lightnin-willie-photo-by-mike-kendall“Los Angeles based bluesman Lightnin’ Willie has developed a particularly intriguing wrinkle on the genre, one that’s cool, airy, with a sinuous groove that infiltrates his audience’s consciousness and invariably gets them on their feet. He has no quarrel with mixing dance with the blues.” – LAWeekly.

Nicknamed “The biggest little blues band on earth,” Lightnin’ Willie & The Poor Boys consists of Lightnin’ Willie on guitar and vocals along with Dennis Gurwell or Michael “Fireball” Murphy on keyboards/ bass and the pocket master Jerry Olson on drums. They are winners of two California Blues Challenges (Southern California and Ventura County) and Semi-Finalists in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and they play blues the way aficionados of the genre like it: hard, raw, and with a taste of the roadhouse. It is delivered with an honest integrity and love for the music, which is reminiscent of some of the legendary Texas and Chicago blues heavies. Lightnin’ Willie’s music is “real,” which is one of the best things you can say about an Americana / Bluesman.

The band is returning to Oregon for a pair of shows in October as part of their “Dance Like No One Is Watching Tour.”

On Saturday, October 8, Lightnin’ Willie & The Poor Boys will return for the second straight year at the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival at the Deepwood Estate, 1116 Mission Street SE, in Salem. This event is open to all ages, running from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Advance admission is $10.00 for guests and $8.00 for members of Friends of Deepwood at Day of show admission is $15.00 at the gate.

On Sunday, October 9, you can also catch Lightnin’ Willie & The Poor Boys for an afternoon performance at The Birk, 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld, starting at 2:00 pm. Admission is $10.00.

duffy_bishop_14_resized_croppedOn Saturday, October 8, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame will present a special evening celebrating this year’s honor roll inductees. The class of 2016 includes prominent musicians and industry members Pete Krebs, Fernando, Brian Berg, Paul Brainard, Tim Ellis, Bart Day, Dave Cutter, the band Sleater-Kinney, plus one of the Northwest’s most favorite blues artists, Duffy Bishop.

Duffy Bishop will also be performing at the concert, as will Three Leg Torso and a set with Fernando and guests Pete Krebs and Paul Brainard. Duffy’s band for the night will include guitarists Chris Carlson and Henry Cooper, bassist Dean Mueller and Oregon Music Hall of Fame member Carlton Jackson on drums. The night will be emceed by Tony Starlight.

The Oregon Music Hall of Fame event begins at 7:00 pm and will be held at the Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue. Tickets can be purchased in advance at for $25.00 advance, or $30.00 at the door day of show. There are also a limited number of $100.00 Gold Circle reserved seats in prime center location available through only (these will sell out so order as soon as possible).

b&w promo.indd

b&w promo.indd

Ellen Whyte & The Plus Size Band will perform at The Trails End Saloon on Saturday, October 15 to celebrate five different anniversaries. First, on a personal level the performance will recognize Ellen’s birthday, the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with her husband John Mullins, and John’s retirement after working forty-two years with Human Services Advocacy. Professionally, October will also note Ellen’s twenty-year songwriting collaboration with Garry Mezeire and John as well as the twentieth anniversary of their first release, Different Point Of Blue.

There’re not too many stages that can fit The Plus Sized Band, but the Trails End has long been home to Ellen Whyte over the years, so what better place would be fitting to hold this event. The Plus Sized Band will feature guitarist Garry Meziere, bassist Gene Houck, keyboard whiz Jean-Pierre Garau, sax players Bryan Dickerson and Pete Petersen, trumpeter Greg Garrett, trombonist John Moak, and drummer Mike Braun. Also, Muddy Award Hall of Fame saxophonist Renato Caranto will be performing with the band, taking a break in his current touring with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.

It will all start at 8:30 pm. The Trails End Saloon is located at 1320 Main Street in downtown Oregon City. Reservations are strongly recommended and will be limited, call the venue at 503-656-3031 to set up yours. Admission for this extraordinary evening will be $15.00. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so show your current membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount on admission.

What can be better than a day on the Portland Spirit, floating along the Willamette River, dancing and listening to the sounds of some of our region’s finest blues musicians? This October you’ll have the opportunity to experience three decks of gut-crunching, soul-lifting blues and also help raise funds to send the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey To Memphis winners to Tennessee to compete in the International Blues Challenge in late January/early February.

rae-by-tony-kitterThe Portland Blues Cruise was the brainchild of Rae Gordon while she was searching for a way to raise funds for her band’s trip to the IBC several years ago, and it was so popular and successful that it’s carried on now to its third year. Rae and her band, The Backseat Drivers, will once again be representing the CBA in Memphis, so they’ll be working the main stage on the middle deck of The Portland Spirit. Solo winner David Pinsky and Youth Showcase entry Timothy James will be featured on the top acoustic deck. Also helping out will be former CBA IBC artists Franco Paletta, Blues Music Award winner Lisa Mann, and other special guests who will be sure to add to the fun.

The Portland Spirit will be decked out in a Memphis theme, including food that can be purchased on board. This year’s Portland Blues Cruise will depart on Saturday, October 8, from Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 750 SW Front Avenue, at 3:00 pm. Boarding gates will open at 2:30 pm. Tickets are now on sale through for $25.00. Admission will be $30.00 on site, but best to buy in advance as this event will more than likely sell out.

(Please Note: For those folks who are planning on attending the Oregon Music Hall of Fame show that same night, you’ll have time to do both! The Portland Spirit will return and unload at 5:00 pm, giving ample time to head off to the Aladdin Theatre).

the-devil-makes-three-press-photoCalifornia’s The Devil Makes Three returns to Portland for a two-night run at the Roseland Theater on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9, bringing their hyper-driven blend of bluegrass, blues, rockabilly, ragtime, folk, jazz, and old-timey music in support of the latest release, Redemption & Ruin. The Devil Makes Three inhabit a hardscrabble working-class world full of problem drinkers, tellers of tall tales, pirates, and troublemakers, but they deliver their desperate parables with a charming deadpan wit. The band consists of Pete Bernhard and Cooper McBean on guitars and Lucia Turino on bass. This trio is filled with impressive onstage energy and mordant humor, with a widespread range of influences that include the likes of Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk, Django Reinhardt, Steve Earle, Doc Watson, Iron Maiden, and Blind Willie McTell.

Tickets for these all ages shows are available through for $25.00. The Roseland Theater is located at 8 NW 6th Avenue. Show time is 9:00 pm. Opening the shows will be Nashville-based alt-country band, Lost Dog Street Band.

catherine-russell-photo-by-sandrine-leeThe Wall Street Journal proclaims Catherine Russell as “ … the best blues and jazz singer going today.”

The Grammy Award-winning vocalist is the rarest of entities – a genuine jazz and blues singer who can sing virtually anything. Her voice is full-blown femininity incarnate; a dusky, stalwart, and soulful instrument that radiates interpretive power yet remains touchingly vulnerable. Catherine Russell has released five chart topping albums to date, performed on four continents, and has been a hit on major jazz festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern International, Tanglewood and more. Her concert repertoire features musical gems from the 1920s through the present vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. With an off-the beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell is firmly ranked as one of the greatest interpreters and performers of American popular song today.

Catherine Russell will appear in Portland on Tuesday, October 11 for a 7:30 pm performance at The Old Chuch, 1422 SW 11th Avenue. Tickets are $25.00 advance ($20.00 for PDX Jazz members) through

revpeytonsbigdamnband_audiopremiere_splash650A powerful triple headed night will take command on Saturday, October 15 as The Supersuckers and Jesse Dayton joins The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band at Dante’s.

Roaring out of the southern Indiana foothills comes Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band playing a brand of Americana, Blues, Delta blues, and hillbilly fervor combined with musical acuity as sharp as razor wire. The band has an uncanny ability to breathe new life into old forms of music giving them a pedigree many Americana acts would kill for. Locked in with an audience, The Rev. J. Peyton, his wife Breezy, and Ben “Birddog” Bussell have the ability to transport them away from their troubles to joyous release, the way great musicians have done for centuries.

The Supersuckers are a Seattle-based group that describe themselves as quality, honest, ass-kicking, hard working individuals trying to make your life a little better through the “evil powers of rock-n-roll” (with the occasional detour into the country music, of course) Band leader Eddie Spaghetti warns you to wear clean underwear, because we’re gonna rock your pants right off of you.

Texan Jesse Dayton is a rockabilly artists known for his guitar shredding, country-infused, Americana sound who has recorded with some of country’s greatest legends like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell.

This is a trio of acts sure to bring the crowd at Dante’s jumping. This is a 21 and over show, with tickets available for $17.00 advance through Show time is 9:00 pm. Dante’s is located at 350 West Burnside.

This same line-up will appear in Bend at The Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, on Sunday, October 16. Call 541-323-1881 for ticket and show time information.

DeanJulieCurtisLake2Lake Oswego, Oregon, Sept 15, 2016 – Julie Amici will host its “Yellow Roses” Single Release and Kickstarter Launch Event on Oct 17th at Lake Theater & Cafe in Lake Oswego. Proceeds from the event will help fund the CD project and resulting tour. The night will feature the debut live performance of Yellow Roses, a viewing of the Kickstarter video, as well as a host of performances from musicians who have performed with Julie Amici along the way including Chris Carlson, Alan Hager, Mark Shark, Dan Gildea, Carlton Jackson, and Alan Jones.

“Julie Amici” is the collaboration between Julie Yanko and Dean Mueller that started in late 2014. Over the past year, the pair has performed as a duo as well as collaborated onstage with some of the Northwest’s finest musicians. Julie’s strong yet sweet voice is reminiscent of the 50’s when female singers ruled the world of music, a time when jazz and blues co-mingled at the height of popular culture. Her repertoire combines the jazz of Billie Holiday with the soul of Nina Simone and the sophisticated country of Patsy Cline. Dean’s bass playing and management skills were earned playing with some of the finest blues legends in America and managing, and touring with, the award winning international act, The Insomniacs.

“The name is derived from Julie’s first name, and “Amici” the original family name of my father,” said Mueller. “It is a melding of the two of us. And our music is the fusion of Julie’s country roots and childhood dreams of singing jazz, with my deeply rooted blues foundation.”

Evolution of Julie Amici’s Americana Style

In the spring of this year, the couple started writing original tunes inspired by simple melodies of childhood memories that Julie recorded on a trip back to her hometown in Wisconsin. After working together on the material for a couple of months, they enlisted the help of their longtime friend and mentor, Alan Jones, to further develop the songs. As their work developed Alan offered to produce the music, scheduled the studio time, and in July they started long hours of studio work.

Alan’s reputation as one of the finest Jazz drummers and music educators is known across the world. His most recent work as a producer for both of Taylor John Williams latest EP’s is solidifying his position as a talented producer as well. When asked why he decided to produce the record, Alan said: “The lyrics are great… the music is an authentic expression of a snapshot of American tradition”.

“The project has turned into an exciting adventure that has far exceeded our expectations on many levels,” said Yanko “The original plan to mix some covers typical of our past performances, but it was quickly traded in favor of a project based on original material we can put 100% of heart into. The end result is an Americana style – a blend of our typical roots in jazz, blues and country and influenced by our personalities and lifestyles.”

In this age of digital releases, Julie Amici plans to release a series of singles starting with “Yellow Roses” that will culminate in the release of a final LP.

About the Event

The Music Monday series at Lake Theater & Cafe features top jazz, blues and roots artists from throughout the region. Originally built in 1940, the recently restored Lake Theater and Café is an all-ages state-of- the art concert facility, with a beautiful lakeside view and a full-service bar and restaurant. Showtime is 7:00pm and doors open at 6:00pm. Tickets for this show are $10.00 for general admission and can be purchased online at

valerie-june-press-photoMulti-instrumentalist and Tennessee native Valerie June performs a diverse conglomeration of American roots music that encompasses traditional spirituals, Americana, classic blues, folk, soul, and bluegrass through stark acoustic rhythms and uncanny slide guitar. She effortlessly shifts between eras and genres. She can be haunting and melancholy, singing of the ghostly darkness of loneliness, or full of warmth and charm, at one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable, the next in a display of naked honesty. Valerie June transports you to another world the moment you hear her voice. It is a voice that has been winning over audiences around the world in a seemingly short few years since she first burst upon the music scene.

Valerie June will be opening for jazz singer Norah Jones in a sensational double bill at the Keller Auditorium on Thursday, October 20. Show time is 8:00 pm for this all ages event. Tickets can be purchased through Portland’5 Center for the Arts website ranging from $38.50 to $68.00. The Keller Auditorium is located at 222 SW Clay Street in Portland.

This fall, aspiring musicians from around the country will gather for a five-day blues guitar camp to hone their skills and immerse themselves in the music. This year’s instructors include four of the world’s finest acoustic blues musicians: Ernie Hawkins (Pittsburgh), Steve James (Seattle), Suzy Thompson (Berkeley), and the camp’s artistic director (Portland’s own) Mary Flower. The event is held in the Columbia River Gorge at the beautiful Maenucha Retreat Center in Corbett, OR, September 30 through October 2 . Due to the limited number of students accepted each year (only 46), this camp sells out quickly. All attending will receive intimate, close at hand classes, lectures, and a student concert.

mary-flower-press-photoMary Flower is a multiple Muddy Award recipient and Blues Music Award nominee who has also competed in the National Fingerpicking Championship. Steve James is considered one of the finest bottleneck slide players and storytellers in the blues scene. Ernie Hawkins is an internationally renowned virtuoso who plays and sings blues, ragtime, and gospel in the early 1900’s east coast Piedmont and Texas steel-string flattop fingerpicking styles. Suzy Thompson is a master of the blues violin and a powerful vocalist in the style of Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith and is remarkably able to sing and play fiddle at the same time.

Following the workshop in the Gorge, the four instructors will appear in a special concert at The Secret Society Ballroom in Portland on Sunday, October 2. The Acoustic Blues Masters concert is open to the public and begins at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance for this show at for $25.00. Those wearing a Blues in the Gorge T-shirt will receive $5.00 off at the door. This is a 21 & over event. The Secret Society Ballroom is located at 116 NE Russell. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure to show your current membership card at the door to receive a $2.00 discount on admission. (Sorry, only one discount can be used, either the CBA or the Gorge T-Shirt)

For more information on the workshop and event, go to