Wednesday, March 5th – 7:00 pm
Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Opening Acoustic Set – Ralph Broqvist & Jim Wallace
Second Electric Set – Kenny Kofler & The Third Power

We want to apologize for canceling the meeting in February at the last minute. We did not foresee the inclement weather that decided to hit town that day and pretty much close  everything down for the following few days after. But it is better safe than sorry when this happens and after speaking with The Melody Ballroom and the performers it was considered the best option for all. We will work at trying to reschedule the acts for a future date.

But we do not see anything that should interrupt the March meeting and we’re back on schedule with our regular first Wednesday of the month, too. Just to let you all know, we have a line-up of acts for the remainder of the year that are mostly new to playing our monthly meetings, with perhaps one or two old friends. All the band slots for the year are filled and the opening sets are filling up quickly.

Opening the meeting in March will be a very special grouping that does not happen too often. Normally we offer an acoustic set, but tonight we had the opportunity to showcase our friend guitarist Ralph Broqvist who will be joined by Portland harmonica ace Jim Wallace and backed by the Suburban Slim Band. Usually when Broqvist visits town, these performances are something that may only occur at small gatherings of friends or in a jam setting.

Ralph Broqvist

Ralph Broqvist (press photo)

Ralph Broqvist is the leader and guitarist for the popular Swedish band, Blueass Blues Band and has also worked with Deborah Coleman’s band when she toured through Norway. He has been called by Jefferson magazine as “one of the unsung heroes of Swedish blues guitarists today,” who can play sharp rock guitar, blues that just feels right in tempo and tone, and when on slide guitar you can imagine “Hound Dog Taylor smiling from Heaven . . . or maybe downstairs.”

Jim Wallace (photo by Greg Johnson)

Jim Wallace (photo by Greg Johnson)

Jim Wallace, of course, needs no introduction to Portland blues fans. One of the region’smost popular harmonica players, he has worked as band leader of The Haus Katsand has played alongside greats like Rick Welter, AC Porter & The Live Wires and Franck Goldwasser. The Suburban Slim Band will back Wallace and Broqvist, featuring Phil “Suburban Slim” Wagner on guitar, John Neish on bass and Scott Van Dusen from The Third Power band will be doing double duty on drums, playing both sets. Certain to be a memorable meeting for sure.

And yet, that is only the beginning. For the second set of the night we will be presenting Kenny Kofler and The Third Power, a new blues-based variety group from Portland showcasing some of the city’s brightest up-and-coming talent.

Kenny Kofler & The Third Power (photo by Roger Kofler)

Kenny Kofler & The Third Power (photo by Roger Kofler)

Led by Kenny Kofler, whose musical background began with the accordion at the tender age of five, moving on to saxophone that saw him reap numerous State and regional awards as a soloist in high school and college, and eventually taking up the guitar to express his love for American roots music. He has performed in multiple genres ranging from funk, blues, jazz, classical and contemporary country with numerous bands such as Deep Blue Soul Revue, The Sinners Club, Walter Guy Band, Bolt Upright and many others. With The Third Power Kenny provides vocals, guitar and saxophone.

Also on saxophone is the amazing Eric Rabe whose influences include Blue Lou Marini, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and others that helped him develop his own recognizable trademark sound. He has worked alongside many of the most highly regarded acts in the area as well as making a name for himself as a session musician in several of the top studios in Portland. His presence adds a very melodic and soulful sound to The Third Power.

Scott Van Dusen on drums is the backbone of the band. With solid, driving grooves, his background spans various genres of rock, blues, jazz, fusion, folk and R&B. Since relocating to Portland from Southern California, where he worked with Tupelo Blue and The Jill Sharpe Band, he has been working with some of the finest musicians in the Northwest.

Rounding out The Third Power is bassist Chris Hale. Originally from San Diego, he has been honing his skill for nearly a quarter century playing blues and jazz. One of the Northwest’s most talented and entertaining bassists, he will wow you on both the fretless electric bass and the upright. A cerebral pocket-player with a superb talent for melodic intuition, he brings a rock-solid low end the band filling nooks and crannies with sonic goodness.

Don’t forget to pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter The Melody, for your chance to win CDs and concert tickets. We’ll also have another multi-CD raffle, winner takes all, for only $1.00 a chance. Come on out to the meeting and be prepared to party with two bands in one night. Bring your friends, too. We’re always happy to see new faces.