The summer is in full swing and the Cascade Blues Association has been present at a number of happenings all over the city this year. One spot that you can always count on us being at is our own monthly membership meetings, where you’re certain to be entertained by some of the finest blues artists in the region. Whether well-known musicians or new acts about to break out, we’re here to introduce, or re-introduce, this talent to you. This month however, we do not need to introduce anyone as our two acts have made their names highly regarded in our home town and well beyond.
Opening the night will be one of the world’s finest acoustic guitar players. Mary Flower has toured the world and brings smiles to all who listen to her exquisite playing and witness her charming stage personality. Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of inventive, dexterous, and mesmerizing artistry. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story, and her precise and well-crafted material.
Originally scheduled to perform for us last February, Mary was forced to cancel due to illness, but it works out all the better to have her play for us now as she has recently dropped her latest recording, Livin’ With The Blues Again, on the Little Village Foundation label. The album is filled with new material that will become instant favorites alongside her deep catalog of brilliant musicianship that have long been praised by fans and critics alike.
The second set of the night will be in the hands of popular harmonica playing bandleader Franco & The Stingers. Since breaking into the Portland blues scene in the mid-80s, Paletta has become one of the mainstays of the city’s blues community. His dynamic harp style, strong vocals and outstanding songwriting reflect his personality and make him instantly recognizable on stage.
There have been many variations of The Stingers over the years, and the band has twice represented the Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The current line-up may be the best yet, with Tom Gilberts’ exceptional guitar work and the dynamic rhythm section held down by drummer Chandler Bowerman and bassist Timmer Blakely. This powerful set is likely to light the East Portland Eagles Lodge on fire and bring the roof down — in a good way of course. Be prepared to party!
The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, August 7. 7:00 pm. Members are always Free, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.