Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Mitch Kashmar & Alan Hager Duet
Second Electric Set – The Reverb Brothers

Summer is flying by and you certainly cannot complain about the availability of great music happening around the region. Festivals, concerts in the parks, touring acts — it’s all more than one person can keep up with. We are certainly blessed to have such a wide selection, and as you know, the best way to kick off each month is with the Cascade Blues Association’s membership meeting. This month we’re handing our members a double-eyed whammy with our annual picnic happening the first Sunday (check the article in BluesNotes) and then our monthly membership meeting the following Wednesday.

As for our August meeting — this will be one not to miss. Both acts are stellar, long-time artists who hardly need any introduction.

Opening the night will be the fierce duo of harmonica ace IMG_2821 kashmarMitch Kashmar and guitar master Alan Hager. Kashmar is known as one of the finest harpists on the West Coast who also delivers soulful vocals. Kashmar records for the Delta Groove label and has been a prominent musician for decades since playing with The Pontiax before going solo. Over those years he has performed onstage alongside talent such as John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton, and many others. The late William Clarke stated: “Mitch Kashmar is my absolute favorite blues harp player of his generation, and one of my favorites period! He’s also a first-class vocalist – his singing really knocks me out.”

Joining Kashmar is the Cascade Blues Association Muddy Award winning guitarist Alan Hager. Hager is a terrific solo musician, and when he plays alongside others artists he is the perfect complimentary guitarist, as those who have played with him, such as Bill Rhoades, Terry Robb, and Dave Fleschner will attest. Hager is well-versed in music history, not just the blues, and has studied at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music and performed as a member of the Boston Symphony and Boston Opera Company as well as several chamber music ensembles. He is a guitarist’s guitarist, as Terry Robb noted: “Alan Hager’s musicianship is the standard by which I judge all others, particularly myself.” High praise indeed!

For the second set of the night, we will be featuring The Reverb Brothers, a strong collection of several of Portland’s best musicians who have been working together for a number The Reverb Brothers - press photoof years. The Reverb Brothers offer a unique take on Americana, with original songs and obscure gems that blend Blues, Country, Soul, New Orleans R&B, Country Blues, and Rock & Roll with a distinctive 1930’s sensibility. With three lead and harmony vocalists, acoustic and electric guitars, blues harp, keyboards, cornet, bass and drums, they always deliver a high energy show that brings people out on the dance floor. Members of the band are: Claes Almroth, keyboards, vocals and harp, Doug Marx, acoustic guitar and vocals, Dave “Gutbucket” Duffield, cornet, trumpet and flugelhorn, Allan Lemley, electric guitar and background vocals, J. Michael Kearsey, bass and vocals, and Fred Ingram, drums.

And don’t forget the free ticket drawing — all in attendance receives a ticket for a chance to win prizes between the sets. There’s always a good time gathering with friends for great blues music, so don’t miss out on the monthly meeting. See you there!

The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, July 8, 7:00 pm
Members Always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – David Pinsky & Phil Newton
Second Electric Set – Randy Morrison’s Party Bus

You know that in July things are going to heat up around town when it comes to live music, whether indoors or outside. I don’t think that I have to remind anybody in Portland that the Waterfront Blues Festival will be kicking off the month in a huge way. But what I do need to remind everybody about is that since the festival happens the first week of July on Thursday, we will be heavily occupied moving our merchandise to the park for set-up on the Wednesday before. Therefore, our regularly scheduled monthly membership meeting is once again being pushed back a week, taking place on Wednesday, July 8. Same place, same time as usual, just a week later. And we’re going to have a good line-up for everybody, too.

Starting the night off will be the Cascade Blues Association’s 2015 International Blues Challenge entry for the solo/duo competition, David Pinsky & Phil Newton. We last saw them perform in Portland in November when they held the set midway through the Muddy Awards ceremonies and again at The Lehrer the following night. David & Phil are not only fantastic musicians, but they emit a happy energy while performing. You just know watching them how much they enjoy playing.

The longtime friends have been performing throughout Southern Oregon for more than thirty years as solo artists or with their own groups before hooking up to play with one another. David’s propulsive guitar, welded to Phil’s harmonica chops, provide a steady groove reminiscent of the ‘60s Chicago style duets. The two will also on occasion will employ a twin harp attack. Both David and Phil bring decades of vocal experience, with David concentrating on his original compositions and Phil interpreting blues and roots. They have also released their own joint effort CD, Over The Moon, filled with biographical and fun original songs.

The second set of the night will present Randy Morrison’s Party Bus. A brand new blues band in the Portland, Oregon area composed of long-time veterans of the local music scene. The group brings excellent musicianship, top notch vocals, and bluesy, funky, fun excitement that should have the members dancing at our meeting.

Randy, on guitar and vocals, has played with and fronted bands on stages from Florida to Chicago, Las Vegas, California, Washington, and Oregon, most recently focusing on playing acoustic solo singer-songwriter style shows. His soulful vocals and spirited, easy-going interaction engages audiences everywhere he plays.

Stephen Anderson, also on guitar and vocals, and Laura Petch on bass and vocals round out the stringed instrument portion of the band. Both are very experienced veterans of Portland’s blues community. Steve’s tasteful and inspired guitar work does the band’s heavy lifting, and his style makes him truly an entertaining performer to see and hear live. Laura’s rock-solid bass lines really glues the unit together, and combined with veteran drummer Eric Williams, provides the rhythm section engine that drives The Bus the way it needs to be driven. Besides their instrumental contributions, Steve and Laura’s vocals, both lead and harmony backup, are essential to the band’s sound, and combined with Randy, really set this band apart.

Definitely a fun-filled night will be at hand, especially for those going through blues festival withdrawals never wanting the music to end. And we will have free ticket drawings and our winner take all raffle of multiple CDs, lots of fun with friends and more great blues music keeping the blues feeling rolling into the summer. See you there!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Still Water Vibes
Second Electric Set – Ted Vaughn Blues Band

It’s June already, and summer is about to kick off. It’s the start of festival time and that means there is going to be plethora of great music humming throughout our region. Make sure to start the summer months off correctly and attend the June Cascade Blues Association Membership Meeting. We’re going to have two fun and exciting sets of music that will certainly set the pace.

Nick Wixom Still Water Vibes press photoOpening the night will be an act we normally do not see in an acoustic setting, but, as they always do when playing an electric set, they’re sure to ignite the dance floor. Still Water Vibes, based in the Salem area, is one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in the region.

Blending their soulful sounds with a steady dose of blues influenced from a variety of musical stylings and musicians makes Still Water Vibes unique. Their original music echoes Jonny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, Anthony Gomes, and more, while their own take on cover material are influenced by those artists as well as Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and classic blues artists like Eric Clapton and BB King. Whether you are a true blues connoisseur or a fan of today’s modern music, Still Water Vibes won’t disappoint!

The band is made up of vocalist Nick Wixom, bassist Jarrod Venti, guitar slinger Brandon Logan, drummer Derek Jones and keyboard man Mike Windsor. A finalist in the 2014 Journey To Memphis, Still Water Vibes will be releasing their debut album the week before this meeting, so consider picking up a copy from the band at the meeting and taking it home with you.

The second act for the night also comes from Salem, proving that the Willamette Valley is indeed fertile ground for blues musicians. The Ted Vaughn Blues Band, fronted by harmonica ace and vocalist Ted Vaughn, is a group of blues pros with decades of recording and performing under their belts. They have all individually shared venues and stages with some of the top artists such as John Fogerty, Timothy B. Schmidt, Ted Nugent, Kenny Loggins, and blues icons Doug MacLeod and John Nemeth. The band has played at many of the largest and smallest blues festivals around the country, electrifying audiences.

Ted Vaughn Blues Band - press photoAlong with band leader Ted Vaughn, the band also includes Clay “Bone” King on guitar, Leon Forrest on keys. Ted Larson on bass and John King on drums. As mentioned, each member brings a wealth of experience making this band brimming with talent and is a must see act. As described by All Music Guide regarding the Ted Vaughn Band, “The music is tight, the sound is sharp . . . a blues persona all their own.” And The Corvallis Advocate adds, “Straight up blues rock for those that can’t get enough. These folks are quickly becoming THE Pacific Northwest band to watch.” Come to the CBA membership meeting and find out why!

It’s sure to be an exciting night of fantastic blues music, good friends, and a chance to win concert tickets, CDs, and more just by attending. Be sure you pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter the venue. Or, for a mere $1.00, take a flyer on a ticket to win the multi-CD package put together just for the meeting. Hope to see you all there — it’s the best way to kick off your summer blues activities.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Joe McMurrian
Second Electric Set – Sammy Eubanks

Normally we offer a pair of acts that might include one well-established group or performer, while we also introduce an artist or band people should be aware of from the ever-growing wealth of regional blues talent. But this month is an exception. Two well-known and highly acclaimed performers from the Northwest will take the stage, making May’s gathering one of the most amazing nights at a Cascade Blues Association meeting. This is a meeting not to miss.

Joe McMurrian - photo by Greg JohnsonOpening the night will be one of the most innovative and creative acoustic guitarists, not only in Portland, but anywhere. Joe McMurrian takes the values and traditions of the older blues artists of the Delta or the Piedmont and brings them to life with his own modern outlooks. Be it acoustic or electric with his band Woodbrain, McMurrian develops catchy and hypnotic music that is driven by his fleet fingerpicking and slide playing and master storytelling. Twice selected by the Cascade Blues Association as their entry into The Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition, McMurrian each time reached the five finalists and took home the overall prize for his incredible 2010 release Get Inside This House.

Currently, McMurrian has released two new discs simultaneously: Old Blood which offers exciting new material recorded in a cabin where he secluded himself from the rest of the world for a few days to create and his first ever live recording, Live At The Aztec Theater. Both are as superb as we would imagine from the brilliant mind of such an artist. Expect to hear several selections from these albums and his previous releases during his set at the CBA meeting in May.

For the second set, we’ll also be treated with a visit from Sammy Eubanks. Coming to Portland all the way from the Spokane/Couer d’Alene area, Sammy has been recognized multiple times as one of the Northwest finest vocalists and is an outstanding guitarist. Sammy Eubanks, who is often referred to as “The Voice,” is quite possibly the most reputable musician in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, where, along with the late Ted Todd, he helped develop the Inland Empire Blues Society. Sammy Eubanks delivers a quality performance every time he takes the stage, playing a variety of Blues, Country and Rock n’ Roll Classics as well as originals. Influenced by many artists and styles, he too demonstrates diversified talent rarely seen in music today.

Sammy Eubanks - photo by Greg JohnsonSammy Eubanks’s band is also a powerful working trio in itself. Joining him are bassist Dave Nordstrom and drummer Michael Hays, and as stated on the band’s website, they make up the swingin’est rhythm section in the business.

Accolades for Eubanks speak volumes as well, when you consider people like James Harman refers to him as “The Real Deal” and Sunbanks Blues Festival producer Billy Stoops explains that “if you look up COOL in the dictionary, you’ll see this cat’s picture.”

Do not miss this meeting. You’ll be very sorry if you do. You get two of the Northwest’s premier artists in one evening, plus your chance to win prizes by attending, too. It doesn’t get much better than this.

The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Robert Richter
Second Electric Set – GreyDogz

It’s April, spring has officially arrived Portland, and the light is lasting longer in the evenings. While the summer and festivals cannot be too far down the road, there is always something going on in Portland to satisfy your blues cravings, and of course the best place to quench that thirst is at the Cascade Blues Association’s general membership meeting the first Wednesday of every month. We will always line you up with the fun music and acts you know or should know.

Robert Richter - photo by Linda PaisleyFor the April meeting we are going to be bringing back singer/songwriter Robert Richter, an energetic performer creating music that blends different genres from folk to blues to rock — all played with passion and energy. His descriptive songwriting and storytelling covers topics dealing with everyday life.

A self-taught guitarist from the age of 12, Robert Richter has performed at numerous events and festivals, including The Rose Festival and NW Folklife. He recently released a new album of all original material, Thick and Thin, and he hosts his own radio show, Loca; Roots broadcast on KMUZ-FM 100.7 in Salem and streaming live online at The show features original music from NW Indie artists. It airs Sundays from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Joining Robert Richter will be part of his band with Olivia Duffy on vocals, mandolin, and violin, Willie Gilmore on bass, and Casey McBride on percussion. Expect the group to play songs from the new CD, as well as some classic blues from Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo. Robert also expects to do at least one song solo on slide.

The evening’s second set will feature a trio of players whose backgrounds would make many other musicians quite GreyDogz - press photojealous. GreyDogz is guitarist John Crain, keyboardist Grant Johnson, and bassist Bill Hansen, and all have played with some of the best performers around the country. These are master musicians who seamlessly play blues and zydeco, standards and New Orleans jazz-inflected classics as well as original compositions, spanning over thirty years of experience living, loving, and interpreting this music in the tradition of the greats. GreyDogz has been working regular gigs at The White Eagle and Duff’s Garage.

Guitarist John Crain started Oregon’s first Reggae Radio Program and formed the band Native Pulse in 1980. The band held the closing spot at the Oregon Country Fair for three years running.  In Portland, Crain has played with J.C. Rico, Kita Montgomery and several gigs with Paulette Davis, as well as forming the band Mumbo Gumbo with Ural Thomas and touring cross-country with Etoufee.

Grant Johnson is a jazz and blues pianist with vast experience as a performer, session player, composer, arranger, and teacher. He recently finished recording Billy Wolff’s Threat Matrix with jazz legends Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy, Bob Mintzer, and Jimmy Haslip of Yellowjackets fame, and was a founding member of the Bay Area jazz combo Segue. He has also performed and recorded with Grammy Award-winning blues and rock greats like Charlie Musselwhite, Jackson Browne, Dobie Gray, and Gene Vincent. Johnson was a founding member of The Psychedelic Rangers with Billy Wolff and John Densmore and Robby Krieger of The Doors.

Bill Hansen, originally from Portland, Maine, is a seasoned pro who has worked with a number of recognized artists like Dick Curless, Lenny Breau, Blood Sweat & Tears saxophonist Fred Lipsius, and Boston’s Brad Delp. Bill has an excellent sense of rhythm and groove, earning him the nickname from the band “The Thunder Pump.”

Come on out and join us for what is sure to be another fun night with CBA friends and great music. Plus you’ll have the chance to win prizes just by attending with our free ticket drawing. Don’t miss out. If you’re not a member, now is a great time to consider joining.

Oh, one more thing — for all acts wanting to participate in the Journey To Memphis, this meeting is the deadline to have your applications turned in. Don’t forget to do so!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, March 4, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Missi & Mister Baker
Second Electric Set – Tracey Fordice & The 8 Balls

They say that March blows in like a lion. Well, that just may be true when it comes to great blues happening this month at the Cascade Blues Association meeting, as we provide another pair of terrific blues acts to open the month just right.

Our first act of the night will be the acoustic duo of Missi & Mister Baker. Missi Hasting and John Baker are a Portland based roots, blues and rock pairing specializing in acoustic guitars with a hefty dose of slide.

Missi grew up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Maryville, TN, where she began singing as a child in Baptist gospel choirs and as a duo with her stepfather, a minister and talented guitarist. She also learned to harmonize at the feet of Tennessee musicians who cared as much about crafting instruments as they did about the songs themselves. Relocating to Austin, Missi developed a deep love for the blues and promoted shows for the city’s only remaining Chitlin’ Circuits-era blues at The Victory Grill before migrating to Portland after her children had grown.

Mister Baker is a soulful practitioner and interpreter known for his lap steel and bottleneck work on traditional roots music including blues, old timey, folk, country, Hawaiian, and rock. He considers himself a musician’s musician and a guitarist’s guitarist. He prefers to keep quiet and play the guitar, and he utilizes a number of different style guitars in his performances, including a Dobro, and a homemade Hawaiian koa wood Weissenborn-style lap guitar with a hollow neck. The duo format with Missi allows him to be more front and center, rather than just lurking in the shadows. John has played in several local bands over the years as a sideman and under the radar.

Missi and John met in 2011.  On their first date while walking along the Willamette River, a large fireball fell directly in their line of vision. “We both felt like it was some kind of sign,” says Missi. Later that evening they started playing guitars together and they’ve been making music ever since. The pair released their debut EP, Where Black Ravens Flew, in 2014, a collection of original songs along with two obscure roots tunes.

Tracey Fordice & The 8 Balls - press photoThe second set of the night will bring back the 2014 Muddy Award winners for Best New Act, Tracey Fordice and the 8 Balls. Fresh off their trip to the International Blues Challenge, where they represented the Ashland Blues Society, this dynamic four-piece band is set to deliver a sound unique in the Portland area.

Their main attraction is Tracey Fordice! Her vocal delivery and stylish piano playing is smooth, yet powerful, and gives emotional depth to every song she performs, from a soulful ballad to a rockin’ Blues tune. Backed by the fiery guitar work of Randy Yearout, along with the powerhouse rhythm section of Steven Mills on bass and Johnnie Corrie on drums, the group works to produce a fresh and original Blues sound that is sure to please audiences both young and old.

In addition, guitarist/vocalist/producer/recording engineer David Alvey will be joining the band for the performance at this month’s CBA meeting. David is co-producing their upcoming CD of all new original material which should be out in late March or early April. Both Tracey and Randy are very talented songwriters in their own right, but in this project they are collaborating together in many of the tunes. Steven Mills is also contributing his songwriting talents in this project. This show will be featuring many of the songs from the new CD.

As a Blues Band, Tracey Fordice and the 8-Balls strives to create fresh, new material that is rich in “Blues” content and styles similar to traditional Blues, but with their new, contemporary twists added to it, along with creative, and topical lyrics. They have always branded themselves as Blues/Rock, but they are influenced by many other genres and it shows in their musical presentation. Their goal is to be contemporary, and to perpetuate the Blues genre into the future without simply repeating its past.

The band has a regular standing Tuesday night jam that they host at The Lehrer, so if you cannot get enough of this fun group, swing out to the West Side every Tuesday night and check them out.

So make sure you head out to The Melody Ballroom on Wednesday, March 4 for another fun night with friends and blues. Free ticket drawings and our multi-CD winner take all raffle will be held as usual. It’s the best way to start out every month if you’re a blues lover in Portland.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, February 4th, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Tim Connor
Second Electric Set – J.T. Wise Band

You can always expect another fun-filled night of great blues music when you come to The Melody Ballroom for the Cascade Blues Association’s monthly meetings. And February is certainly going to carry that traditionTim Connor - photo by Greg JohnsonOpening the night will be Tim Connor who fell in love with the down-home blues when he saw Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival when he was 15. “He was this big guy with this big, blond Kay guitar, and he wasn’t the greatest player but his energy blew me away.” He went on to explore the blues of Lightning Hopkins, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee, and others, with a special interest in the Piedmont blues style. He plays fingerstyle, and, as Rob Cullivan observed in his article about last year’s Journey to Memphis competition, “Connor picks the guitar with the precision of a harpist plucking strings, creating clearly defined melodic lines.” He has played around the Portland area for several years, and has performed and presented workshops on blues guitar styles at Northwest Folklife in Seattle and the Spokane Fall Folk Festival.

Tim is a songwriter who tries to extend the blues tradition while staying true to the roots. “The blues isn’t just a chord progression, it’s a sound and a feeling—one person with a story. I’ve always thought of myself primarily as a songwriter. I’m not a traditional musician really, but American songwriting is a tradition in its own right, and the blues is at the heart of it.” Tim has been somewhat sidelined recently with a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome, but he’s recovered and ready to bring the blues to anybody who wants to listen, and he will be doing so for us at the February meeting.

For the second set of the night we will present the J.T. Wise Band. Wise is a singer/songwriter who brings a signature guitar sound to the band and he’s a graduate of The Musicians Institute with many years performing in bands throughout the NW. For their set, JT Wise Band - press photothe J.T. Wise Band have prepared a mix of original rockin’ blues mixed in with some old favorites. Rounding out the band members is singer songwriter and bassist Margaret Wise; as well as James Stein, a seasoned pro and 30-year musical partner of the Wise family, who is a stellar vocalist and plays rhythm and slide guitars; and drummer Ken Woodside from Shorty and the Mustangs.

At the break between sets we will announce the great events happening in the area for the month and have our popular free ticket drawing for CDs, concert tickets and more. We will also have another winner-take-all multi-CD package for only a $1.00 a ticket chance to take home this great collection of music. Don’t miss out. The CBA monthly meeting is always a great place to hear the blues and to spend time with good friends. See you there.

Melody Ballroom – 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, January 7th – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Hippie Love Slave featuring Kathryn Grimm
Second Electric Set – The Dan Hess Band

Kathryn Grimm - photo courtesy of Kathryn GrimmAs we ring in 2015, the Cascade Blues Association is looking forward to another fantastic year of helping to bring you the best in blues musicians at our monthly meetings. Each month we will feature two great sets of music, offering artists that you may or may not be familiar with. But we know that you’re going to be entertained by a variety of artists throughout the year, and who knows, if they’re not your favorites or somebody you already know, perhaps they will be soon.

Opening the year’s performances for the CBA will be Hippie Love Slave, an eclectic mix of talent brainstormed by longtime guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Kathryn Grimm. Kathryn escaped from Seattle many years ago and headed off for Los Angeles where she took the city by storm. She performed there playing and writing with such folks as Jeff Buckley, Bo Diddley, the notorious Screamin’ Sirens, and more. She developed a love for the blues which culminated at the time in the 2004 recording Grimm Again, which was picked up by Portland’s Burnside Distribution and also received an honorable mention by NARAS, the Grammy Association. Many bands and years later, Kathryn happily landed in Portland where she says she is “finally at home.”

Kathryn’s dream band has come to fruition in Portland and they will be featured at the January CBA meeting. They include Bill Heston on keyboards, “Fizzle” on bass, and Jimi Hardin on drums. This will be a stripped down take on the band for the acoustic performance, but will still retain their self-described “blues meets psychedilia meets the best parts of 70s rock.”

For the second set of the night, we will present the Dan Hess Band. Dan has played at CBA meetings before with his former group, The Undercover Band. His new group is filled with stellar musicians who have worked with him over the years helping to provide that groove of classic blues and R&B. Dan Hess himself has been performing in Portland for the past fifteen years. The exceptional drummer John Dittmore has worked with Dan in a variety of bands over the past eight years. Tyler McDowell completes the trip as the newest member of the group, having worked with Dan for the past three years.

Dan Hess - photo courtesy of Dan HessJoining the Dan Hess Band for the meeting will be special guest, Dan’s sister Sonny Hess. The Muddy Award winning guitarist and band leader has been steadily bringing some of the finest blues groupings in the Northwest with her NW Women in Rhythm & Blues Shows and her own bands, including the 2013 Muddy Award Best New Act The Vicki Stevens Sonny Hess Band.

Please join us in January and every month at The Melody Ballroom for an exciting night of blues music. Be sure to pick up your free ticket for the prize give-away drawing we will do between sets and if you feel lucky purchase one or several $1.00 tickets for our multi-CD winner take all package. Always a fun way to support the blues in our region each and every month. We’ll see you there.

Wednesday, December 3rd – 7:00 pm
The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Opening Acoustic Set –  Rae Gordon, Gaddis Cavenah
Second Electric Set – Get Down Jones

For those members planning on attending the December General Membership Meeting who are reading the BluesNotes prior to the meeting, please remember to bring your current membership card with you. It is election time and having your card makes it easier to hand out the ballots without having to look up your name and status. Every December we vote for the leadership of your Cascade Blues Association; the positions we will be filling for 2015 are President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. Please plan on attending this meeting and casting your vote.

Rae Gordon - photo by Tony Kutter (use this shot with the J2M article)Opening the night for us at the meeting will be somebody we have been seeing an awful lot of lately, Rae Gordon. For those who may not be aware, the monthly meeting calendar fills up pretty quickly for the year and it’s not unusual to have all the spots filled by the first of the year. Thus when Rae booked this date, we had no idea that her band would win the Journey To Memphis competition, meaning a lot of fundraising going on to make ends meet for traveling to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.

But we are totally okay with seeing Rae so often. She is, after all, the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist of the Year from this year’s Muddy Awards and you just cannot get enough of the fun effervescence she emotes on stage. This will be a special acoustic holiday set with Rae and friends singing Christmas and holiday classics, in a bluesy way I’m sure. It is a teaser for the big showcase she will be hosting at Jimmy Mak’s with an all-star gathering on December 13th. Included in her cast of friends for the CBA meeting will be her band leader and songwriting partner Gaddis Cavenah on guitar and one of Portland’s most amazing vocalists LaRhonda Steele, blending her own bluesy-gospel voice along with Rae’s. This has all the makings of a really fun set that you’re not going to want to miss.

The second set of the night will bring a new face to our meeting line-ups, Barney “Get Down Jones” Murnin. Born and raised in Portland, guitarist and vocalist Get Down Jones has been playing blues roots music for over 15 years, citing some of his biggest influences as Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Albert King and Robert Cray. With a deep appreciation for roots music he states, “I believe that many great Americana roots musicians never made the transition to CD, and I would like to refresh some of those original contributions to music. First and foremost I am a fan and musical archivist with a foundation in America’s major contribution to music globally, the blues music can unite us.”

The band have written some great original songs as well to develop for an album, but for the most part the live show consists of some really treasured and great blues songs from some of the founders of American blues. Get Down Jones takes great care to recreate these songs in the original form and flavor, however, their Portland style and his swagger does seep into the songs. “We put some stank on it, but for the most part we give praise to the original artists of the blues.”

Joining Get Down Jones for his CBA debt performance will be members of the band’s most recent line-up that includes guitarist Bobby Poet, bassist David Baulding, Richard Sanders on keys, Sean Derrickson on organ, Chck Gilman on harmonica and vocalist Lisa Kent Baker

Get Down Jones - press photoGet Down Jones is passionate about his performances and the onstage dramatics reflect his feeling of the blues and its emotion. Get Down Jones’ live shows are energetic and original and exactly what you need to feel good about your entertainment night out.

Of course, we will also hold our free ticket drawing to win CDs and other prizes, so do not forget to pick up your ticket at the door. And we’ll also have the winner-take-all $1.00 ticket drawing for your chance to win a 9-CD packet.

Do not miss out in December as we choose our CBA leadership for 2015 and a night of memorable music doesn’t hurt either. See you there.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, November 5th, 6:30 pm
Members always Free – Non-members attending the Muddys $5.00

It’s here again. The biggest night for the blues in the City of Portland as the Cascade Blues Association honors those outstanding musicians, venues, events, recordings and individuals with the highly coveted Muddy Awards for excellent achievement during this past year. Twenty-two categories will be presented by members of the CBA Board of Directors, noted artists and other friends of the blues recognizing those chosen as recipients by the members of the Cascade Blues Association by ballots the past two months.

Make sure to arrive early, because this event annually draws 500+ attendees and tables fill up quickly. It is a gala event, so feel free to dress up a little, but it is not required. Because of the early start, The Melody Ballroom will have dinners available for purchase.

Since we are honoring our local musicians, it is only fitting that we have live performances to enhance the evening. Opening the night will be the Cascade Blues Association’s 2014 Journey To Memphis winners, The Rae Gordon Band at 6:30. The Awards presentations will begin right around 7:30 following a tribute to those artists we lost in the past year since the last Muddy Awards ceremonies. Mid-way through the awards, we will continue with the tradition we started last year and will have a musical interlude featuring our 2014 Journey To Memphis solo/duo winners, travelling all the way from Ashland to participate, David Pinsky & Phil Newton. After the conclusion of the awards, it’s time to party. Every year we invite a musician to put together an all-star jam band including past and present Muddy Award nominees and recipients. This year’s guest band leader is keyboard maestro Dave Fleschner. Dave has already pieced together an impressive line-up, but he is still talking to others for commitments. At this time expect to enjoy performances by: Alan Hager, Andy Stokes, Brad Ulrich, Brandy Hutchinson, Brian Foxworth, Dave Kahl, Doug Bundy, Doug Rowell, Jim Wallace, Jimi Bott, Karen Lovely, LaRhonda Steele, Mark Steele, Mary Flower, Mitch Kashmar, Randy Monroe and Steve Kerin. Quite an impressive grouping indeed.

The Muddy Awards are a  not to miss event.  Please join us for what is always one of the highest anticipated nights for the Portland Blues Community. If you’re not a member, you can always join at the venue if you’d like. This, like all Cascade Blues Association monthly meetings, is open to all ages.