May marks the beginning of a bold new musical series at The Lehrer that focuses on introducing the blues to younger audiences by presenting its newer and cutting edge sounds. This is not your traditional I-IV-V or twelve bar progression. This is modern blues done with an attitude. It may embellish the sound with up-to-date musical styles, many that may seem out of place but nonetheless stem directly from the source itself. It may be called roots or Americana at times, or maybe indie and alternative, but it all comes out in the end to be blues and blues-related music.

The brainchild of Brad Lehrer, the owner of The Lehrer, with assistance from promoter/producer Cherie Robbins and Cascade Blues Association President Greg Johnson, the series will happen every Thursday evening with a special once-a-month workshop/performance on the fourth Sunday (please note, the May Sunday performance will take place on the 31 due to the holiday weekend occurring the week before).

This is blues for the next generation, and it’s exciting and refreshing. All things must adapt to change and make a new mark. The blues have done that over and over during the past hundred plus years — because, like anything else, if it doesn’t grow, it’ll fade away.

Thursday, May 7 – Opening the break-out night of Renegade Blues will be southwestern touring band Next 2 The Tracks, an act that originally formed in 2006 in El Paso, Texas. The band is made up of the powerful trio of Christian Talamantes on guitar/vocals, Todd Seelau on drums and Johnny Bang on drums. Influenced by the best of the blues-based rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses or The Black Crowes with a hint of Latino roots. They use no gimmicks or need for hype, just groove, great songwriting and sexy guitar riffs. $5.00 admission.

Thursday, May 14 – Portland’s own The Eric Sugar Larsen Group will bring a little soulful R&B flavoring to their blues mix for the series demanding the urge to fill the dance floor with their tasty grooving sounds. $5.00 admission.

Thursday, May 21 – The Neil Darling Band is a young group with an old soul, with years of experience between them in rock, reggae,funk,soul, blues, gospel, and everything in between. The band’s front man, Neil Darling, is a new Oregonian from Alaska, by way of Austin,Texas, with a heartfelt,unique style reminiscent of Johnny Lang and Stevie Ray Vaughan, with just the right touch of John Mayer. The Neil Darling Band has a sound like no other that will put a smile on your face and a groove in your soul. $5.00 admission.

Thursday, May 28 – The Ty Curtis Band: Those who subscribe to the notion that only age and a lifetime of hardships can produce a blues musician have probably never heard Ty Curtis play guitar, sing, or listened to the powerful lyrics of just one of his songs. Ty, being one of Oregon’s youngest blues musicians, has already released five award winning CDs at the age of 27. Greg Johnson, the president of Cascade Blues Association, could not agree more: “Ty’s lyrics and music show growth and these tunes shouldn’t just appeal to the blues crowd, Ty’s fully capable of crossing over for any audience that is put in front of him.” $10.00 admission.

Sunday, May 31- For the inaugural Renegade Blues Sunday Workshop presentation, The Lehrer is proud to present Joe McMurrian. Recognized as one of the most innovative acoustic guitar and banjo players, and a creative songwriter, McMurrian has twice been recognized by The Blues Foundation in their top five best self-produced CD competition, winning overall in 2012 for the album Get Inside This House and is the leader of the cutting edge blues band Woodbrain. The workshop will involve McMurrian performing songs with question and answers from the audience. Following the performance will be an acoustic jam. Admission $5.00.

Watch for future Renegade Blues shows every Thursday and Sunday workshops in the coming months. Some of the performers already scheduled to appear include: Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band, Land Between The Lakes, Gabriel Cox, and The Soul Commanders.