Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday, October 1st, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – Non-members $3.00

Opening Acoustic Set – Tess & Patrik Barr

Second Electric Set – Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band


You’re definitely going to want to attend the October General Membership Meeting for the Cascade Blues Association as we present performances from two of the region’s premier blues women in what is sure to be one smokin’ night of great music.

Opening the night, heading into town for this meeting from the Columbia River Gorge will be the duet of Tess & Patrik Barr. This is a very rare performance as they usually do not play in a duo format.

Tess and Patrik Barr - press photoTess is a vocalist, songwriter and guitar player who has been singing her entire life, who went through phases of country and rock music before discovering the blues in the 70s. Influenced by the likes of Koko Taylor, Katie Webster, Janis Joplin, Elmore James, Junior Wells and Hound Dog Taylor in her writing and singing style, she has recently been creating her own original material, many of which can be found on her outstanding release from earlier this year, Do What You Want.

Joining Tess for this set will be her husband Patrik, best known for his electric slide work, he also plays harmonica, banjo and fiddle along with guitar. A one-time member of the Seattle old time music scene, he has also spent time in Ireland where he took up playing Irish music. He has been playing with Tess’ bands now for the past twenty years as well as co-writing much of her material.

Aside from playing the blues, Tess & Patrik also own and operate Hood Crest Winery and have been working on a follow-up recording to Do What You Want, titled Trouble’s Comin’.

For the second set of the night, we will feature one of the most popular acts in the Portland area, Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band. A multiple

Lisa Mann

Lisa Mann

recipient of the Muddy Awards, including Hall of Fame status as bassist, Lisa is also a nominee in this year’s Blues Blast Awards for the Sean Costello Rising Artist Award. The band has been busy this last summer working the release of the latest recording Move On, taking Lisa all the way to New England and the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas.

The Really Good Band will feature a slightly different line-up for the meeting as regular drummer Michael Ballash works during the week teaching and Brian Harris will be on tour with Curtis Salgado, so the ever reliable Dave Melyan will be handling the drum position alongside the extraordinary guitar skills of Jeff Knudson. Though not known for certain at press time, Patrick McDougall may be joining the band for the night on keyboards.

And as always, make certain to pick up your free ticket at the door for a chance to win CDs, concert tickets and other prizes. There will also be a winner take all raffle for a $1.00 per ticket chance to win a multi-CD package put together just for the meeting.

Hope to see you all there for another night of good friends and great blues.



Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, September 3rd 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – The Mudbugs
Second Electric Set – Billee Reis with guests The Stevens Hess Band

Oh yeah, we’re going to kick September off with an exciting night of blues at the Cascade Blues Association’s General Membership Meeting, with good friends. In fact, for the next few months until the end of the year you will be seeing new faces and some very familiar ones, too. Always one of the best blues nights of every month, you’re not going to want to miss this one.

The MudbugsThe opening set for the meeting will be a newly formed acoustic duo called “The Mudbugs,” pairing one of Portland’s favorite couples, KG and Candy Jackson.

KG has been a Portland blues mainstay for over two decades and is currently the bass player for Michael Osborn and The Drivers.  KG also plays rhythm and lead guitars, and is a Muddy nominated Best Male Vocalist.  He is a prolific songwriter and many of The Mudbugs tunes will be originals.

Candy Jackson, on accordions and washboard, studied piano as a child.  She didn’t discover the accordion until her 50th birthday when she woke up on that day and declared to KG that she wanted to learn accordion.  KG realized she is a very determined gal when she puts her mind to something and watched her wrestle that accordion to the ground.  He invited her to join his band “KG Jackson and The Shakers” and she was honored to be part of that band’s Muddy nomination for Best New Band.  She has learned to play accordion at Centrum’s annual Blues Week up in Port Townsend under the tutelage of blues and zydeco greats such as Jude Taylor, Sunpie Barnes, Curley Taylor, and most recently Corey Ledet, and her mentor Washboard Chaz.

The Mudbugs have diverse musical interests and will play some Blues, Zydeco, Country, and all things Americana.  This is their debut performance so let’s give them a very warm and friendly CBA welcome!

For the second set of the night, we will present Billee Reis. Known for her passion and authenticity, When Billee started her own band in Montana she realized she was made for music and hit the ground running. Since then she has been performing regularly in Montana and Portland including being a finalist in the Colgate Country showdown as well as performing at several festivals. Billee sings Soul, Blues, Country, Rock, Jazz, Pop, R&B Billee Reisand is known for her unique ability to change her voice to suit the style of her music. Once she moved to Portland she joined forces with the highly regarded 12 Media Music Studio with producers Erick Gilbertson and Tony Coleman. She has also been selected for and looking forward to making her first television appearance as a featured musical act for a nationally syndicated network and then coming up this month she will be a guest feature for a radio interview where she will be airing some original pieces from the studio as well as performing live.

Joining Billee for her set will be CBA favorites and last year’s recipients of the Best New Act at the Muddy Awards, The Stevens Hess Band. With Sonny “Smokin’”Hess’ stellar guitar playing, Vicki Stevens hard blowing harmonica and vocals, Kelly Pierce on drums and Jim Hively on bass, this is an outstanding outfit that will not only shine in their own talents, but will draw out Billee’s incredible voice as well.

The Stevens Hess Band has been working steadily over this summer performing at venues and festivals all over the Northwest. And they’ve just completed a brand new CD titled Gold Mine that releases this month.

The music line-up for September is over the top, but don’t forget to pick up a drawing ticket when you come in so you’ll have the chance to win CDs, concert tickets and other prizes. And yes, we will also have the multi-CD winner take all package that you could potentially win by purchasing a $1.00 ticket. Or purchase as many as you’d like as all the money brought in by these ticket sales go to help the CBA in a variety of ways.

Don’t miss out on the meeting, it’s always the best way to start every blues month!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday, August 6th, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – Non-members $3.00

Opening Acoustic Set – Root Cellar

Second Electric Set – Gabriel Cox


August’s Cascade Blues Association’s General Membership Meeting is going to be quite exciting. We will be presenting two acts at completely different takes on the blues. One taking on the earliest patterns of the music and the second the new rootsy rock direction that crosses over genres.

Lowell J Mitchell - courtesy Lowell J Mitchell (to use with meeting article)

Lowell J. Mitchell of Root Cellar – photo courtesy Lowell J. Mitchell

Root Cellar is an authentic jug band that recalls the times when such bands played on street corners and parks throughout the South. Root Cellar is made up of some of Portland’s most renowned acoustic musicians, all deeply inspired by the sounds of jug and string bands.

The group is led by guitarist/vocalist Lowell J. Mitchell, who brings a grass-roots jug-band sensibility to an upbeat blend of rock, blues, rockabilly, soul, island and gospel flavors. He has studied with Quicksilver Messenger Service’s John Cippolina, The Holy Modal Rounders’ Steve Weber and Baby Gramps amongst others. He has also recorded with local musicians such as Billy Kennedy, Bazza, Heavy Petting Zoo and The Four Dudes.

Also on guitar/vocals is Walter Cryderman who also plays banjo and mandolin and works with numerous bands around Portland including Jamie Leopold & The Short Stories, The New Iberians, The Eagle Ridin’ Papas and Bayou Cadillac to name but a few. Harmonica master Aaron Lowe is a respected songwriter and has also played with Jaime Leopold & The Short Stories, Dawn & The Dents and The New Skillet Liquors. Washtub bass and washboardplayer Giued Lutge rounds out the band with another fine collection of outfits that she has worked with, including The How Long Jug Band, The Pagan Jug Band and The Darlin’ Blackbirds. This is a powerhouse acoustic act that will surely convince you that jug music is dance music and highly enjoyable.

Gabriel Cox - photo by Greg Johnson (to use with meeting article)

Gabriel Cox – photo by Greg Johnson

The second set of the night will present for the first time at a CBA meeting one of Salem’s young guns who is about to take the Willamette Valley music scene by storm. Gabriel Cox took part in the Journey to Memphis competition back in June, and though he did not advance to the finals he turned a lot of heads and was invited to perform at the Waterfront Blues Festival. His strong self-titled debut recording has been getting steady airplay by Steve Pringle on KINK 101.9 FM, and it is filled with sensational songwriting, guitar work and vocals by Cox, and includes an impressive group of musicians working with him.

Gabriel Cox may not play a traditional style of blues, but he’s heavily steeped in soulful rock that has come directly from the idiom of the blues. With material perfectly made for cross-over appeal, remember seeing him here at the CBA meeting as his recognition starts to rise.

Remember, pick up your free drawing ticket as you come into the venue. You could walk home with a sweet prize like a CD, concert ticket or perhaps something else. We’ll also hold the winner take all multi-CD drawing with a package of discs put together just for the night. And we’ll let you know of all the great happenings going on in the area for the month. A fun night definitely is in store, so grab your friends and come on down to The Melody Ballroom. Always a nice way to hear the best blues in the area and to see your blues family.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland


Wednesday, July 9th, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Franco Paletta & Jason “JT” Thomas
Second Electric Set – Beckon The Blues

Due to the Waterfront Blues Festival taking place the first weekend of July, the Cascade Blues Association’s Board of Directors decided to push the General Membership Meeting for the month one week back. This allows us to prepare the night before the festival begins by setting up our merchandise booth and last minute run-arounds to make sure all is ready. But we will be back that Wednesday following the festival, on July 9th with another fun-filled night of great blues and socializing with our friends.

Jason JT Thomas and Franco Paletta - photo by Greg JohnsonThe opening set for the 9th will feature two of the front men from one of Portland’s most popular acts, Franco Paletta and his Stinger bandmate, guitarist Jason “JT” Thomas. The pair have been working together for more than two years now, including making the trip to Memphis where the band competed in the International Blues Challenge representing the CBA in 2013.

It’s not often that we get the opportunity to hear this pair in an acoustic duet setting. And this summer has The Stingers playing fairly consistently stretching far outside the Portland area, so this may be a great chance to catch up with Franco and Jason. That schedule will include dates doing the opening set at the Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival in Joseph, Oregon; The Durango Blues Train in Colorado and a show at the famed Biscuits and Blues club in San Francisco.

Franco Paletta is one of the area’s finest harp players, a strong vocalist and an exceptional songwriter. That was clearly displayed on The Stingers most recent CD I Like It Just Like That. Guitarist Jason Thomas also proved that he can craft a song as well, as shown on the same disc with his composition “Living The Blues Again.” But aside from Thomas’ songwriting, his guitar playing is captivating electrically, we can hardly wait to see him on acoustic.

Beckon the Blues has been playing blues tunes together since 2011 and they’ll be joining us for the second set of our meeting.  The band formed out of their immense enjoyment and love of guitar-driven, soul-searchin’ rhythm and blues from different eras stretching over 70 years.  They have been playing cover tunes together for over 8 years, but 3 years ago they decided to focus exclusively on the blues, with both original and cover tunes to round out their set.  In November 2013, Beckon the Blues debuted their first show in Portland and they have been entertaining the blues lovers at various shows ever since.Beckon the Blues - press photo

Each band member brings their own long history in the music industry.  Chelle has been performing in various genres in the Portland area for over 20 years, and has become known for her soulful style and powerful vocals.  She has been greatly influenced by her childhood church (Maranatha in NE Portland) and popular singers such as Mahalia Jackson and Etta James.  Christian Perales has a deep appreciation for the early blues of the 20th century.  His bass playing reflects the steady, understated bass riffs of that era.  Ken Price is the most recent addition to the band, bringing the full, rich sound of the keyboard, strong back-up vocals and a greater dimension of soul to the sound.  Jim Ruff has played the drums since he was a teenager in Chicago, playing professionally in Rock and Roll and blues groups on the East Coast and Midwest.  His experience behind the kit shows when he plays, never missing a beat, even when he sings back up!  Chris Toole has been playing since the 60s and covers rhythm guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, and back-up vocals. He is the predominant song writer for the band and has a great love for all types of blues and jazz.  Jake Wilson takes full charge of lead guitar and is never one to turn down an opportunity to wail.  His finger-blistering leads stem from a wide range of blues influences of Texas Blues, Delta Blues and good old fashioned Rock and Roll.

Without a doubt, Beckon the Blues is a force to reckon with and a guaranteed good time!

Remember, pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter the venue. You don’t want to miss out on your chance on winning a CD or other prizes just by showing up. And you can also purchase tickets for our winner-take-all multi-CD raffle; tickets are just $1.00 each.

Don’t forget, the meeting is the second Wednesday this month only. We’ll be back on our routine first Wednesdays starting back up again in August. We know that four days at the Waterfront will just whet your appetite for summertime blues. We can help ease that craving at our meeting.

We’ll see you there!!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, June 4th, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Justin James Bridges
Second Electric Set – Holfar Blue

For June, we’re bringing a couple of acts that you may not be well aware of, but they’re making their marks around town and we think you’ll enjoy both sets a great deal. Sorry I missed last month while I was working the Blues Music Awards, and Wendy and Jon were both out of town on business, but I heard Merry did a terrific job hosting and J. Lofberg graciously helped out as Terry Currier was also unavailable. Things will be back to normal this time, though Terry will still be missing.

Justin James Bridges - press photoFor our first set we will feature Justin James Bridges, a Texas-born guitarist now living in Portland. This past year saw him release three all original albums and two music videos, quite a hefty accomplishment for any musician, but it is the quality, diversity and originality that truly make his material special. Bridges has recently returned from a multi-month tour that took him to his native Texas and into California. An activist for legalization of marijuana, the tour titled the Cannabis Common Sense Tour found him performing at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip and at two separate High Times Cannabis Cups. He is also a regularly featured performer at Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Café.

Fun and soulful are probably the best descriptions of Justin James Bridges’ sound. While all of his music has a blues/funk/roots base, he layers, blends and bends various genres in a creative, original way. Plenty of something for everyone, do not miss your chance to catch Justin James Bridges’ set.

Our second set of the night will bring Holfar Blue to our members. The band has been playing the area since 2011 and quickly gained a loyal following for their eclectic mix of original songs, blending elements of blues, jazz and rock, as well as artful covers of classic blues and rock rarities. The band released their first full-length CD, Blue Suede Cadillac, in 2012 and followed that up with a four-song EP, You Need Truth, in 2013. Holfar Blue - press photo

The band features guitarist Michael Houlberg, who began his musical journey playing in San Diego and Los Angeles before relocating to Portland. He writes the band’s songs from his own personal experiences, drawing on his observations of others and his imagination, often placing himself as the main character in his songs. “I don’t play “authentic” blues, even though I’ve schooled myself on it and enjoy it greatly,” Michael states.  “It just doesn’t feel authentic to me.  Muddy Waters can sing “I’m going down to Louisiana”, but I’ve never been there. ”

Also in the band are original member David Farrell, a classically trained keyboardist with a deep love for the blues and rock music. Former Portland surf band The Verbtones’ bassist Mike Tatro, and Brian Parks who comes from a long line of drummers in his family.

Get set for a fun-filled performance featuring music in a style that is based deeply in the blues, but also reflects their love for rock, R&B, jazz and Motown music.

In between sets we will do our free ticket drawing for everybody to have the chance to win CDs and concert tickets, while letting you know what will be going on in the area during the month. We will also have our multi-CD package tickets for sale and will draw the winning number midway into the second set.

As a heads up, make sure to mark your calendars for the July meeting that will take place the second Wednesday of the month because of the Waterfront Blues Festival happening the week before. That’s Wednesday, July 9th, still happening at The Melody Ballroom at the regular time. Don’t miss out!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland

Wednesday, May 7th, 7:00 pm

Members always Free – non-members $3.00

Opening Acoustic Set – Melody Guy & Jake Blair

Second Electric Set – August In Blue

Every month we have a terrific line-up of talented local artists perform for you at the monthly general membership meetings. This city has a vast wealth of outstanding artists who call Portland home and we’re exceptionally proud of the acts we have showcasing for you this month as they display some of the younger musicians that are making great strides in making our local blues community even stronger.

Opening the night we will have the duet of Melody Guy and Jake Blair. Guy is a singer-songwriter who has been touring the country as a national act that has been based out of Nashville. Several years ago she met Jake Blair, one of the area’s top young blues-rock guitar slingers, and the two of them hit it off quite well on stage. On a tour Guy was making this past year, the two met up again and they more than just lit things up on stage. The pair married this past February and have been performing together as often as possible.

Jake Blair & Melody Guy

Jake Blair & Melody Guy (photo by Christa McIntyre)

Melody Guy is a native Oregonian, with nine albums already to her credit, including her most recent Diamond On The Street. Her music covers a wide range of genres, all done exceptionally well, with several national musicians covering her work.

Jake Blair first struck the local attention more than a decade back as one of the young blood guitarists pursuing blues in a generation that also included Ty Curtis and Ben Rice. He won a Muddy Award for best new act in 2001 and has progressed as an exceptional singer-songwriter with a new album on the horizon and rearing to make his own mark on the national circuit.

Certain to be a memorable performance, let’s help kick off their marriage and working together with a rousing appreciation. We already know that they’re both over the top musicians, so don’t miss out seeing them at the meeting.

August In Blue (press photo)

August In Blue (press photo)

For the second set, we will also be making up for the February meeting that was snowed out and bringing back a group that performed at last summer’s picnic. But with an altered line-up from what we saw then. August In Blue has been a long-time dream of guitarists Richard Staats and Josh Makosky, who have been making music together since they were in the 8th grade. In the summer of 2012 the two joined forces to blend the upbeat precision of rock and funk with the soul and emotion of the blues. Thus the birth of August In Blue. A band formulated and assembled on the month of the Blue Moon. Both have performed with bands on their own, Richard with Stupefyin’ Jones and Josh with Angel Bouchet, The Space Monkeys and was prominently featured in the Shari’s 3 AM recordings. With the fiery, funky thump that you come to expect from Calen Uhlig, plus the soul and groove of the amazing Brian Foxworth, the combination becomes explosive. Having this rhythm section alongside this pair of hot guitar players just means that the members are certainly in for a big treat at the meeting. And for the meeting, throw in the extraordinary vocals of Naomi Tee as a special guest and the set is going to be cookin’ with grease for a good time for sure!!

We will also be having our regular free ticket drawing, so make sure you pick up yours at the door for a chance to win CDs and tickets. And jump into the winner take all drawing for a chance to win a full package of CDs put together for this meeting. The winner take all tickets are only a $1.00 a chance.

Come out and share another night of fun and music at the CBA monthly meeting. Always guaranteed to be a great time with good friends.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, April 2nd – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Set – Kivett Bednar
Second Set – Drop Dead Red

The year keeps rolling along and the blues is red hot in the city so far this year. Unbelievable number of touring acts and the local musicians just seem to get better every night out. For a little stop in the Pacific Northwest, kind of out of the way for a lot bands on the road, this town has the blues big time. But you all knew this already, that’s why you’re Cascade Blues Association members and the monthly meetings can always be trusted to bring fantastic performances from some of our area’s best. It’s a great time to check out newer acts you may not be familiar with and to catch up on some you may have not seen for a while.

Opening the April meeting will be a fairly new musician to the Portland area, though he has been in town for more than a year.. Originally from Austin, Kivett Bednar knows a thing or two about musical creativity. Being a graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, a forerunner in producing some of the most inventive artists in modern music, Bednar truly puts his education to good use. Recently he released a new album titled Land of the Living where he has blended metal music with the blues. It has a definite crunch to its sound with a lot of dark heavy chording. He will be performing the songs from Land of the Living during his set mixed with some classic blues you’ll recognize. Joining him for the set will be drummer Lynn Nicholson. This is a straightforward duo that if you’re fans of the music of Cedric Burnside Project or Hillstomp you’ll appreciate. Very original, taking the blues in Portland to a new and exciting direction.

Drop Dead Red last played a CBA meeting a couple years ago, but they now have a new vocalist in Theresa Lowe, who has fronted bands such as Inner City Blues Band and Undercover in the past, as well as performing often with the Northwest Women in Rhythm & Blues. The musicians making up the band are all well versed veterans of the blues scene, including “Grandma Funk” Joanne Mead laying down her sensational bass work, “The Deacon” Tim Doyle who has been fingering those grooves on the keys for years with acts like Robbie Laws, Lori Bouck and Sonny Hess, drummer Wilton Merritt with a heavy background in gospel with renowned artists like The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar and James Cleveland, saxophonist Bob Anderson who worked as a jazz musician and left music behind for 25 years before resurfacing with numerous Northwest blues bands, and guitarist Jon Tennis who claims he has fronted more nobodies in town outlasting most of the local dives and weddings he has performed at.

The word “quality” exemplifies Drop Dead Red, from their talent and well-orchestrated arrangements to their top of the line equipment. They play a wide variety of music and have been well received by audiences wherever they’ve played. This will be a fun-filled set, with an evening of listening and dancing pleasure.

Between sets we will hold our popular free ticket drawing for a chance to win CDs, concert tickets and more, so make certain to pick up your ticket at the door. We will also have another multi-CD drawing for a $1.00 per chance to take home a special package of discs put together just for this meeting.

Start your blues month out properly and come down to The Melody Ballroom for great music and to catch up with old friends. Bring your buddies, too. Convince them that they should also be members of the Cascade Blues Association, joining our friendly family of blues enthusiasts.

Wednesday, March 5th – 7:00 pm
Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Opening Acoustic Set – Ralph Broqvist & Jim Wallace
Second Electric Set – Kenny Kofler & The Third Power

We want to apologize for canceling the meeting in February at the last minute. We did not foresee the inclement weather that decided to hit town that day and pretty much close  everything down for the following few days after. But it is better safe than sorry when this happens and after speaking with The Melody Ballroom and the performers it was considered the best option for all. We will work at trying to reschedule the acts for a future date.

But we do not see anything that should interrupt the March meeting and we’re back on schedule with our regular first Wednesday of the month, too. Just to let you all know, we have a line-up of acts for the remainder of the year that are mostly new to playing our monthly meetings, with perhaps one or two old friends. All the band slots for the year are filled and the opening sets are filling up quickly.

Opening the meeting in March will be a very special grouping that does not happen too often. Normally we offer an acoustic set, but tonight we had the opportunity to showcase our friend guitarist Ralph Broqvist who will be joined by Portland harmonica ace Jim Wallace and backed by the Suburban Slim Band. Usually when Broqvist visits town, these performances are something that may only occur at small gatherings of friends or in a jam setting.

Ralph Broqvist

Ralph Broqvist (press photo)

Ralph Broqvist is the leader and guitarist for the popular Swedish band, Blueass Blues Band and has also worked with Deborah Coleman’s band when she toured through Norway. He has been called by Jefferson magazine as “one of the unsung heroes of Swedish blues guitarists today,” who can play sharp rock guitar, blues that just feels right in tempo and tone, and when on slide guitar you can imagine “Hound Dog Taylor smiling from Heaven . . . or maybe downstairs.”

Jim Wallace (photo by Greg Johnson)

Jim Wallace (photo by Greg Johnson)

Jim Wallace, of course, needs no introduction to Portland blues fans. One of the region’smost popular harmonica players, he has worked as band leader of The Haus Katsand has played alongside greats like Rick Welter, AC Porter & The Live Wires and Franck Goldwasser. The Suburban Slim Band will back Wallace and Broqvist, featuring Phil “Suburban Slim” Wagner on guitar, John Neish on bass and Scott Van Dusen from The Third Power band will be doing double duty on drums, playing both sets. Certain to be a memorable meeting for sure.

And yet, that is only the beginning. For the second set of the night we will be presenting Kenny Kofler and The Third Power, a new blues-based variety group from Portland showcasing some of the city’s brightest up-and-coming talent.

Kenny Kofler & The Third Power (photo by Roger Kofler)

Kenny Kofler & The Third Power (photo by Roger Kofler)

Led by Kenny Kofler, whose musical background began with the accordion at the tender age of five, moving on to saxophone that saw him reap numerous State and regional awards as a soloist in high school and college, and eventually taking up the guitar to express his love for American roots music. He has performed in multiple genres ranging from funk, blues, jazz, classical and contemporary country with numerous bands such as Deep Blue Soul Revue, The Sinners Club, Walter Guy Band, Bolt Upright and many others. With The Third Power Kenny provides vocals, guitar and saxophone.

Also on saxophone is the amazing Eric Rabe whose influences include Blue Lou Marini, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and others that helped him develop his own recognizable trademark sound. He has worked alongside many of the most highly regarded acts in the area as well as making a name for himself as a session musician in several of the top studios in Portland. His presence adds a very melodic and soulful sound to The Third Power.

Scott Van Dusen on drums is the backbone of the band. With solid, driving grooves, his background spans various genres of rock, blues, jazz, fusion, folk and R&B. Since relocating to Portland from Southern California, where he worked with Tupelo Blue and The Jill Sharpe Band, he has been working with some of the finest musicians in the Northwest.

Rounding out The Third Power is bassist Chris Hale. Originally from San Diego, he has been honing his skill for nearly a quarter century playing blues and jazz. One of the Northwest’s most talented and entertaining bassists, he will wow you on both the fretless electric bass and the upright. A cerebral pocket-player with a superb talent for melodic intuition, he brings a rock-solid low end the band filling nooks and crannies with sonic goodness.

Don’t forget to pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter The Melody, for your chance to win CDs and concert tickets. We’ll also have another multi-CD raffle, winner takes all, for only $1.00 a chance. Come on out to the meeting and be prepared to party with two bands in one night. Bring your friends, too. We’re always happy to see new faces.

Thursday, February 6th – 7:00 pm

The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set –  Vicki Stevens & Sonny Hess
Second Electric Set – August In Blue
First of all, please note the date for the February meeting. We will be holding this month’s meeting on Thursday, due to a Sonny Hess and Vicki Stevens - photo by Ty Hitzemannlarge group using the room on Wednesday. The good people at The Melody were asked to book a high-paying, catered event on Wednesday and asked if we could change the date for our meeting. They have been so good to us over the many years we have held our monthly events here, completely donated by The Melody, how could we not agree. It is the only time in my memory that they have ever requested this and it has been a very good partnership over that time. But even though the date may be one day later than normal, you know we’re going to have a great event just the same.
Sonny Hess and Vicki Stevens – photo by Ty HitzemannOpening the night will be 2013 Muddy Award recipients for Best New Act, Vicki Stevens and Sonny Hess. Like at the picnic this will be the acoustic duo with Sonny on guitar and Vicki on harmonica, with both providing vocals. Sonny is a Portland area legend having performed with numerous acts, leading her own band, holding the annual Northwest Women in Rhythm & Blues events, a multiple Muddy Award recipient and has been nominated for Lifetime Achievement recognition, too. With her guitar prowess, you’re surely going to understand why she is called Sonny “Smokin’ Hess” for a reason. Vicki Stevens moved to the Northwest a few years back, settling in Eugene and then Seattle before making the move to Portland and partnering up with Sonny. She is an award winning vocalist and represented the Rainy Day Blues Society in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge a couple years back. Vicki and Sonny are planning on entering the Cascade Blues Association Journey to Memphis this year, where you know they’re going to give the judges an impressive taste of their talents. We get a nice preview of what they’ll offer at the meeting. Always an entertaining and exciting act, you do not want to miss Vicki and Sonny.
August In Blue - press photoFor the second set, we will also be bringing back a group that performed at last summer’s picnic, but with an altered line-up from what we saw then. August In Blue has August In Blue – press photobeen a long-time dream of guitarists Richard Staats and Josh Makosky, who have making music together since they were in the 8th grade. In the summer of 2012 the two joined forces to blend the upbeat precision of rock and funk with the soul and emotion of the blues. Thus the birth of August In Blue. A band formulated and assembled on the month of the Blue Moon. Both have performed with bands on their own, Richard with Stupefyin’ Jones and Josh with Angel Bouchet and most recently with The Space Monkeys. With the fiery, funky thump that you come to expect from Calen Uhlig, plus the soul and groove of the amazing Brian Foxwoth, the combination becomes explosive. Having this rhythm section alongside this pair of hot guitar players just means that the members are certainly in for a big treat at the meeting.
Remember to pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter the venue for a chance to win great prizes and consider purchasing one or more $1.00 tickets for the multiple CD package, where the money will go to help the CBA maintain its business expenses and assist in upcoming events. And bring a friend or two and convince them they should join one of the finest blues societies in the country. You may not need to do too much convincing, as they’ll see for themselves just how much fun we have.
See you all there!!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, January 8th, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Julie Yanko & Dean Mueller
Second Electric Set – Jesse Samsel

Hey everybody, hope you noticed that date for the meeting right off so you do not show up a week too early. You should be home with family, watching football, recovering from partying too much the night before or whatever you like to do on the holiday, so the meeting is pushed back one week.  But we guarantee that that extra week will be well worth the wait as the Cascade Blues Association begins year number twenty-eight of supporting, promoting and preserving the blues in our region. One way that we do this is by offering two great sets of music at our general membership meetings each month and we believe you’re going to truly enjoy the acts we have for January.

Dean Mueller and Julie Yanko -photo from Dean MuellerOpening the night will be Julie Yanko & Dean Mueller. The pairing of a Jazz vocalist and upright acoustic bass is a magical combination that leaves nowhere to hide. It is a setting reserved for the most qualified artists, a mingling that Julie Yanko and Dean Mueller bring together with unexpected delight. Julie is a strong yet sweet voice reminiscent of the 50’s when female singers ruled the jazz and blues world of music. Her repertoire combines the jazz of Billy Holiday with the soul of Nina Simone and the sophisticated country of Patsy Cline. Dean’s bass playing is rooted in the blues chops he earned playing with the finest blues legends in America and touring with the award winning international act, The Insomniacs. Over the last couple of years the pair has been performing as a duo or collaborating onstage with other northwest artists such as Curtis Salgado, Alan Hager, Chris Carlson, Henry Cooper, Dave Fleschner, and Alex Shakeri. Each situation brings out a different vibe and freshness that new relationships tend to do. At January’s CBA meeting the pair will be teaming up with Chris Carlson, a Northwest guitar master and bandmate with Dean in the Duffy Bishop band. Come join us as this trio brings a fresh take on a bygone era that is intimate, alluring, and hauntingly beautiful.

For the second set we have invited back one of Portland’s finest guitarists, Jesse Samsel. He Jesse Samsel - photo by Karylee Harrisionhas worked with many exciting acts over the years, both locally with the likes of Meredith Brooks, Paulette Davis, Steamy Windows and recording and toured the world with renowned artists like Ry Cooder, Bobby King and Terry Evans. This past year Jesse has been working as Jesse & The Loopers, which is actually Jesse doing all the parts by looping the tracks, something that he may be the only blues artist pursuing this direction. But for the meeting, Jesse is planning on bringing a band with him, so you should expect to hear that great solid rock and danceable blues that he is known for. He is also hoping to bring copies of a new CD that he has titled Blues Notes, which will feature all the songs that he recorded with people like Ry Cooder and Terry Evans that they allowed him to solo on. Sounds like a very cool collection for sure. Whatever setting you find Jesse Samsel in, you know that he is going to bring all he’s got, never a dull moment and entertaining for certain.

Remember to pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter the venue for a chance to win great prizes. We’ll also have another multi-CD package with tickets to win it all going for only $1.00 a chance, with the funds all going to help the Cascade Blues Association offer nights like these meetings and many other exciting projects throughout the year.

Hope to see you all there!