What’s on Tap for December’s General Membership Meeting . . .

Catfish Lou’s, 2460 NW 24th Ave, Portland
Wednesday, December 6 –  7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-Members $5.00
(Members please show your current cards at the door)
Opening Acoustic Set – Justus Reece
Second Electric Set – Blues Battalion

After a short return to The Melody Ballroom last month to celebrate the Muddy Awards, we’re heading back to Catfish Lou’s for the December General Membership Meeting for another incredible night of fantastic blues and great friends.

Remember, the December meeting is when we hold our annual Board of Directors officer election. Make sure that you have your membership card on hand to receive a ballot. We will be voting for next year’s president, vice president, secretary, membership secretary and treasurer.

Opening the December General Membership Meeting will be Justus Reece. Originally scheduled to play this past August, when we had to find a new location for our gatherings Catfish Lou’s was unable to provide a setting for an under-aged musician. Since then Justus has turned 21 and can now play at all venues in the state, so we’re happy to reschedule him for this meeting.

Justus has been consistently studying guitar while also being aware that he can never know everything, and that the guitar is a lifelong pursuit. He is currently studying with Terry Robb with whom he has appeared at venues such as The Venetian in Hillsboro for his IBC fundraiser and the Old Liberty Theater in Camas. And aside from the IBC appearance on Beale Street, Justus has performed at events including the Blues4MS concerts, Cathedral Jazz Festival and the Waterfront Blues Festival.

The music that Justus performs includes a wide range of styles, not only blues but jazz, folk, funk, jam band, and more. You can expect to see him offer a variety of American music such as ragtime, Piedmont blues, American primitive, Delta blues and other roots music. His inspirations are many, but include among them the diversity of such as Herbie Hancock, Frank Zappa, Blind Blake, Yes, Mississippi John Hurt, Charlie Hunter, and Funkadelic among them. Certainly a young musician with an open mind and on a quest to learn something new from every direction.

For the band portion of the night, Blues Battalion returns for another lively performance for our members. The band has been together for about 4 years, with original members guitarist Fred Riedel and his daughter Kristi Riedel on vocals, still fronting the band. The band is completed by guitarist Michael Conner, Mike Kelley on bass and Leo Hartshorn on drums.

Each of the members have extensive backgrounds in music. Michael Conner is an educator by profession and also is the founder of MYConner Sound. He played with numerous bands around Eugene and Corvalis and has also released his own recording in 2002 titled Connected. Kristi Riedel  has been involved in music since she was young and works for Young Audiences. Mike Kelley, aside from being the band’s bassist, has also been a guitarist for many years and can often be found playing alongside Joe DeFoney. Leo Hartshorn has drummed for over 50 yeaers and was co-founder and co-director of Drumming for Peace, an organization that teaches publicly for peace through drumming, rhythm, storytelling and music. Band leader Fred Riedel recently retired as a music teacher and has been playing music since he was twelve. In the early 70s he played with a touring group called Questor and also led a band called Fred’s Garage before forming Blues Battalion. He is a prolific songwriter, with several of his compositions appearing on the Blues Battalion CD released a couple years back.

Always a popular act when they have performed for the CBA, this will be no exception. Expect to have a fun time with Blues Battalion.

Remember, Catfish Lou’s can fill up quickly for the meetings, so arrive early to find a good spot and to grab dinner. We will do our regular drawings so don’t forget to pick up your ticket at the door and purchase some winner-take-all raffle tickets too. The funds all go to support the CBA.