The finals for the 2015 Journey To Memphis competition have been set. After two nights in early June at The Lehrer, four acts were whittled out of the sixteen original entries to compete at the Waterfront Blues Festival on The Oregonian Front Porch Stage starting at 11:30 am on July 4. They will perform before three “celebrity” judges, playing 25 minute sets and scored in five categories: blues content, vocal talent, instrumentation talent, originality, and stage presence.

The sixteen acts that performed at The Lehrer were: Beacon Street Titans, Bottleneck Blues Band, Drop Dead Red, Gabriel Cox, Holfar Blue, Justus Reece, Ken West, Mick Knight, Missi & Mister Baker, Rogue Rage Duo, Sister Mercy, Still Water Vibes, Symplistic Soles, Ted Vaughn Blues Band, Tim Connor, and Tracey Fordice & The 8-Balls. The two highest scoring acts from each night won the right to place in the finals. The winning acts were: Beacon Street Titans, Bottleneck Blues Band, Sister Mercy and Symplistic Soles.

Because we mix both our solo/duo and band competitors together, and all four acts moving on to the Waterfront Blues Festival were bands, we allow the highest scoring solo/duo act from this year to have the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association in Memphis. By using the same judges both nights, the scoring is consistent for all the acts. The highest scoring solo/duo act was Medford’s Rogue Rage Duo featuring Harpo DeRoma and Dan Tiller.

The Cascade Blues Association would like to thank our judges for The Lehrer, John Jaqua, Brendan O’Donnell and Darlene “Blaque Butterfly” Solomon, for volunteering their time over two nights of music. We would also like to thank Brad Lehrer, The Lehrer and their staff for allowing us to use their room and JBL Sound (Jay Lawhorn and Steve Murray) for making everybody sound so great. The Journey To Memphis event team: Wendy Schumer as judge’s assistant, Cherie Robbins as scorekeeper and Andrea Stellar and Jody Gunn who worked as time-keepers. We also want to acknowledge volunteers Winnie Chapman Richards for working the door, Miles and Richard LaChapelle for merchandise sales and board members Jon Pierce, Barry Blackwell and Merry Larsen for various duties.

Please join us on July 4 at 11:30 am as we kick off the final round to determine who will represent the CBA in Memphis as our band entry. Good luck to all. The acts will perform in the following order:

11:30 – Symplistic Soles
12:00 – Bottleneck Blues Band
12:30 – Sister Mercy
1:00 – Beacon Street Titans