normal_hillstomp2Portland Oregon junkbox blues duo Hillstomp is infamous for digging through the dumps and forgotten backwoods of American music, recycling traditional elements into a refreshing and distinctive brand of do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp. North Mississippi trance blues, a bit of Appalachia, and a dash of punkabilly come clanging and tumbling from assorted buckets, cans and BBQ lids, all drenched in rambunctious slide guitar. “Hillstomp sounds like the best kinds of music from the hills have come down from said hills, into town, and tried to make nice, but instead decided to stomp you with awesome, crunchy blues licks.” –OregonLive

Although they may be based in Portland, Hillstomp is consistently touring and local shows only happen now and then. Well, they’ll be headlining a big-time show on December 12th at the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N Russell Street. Along with Hillstomp will be California-based The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit who embrace roots and Americana music, but, as one recent convert put it, “the rest of America needs to hear this noise;” and Portland songwriting folk musician Jeffrey Martin. Tickets are available through, for $10.00-$12.00. Showtime is 8:00 pm. This is a 21 & over show only.

Candye Kane photo by Greg Johnson

Candye Kane photo by Greg Johnson

The story of Candye Kane’s long time battle with cancer has well been documented over the past few years, yet while many musicians who face this situation may have set aside their performances, Candye still hits the touring circuit bringing joy and entertainment to her fans despite the pain and discomfort. That truly earns her the title of the Toughest Girl Alive more than just another song in her repertoire. As anybody knows who has witnessed a Candye Kane show, she gives her full energy, emotion and personal love into each and every performance.

Armed with a number of outstanding releases garnering awards and nominations and one of the sharpest and adept guitar slingers on the planet with Laura Chavez, a Candye Kane show is one that should be on every blues lovers list of must see performances every time she comes your way. Filled with humor, often very risqué, her songs are social and quite telling of her own personal journeys as she proves she is a songwriter as well as a singer of high merit.

Candye Kane’s shows fill venues everywhere she goes and locally she has a huge following of fans and supporters. She will be returning to our area in early December for a pair of shows.

On Thursday, December 4th, Candye will appear at The Birk for a dinner show starting at 6:30 pm.The Birk is located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld, Oregon.

Then the following night, Friday, December 5th, she will be making her annual appearance at Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd in Portland. This is a 9:00 pm show and guaranteed to have a full house so get there early. Admission is $15.00. Advance tickets are available through This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so make sure to show your membership card for a $1.00 discount at the door.



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.

Now here is a great way to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Hot Tuna are legends amongst the rock, blues and roots scene for a good reason, as guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady have been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. As members of the Jefferson Airplane they set the sound of the San Francisco 1960s music scene and formed Hot Tuna wanting to explore more towards their original base with their love for the blues in the early 1970s. A string of successful albums and Grammy Awards followed.

Hot Tuna has long had a large following of fans in the Portland area, selling out shows consistently year after year. They will be playing New Year’s Eve night at The Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave, Wednesday, December 31st. Showtime is 9:30 pm and this event is open to minors when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets can be purchased at the Aladdin Theater box office or through for $75.00 advance or $80.00 day of show. Doors open at 8:00 pm.

This year the Cascade Blues Association HOLIDAY PARTY, on SUNDAY, DEC 7, is OPEN TO EVERYONE, so bring your friends & family & enjoy the fun.  It will be held at The SPARE ROOM, 4830 NE 42nd Ave in Portland.  Many of you have been there before, but if this is your first time, enjoy purchasing the very reasonably priced food & drinks.  To start the Holiday Season, you are welcome to BRING SWEET TREATS & DESSERTS for all to share.  We will have both a SILENT AUCTION and RAFFLE, so begin your Christmas shopping here.  MEMBERS ARE FREE and ALL OTHERS PAY only $5.00.  A steal for six hours of music.

Please think of those less fortunate during the holidays and bring a couple cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank to the Holiday Party. The Tualatin Gleaners will be on hand to accept these donations. Nobody should go hungry during the holidays or any other time of the year.

This year’s Holiday Party Line-up includes:

12:00-1:00  BRIDGE CITY BLUES BAND.  They have a reputation of playing a high energy mix of blues standards, both classic and new, that keeps toes tapping and feet dancing.  This band of experienced musicians, all with different musical backgrounds, has a real heart and soul for the blues.  After 6 years together, something unique still happens every time they hit the stage.  Bring your dancing shoes!

1:15-2:15  GABRIEL COX BAND.  Gabriel Cox is a true songwriter at heart, blending elements of blues, rock, pop, funk and soul. He just released his debut album, which you can buy that night at the CBA merchandise table.  His performance at the Waterfront Blues Festival this year was rewarded with the nomination for CBA best “New Act”, and best “NW Recording” of 2014.  Expect great things from this rising talent, you’re gonna love him!

2:30-3:30  KEVIN SELFE & THE TORNADOES.  Kevin Selfe has been electrifying audiences nationwide as he effortlessly combines the guitar traditions of both legends and modern masters into his own unique approach.  Signing with Delta Groove, “Long Walk Home” peaked at # 15 on the Billboard Blues Chart, # 6 on Living Blues Radio Chart, and #2 on SiriusXM Radio Bluesville “Pick to Click” list.  Kevin’s songwriting skills won Muddys for both NW Recording of the Year and National Recording of the Year in 2013.  That same year, Kevin was nominated for a Blues Blast Award.  In all, the band has collectively 18 Muddy Awards.  Take him home with you and put him at the bottom of your sock.

3:45-4:45  THE KEN DeROUCHIE BAND.  This Soul/R&B/Funk/Blues band is composed of top players who bring a crisp horn section, tight rhythm section, & amazing 5-part vocal harmonies.  The original music, written by Ken DeRouchie, has The Oregonian calling them “one of the best live bands in the NW”.  They deserved this year’s Muddy nomination of Best R&B Act.   By this September, their 4th CD, “Muse” has been played on radio stations in 17 different countries.  Come buy at least 1 CD and wrap it up for yourself.  Now that’s true re-gifting!

5:00-6:00  ELLEN WHYTE & ALBERT REDA.  Ellen is known for her astonishing vocals, moving gracefully from blues to jazz to funk to ballads.  No wonder she has won numerous awards, including consideration for 2 Grammy Award nominations, in 1999 & recently 2009 for “Four Way Stop”.  Albert Reda has received 11 Muddy awards & is now in the CBA Hall of Fame for Bass Player.  But he can also mesmerize you while playing guitar or piano.  But a pair of hearts, one from each.

Ellen is developing ”Second Season Concerts”, starting Feb, 2015 at The Alberta Rose Theater.  We can all support this, both by donating funds to get this production off the ground, and coming to hear 3 bands perform on the second Sunday of each month.  How special when artists, who have paid their dues, want to share what they have learned with new fans.  I’m a fan, how about you?

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.

The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties. Drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their live shows. They’ve taken the party all over the world: on their nine European tours, to featured slots at such premiere festivals as Monterey Jazz, High Sierra, and Outside Lands, and performances in 2013 supporting B.B. King, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Allen Toussaint. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.

The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland BART station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals.
The California Honeydrops will be heading back to Portland for a one night show at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Avenue on Saturday, November 1st for a 9:00 pm sart time. This is a 21 and over only show. Tickets are available through, $15.00 – $17.00.

Harper - press photoMulti award winning Australian Singer/songwriter Peter D. Harper creates a heady mix of original world, blues & roots music, featuring soulful vocals, wailing harmonica and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo! By combining traditional and modern influences, borrowing from Western and World music, Harper has created a highly original take on the roots genre which many have labeled “World Blues”. His innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback, breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects. The powerful guitar sounds and the unique drone of the didgeridoo create raw yet eerie sonic textures, somehow sounding primal and contemporary at the same time. Harper is backed by his incredible Michigan based band “Midwest Kind”

Harper will appear at the Starday Tavern, 6517 SE Foster Road, on Friday, July 25th. 9:00 pm. Admission is $10.00.

The seventh annual Rhythm on the River Blues benefit takes place at the Clatskanie City Park, on Saturday, July 26th. The event began as a means to raise funds to supplement yearly campaign proceeds for the United Way of Columbia County. This has been accomplished through this festival by providing excellent entertainment, vendors and informational booths from artists and businesses in and around Columbia County.

This year’s entertainment heads into a new direction by bringing in an international act with Harper. The Australian bluesman is known for his harmonica playing and even a bit of didgeridoo. Harper will be backed by his Michigan-based band Midwest Kind.

Muddy Award nominees the Beacon Street Titans will take the stage during the day. Their brand of infectious, hard-swinging, jump swing and blues music will amaze creating a sound and energy that is absolutely irresistible.

Also appearing will be the versatile band Steelhead, who offer various musical styles including classic rock, blues, country and contemporary music. Steelhead is made up of veteran Northwest musicians Greg Larsen, Michael Esquire, Dave Capron, Michael Lee Clark and Billy Traub.

Columbia county musicians will also be represented with sets by Ruby Falls and Linda Myers.

The festival runs from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm, Saturday, July 26th. Clatskanie Park is located at 405 Nehalem St, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Please visit the Rhythm on the River website for further information,

The Rhythm on the River festival got its start 7 years ago when the United Way of Columbia County sought a consistent way to raise funds to supplement yearly campaign proceeds. The festival raises money by providing excellent entertainment, vendors, and informational booths from artists and businesses in and around Columbia County.


They may have moved from Inner SE Portland out to NE 82nd, but that surely does not mean that Duff’s Garage is going to slow down presenting the best music available. July is certainly proof in that. As well as featuring their regular weekly shows and local musicians, Duff’s will be hosting seven incredible shows with national touring acts. And all of them are Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored events that members can receive a $1.00 discount just by showing their current membership card at the door.

Duff’s Garage is located at 2530 NE 82nd. All shows begin at 9:00 pm. 21 & over only.

CANCELLED: Kara Grainger – July 3rd
Eclecto Groove recording artist Kara Grainger will be appearing at Duff’s Garage on Thursday, July 3rd. Originally from Australia, Grainger is renowned for her soulful vocals that moves between blues, soul and roots rock with a little funky R&B flavor thrown in from time to time. She is also a dynamic guitarist whose slide playing has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, and an exceptional songwriter who commands any size of stage with ease. Her most current recording, Shiver & Sigh, produced by David Z, drew rave reviews, placing her in demand for venues and festivals around the world. Admission for Kara Grainger is $10.00.

Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience – July 4th
Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Cajun Richard Allen is a third generation accordion player who plays songs that have been passed along through his culture. Now based in Seattle with his band The Louisiana Experience, they perform primarily Creole Zydeco, but include funk, blues, swing, R& B, traditional Mardi Gras, ZydeCajun and everything in between! This is dance music! Known as “The Godfather of Fun,” Richard Allen has appeared at festivals, clubs and special events throughout the Northwest and has played with Louisiana greats such as Chubby Carrier, Curley Taylor, Nathan Williams and other internationally known acts. Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience will be making their debut performance at Duff’s Garage on Saturday, July 4th for an 8:00 pm show, guaranteed to set of their musical explosion for the holiday.

Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method – July 10th
Seattle-based bassist/vocalist Polly O’Keary has long been a Northwest favorite. Whether it is a member of Too Slim & The Taildraggers, The Randy Oxford Band, or leading her own outfit The Rhythm Method, O’Keary is a fiery performer who always demands attention on a stage. A three time recipient of the Washington Blues Society’s BB Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, she has also taken home honors for Album and Songwriter of the Year. Her latest release, Compass, features the strong musicianship of guitarist Clint “Seattle Slim” Nonnemaker and fellow former Taildragger Tommy Cook on drums. Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method will be featured at Duff’s Garage on Thursday, July 10th.

Andy T-Nick Nixon Band– July 11th
Nashville bluesmen Andy T & Nick Nixon will be appearing at the Waterfront Blues Festival the weekend prior to this show at Duff’s Garage, which should leave you anxiously awaiting to catch more of this extraordinary act. Smooth voiced Nick Nixon recorded for Chess Records in the 1970s and has been a mainstay on the Nashville blues scene, working with The New Imperials for more than forty-five years. Andy “T” Talamantez toured with blues greats like Guitar Shorty and Smokey Wilson before relocating to Nashville and hooking up with Nixon. Their debut recording for Delta Groove was produced by famed guitarist Anson Funderburgh, who has often performed with the pair. That album Drink, Drank, Drunk garnered a Blues Music Award nomination and wide-spread raves, leading to their just released new disc, Livin; It Up. The AndyT-Nick Nixon Band play at Duff’s on Friday, July 11th.

Frank Fairfield – Thursday, July 17th
Frank Fairfield’s biography on his website describes him as “a young man and old time folk musician who plays fiddle, guitar and banjo while singing and hollering.” Listening to his music you may believe he comes from the hills of Appalachia, not his actual home in California. Still in his twenties, he has released two albums that feature songs that he discovered on old 78s that have become favorites alongside his own original recordings. A former street performer, his shows are spellbinding and steeped in Americana, having opened for acts like The Fleet Foxes and even the legendary guitarist Ry Cooder considers himself a fan of Fairfield. Frank Fairfield will be at Duff’s on Thursday, July 17th.

Grady Champion – Wednesday, July 23rd
Since winning the International Blues Challenge in 2010, Grady Champion has taken his soulful Mississippi blues around the country earning swarms of fans enchanted by his ever-present smile, seemingly endless energy and fueled by his captivating harmonica playing and strong voice. With a handful of albums to his credit, including the two-time Blues Music Award nominated Dreamin’ and a new recording slated for this summer, Grady Champion has been receiving airplay throughout North America, Europe and Asia and performs nearly 200 shows. Grady Champion has found a number of fans in Portland and they’re sure to be on hand at Duff’s on Wednesday, July 23rd for what is certain to be another fun-filled night.

Too Slim & The Taildraggers – Wednesday, July 30th
You may take the boy out of the Northwest, but you’ll never take his fan base there away. Since 1986, Too Slim & The Taildraggers have spent years pounding the stages from Spokane to Seattle to Portland, and then to all points across the country. Tim “Too Slim” Langford continues to land new fans with his searing slide guitar and blues power trio attack. He has numerous awards from the Inland Empire Blues Society, Washington Blues Society and the Cascade Blues Association, including a Muddy Hall of Fame status with the Cascade. Now based in Nashville, Langford, as a solo artist and with the band, have nineteen albums to their credit, including the new Anthology, a two-disc set of thirty-four classics and three new songs produced by Tom Hambridge. Too Slim & The Taildraggers never fail to pack every venue they play in Portland and they’ll be hitting the stage at Duff’s on Wednesday, July 30th.

Scott Holt – Thursday, July 31st
Guitarist Scott Holt may be best remembered for his ten year stint playing guitar alongside Buddy Guy in the legend’s band. A powerhouse guitarist in his own right, Holt has seven recordings under his own name and he states that though the blues is always at his core, he continues to grow as an artist every day and every note he plays is confidently and directly from his heart, with honest lyrics behind them. “If you listen,” Holt continues, “you can always hear the blues in the foundation of my playing, but the greatest bluesmen, like Buddy and Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, were always changing, experimenting and evolving. I’ve tried to maintain that philosophy and attitude towards my own music, just create the music and let people call it what they want.” Scott Holt comes to Duff’s on Thursday, July 31st.

Upcoming shows at Duff’s in August: The summertime fun does not end as July passes into August at Duff’s Garage. Watch for upcoming shows from Israel’s Ori Naftaly Band, Nikki Hill, The 44s and possibly Wayne Baker Brooks and Dave Herrero. Let the good time blues continue all summer long and throughout the year at Duff’s Garage.