Cee Cee James photo by Greg Johnson

Cee Cee James (photo by Greg Johnson)

Lisa Mann

Lisa Mann

Two of Oregon’s finest blues ladies bring their respective bands to Duff’s Garage for a big-time double-header event. Both are award winners and have competed in the International Blues Challenge, making them fan favorites wherever they play. Cee Cee James returns to Portland from her home in Southern Oregon. She has been busy on the touring circuit across the country this summer and was also nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award for song of the year for her number “I Have A Right To Sing The Blues.” Joining Cee Cee for this event will be Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band. Lisa is a multiple CBA Muddy Award recipient for the Duffy Bishop female vocalist award and a Hall of Fame inductee as bassist. The band was also the winners of the Portland Music Awards.

This huge double bill happens at Duff’s Garage, 1635 SE 7th, September 26th. Showtime is 9:00 pm and admission is $10.00. Bring your current CBA membership card to receive a $1.00 discount at the door. This is one show that’ll be shakin’ the rafters for sure, do not miss out.

La Rhonda Steele Etta James Tribute Show @ Jimmy Mack's

La Rhonda Steele
Etta James Tribute Show @ Jimmy Mack’s

Arguably one of the most important singers in the history of blues music, Etta James carved her reputation in the form of many indelible hits over a seven decade career.
After her passing, piano and boogie master DK Stewart organized this tribute show with a live recording, and the ensuing CD has received well due praise.
In addition to DK on piano, the band features Chris Carlson and Peter Dammann (guitars), Mike Klobas (drums), Joseph Conrad (bass), Louis Pain (Organ), Chris Mercer (sax), and Joe McCarthy (trumpet).
The line-up of vocalists reads like a who’s who of female leads and includes Rae Gordon, LaRhonda Steele, Duffy Bishop, Lady Kat, and Lisa Mann…whew, what a roster!
This is a show that was featured at the Waterfront Blues Festival, but this year you’ll be able to enjoy it in the intimate setting of Jimmy Mak’s. Don’t wait, get your tickets now because we expect both performances to sell out.


Reserve Your Tickets Now

Two Shows at 7:30 & 10pm
$12 Reserved Seating/$10 General Admission
Advanced tickets available at


Ben Rice

Ben Rice

Please join the Cascade Blues Festival first thing July 4th when you attend the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival as we present the finals for our Journey To Memphis competition starting at noon on the Front Porch Stage. Four acts will compete to see who will represent the CBA and the region at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN next January.

Eleven acts participated in the first round, held at The Trails End in Oregon City the first weekend of June. Those acts included: Alan Hager & Dave Fleschner, Chad Rupp & Josh Makosky, David Pinsky & Phil Newton, Howard Wade, Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band, Rae Gordon & Gaddis Cavenah, Tevis Hodge Jr., The Ben Rice Band, The Hitmen, The Mojoblasters, and The Rae Gordon Band. All acts were judged in five catagories, following the guidelines set by The Blues Foundation and the top two scoring acts from each night advanced to the finals at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Those winners were: Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band, Tevis Hodge Jr., The Ben Rice Band and The Mojoblasters.


Lisa Mann

Lisa Mann

A huge thanks to The Trails End for letting us hold our opening round at their venue, and to our judges: longtime musician Jim Mayer, music publicist & promoter Matt Kalinowski and sound engineer, music product specialist & KBOO DJ Phil Garfinkel. Also a quick thanks in advance to the Oregon Food Bank and the Waterfront Blues Festival for allowing us to use the Front Porch Stage for our event finals and for the prize package they offer as well.


Make a point to also check out 2012 Journey To Memphis winners The Muddy Sons and Franco & The Stingers, as well as 2012 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner Ray Bonneville and 2013 Band winners Selwyn Birchwood Band, all performing at the Waterfront Blues Festival.



Alan Hagar

Alan Hagar

Always one of the Cascade Blues Association’s largest events of the year is the Journey To Memphis; our regional competition to select our representatives from the region to compete in The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge next year in Memphis, Tennessee. This year’s event returns to the newly renovated Trails End Saloon in Oregon City on Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th, starting at 8:00 pm both nights.
This year we have fourteen entries; seven will compete each night before a set of three judges scoring the acts on blues content, instrumentation talent, vocal talent, originality and stage presence. All will have a timed 30-minute set and the two highest scoring acts from each night will advance to the finals held on July 4th at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival.

Admission to the Journey To Memphis is $10.00 each night. All admissions will cover the cost of production and form the base prize received by the winners to help defray their traveling expenses to Memphis.

Scheduled Times and Act Sets are as follows (note: these are subject to change as the acts are not required to play a full 30-minute set. If they go overtime, they will be penalized a point for every 10 seconds over.)

Friday, June 7th:

  • 8:00 – Howard Wade
  • 8:40 – Alan Hager & Dave Fleschner
  • 9:20 – Rae Gordon Band
  • 10:00 – Alan Benson Experience
  • 10:40 – Chad Rupp & Josh Makosky
  • 11:20 – The Mojo Blasters
  • 12:00 – Ben Rice Band

Saturday, June 8th:

  • 8:00 – Rose City Rats featuring Savanna Coen
  • 8:40 – David Pinsky & Phil Newton
  • 9:20 – Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band
  • 10:00 – Tevis Hodge, Jr.
  • 10:40 – Beacon Street Titans
  • 11:20 – The Hitmen
  • 12:00 – Rae Gordon & Gaddis Cavenah (Duo)

Early last year, following the passing of the great Etta James, a tribute show was held at the Alberta Rose Theatre featuring five of the city’s finest female vocalists: Amy Keys, Duffy Bishop, LaRhonda Steele, Lisa Mann and Rae Gordon backed by the DK Stewart Sextet and Friends. That event was recorded and highlights of it have been released as a CD titled Tell Mama.

To celebrate the CD’s release, a new show has been put together which will take place at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Friday, March 15th at 8:00 pm. Returning will be the DK Stewart Sextet along with singers Amy Keys, Duffy Bishop, LaRhonda Steele, Rae Gordon and added for this event Lady Kat.

Tickets are available through and are $15.00 in advance. This is a CBA co-sponsored event and members can receive a $2.00 discount when ordering on-line by using the code CBA. Minors are okay when accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Alberta Rose Theatre is located at 3000 NE Alberta St., Portland.

Do not miss out on what is certainly going to be yet another night of incredible music in tribute to the late Etta James.

When it comes to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, people may come for the competition, but it is not unusual to make good friends that you keep in touch with for years to come. In 2011, two award winning artists from opposite sides of the country made such a friendship, Portland’s own Lisa Mann and Boston’s Diane Blue. They have worked out an arrangement where they will each travel to the other’s area and work a number of shows with one another. They will be making one such appearance in Portland on Saturday, February 16th at Jimmy Mak’s.

Diane Blue is a strong vocalist, skillful harmonica player and a crowd pleasing entertainer who was selected in Boston area readers’ poll as Outstanding Female Singer in 2011. Soulful and sassy, she has a strong, confident attack and energetic delivery, serving up her own spin on soul, blues and R&B. Diane Blue has performed with such blues luminaries as Ronnie Earl, Big Jack Johnson, Luther Guitar Jr. Johnson and Irma Thomas.

Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band were the 2012 Muddy Award recipients of Best Contemporary Blues Act and Lisa was also selected as the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist and is a Muddy Hall of Fame member as bass player. The band also took home the 2012 Portland Music Award for best blues act. Always entertaining, they will be performing their own sensational music and backing Diane Blue for what should make for an exciting evening.

Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th Avenue, show time is 8:00 pm. Ticket price is $10.00 and this is a CBA co-sponsored event, so show your membership card at the door for a $1.00 discount on admission. Reservations are highly recommended for Jimmy Mak’s and can be made by calling the venue at 503-295-6542.