Curtis Salgado Wins Big at 34th Annual Blues Music Awards

Curtis Salgado Wins Big at 34th Annual Blues Music AwardsIt is not every day that a musician is honored by the State of Oregon recognizing a lifetime of dedication and achievement, but the State Senate did just that for bluesman Curtis Salgado in February. It is something that fans and musicians already knew about Curtis and now has been officially noted, that Curtis Salgado is a State Treasure.


Senate Concurrent Resolution 205



The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Honors visionary Oregon musician Curtis Salgado.


Whereas Curtis Salgado is a visionary Oregon musician who has inspired generations of blues fans through stunning vocals, passionate song writing, soulful harmonica playing and the example he set in overcoming personal tragedy; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where he played in his first professional shows at age 16 and was already making a name for himself in Eugene’s music scene by age 18; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado started an annual Eugene blues festival; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado’s high-intensity performances and acclaimed albums uniquely combine aspects of blues, soul and R&B; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado has helped bring prominence to Oregon’s music scene since the 1960s by collaborating, touring and performing with such artists as Robert Cray, the Steve Miller Band, Santana, Bonnie Raitt and many more; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado has performed throughout Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and the world,  including at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, the San Francisco Blues Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Mile High Blues in Denver, Waterfront Blues in Toronto, the Phuket International Blues Rock Festival in Thailand and the Blues Alive Festival in Poland; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado was an inspiration for the Saturday Night Live sketch and major motion picture The Blues Brothers and the best-selling record album Briefcase Full of Blues; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado has received numerous awards, including the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, the 2013 B. B. King Entertainer of the Year and the 2013 Soul Blues Album of the Year for his record Soul Shot; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado has been inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado brought national attention to the challenge many artists face in accessing affordable health care; and

Whereas Curtis Salgado exemplifies the Oregon spirit of steadfast determination by overcoming both liver and lung cancers; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon: That we, the members of the Seventy-seventh Legislative Assembly, honor Curtis Salgado for his visionary music, shining example and service to the people of this state.

We recently posted this list on the CBA Facebook page. It received a thankful response from so many that we thought we would run it in the BluesNotes, too This list is a compilation of regional musicians who were nominated for the 2013 Muddy Awards. Though the final ballot is limited to only a few in each category, all of the following artists were recognized by our members in the ballots returned to us for nominations in the first round.

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By Laurie Morrisey
A while back, I approached Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Talent Coordinator, Peter Dammann, and asked him about some of the unsung heroes of the festival. The first name that came to his mind was Ray Varner. Ray worked at the Fed-Ex Stage for about 10 years, although he’s retired now.

He was the perfect guy for that gig. I relied on his judgment a lot; he was one of the people, especially in the early years, that encouraged me to go after some of the Read more

Ramblings on My Mind by Greg Johnson - CBA PresidentI’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t enjoy my recent trip to Memphis to assist with The Blues Foundation once again at the Blues Music Awards. I arrived Wednesday morning around 9:00 am and Deputy Director (and one of my closest friends) Joe Whitmer had me working as soon as I stepped foot through the office door. And it didn’t end until the awards show ended late Thursday night (or should I say Friday morning). But I loved every minute.

My main role at the Blues Music Awards the past three years has been working as a stage manager with Paul Averwater. Paul is one of the best in the MidSouth and always in demand. We spent all day Thursday doing line-checks with the performers and then returned less than an hour-and-a-half later to run the stage for the show for the next six-to-seven hours. It is my job to make sure that all the artists are ready to go on stage well in advance and have them in place so when one act ends, the other starts immediately. Kind of like the way the Waterfront Blues Festival runs the two main stages in the bowl, alternating back and forth. But this is one large stage divided into two parts, and I am running back and forth to opposite sides, changing acts every ten minutes. Always great sets delivered by the showcased acts. If I had to pick and choose my favorites this year I would have to top it off with Victor Wainwright’s extraordinary solo piano that brought the entire audience to a hush to listen closely. The Heritage Blues Orchestra was sensational, even more so when they had Eric Bibb sit in for a number. Joe Louis Walker has always been a favorite and having him trade guitar licks with Murali Coryell was superb. As was Mud Morganfield backed by one of the tightest Chicago all stars bands running. Curtis Salgado burned the house down with his soulful set. As did John Nemeth. And Royal Southern Brotherhood was the perfect act to close the night leaving the audience wanting more after a terrific cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” had them on their feet.

 Aside from the Blues Music Awards, I was fortunate to catch many fantastic artists that I do not get a chance to see too often like Greg Nagy, Gina Sicilia, Diunna Greenleaf, JW-Jones, EG Kight, Lisa Biales, Paula Harris, Dennis Gruenling, John Primer and more. Of course there are long-time friends I always try to catch up with like Jeff Jensen, Brandon Santini and Eric Hughes.

 But the best times are always those spent with close friends, not necessarily at a show. Being able to hang out with Henry Gavaldon . . . these are the people who make memories special. Big thanks to Joe, Sara, Jay Sielman, Priscilla Hernandez and Cindi James for making me feel as part of The Blues Foundation family. Cannot wait to head back again.

 But back to home, and the first matter of business is the Journey To Memphis competition. We have another strong line-up this year, so we hope to see you come out to the Trails End the first full weekend of June to help us select our next International Blues Challenge representatives and to raise some funds to help them get back to Tennessee. This is always one of the most fun events that the CBA holds, so hope to see many of you there. The summer just does not start right until the Journey To Memphis begins.

 Alas, as I did last month with the passing of my good friend, drummer Pete Muir, it is my unfortunate position to let you know that we lost another friend and musician right at the BluesNotes deadline arrived. Most people may remember Henry Gavaldon as the longtime bassist with Boogie Bone and those who knew him will forever remark what a kind, wonderful person he truly was. Henry passed following complications from surgery. Godspeed Henry. It surely is only the best who seem to be taken away from us way too soon. Sending my deepest condolences and best thoughts to Henry’s family and friends.


Curtis Salgado Wins Big at 34th Annual Blues Music Awards
Curtis Salgado Wins Big at 34th Annual Blues Music Awards

Curtis Salgado Wins Big at 34th Annual Blues Music Awards

The Blues Foundation held the 34th annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday, May 9th, and the night’s biggest winner was none other than Portland’s own Curtis Salgado. Nominated for four awards, Curtis Salgado took home three, including awards for Best Soul Blues album for his incredible release Soul Shot, his third Soul Blues Artist (2010, 2012 & 2013) and the most coveted prize of the night, the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. That third BMA is perhaps the most telling due to the tribulations Curtis has suffered the past few years with health issues that have seen him undergo a liver transplant and surgeries for lung cancer, only to dive into his recording, touring and performances with renewed vigor. All that hard work has definitely paid off and has been recognized by the voting members of The Blues Foundation.

The sole prize that Salgado had been nominated for that he did not receive was for Song of the Year for his number “She Didn’t Cut Me Loose,” which was awarded to Janiva Magness for her touching tune “I Won’t Cry.” Magness also was named Contemporary Female Blues Artist. Other multiple winners included Derek Trucks (Gibson Guitar Award and also with the Trucks-Tedeschi Band for Band of the Year and Rock Blues Album for Everybody’s Talkin’); and the late Michael Burks (Contemporary Blues Album and Album of the Year for his posthumous release Show Of Strength).

The Blues Music Awards is much more than just an awards show. It is also an amazing concert that featured 21 sets of music over a time frame of nearly eight hours. Performances by nominees and winners included burning sets by acts such as Joe Louis Walker, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Victor Wainwright, Janiva Magness, Curtis Salgado, The Mannish Boys, Heritage Blues Orchestra, Dorothy Moore and many others.

Besides the Blues Music Awards, Memphis was packed full of terrific shows surrounding the event, including jams led by Nick Moss and Brandon Santini, a 100th birthday tribute to Pinetop Perkins, and label & agency showcases from VizzTone Records and Blind Racoon amongst others.

On Wednesday night before the BMAs, The Blues Foundation also held a dinner honoring this year’s inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame. Joe Louis Walker remarked on what an honor being inducted, “”You get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by selling a lot of records. You get into the Blues Hall of Fame by having credibility” Joe Louis Walker, Jody Williams and Otis Clay all were honored with inductions along with artists who have passed Earl Hooker, Jimmie Rodgers and Little Brother Montgomery. There were also numerous people recognized for their songs, albums, literature and music production, such as Memphis Minnie. Louis Jordan, Howlin’ Wolf, Henry “Ragtime” Thomas and New Orleans studio wizard Cosimo Matassa. For the full list of Blues Hall of Fame inductees, visit

Blues Music Award winners for 2013 were:

Acoustic Album: Not Alone – Ann Rabson w/ Bob Margolin

Acoustic Artist: Eric Bibb

Album: Show of Strength – Michael Burks

B.B King Entertainer: Curtis Salgado

Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band

Best New Artist Debut: They Call Me Big Llou – Big LLou Johnson

Contemporary Blues Album: Show of Strength – Michael Burks

Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Janiva Magness

Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Tab Benoit

DVD: Eagle Rock Entertainment – Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones, Live at Checkerboard


Gibson Guitar: Derek Trucks

Instrumentalist-Bass: Bob Stroger

Instrumentalist-Drums: Cedric Burnside

Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Rick Estrin

Instrumentalist-Horn: Eddie Shaw

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female): Ruthie Foster

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album: Everybody’s Talkin’ – Tedeschi Trucks Band

Song: “I Wont Cry” written by Janiva Magness & Dave Darling – Stronger For It (Janiva


Soul Blues Album: Soul Shot – Curtis Salgado

Soul Blues Female Artist: Irma Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado

Traditional Blues Album: Double Dynamite – The Mannish Boys

Traditional Blues Male Artist: Magic Slim