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

Keep it up, Dave, wherever you may be.

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

Obituary written by Jeff  Dayne

Jimmy Lloyd Rea - photo by Greg Johnson (2014)When it came to straight-ahead, pure blues, Jimmy Lloyd Rea would never think of playing anything else. And when he did play the blues, you just knew that it was going to have that strong boogie feel behind it. Bassist Jimmy Lloyd Rea was one of the most popular blues artists in the Pacific Northwest, but the devastation of diabetes cut a lot of his touring over the past few years following the amputation of a leg. But that did not stop him from continuing to lay down his sound and it even took him across the Pacific to play with friends in Australia at one point.

Raised in Eastern Oregon in Baker City, Jimmy Lloyd Rea made his mark in the blues world as a musician, songwriter and band leader of the fan favorite group Jimmy Lloyd Rea & The Switchmasters. The band featured a number of the Northwest’s premier players, including the likes of Bill Rhoades, Doug Rowell, Randy Lilya, Vince Hozier, Mike Moothart and Rev. Danny G. A member of the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Awards Hall of Fame, Rea also was a core member of the all-star blues group The Strat Daddies alongside stellar guitarists like Rowell, Jim Mesi, Robbie Laws, Terry Robb and Kenny “Blue” Ray. But his credentials ran even deeper, as a teenager in high school he played with Paul Revere & The Raiders and prior to forming his own stellar outfit, Rea was bassist and vocalist with the popular Pete Karnes Blooz

But Jimmy Lloyd Rea did not just work with Northwest artists. He had shared the stage along with world renowned acts like BB King, Albert King, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King,  Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon, Otis Rush, among many others. John Lee Hooker in fact referred to Rea as “The New Boogie Man.” And that was exactly what Jimmy Lloyd Rea was — A boogie man. His final recording was aptly titled, American Boogie Man. Jimmy Lloyd Rea was the authentic bluesman laying down the boogie in all of its shapes and forms. The real deal. He played nothing else and would never dream of straying from what he considered “real blues.”

Jimmy Lloyd Rea passed away on June 30 in a hospital in Nampa, Idaho. He was 63 years old. The Northwest lost one of their favorite sons that day. May he rest in peace and carry on that boogie beat in the hereafter.

The Cascade Blues Association mourns the loss of one its hardest working board members from the past. Jackson Lee spent several years on the board of directors, was President for a short period in 2002 and served as a faithful volunteer for many years beyond his time as an officer. During his tenure he was involved in numerous projects, including the Acoustic Roots & Blues Heritage: Portland Saturday Market CD, the development of the Journey To Memphis competition and as a committee member with the Willamette Delta Showcase concert series. An avid lover of the blues and music in general, Jackson Lee was a beloved father, uncle, grandfather and friend to many.

linda REV-01[1]

For the past couple years, Oregon Music Hall of Fame member Linda Hornbuckle has valiantly been fighting cancer. And it hasn’t been an easy fight. Linda needs our community’s help as this battle continues to heap medical expenses upon her. So some of her musical friends are coming together to hold a benefit concert for her titled “More Love For Linda” to be held at the Crystal Ballroom on Tuesday, October 14th.

An all-star line-up of friends will be on hand, including Quarterflash, Linda Hornbuckle Band, Patrick Lamb. Liv Warfield, Andy Stokes, LaRhonda Steele, Soul Vaccination, Norman Sylvester, Eddie Martinez, with many other guest artists expected.

Tickets are available at www.crystalballroompdx.com and www.tickettomato.com. A limited number of 150 VIP tickets are also available as long as they last for $100.00 which will include exclusive access to the mezzanine, a VIP lanyard and event poster. VIP tickets available through www.tickettomato.com only with all funds and ticket fees double-backing to support Linda. General admission is $20.00.

The Crystal Ballroom is located at 1332 West Burnside. Showtime is 7:00 pm.

Please come out and show your love and support for one of Portland’s most beloved artists. She has given all of us her heart for so many years, let’s give a little back to Linda.

Mel Solomon - photo by Val Davis

In Memory of Mel Solomon, Bluesman – photo by Val Davis

The Cascade Blues Association is saddened once again with the loss of one of our most beloved performers in the Portland area, Mel Solomon. Mel passed away on June 23rd, just days shy of his 81st birthday, after following a long battle with diabetes.

Mel Solomon moved to the Portland area in the early 1970s and worked at Freightliner until retiring in 1985 when he decided to pursue a renewed career in music. He was surrounded by music growing up in Louisiana and worked in many bands as a young man, moving from locations like Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. He even did a five-year period touring as part of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters.

In Portland, Mel worked with a variety of blues outfits, garnering a pair of Muddy Awards from the Cascade Blues Association for Best New Act with The Nightlighters in 1991 and Best Male Vocalist in 2001. Sadly, Solomon only officially recorded three songs during his career for Jan Celt’s Flying Heart Records’ compilation CD “A Taste of the Blue Rose”. He was also featured for a couple songs sitting in with guitar legend Hubert Sumlin at the CBA’s second Willamette Delta Showcase in 2001.

The past few years were tough on Mel Solomon as he began to lose his fight with diabetes. First he lost a leg and a few fingers, then his kidney started giving out creating the need for dialysis. Anybody who has known somebody or had to be treated for dialysis knows that it is not an easy treatment and encumbers many painful hours. After some time, Mel decided enough was enough and selected to halt all treatments. He knew that the outcome would be fatal, but he chose to go the path with dignity, deciding on his own that his time had come.

Mel Solomon will not quickly be forgotten. He was an individual everybody enjoyed working with. And when people asked who was the true, real deal bluesman in this city, chances were more than likely they would point out Mel Solomon.

Janice Scroggins.
Emmett Wheatfall poem for Janice