Imagine making a big difference to your blues association while cleaning your closet of your unneeded items? And imagine having fun while you are making that difference! The annual rummage sale is coming up where you can donate your good used items and turn it into cash for the CBA and offer just a little bit of your time helping to run the sale and introduce new people to the CBA . The CBA is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization and your donation is tax deductible!

LIVE BLUES: Terry Robb, Timothy James, Justus Reece, and one more TBA!

BARGAINS: Furniture, tools, kids items, household, collectibles, antiques, musical instruments and more!

WHEN: September 17, 2016, 9am-3pm

WHERE: The Bomber Restaurant, 13515 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97222

WHY: To help fund programs of the Cascade Blues Association and offer live blues music and bargains while educating the public on all that the CBA does and grow membership and awareness of the organization.

To make this year’s rummage sale a success, we need you and your stuff! You need to clean your house, garage, and tool shed now anyway, so this is the perfect time to do it — don’t wait until spring!

DONATIONS NEEDED: Furniture (dressers, shelves, small desks, coffee tables, etc. SORRY NO couches, but futons are okay), tools, kids items, pet supplies, collectibles, and musical instruments highly desired (no full size pianos, but consoles are welcome).

DONATION DROP OFFS: Please bring your good used items to The Bomber Restaurant parking lot before 9am on September 17, before the sale. If you will not be in town that weekend, but feel you have items that would sell well, please contact Cherie Robbins. If in boxes, consider bringing to CBA September meeting where a van will be made available to load items (no furniture at that time).

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:More hands make for quick work, but more bodies make for more fun! To volunteer, please contact sale chair Cherie Robbins at

Volunteers are needed all day, but these are the most important times:

6:30AM – Oregon City Storage Location – load moving truck

8AM – The Bomber Restaurant Parking Lot, lots of help needed to unload truck as quickly as possible and place on tables.

9AM-3PM – Helpers needed to work with customers, help load customer vehicles and make things look pretty.

3PM – Loading truck to donate to charity Thrift Store & clean up restaurant parking lot. The more help for this makes it easier at the end.

There are often more people wanting to donate items, but cannot drop off themselves the day of the sale. If you can donate a couple hours to pick up some great items that will help make a big difference for the sale. Please let Cherie know.

The Bomber Restaurant offers a wonderful selection of breakfast and lunch items. Please consider stopping inside for a bite to eat when you come by the rummage sale.

The Cascade Blues Association is joining the twenty-first century — for the first time we will conduct the Muddy Awards nominations and final voting online. This will allow us to verify that only one vote is received per email address and will also make it easier for us to automatically tally the returns within a firm deadline. It will also save us a great deal of expense and time printing and mailing ballots. The first round nominations will open in mid-August. Watch our website, Facebook page, and CBA email blasts for further information.

Dave Miller - photo from Pattie MillerLast month we lost Dave Miller, who was known by many around the Portland blues scene. Dave’s business card said “Brewing the Blues since ’62.”  In grade school and high school Dave played Dixieland jazz on trombone with his brother Fred on clarinet and their band teacher on cornet. Dave went to a congressional page high school in Washington DC, and in that town got introduced to the blues. After learning guitar he formed the The Miller Bros. Blues Band with Fred on tenor sax and younger brother Bob on bass while in law school at Stanford. After moving to Portland in 1968, eventually Dave’s son David III became rhythm guitarist. With Mike Oxborrow on bass and Dave Smith on drums a good portion of the time, for some 40 years the Miller Bros. Blues Band entertained in the Portland area under Dave Miller’s inspired and charismatic leadership. Dave was an active supporter of the Cascade Blues Association and KBOO’s blues staff headed by Tom Wendt.

Keep it up, Dave, wherever you may be.

A celebration of life event will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at the World Forestry Center, Miller Hall, 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221.

Obituary written by Jeff  Dayne

Since 2005, The Blues Foundation has held an annual competition to recognize excellence in independent blues recordings. The Best Self-Produced CD competition allows affiliated blues societies from around the world to submit one entry each, preferably selected by a regional competition. The Cascade Blues Association has taken part in this event since its inception, including having the overall winner chosen in 2011 — Joe McMurrian’s Get Inside This House.

The CBA is now accepting submissions for this year’s Best Self-Produced CD competition. All are welcome to enter with the exception of artists who have been nominated for or received a Blues Music Award; or recordings that are released on labels that have been nominated or received a Blues Music Award. No compilation discs are accepted. The CBA will accept for consideration only discs from artists in Oregon, Washington, or Idaho.

A committee will judge the entries using the same criteria that The Blues Foundation will later use in its own evaluation. These are: Blues Content (This is a blues recording), Musical Performance (musicianship), Audio Quality (production values, levels), Cover Art & design (professional packaging — is this recoding ready for the rack at your favorite music outlet?), and Credits & Liner Information (informative, professional).

After submissions from each affiliated blues society have been received, The Blues Foundation will conduct judging in three stages, with the first two rounds being conducted by a select group of radio/print media people. The finalists will be announced a week prior to the 33rd annual International Blues Challenge and the winning recording will be named at the IBC finals in Memphis on February 4, 2017.

All entries for the CBA must be received no later than the October 5 membership meeting at The Melody Ballroom.

Duffy Bishop (photo by Greg Johnson)In a special press conference held on Tuesday, August 12 at Tony Starlight’s Showroom, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame announced their 2016 inductees and college scholarship recipients. Among this year’s inductees will be one of the Northwest’s most beloved blues musicians, Duffy Bishop. Other 2016 inductees include Pete Krebs, Sleater-Kinney, Fernando, Brian Berg, Paul Brainard, Tim Ellis Bart Day, and Dave Cutter

Duffy Bishop began her professional career while in her teens and has been performing for more than four decades. Both the Cascade Blues Association and Washington Blues Society has honored Duffy with inductions into their Hall of Fames and recognized her with Lifetime Achievement Awards. In fact, Bishop received the Cascade Blues Association’s Female Artist Muddy Award so many times that the award now bears her name: The “Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist” Muddy Award. With eight recordings under her belt leading her own band, she has also performed onstage as Janis Joplin in the Seattle production of Janis, regularly performs in the lead role of the cabaret show Teatro ZinZanni, and has toured with Big Brother & The Holding Company.

Bishop will be performing alongside fellow inductees Fernando with guests Pete Krebs and Paul Brainard, and Three Leg Torso at the Aladdin Theater on Saturday, October 8, with Tony Starlight as emcee.  Tickets are now on sale through for $25.00 advance general admission, $30.00 day of show. There are also a limited number of $100.00 Gold Circle reserved seats in prime center location. The Aladdin theater is located at 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue. The Hall of Fame show will begin at 7:00 pm.

cba-picnicOne of the most anticipated events of the year for is Cascade Blues Association Annual Members Only Picnic. This year the picnic will take place on Sunday, August 7. It is open to members and their families only, and is one of the best perks of belonging to the CBA. NOTE:  This means 2 adults and up to 3 children under 18 living at the same address.

Not a member or your membership has expired? Not to worry. You can join or renew at the picnic. The picnic will return once again to Tomahawk Moorage at Columbia Crossings on Hayden Island, 515 NE Tomahawk Island Drive, Portland, and will run from noon until 6:00 pm. Stay tuned for more details on the line up and food, but to be sure — it’s gonna be a blast!

The applications are in, the dates confirmed, and the sets scheduled — this is going to be one of the largest fields ever to participate in the Journey To Memphis competition to win the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge next January. Twenty acts will appear in twenty minute sets, ten each night, on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4, at The Rose Room, 8102 NE Killingsworth. Admission each night is $10.00, which is the base for our prizes for the overall winning acts. Four acts, the two highest scoring from each night, will move on to the Waterfront Blues Festival on Monday, July 4, on the Front Porch Stage.

This year’s entries are:

Friday, June 3:
7:30 – Joanne Broh Band
8:00 – Julie Amici
8:30 – CD Woodbury Band
9:00 – David Brothers
9:30 – The England Trio
10:00 – Beacon Street Titans
10:30 – Tim O’Connor
11:00 – JT Wise Band
11:30 – Ben Rice Band

Saturday, June 4:
7:30 – William “Froggy” Hyland
8:00 – Timothy James
8:30 – The Thunder Brothers
9:00 – Rogue Rage Duos
9:30 – Randy Morrison’s Party Bus
10:00 – Eric “Sugar” Larsen Group
10:30 – David Pinsky
11:00 – Holfar Blue
11:30 – Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers

Please note: schedule times are subject to change. We have had acts drop out prior to the event in the past, which can cause rearrangement of set times and dates. We will keep you informed of any changes on our Facebook page and in the June edition of BluesNotes.

Greg Johnson, CBA President

Well, the 2016 International Blues Challenge is now in the books. When you consider the previous few years, the weather decided to cooperate with us for once. As the East Coast was being hammered with torrential winter storms before the event, for a change, the temperatures in Memphis were mild rather than freezing. And the only rain during the week came twice, late at night when everyone had pretty much already gone back to the places where they were staying.

Events began on Tuesday night with several venues hosting participants from twelve countries beyond the United States taking part. As your Portland area representatives as volunteers, I worked as the venue host at Club 152 while Cherie Robbins held the same duty at Pig On Beale. It was a chance for these acts who traveled from all corners of the world to have an extra chance to play.

Speaking of the acts, not only were thirteen countries total represented, but a total of 121 bands,  94 solo/duo groups and 42 youth acts took part in the event. All were already winners of their own regional competitions.

The Northwest had a strong showing, starting out Wednesday morning before the competition even began as representatives from the four regional blues societies participating this year were showcased at a day-long performance at Club 152. The perfect location as The Blues Foundation’s merchandise store, band CD sales, and will call for passes pick up were on the second floor, meaning that everybody who went up that way were treated to music from the Northwest. And many of those folks decided to stay and listen all day.

The Northwest was represented by acts from not only the Cascade Blues Association (Sister Mercy – band; Rogue Rage Duo – solo/duo; Justus Reece – youth), but also the Washington Blues Society (James Howard Band; Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons – solo/duo), South Sound Blues Association (King Kom Beau – band; Doug Skoog & Brian Fiest – solo/duo; Emerald City Blues Band – youth) and the White Rock Blues Society (Arsen Shomakhov Band; Jesse Roper – solo/duo).

Cherie and I worked together during the week in Club 152 for the quarter-and-semi-finals, Wednesday through Friday. We did not have any of the Northwest acts perform in our venue, but she had the opportunity to catch a little bit of our CBA acts.

Rogue Rage Duo unfortunately did not advance to the semi-finals, but speaking with both Harpo and Dan they were pleased with their performance and felt strongly that they might have moved forward. Regardless, they said they made some great contacts and friends and will most likely see extra gigs their way coming up.

SisterMercy IBC at the Tin Roof - photo courtesy of Sister MercySister Mercy played their first night on a big stage at the Tin Roof. Talking with the venue coordinator from that room he told me that they were his favorite act in the quarterfinals in his room. He said the crowd ate up their vocal harmonies and choreographed dance moves. Even the judges were said to be dancing along with the band and they advanced to the semi-finals on Friday night at Blues City Café on a much smaller stage, but in front of a crowd that packed to the seams. This would be their final performance in the competition. But it is a feat to be proud of as of the thousands of acts that compete to get to Memphis, only 250 or so make it, and that number is cut in a third for Friday, and only eight bands and eight solo/duo acts make it to the finals. And they surely caught the attention of many people in the blues industry who can advance their careers ahead.

Justus Reece was able to take part in the youth showcase, playing at Silky O’Sullivan’s. He and his father traveled to Nashville before Memphis and he was able to sight-see a number of historical music places in both cities. His father, Geoffrey Reece, commented about how much good music they heard and how incredibly talented the kids participating in the youth showcase were. He also said that Justus is already trying to figure out a way to come back to the IBC.

Friday morning Cherie and I attended the Keeping the Blues Alive Award luncheon, where I was one of fifteen recipients of the honor this year. It was an amazing feeling to be recognized, but having Cherie with me made me especially proud as was having her working the event all week with me. I wouldn’t have dreamed of being there with anyone else. It was also a treat to be introduced by Jay Sieleman and to have so many friends in the room, including Karen Lovely, Hawkeye Greg Johnson and Cherie Robbins with KBA award - photo by Cinda WatermanHerman and Dick & Cinda Waterman who asked to sit with us at our table. Thank you for being there.

On Saturday, we were at the finals in The Orpheum Theater where I was working as one of the stage managers. Everybody has their own opinion of who should have or should not have made the finals, but I have to say I was impressed with a lot of the acts on that stage and happy to see personal friends Ori Naftaly, Dave Muskett, and Micah Kesselring among them. I felt that the overall winning act, The Delgado Brothers was definitely the right choice. They were by far the best act on that stage that day. But as anybody who has been a part of the IBC for any amount of time knows, it can all be different on any given day, depending on who your judges are and their feelings about the music presented. But again, I always point out to those who state music is not a competition. True, but how else can you bring so many quality acts to one location with so many industry people looking for new acts in the genre?

It was truly a great feeling to see one of the Northwest acts, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, win the solo/duo competition. From my first time watching them I felt that they were bringing something new to the event, though their music is very traditional in its format of string and jug band music, the true root of original blues. They were fresh and a change of pace that the judges and audience ate up and deservingly so. Congratulations to Ben & Joe and the Washington Blues Society.

And congratulations to all the musicians, fans, volunteers, Blues Foundation staff, and Beale Street Merchants. Everybody in Memphis was a winner this week for one of the very best IBCs ever. It really is one of the grandest events, not only in the blues world, but the music world itself; it’s the future of the blues seen today.

Just because it’s Christmas is no reason not to have the blues. Not when it includes an amazing line-up of local musicians appearing on TV. The Oregon Food Bank, Waterfront Blues Festival, KOIN TV, and KINK FM are joining forces to present “Blue Christmas” television special airing on both Christmas Eve, December 24 and Christmas Day, December 25.

Artists featured in the program will include Duffy Bishop, Ural Thomas, Charmaine Neville, Reggie Houston, Terry Robb, Mary Flower, Sean Holmes, LaRhonda Steele, and Alonzo Chadwick. They will be backed by a terrific band with Louis Pain, Ben Jones, Brian Foxworth, Chris Carlson, and Peter Dammann.

The program’s repertoire will include a few classics and some other more obscure holiday material, secular and gospel, acoustic and electric. So check your television listings for broadcast times and tune in to enjoy some of our area’s finest blues musicians as they celebrate the season.

by Wendy Schumer

Greg Johnson Jenn Ocken with book - photo by Kelly ThorntonEvery year the Blues Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. The Keeping Blues Alive Awards ceremony is held in January in conjunction with the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  The KBAs are decided upon by a select panel of blues professionals and focus on honoring individuals who have made a difference with their lengthy commitment to the blues.  This is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Blues Foundation – to be selected to receive this award. This year 15 winners were announced and guess what!  Our very own CBA President — Greg Johnson — was selected this year to receive this award.

You all know how hard Greg works to promote and preserve blues music in our community, his dedication each month to writing 99.9% of the articles in our Bluesnotes as well as the extra volunteering he does for events in Portland as well as in Memphis.  We are truly blessed to have him as part of our community. Please join me in congratulating Greg on this great achievement.

To read more about the KBA and see the official announcement — see this link.