with their masterful playing, show-stopping vocals, and humorous repartee.

A vital member of the Bay Area acoustic music landscape for 30 years, Suzy Thompson’s exuberant bluesy fiddling and vocals have made her the accompanist of choice for acclaimed roots musicians like Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, and Mary Flower.

Del Rey’s virtuosic resonator parlor guitar and ukulele playing embraces a host of old-time genres, including country blues, stride piano, classic jazz, and hillbilly boogie.

Their repertoire includes vintage and original numbers from blues icons like Memphis Minnie and the Mississippi Sheiks, mixed in with flapper-era instrumentals from Kentucky to Trinidad.

Please join the Portland Folk Music Society for this special night which starts at 7:30. Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church is located at 2828 SE Stephens Street. $18.00 for general admission, $15.00 for Portland Folk Music Society members, $9.00 for ages 12-18 and under 12 is free. Tickets can be purchased at

Melissa Etheridge has established herself as a popular and influential rock performers since the release of her debut recording in 1988. Since then she has won two Grammy Awards and an Oscar, has performed on Broadway, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Known for hit singles such as “Bring Me Some Water,” “I’m The Only One,” “Come To My Window” and “Ain’t It Heavy” she continues to explore new boundaries with her latest musical foray honoring the artists of Stax Records.

Numerous musicians cite Etheridge for the inspiration her music has had on the direction of their own careers. Locally, blues guitarist and band leader Sonny Hess is one of those. In Etheridge’s honor, she has collected a group of the region’s finest female artists to hold a tribute show at McMenamin’s Mission Theater on Friday, February 10. Those musicians taking part along with Sonny Hess will be LaRhonda Steele, Lisa Mann, Leah Hinchcliff, Kathryn Grimm, Beth Willis, and Nayibe Rojas.

Show time for the Melissa Etheridge Tribute Night will be 7:00 pm. The Mission Theater is located at 1624 NW Glisan Street. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets can be purchased through for $22.00 advance, or $25.00 at the door day of show.

The 2017 Blues Music Awards ballots are now open for members of The Blues Foundation. Nominees in twenty-four catagories have been named and local favorites Curtis Salgado (Soul Blues Male Artist, Soul Blues Album – The Beautiful Lowdown and Song of the Year – “Walk A Mile In My Blues”) and Jimi Bott (Instrumentalist – Drums) are once again amongst the finalists. The Blues Music Awards ceremonies will be held in Memphis, Tennessee at The Cook Convention Center on Thursday, May 11. Tickets are available at Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Here are all of the 2017 nominees:

Acoustic Album
Eric Bibb – The Happiest Man in the World
Fiona Boyes – Professin’ the Blues
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Live at Briggs Farm
John Long – Stand Your Ground
Luther Dickinson – Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II

Acoustic Artist
Doug MacLeod
Eric Bibb
Fiona Boyes
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
Luther Dickinson

Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Tedeschi Trucks Band

B.B. King Entertainer
Joe Bonamassa
John Nemeth
Lil’ Ed Williams
Sugar Ray Norcia
Sugaray Rayford

Best Emerging Artist Album
Corey Dennison Band – Corey Dennison
Guy King – Truth
Jonn Del Toro Richardson – Tengo Blues
Terrie Odabi – My Blue Soul
Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman

Contemporary Blues Album
Al Basile – Mid Century Modern
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
The Record Company – Give It Back To You
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Alexis P Suter
Ana Popovic
Janiva Magness
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Albert Castiglia
Kenny Neal
Mike Zito
Sugaray Rayford
Toronzo Cannon

Historical Album
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
B.B. King, More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard, Ace Records
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe
Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records

Biscuit Miller
Bob Stroger
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
R W Grigsby

Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Bob Margolin
Joe Bonamassa
Kid Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel
Sugar Ray Norcia

Al Basile
Nancy Wright
Sax Gordon Beadle
Terry Hanck
Vanessa Collier

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Inetta Visor
Shaun Murphy
Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Barrelhouse Chuck
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
Mike Zito – Keep Coming Back
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land or Bust
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Let Me Get By
Walter Trout – Alive in Amsterdam

“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
“I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
“Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
“Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
“Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way

Soul Blues Album
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage
Wee Willie Walker – Live! Notodden Blues Festival
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye Lavette
Lara Price
Mavis Staples
Terrie Odabi
Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist
Bobby Rush
Curtis Salgado
Johnny Rawls
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album
Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party at Big Jon’s
Bob Margolin – My Road
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue – Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Bob Margolin
John Primer
Lil’ Ed Williams
Lurrie Bell
Sugar Ray Norcia

Tommy Castro

Tommy CastroNight after night, Tommy Castro, a fierce and fiery road warrior, fervently delivers his driving, blues-soaked, soul-baring music to fans all over the world. The road is where he honed his guitar playing to a razor’s edge, and it’s where he learned how to captivate an audience with his intensely passionate vocals and his memorable songs, licks, and grooves. It’s where he learned to turn his band into a dynamic, high-performance engine, able to bring down the house with a soulful ballad and then bring fans to their feet with a blistering blues rocker. Over the course of his four-decade career, Castro has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of fans and has always left them screaming for more. Castro is a six-time Blues Music Award winner, including taking home the coveted BB King Entertainer of the Year award twice.

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers (the band currently features bass player Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown) will be making a visit to Portland for a performance at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta Street, on Friday, February 24 for an 8:00 pm show.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at for $20.00 or at the door day of show for $25.00. This event is open to minors under 21 when accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Hot Tuna

Hot TunaFor the last 50 years, from their days playing together as teenagers, to their time as members of Jefferson Airplane, to their explorations in acoustic and electric blues with Hot Tuna, probably no artists have led American music more consistently than Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The pair began playing together while growing up in the Washington D.C. area, where Jorma became enamored of the finger-picking guitar style practiced by the legendary Rev. Gary Davis. Jack, meanwhile, had taken an interest in the electric bass, at the time a controversial instrument in blues, jazz, and folk circles. Moving cross country the pair were a significant mainstay of the Jefferson Airplane while remaining loyal to the blues, jazz, bluegrass, and folk influences of the small clubs and larger venues they had learned from years before. Hot Tuna became a side project from the band, eventually developing into its own force that has been going strong with a devout fan base since its inception five decades ago.

Hot Tuna will be returning to Portland for a date at the Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue, on Thursday, February 23 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $39.50 in advance and $42.00 day of show and may be purchased at This is an all ages event.

Ty Curtis Unplugged

Ty Curtis UnpluggedTy Curtis has been frequently splitting his time between Portland and Austin for the past couple years, but if there was one reason to check out one of his shows don’t miss out on Monday, February 13 at The Lake Theater & Café. Ty Curtis Unplugged will be a rare all acoustic showcase, proving that Curtis has a lot more up his sleeve than setting the place on fire with his Gibson electric. The music presented will be all Ty Curtis original material, including selections from all six of his discs, plus some new songs and some blues finger-picked guitar. Joining Ty for this unplugged evening will be his regular drummer Jerry Jacques and a special reunion with bassist Dave Kahl.

Show time for Ty Curtis Unplugged is 7:00 pm. The Lake Theater & Café is located at 106 State Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets can be picked up in advance online at for $15.00.