In the cold winter months, live music lovers usually have to wait for the summer festival season to kick up their heels and dance to local and nationally acclaimed acts. LeeAnn Gibbons had an idea, with humble beginnings over a conversation at the kitchen table, to counteract the dreary days of winter with music, while at the same time benefitting charity.
Now in its sixth year, the Winter Blues Festival offers some of the best local and national acts, highlighting some of the biggest stars of the West Coast from California to Washington.
This year, the Winter Blues Festival will feature:
- Lloyd Jones, Portland’s award-winning total package when it comes to the blues and roots music. A much sought after entertainer throughout the United States, he is also known as one of the founding members of the blues in the area as it is known today.
- Cee Cee James, based in Washington, is as raw and real as it gets. Capable of bringing an audience to its knees with her performances, she is a gifted songwriter and she’ll bring THE MISSION OF S.O.U.L. to the Winter Blues Festival stage.
- Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers, fresh back from competing in the International Blues Challenge and capturing 3rd place overall in an event that saw more than 260 acts from around the world. Rae is a Cascade Blues Association Muddy Hall of Fame inductee, winning the “Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist award the past three years.
- Guitarist and singer/songwriter CD Woodbury is an 8-time winner of Washington Blues Society awards and has had his recordings continue to rise on charts.
- Long-time local favorite and nationally acclaimed musicians, Bill Rhoades & The Party Kings/Queens will finish the night with a special All-Star jam. Harmonica player Bill Rhoades is known as the “Godfather” of the Northwest Blues” and has long been credited with being one of the reasons the Northwest scene is well known for good blues throughout the world.
- California-based band Jim Gustin and Truth Jones is a high energy soulful, blues act that has been turning heads wherever they go. The mix of the smoky raspy vocals from Big Jim Gustin paired with the strong and lovely voice of Jeri Goldenhar are a sweet and delicious combination.
The Winter Blues Festival has helped many charities throughout the years including C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Arts Project), the Oregon Food Bank and United By Music North America. This year’s charity beneficiary is the Youth Music Project, an organization based in West Linn, but providing services throughout the Portland Metro area. The Festival will also be accepting donations for the Oregon Food Bank and request six cans of food or purchase an emergency food box for $10.00 at the door to help feed the hungry in our region.
The Winter Blues Festival is held at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge & Ballroom, 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd, on Saturday, March 11. Doors open at 2:30 pm, with music beginning at 3:00 pm. The venue offers large dance floors, a full service bar and food menu, on-site parking and is across the street from the MAX Orange line and bus stops. There will also be a raffle and silent auction.
For tickets plus lodging and camping information, please visit www.winterbluesfest.net