Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, May 4, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Adam Scramstad & Jerry Zybach
Second Electric Set – Thomas T. & The Blue Chips
The Cascade Blues Association always tries to bring you the best blues our region has to offer at our monthly membership meetings. It can be old friends or newer acts deserving our attention. But it is always going to be top notch blues music. This month, we’re stretching beyond the city limits of Portland and reaching to a little further into Oregon to bring you a taste of what lies outside. And since our part of the country has an enormous depth of talent when it comes to the blues, it’ll be yet another exciting night to start the musical month out right.
No strangers to performing in Portland are two good friends of the CBA traveling from down the Willamette River a bit to play for us this month. Adam Scramstad and Jerry Zybach are without doubt extraordinary guitarists working either as solo musicians or within bands, on acoustic or electric guitars, and are both known throughout the Northwest and abroad.
Adam Scramstad hails from the Corvallis area and is known for his exceptional finger-style guitar. He can often be found here in the Portland area working alongside his mentor Terry Robb as part of the Terry Robb Trio.
Jerry Zybach lives in Eugene, and having spent time on the road with the legendary Honeyboy Edwards, he is now currently the guitarist and band leader for the Joanne Broh Band. Jerry can also be heard every Friday morning broadcasting from the KRVM studios as host of Breakfast with the Blues (though broadcasting out of Eugene, the station is available online).
For this project, Adam and Jerry are working together as an acoustic dip, focusing on the style and feel of 1930’s era Delta Blues, while sharing an interpretation of the genre’s history through their playing.
The second set of the meeting will bring for the first time at a CBA meeting Thomas T. and The Blue Chips. Thomas T. started playing the blues in Chicago where he got to see blues legends like Muddy Waters,Willie Dixon and Lightnin’ Hopkins. After moving to Oregon in 1991 he has been keeping the blues alive in various bands, finally getting together some of Central Oregon’s finest blues musicians.
The band started to come together after bassist and lead vocalist, Thomas T (Tsuneta) had left his traveling sales job and decided he wanted to form a blues band. “I had been in a cover band for 6 or 7 years with guitarist Jeff Leslie and we both had added blues songs we liked to the set list. When I asked if he could play blues all night, he said ‘Sure!’’ They were quickly joined by Steve Beaudry , who Thomas calls “ a World Class harmonica player” who had exactly the tone and feel that fits so well with the Chicago and Texas style blues the band loves.” Joining most recently is drummer Jeff Ingraham, who has toured with and recorded several albums for Country music legend Merle Haggard.
The band have been pleasantly surprised by the warm reception in the live music scene in Bend and Central Oregon to a real blues band. Local club gigs have steadily built since March 2015 through the year, finally culminating in appearances at the Bend Roots Fest and Fall Festival. While they couldn’t be happier with the reception, Thomas T. and The Blue Chips are looking forward to playing in Portland and on the Oregon Coast and are currently working on their debut CDfor a potential summer release.
And the band would like to add,“We are all looking forward to meeting the CBA members and playing our blues for people who know what the blues are about!”
Between sets, we’ll hold our free ticket prize drawing and let you know about what’s coming up in our area during May. And don’t forget, you can sign up at the May and June meetings to volunteer for both the CBA merchandise booth and for backstage positions at the Waterfront Blues Festival.
Remember to please respect the musicians while they are playing. If you must talk to your friends, kindly step out to the lobby/bar area of the Melody Ballroom. Thank you.