The Sugaray Rayford Band is made up of world-class musicians. Ralph Carter on bass, Gino Matteo on guitar, Leo Dombecki on keyboards, Lavelle Jones on drums, Allan Walker on sax, and Gary Bivona on trumpet. With the onstage prowess of Sugaray he needs to have a stellar band to keep up with him, and with this group he certainly has just that.

Sugaray returns to Oregon for two shows in March, the first taking place on Friday, March 17 at the Double Mountain Brewing Company in Hood River. He will be headlining the brewery’s 10th Anniversary Party in the big tent, located at 8 4th Street. And don’t forget that it is St. Patrick’s Day, too, so make sure to wear green and celebrate. For more information, contact Double Mountain at 541-387-0047 for admission and times.

On Saturday, March 18, Sugaray and the band will return to what they have called their absolute most favorite venue to play, The Birk. Located at 11139 Hwy 202 in Birkenfeld, the band refers to the place as a second home and always makes sure that it is a stop any time that they tour through the Northwest. Show time is 7:00 pm, with tickets available in advance through for $25.00. Purchase them early if you choose to go, Sugaray always sells out at The Birk.

Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado

The Soul Connection
Pepper Cake

Raphael Wressnig & Igor PradoAustrian-based Hammond B3 organist Raphael Wressnig is an extremely versatile player who was influenced by people like Jimmy Smith, Booker T Jones, Joe Zawinul, Jimmy McGriff, and Jack McDuff. With twenty discs under his belt, he has been capturing the attention of audiences around the world for the past twenty years with a variety of musical approaches that he molds into his own tasty version of funky, soulful and jazzy blues. He recently traveled to Brazil to join forces with Blues Music Award nominated guitarist Igor Prado for one delicious outing of funky instrumentals and soulful R&B numbers for the album The Soul Connection. The disc is a splendid mix of original material alongside great interpretations of classic pieces from artists including the likes of Tyrone Davis, Don Robey, Hugh Masekela, Little Willie John, and Otis Clay.

Both Wressnig and Prado deliver captivating solos throughout the recording, not overdone but tastefully arranged and delivered. They’re backed by Prado’s rhythm section of Rodrigo Mantovani on bass and Yuri Prado on drums, keeping the pace right on track. Horns are perfectly intertwined with trumpeter Sidmar Viera and Blues Music Award nominee Sax” Gordon Beadle on tenor and baritone saxophones.

There are a number of great instrumentals peppered throughout the disc, including several remarkable originals like “No-La-Fun-Ky” which draws to mind the funky sound of The Meters, the jazzy romp of “The Face Slap Swing No. 5” alongside covers of Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing In The Grass” and Southern hymn-like approach on Wayne Raney’s “Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me.”

But where the album really shines is with the great vocal guests that they’ve brought into the fold. David Hudson stands tall with his take on Tyrone Davis’ “Turning Point” and Leon Beal also delivers a superb take on Don Robey’s “Don’t Cry No More.” But the true star on this disc aside from Wressnig and Prado is without doubt Wee Willie Walker who handles the singing on five tracks. His take on Otis Clay’s “Trying To Live My Life Without You” opens the disc and he shows that he is a natural foil for the musicians. All of his numbers are highlights and prove that this vocalist who re-emerged on the blues scene in 2015 was one of the most welcome come-backs of the decade.

The Soul Connection is a terrific melding of European, Brazilian and American musicians. It is a prime example of music as a universal language, especially in the hands of pure talent as it is here. Pick up a copy of The Soul Connection, you’re going to find yourself dancing along. The outcome of this recording proved so successful for Wressnig and Prado that they have recently released it as a twin pack including a live performance of the songs on the second disc.

Total Time: 50:22

Trying To Live My Life Without You Baby / Young Girl / Suffering With The Blues / Turning Point / No-La-Fun-Ky / Home At Last / Turnip Greens / My Love Is / The Face Slap Swing No. 5 / Grazing In The Grass / Don’t Cry No More / Heartbreak / Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, Portland
Wednesday, December 7 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00 (NOTE: THIS WILL INCREASE TO $5.00 IN JANUARY 2017)
Opening Acoustic Set – David Brothers
Second Electric Set – The Pining Hearts

It’s December everybody, which means this is one of the most important membership meetings of the year as we will be holding the election to determine who will hold the officer positions for your Cascade Blues Association’s Board of Directors. Make sure that you bring your current membership card to receive a ballot to cast your choices.

Aside from this once-a-year occurrence, we’re still going to have a night filled with friends and music, and we’ll be offering two sets featuring acts that we are sure to both entertain you and surprise you. And yet there is something else that is truly special about this month. It is the CBA’s 30th anniversary, noting the month that the original founders filed papers with the State creating the organization as a non-profit business promoting, supporting, and preserving the blues and blues-related music. Thanks to all of you for helping keep the CBA alive for all these years.

David Brothers press photoOpening the meeting will be a set by David Brothers, a critically acclaimed entertainer and composer, who combines urban folk and blues to create a sound distinctively his own. Playing his original material, David mixes the influences of John Coltrane, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Django Reinhart, and John Fahey in his technique, style, and approach. He first began performing professionally as a teenager in Fort Worth, Texas, inspired by the likes of Leon Rouche (Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys) and Dave Milsap (Delbert McClinton’s band). Following his move to Portland, Brothers was the recipient of the Cascade Blues Association’s Christopher Mesi Memorial Scholarship. Brothers has performed with many of the Pacific Northwest’s most elite musicians and has released several solo and group albums over the years that have earned praise by critics, DJs and fans.

Joining David Brothers for his set will be bassist Rob Busey, who has worked over the years with acts like the Ken DeRouchie Band, Al Perez, and The Newport Symphony. He has also performed with Miss America Katie Harman, Tommy Tutone, Judy Collins, The Vancouver Symphony and The Oregon Chambers Players. Busey’s rock solid bass work will surely enhance Brothers exquisite guitar playing.

For the second set of the night we welcome a newer act in the area, The Pining Hearts. They are a psych-rock band out of Portland, OR and Austin, TX featuring Kivett Bednar from Land of the Living and more recently Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers alongside Eddie Steele from the progressive funk band Entendre Entendre. The pair started jamming in late 2015, and The Pining Hearts officially became a band in March of 2016. The group has appeared at the Alberta Street Pub and Twilight Cafe to sold-out crowds. The originals coming out of the group are rhythmic and upbeat, but in the same breath have a dark surf vibe that leaves you thinking of the ocean at night. Yet you also know that with Bednar’s background there will be a deep bluey approach as well. The group is currently working on a new EP that is scheduled for release in early.

We’ll do our regular give-aways, announcements and winner-take-all CD raffle throughout the night, and before everything is over we’ll let you know who your new officers will be for 2017. Please join us in the very exciting night. It is always so much better when we have so many friends and blues fans with us every month.

Lloyd Jones

Yes, it’s holiday season and I’m delighted to spend it with special friends (like you) at Jimmy Mak’s  Saturday, December, 17. Santa may drop in for a minute to sing with his sweet angels: Teresa James, LaRhonda Steele, and Lisa Mann. Don’t miss this one!

After the New Year Teresa and I will head south to Join Delbert McClinton’s “Sandy Beaches” cruise January 5-13. Then up to Canada in February. Yippes, it’s gonna be a crazy year already!!

 Lloyd Jones

Groove Merchant


The Thunder Brothers

Hey Thunderheads,

We would like to thank the Cascade Blues Association for awarding the Muddy Waters Award for “Best New Act” to The Thunder Brothers this year. The CBA provides a central hub for this amazing music community that we have here in Portland. Thank you CBA board and members for all that you do to keep this music that we all love thriving. It takes a village to raise an idiot, or something like that, and we, The Thunder Brothers, have our own amazing village. Thank you Thunderheads for your endless and enthusiastic support, and thank you Andree and Walt for all that you do to keep this storm raging. Congratulations to our fellow nominees and all of the Muddy Award winners this year.

We want to send a big Thunderthanks out to Dr Jane Manning KBOO (Portland OR), Squrl Music KMSW (Hood River and The Dalles OR), and The Mighty Mouth Blues show NWCZ (Tacoma WA) for spinning The Thunder Brothers EP. Send us an email or facebook message if you hear us playing on another station.

Greg Johnson has written a deluge of a review of The Thunder Brothers EP that was published in the November edition of the BluesNotes. You can read that review here… Thank you Greg for your kind words.

There is a winter storm warning for The Trails End Saloon in Oregon City OR on December 9th. The Thunder Brothers will bring on a holiday storm with Jr. Thunder Ben Rice opening the set with his lightning fast acoustic riffs. This is a CBA sponsored event so CBA members will receive a discount at the door. Just present your membership card. Reservations are highly recommended for this event. The show starts at 8:30. The Trails End Saloon, 1320 Main St, Oregon City, (503)656 3031.

As always, you can check for Thunder storms in your area, order Thunderwear, and get the latest storm news on our web site And if you haven’t done it already, drop by The Thunder Brothers facebook page and give us a like. Http://


Billy D & The Hoodoos

Hello bluz lovers It’s finally here, our first CD, Somethin’s Wrong, came out almost six years ago and has done very well for us. Our New CD, Overnight Success, will be released on New Year’s Eve at The Trails End Saloon in Oregon City and we’re thinking it will be every bit as good as its predecessor. An actual old school straight blues song on this one, a handful of bluzrockers, a sweet ballad, and a bunch of slide guitar rave-ups. Music and dancing to commence about 8:30pm. Please c’mon out and dance into 2017 with us and our new CD. We so appreciate all the support over the last few years since we’ve been in PDX…best damn blues town anywhere!!!

See you soon and keep rockin’ my friends!!!

Billy D


Strange Tones

Season’s Greetings Music Lovers!

We’re very excited to announce that we’re continuing the Crime-A-Billy Christmas tradition this year with two shows, and we’ll be featuring a brand new Strange Tones vintage holiday TV special, “A Mysterious Encounter on Crime-A-Billy Mountain”. This short film kicks off a festive evening of live music, multimedia entertainment, original video backdrops, and unbridled merriment!

Joining us in the festivities will be our partners, the lovely Volcano Snow Vixens and a large cast of top-notch musicians, along with a variety of Crime-A-Billy Christmas characters. Yes, yes, keep your eyes and ears tuned in for the likes of Fiddlin’ Jim Toussaint, Randy Yearout, Tracey Fordice, Jim Wallace, Elvin Alfred Priestly, giant gingerbread men and nutcrackers, a jolly fellow who likes to wear red, and more.

Along with our many guests, this multimedia show is sprinkled with treats and surprises that just might give you a refreshing, warm and fuzzy feeling inside. At least, that’s what has been reported to us by previous Crime-A-Billy Christmas show attendees! We especially like this quote that we found on the website Evensi: “Incredible show…song, dance, choreography…should play to 5,000 people at $50/each…it’s that good! Reliving it now with Christmas CD.”

At any rate, we like playing more intimate venues for this particular event and are happy to have a show at Duff’s Garage on Dec. 9 and another show at the Skyway in Zigzag on Dec. 17. The Duff’s show will have advance tickets available at ticket, and we’d like folks to consider bringing two cans of food for Oregon Food Bank. This is a CBA co-sponsored event, and there will be a $2 discount for card carrying CBA members.

Sending a very Happy Holidays to everyone!

Guitar Julie, Andy Strange, Suburban Slim, & Andy Gauthier


David Kahl

I’d like to thank you all for honoring me with Muddy Awards for Bass and Lifetime Achievement. It’s been nearly 50 years since I first publicly performed and there are times when I can definitely feel it. I’d like to think that you aren’t recognizing what I do, so much as what I’ve tried to do and why. For this, I thank you, but I’d rather have your help than to have your praise.

During the course of my career, I’ve seen a lot of changes in both the music business and in society, the vast majority not good. In the face of adversity, the response of this community, musicians and fans, alike, has been affirming. We have pulled together to help others in need; you’ve even done so for me and my wife, Lynn, but the question remains — what can we do to help others, especially struggling, but talented musicians, even as we help ourselves? How do we relieve their daily burden, allowing them to focus their attention and talents to the gifts that they offer to rest of us? For artists, it’s getting tougher to make a living here in Portland, let alone to try and get by. I personally know of too many who have had to rely on not only benefits and crowdfunding, but on social services and second jobs, who have had to drastically change their living situations, verging on homelessness, who are several paychecks away from losing it all, or who have just given up and chucked it all in. Portland now stands the real chance of losing the creative forces, the community that has traditionally defined its character and a key reason for its livability.

It takes more than just wanting things to change for the better. It takes creative thinking, hard work, and, where resources are limited, resourcefulness. Every problem implies a solution. The more complex the problems, the more creative the solution must be. With this in mind, I’ve put together a plan, the Creative Cooperative Program, which holistically addresses a wide range of issues, from housing, to education, food insecurity, health and wellness, work spaces, business development and operations, and a whole slew of others. Modeled on a variation of food pods, these cultural pods would have high impact in a small footprint, set up on sites in several neighborhoods, plug their educational expertise into local schools, and create after school, weekend, and summer programs for area youth. Musicians and their families may have needs, but they are not needy; they’re a resource.

This is what I’m asking of you – help to make this a reality. Then I can feel like I’ve actually earned my award.

And, while I’m asking, please help support venues and bands. A couple gigs that happen to be pretty important to me are at Blackwell’s, on Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30pm, with Soul Cookin’ – Lloyd Jones, Brian Foxworth, and special guests – and on Sundays, 5:00-8:00pm,  with the Bayou Boyz – Mark Shark Schatzkamer, Steve Kerin, and Brian Foxworth. Of course, I’m playing bass.

David Kahl


Ruthie Foster - photo by Mary Keating-BrutonFrom houses of worship to houses of blues, Ruthie Foster has always been a rafter-rattler. And with a soul-filled voice honed in Texas churches, she can move audiences to tears or to ecstasy, sometimes during the same song. Foster is a blues-world rarity: an original voice who honors her forebearers, yet transcends gentrification. She has been honored with six Blues Music Awards, including three Koko Taylor Traditional Female Artists of the Year nods, multiple Grammy nominations, and is currently up for two Living Blues Music Awards, Female Blues Artist of the Year and Best Live Performer. Those who have followed Ruthie Foster’s eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk, and gospel.

Ruthie Foster returns to Portland for one night only, Wednesday, September 7, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $28.00 general admission and $40.00 for limited preferred seating (first five rows, front and center) at the venue’s website, This is an all ages event, with minors okay when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Have you ever wondered just what kind of attention participating in the International Blues Challenge can draw? Just take a look at this year’s Blues Music Awards. Four acts who have participated in the IBC combined to win six of the awards handed out this year: Lisa Mann, Cedric Burnside, Mr Sipp, and the biggest winner of the year, Victor Wainwright, who took home the BB King Entertainer of the Year and Best Band honors. Aside from those four, these former IBC acts also received nominations: Fiona Boyes, Karen Lovely, Brandon Santini, Jarekus Singleton, Sugaray Rayford, and Jason Ricci. All received international attention through their appearances at the IBC.

But, to perform at the IBC, all acts are required to go through regional competitions held by affiliated members of The Blues Foundation, such as the Cascade Blues Association. So, for the seventeenth year, the CBA will be holding the Journey to Memphis competition to select our representatives in Memphis next January.

The applications are in, the dates confirmed, and the sets have been scheduled for the opening nights of this year’s Journey to Memphis. This is going to be one of the largest fields ever to participate in our competition. Nineteen acts will appear in twenty minute sets, ten each night, on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. The Rose Room, 8102 NE Killingsworth, will host the event, and admission each night is $10.00, which is the base for our prizes for the overall winning acts. Four acts, the two highest scoring from each night, will move on to the Waterfront Blues Festival on Monday, July 4, on the Front Porch Stage.

This year’s entries are:

Friday, June 3:
7:00 – Joanne Broh Band
7:30 – William “Froggy” Hyland
8:00 – Julie Amici
8:30 – CD Woodbury Band
9:00 – David Brothers
9:30 – The England Trio
10:00 – Beacon Street Titans
10:30 – Tim O’Connor
11:00 – JT Wise Band
11:30 – Ben Rice Band

Saturday, June 4:
7:30 – Franco Paletta Band
8:00 – Timothy James
8:30 – The Thunder Brothers
9 :00 – Rogue Rage Duo
9:30 – Randy Morrison’s Party Bus
10:00 – Eric “Sugar” Larsen Group
10:30 – David Pinsky
11:00 – Holfar Blue
11:30 – Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers

Please note: schedule times are subject to change. We have had acts drop out prior to the event in the past, which can cause rearrangement of set times and dates. We will keep you informed of any changes on our Facebook page.

Tintype of Jerron Paxton by Bill Steber ©2014

Tintype of Jerron Paxton by Bill Steber ©2014

Los Angeles-based bluesman Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton is well versed in the music from the 1920s and ‘30s, influenced deeply by musicians like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays a variety of instruments such as guitar, banjo, piano, harmonica, fiddle and accordion, as well as being a first-rate vocalist and storyteller. Though only in his 20s, Paxton is perhaps one of the finest young artists delivering truly authentic American music, ranging from ragtime, hokum, old-time, French reels, Appalachian mountain music and blues. Completely capable of taking an audience hypnotically into the music of the past, his performances are engaging and fun.

Blind Boy Paxton will be returning to Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd, on Friday, October 23 for a 9:00 pm show. Opening the night will be Portland’s own acoustic master Lauren Sheehan. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event. Show your current membership card at the door and receive a $1.00 discount on admission.

By Cherie Robbins & Greg Johnson

WBF poster 2015Now in its fourth year, the Winter Blues Festival has certainly seen a fair share of changes within its growth. With humble beginnings born in a discussion over a glass of wine, it has taken on its own persona as the “Go To” event of the dreary days of winter. And it will all happen on Saturday, March 14.

New this year is the location. Moving to the Milwaukie Elks Lodge, 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd, the venue will offer several great assets for a growing event, including two stages with large dance floors, a full service bar and food menu, on-site parking and access by a near-by bus line.

The line-up for this year’s event is also stellar, featuring the exciting sound of Texas blues courtesy of 4-time Blues Music Awards nominees Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King headlining the festival. Also performing at the Winter Blues Festival will be Northwest favorites, Junkyard Jane, The Ted Vaughn Band, J.R. Sims & Texas Special Blues, Bottleneck Blues Band, and 2015 International Blues Challenge finalists Ben Rice & Lucy Hammond. Plus, do not miss out on a special set from United By Music North America, a performance-based entertainment group for musically talented people who have developmental delays and intellectual challenges. Winter Blues Music Festival is excited to have this exceptionally talented band at the festival this year, led by the Dave Fleschner Band. (

Over the years, Winter Blues has helped many charities including C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Arts Project), the Oregon Food Bank, and this year, United By Music North America.

For those attending the festival from out of town, there are a number of motels nearby the Elks Lodge on McLoughlin Blvd., including the Milwaukie Inn, Econo Lodge, Travel Lodge and Best Western. There is also dry camping available at the Elks Lodge.

It all happens Saturday, March 14, starting at 3:00 pm, doors open at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available in advance through General admission is $20.00, $10.00 for children 13-18. Other special rates include dry camping for $20.00, Early Admission $55.00 (includes entry for two with camping) and Supporter tickets for $125.00 (includes 2 tickets, 2 beverages, 2 meals, 2 raffle tickets, 2 festival shirts).

For further information and tickets, please visit


PO BOX 6566
PORTLAND 97228-6566

The NW Film Center presents their 32nd annual Reel Music Festival, and as usual they have included a little blues music as a treat. This year’s event will be held at The Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum from October 10th through the 22nd.

Gary DavisOn Saturday, October 18th, at 7:00 pm, be sure to catch “Harlem Street Singer: The Guitar Gospel Of Reverend Gary Davis.” One of the truly great American ragtime, blues and gospel musicians, Reverend Gary Davis’ (1896-1972) unique style and virtuoso skill on the guitar made him an icon during the 1960s folk revival and inspired a generation of musicians. “Harlem Street Singer” celebrates the beauty and spirituality of his North Carolina–bred music as well as the human qualities that made Davis a much beloved teacher and minister. Featuring great performances and interviews with musicians he influenced and taught, including Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane, David Bromberg and Woody Mann. (78 mins.)

Then later that same night at 9PM, stick around for “Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty.” Director Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny Johnny WinterWinter to France, Japan and beyond to create this intimate, aptly named portrait of the Texas musician as famed for his sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle as his blazing blues guitar. Winter’s recent passing at age 70 recalls not only a storied life—Woodstock, partying with the Rolling Stones and John Belushi, dating Janis Joplin, and jamming with Jimi Hendrix— but fantastic playing and the respect of legends like Muddy Waters, who said: “When I first heard him, I thought he was one of the greatest blues players in the business.” (94 mins.)

Each show requires a separate admission. General admission prices are $9.00, $8.00 for Portland Art Museum members, students and seniors. Advance tickets are available at or may be purchased at the door one-half hour before screen time. Visit the website to also find out about all the other great films being presented at this year’s festival.