Tracey Fordice and the 8-Balls

Hello Blues lovers,

We are so happy! Why, you ask? Because we were awarded the 2014 CBA Muddy Award for Best New Blues Act, that’s why! We are honored, and we know there are so many other great new acts that were in the running, so we are especially honored to be placed alongside them. In the end, only one act could win the award, but the other nominees are also winners in our mind, and so too the acts that were chosen in the first round ballots. The Blues scene in Portland (and throughout the NW) is over the top with talent, showmanship, creativity, originality, and professionalism. As we already mentioned, we are so honored! And, the Muddy Awards Event was well done this year too, so all the people involved deserve a big round of applause! Thank you CBA!

Keeping the Blues alive is our goal and the goal of any new Blues act. In doing so, we strive to do our best to present something new and fresh that is deeply rooted in the historical content and traditions of the Blues. This leads to our next accomplishment that took place this past month. We participated in the Ashland Blues Society’s competition for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and we are proud to say we will be going to Memphis in January to compete there! We plan to have a good time, do our best to represent the NW Blues scene, and come back with a great new experience that is sure to enhance our goals and keep us moving (as a band) in the right direction!

In other news, we are still working hard on completing our new CD of original material. Although we have made some sacrifices in the schedule (to allow for other priorities), we anticipate having the CD completed before we get to Memphis!

Hope to see you out on the town somewhere soon. Blues to you!

Tracey Fordice and the 8-Balls


James Clem

Lots of news this month. Looks like my new CD will finally be ready soon. This was recorded live in the studio at Ron Rogers all analogue studio. You can count on a CD release party or two.

I just got back from a trip to Europe where I played a couple of gigs and set up some more for next summer. I was invited back to headline a concert called the London Ukulele Cabaret. Somehow in the UK I got a pretty good following in the ukulele world after a uke video I did made their top 5 best uke videos of 2013 in a viewers poll. This caught me by surprise as it was up against people like Eddie Vedder and other rock stars that do uke videos so that falls into the “go figure” category. I also did a concert and workshop in Amsterdam, Holland while over there.

I am lucky to have made many friends in the blues world over in the UK. As an example, a player who has the largest collection of vintage National guitars in Europe always invites me over to his home near London to jam and we play a gig at a very cool sixteenth century pub near his home. I am in resophonic heaven at his pad! Not a bad way to travel.

Check out my new improved website if you get the chance and also keep me in mind for lessons. I give lessons in vintage acoustic blues (regular and slide) and the good ol’ ukulele as well. Keeps me off the street and really busy. Contact me through my website. Hope to see you around.

Cheers, James


The Strange Tones

Season’s Greetings Everyone!

Many people have been asking us about our big Christmas show and when we’re doing it. We’re sorry to say, that for a couple of reasons we’ve decided not to do the show this year, but rather to bring it back bigger and better than ever in 2015. First there were scheduling conflicts that made it impossible for us to get the Hollywood Theatre on a weekend night. Also The Strange Tones have been called away overseas to play in Mexico right during the time that we normally schedule the Christmas show. That’s right, The Strange Tones will be playing some shows in Puerto Vallarta the first week of December! We’re bringing with us a plane full of blues and Crime-A-Billy fans to invade the city and help spread that crazy Portland sound!

And if you can’t make it to Puerto Vallarta with us, we are very excited about our big New Year Eve’s show at the new Duff’s Garage! It’s so nice to have all that extra space and seating and that great Duff’s vibe – it’s guaranteed we’ll have ourselves a wild good time! There will be special food and drinks, and a limited number of package deals with reservations. Go to or for details.

¡Hasta la vista!
The Strange Tones


Ken DeRouchie

This time of year is always a time of giving, no matter what faith or what religion you hold dear, the holidays are a time of giving.

This year I wanted to do something for those less fortunate than I. I had thought about donating money from ticket sales but I wanted something more tangible. Something that, when a person donated it, that very thing would go to help someone in need.

The Portland Blues community has long had a big impact on those in need with the Oregon Food Bank’s Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. I would like to add to that by having a month long opportunity for all of us to donate to those in need. So I’ve started the 1st annual Ken DeRouchie Band food drive for The Oregon Food Bank.

Starting on December 3rd you will be able to drop off non expired, non-perishable dried and canned food at Vie de Boheme. They are located on the corner of SE 7th and SE Clay, 1 block south of Hawthorne. Food can be dropped off between 4:00 PM and midnight, Tuesday through Saturday. Everything will be collected on Wednesday, December 31st and given to The Oregon Food Bank to help those in need. Please stop by and contribute. Our initial goal for this is 1000 Lbs. of food collected in December and we definitely need your help to do it!

The Ken DeRouchie Band will be playing a special “Soulful Christmas” Show at Vie de Boheme on Saturday, December 20th. If you show up with 2 or more cans or packages of food to donate you will receive $2.00 off of the cover charge! You can help those in need AND have a fantastic Christmas party all at the same time.




Norman Sylvester

Blast into 2015 with the Boogie Cat! New Year’s Eve will be a spectacular night of fun this year. Oregon Music Hall Of Fame member, and Muddy Award Lifetime Achievement winner, Norman Sylvester will perform at the Lehrer, the Muddy Award winner for best venue this year. For New Year’s Eve, the band will feature Norman’s daughter vocalist Lenanne (Sylvester) Miller, and perennial Muddy award winner Pete Moss on sax, along with keyboardist Jeff Otto and the rhythm section of Rob and Paul Shoemaker. Admission is $18 in advance or $20 at the door and includes champagne toast, party favors and a delicious late night buffet at 10:30pm included in price of admission. Advance tickets are available from Special discount room rates are available at the Beaverton Shilo Inn, just a stone’s throw away from the Lehrer. Please mention the Lerher when making reservations.  Party at the Lerher with Norman, stay overnight at the Shilo for the perfect New Year date night!


Wingtips and Special Guests

Tuesday nights continue to happen at Duff’s Garage, 2530 N.E. 82nd Avenue, with Wingtips (or the Dover Weinberg Quartet, if you prefer) playing from 8:30 – 11:30pm. With Chris Carlson south for the winter, guitar duties are in rotation between some remarkable special guests.

First Tuesday will feature Alan Hager, a master of whatever blues style you can throw at him. The second week will have Muddy Award nominee Doug Rowell taking it in some unexpected directions. Third week duties are covered by the legend, himself, Steve Bradley. Surf, rock, swing, and even the theme from “Midnight Cowboy” – this one’s a whole different flavor. Fourth and fifth (if there is one) weeks are “Wild Cards”, with the likes of Terry Robb, Neil Grandstaff, Larry Pindar, and others that will round out your musical palate. This really is stuff you should savor, folks.

Dover Weinberg, for all you fans of his, is going to be around a lot through the winter, so this is a chance to say hi, get your picture taken with him, find out how many holes it take to fill the Albert Hall. When he’s out with Robert Cray, Ed Neumann has been more than covering for Dover – and he ain’t no slouch!

We’re hoping to see you on one or several of these nights. Big dance floor and a low volume band. Cover is only $3. Plenty of parking. The only thing that would make it better is your presence.


Soul Cookin’

Lloyd Jones, Carlton Jackson, David Kahl, and Dover Weinberg (or Louis Pain or Steve Kerin), collectively known as Soul Cookin’, are having a blast on Wednesday nights at Blackwell’s, 1815 N.E. 41st Avenue, from 8:30-11:30pm. After three years, this one is finally getting some talk and some traction.

There’s not enough space to list the accomplishments and experience of any two of these band members, let alone the amazing talent that has come to share the space, if not the stage with these guys. Just ask anyone who’s been to any one Wednesday what they think and you’ll get all kinds of answers, but they’re all positive and enthusiastic. All we can offer is this: if you like it funky, greasy, swinging, strolling, shuffling, and relentless then you should be here.

On Christmas Eve, it will get even better. A very special guest will be featured. Ty Curtis will be coming up from Austin, Texas and will join us for an “Orphan’s Christmas Eve”. We’ll come together as family and make enough noise to be certain that Santa knows where to find us. Turkey and ham dinner specials will be featured. Needless to say, this will be a rare chance to see and hear Ty in Portland.

No cover, but there is a $5 purchase minimum. Blackwell’s is located across Sandy Boulevard from the historic Hollywood Theater.


Rae Gordon

This last summer, a dream of mine for a long time came true, the honor to represent the Cascade Blues Association and Greater Portland in the International Blues Association, the annual contest that is held every year in. Memphis, Tennessee and highlights acts from all over the world. It is an exciting time for the musicians and the people who are lucky enough to be there during that time. At the Waterfront Blues Festival we were up against some amazing and talented acts that would have blown The IBCs away and are grateful for this opportunity.

If you haven’t been to this amazingly run event, it will be January 20 to 24th, 2015 and is well worth being in your upcoming vacation plans. There is nothing more cool then looking out at the audience and seeing Home.

In October, the music loving community from all the way down to Southern, Oregon and up to Seattle came to enjoy a benefit for our band to fund this trip. The Cascade Blues Cruise on the Portland Spirit highlighted acts and musicians who had previously been to Memphis for the CBA. Special heartfelt thanks to Lisa Mann and her band, Franco Palette and the Stingers and Ben Rice. In addition, special shout out to Joseph Conrad and Ed Pierce who were in Memphis with RGB in 2014 for the Rainy Day Blues Society.
In addition, the CBA, Greg Johnson, and all of the people who helped with the cruise and the people who boarded and enjoyed themselves and made our trip possible.Other things in the works for the Rae Gordon Band is a 2nd CD Dirty Flowers. Another collaboration of songwriting with Gaddis Cavenah.Thank you to all who helped fund $1000 towards it.Even though we didn’t make our fundraising goal and the release had to be pushed back, it has allowed us to take more time to develop it more and look forward to releases it sometime in spring, which is poetic given the name of the title track!

Upcoming gigs include Merry at Mak’s, a Christmas celebration of soul featuring RGB with Louis Pain, Lloyd Jones, LaRhonda Steele, Gaddis Cavenah, Federico Pol, Edwin Coleman III and Renato Caranto. New Year’s Eve. finds us at the Home of the Blues Trails End Saloon and the new year brings back the 1st Sunday gospel show at The Trails, a Beale street and Birthday Bash and send off at the Lehrer Jan 18th and RGB in Memphis competing to bring back the blues gold to All of you!
Thank you for all you support of RGB, CBA and live music.


Oregon Trail Restaurant and Bar

The famous End of the Oregon Trail brought families to the area by foot, horseback and wagon looking for a place they could feel at home and after miles of hardship; they knew they had found it.  The Trails End Saloon sits in the middle of this historic location on Main Street and is now continuing the tradition of attracting visitors who arrive and exclaim “this is it!” with new owners.  A long beloved business occupying a building that is the last of its kind, it is well known for being an important part of city and music history

New owners Mark and Linda Temple, along with daughter Katie are breathing new life with an open armed approach that is already evident in repeat business. “The Trails” has long been a favorite of not only local residents, but patrons from all over, who have moved away, but continue to make it a stop however far their travels take them.

As a Music Venue, the Trails End Saloon has had national acts grace its stage like Curtis Salgado, Maria Muldaur, Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds.  Many local Blues Artists also occupy the stage regularly and the blues jams are renowned, attracting people from all over the US when in town, and has been the beginning of successful band partnerships.  The Trails End has won eight Muddy Awards from the Cascade Blues Association for Best Blues Venue over the years.  In addition, the Trails End Saloon has long been known for opening its doors to benefits such as the Shriner’s Toy Run, Cody Myers benefit, Villages NW, Water Trout benefit, a Hurricane Katrina benefit, and the Doernbecher Childrens benefit.

A structure of historical significance on the corner of 14th & Main Streets in Oregon City , it is the last square nailed, wooden frame, lap sided structure left downtown.   It was the first grocery store, built circa 1880-1885 as Freytags Grocery.  Like its counterparts in Portland, it too has its folklore side.   Underneath the Saloon is an old tunnel that was used to transport freight brought up and down river by sternwheelers. An underground entrance led from the building, under the parking lot and down to the nearby Willamette River. Local folklore describes “other” uses for the tunnels in the old days, best left to the imagination. The current building still offers nostalgic charm such as a dimly lit dark wood bar, ceiling fans run by a conveyor system, and original wagon wheels.  To this day, it is also a popular spot for those looking for paranormal activity.

In 1905, the building was the site of a major fire, but was rebuilt into what you see today.  1910, it had another life again as a grocery Store called McAnulty’s.   It was a Chinese Food restaurant in the 40s and during the Korean War years, it was “Pat’s Inn”.  In 1972, the Holladay’s took over and called it The Spotted Skunk and did remodeling that included false ceilings and covered windows, then changed the name to Doc Holladay’s, which is well known and mentioned to this day.  In 1992, the Montjoys took over, did restoration and renamed it Trails End Saloon.  The Synders purchased it in 1997.  In 2013, Eric Hallingstad purchased it, did renovations that included uncovering long forgotten windows, did some major remodeling.   New owners Mark, Linda and Katie have taken over where he left off, providing quality food and top rate entertainment.


Dean Mueller and Julie Amici

Happy Holidays everyone, with Julie quitting her wine bar gig at the coast we are looking forward to the free evenings and much more performing in 2015. We are very fortunate to have had Chris Carlson and Alan Hager fill the third spot in the “trio” and look forward to playing with them more this year. You can expect us to mix it up a bit more this coming year starting with a VSOP (Very Special Onetime Performance) Showcase on Dec 22nd at the Lake Theater. This show will feature Dean Mueller, Dave
Fleshner, and Dan Gildea backing a diverse group of singers including LaRhonda Steele, Mary Kadderly, Julie Yanko, and our special guest Curtis Salgado. The combination of a stellar backup band along with the diverse styles of the vocalist will make this a Very Special Onetime Performance indeed, we can’t wait! Dean is also looking forward to playing with some more greats at the Lake Theater including Lloyd Jones, Kevin Selfe, Mitch Kashmar, and Terry Robb. If you have not yet checked out these Monday night
shows please give it a shot, the acoustics and the setting are ideal and you really get to hear, and see the musicians shine. Thanks much for your support as we get things ramped up and we look forward to seeing you much more in 2015!

Best, Dean & Julie