Anni Piper

Blow Up Doll
Sugar Daddy Records

“Blow Up Doll” is Anni Piper’s first recording since relocating to Oregon several years ago. Produced at Jimi Bott’s Roseleaf Recording, Piper brought together an impressive collection of some of the area’s finest musicians and laid down an incredible mix of original and cover material of rousing musical depth and accuracy. Piper is in fine form, both vocally and instrumentally, and her songwriting here is some of the best she has ever produced. There is never a lull throughout the disc, and her accompanying musicians offer fiery support for her performances, all the more impressive since much of the disk was recored live in the studio, often using the first take.

Piper’s originals compositions often take their inspiration from her life experiences. These tunes deal with the failed relationships of those who needed to be in control and her new resolve to move forward. The title track, “Blow Up Doll,” a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition last year, details a former partner who treated her as something to just cast aside once he found what he was looking for. “Big Bengal” describes her new direction in relationships by focusing on her pet cat, while the closing “24 Guys Named Dave” is a humorous tune about dating only guys named Dave and what they’ll offer to her.

On the tracks that Piper covers, they’re all completely redone in her own fashion and may take a moment before they’re recognized. “Get Right Church,” “Cake Walk Into Town” and “Sailin’ Shoes” are great examples of how well she teams up with guitarist/vocalist Bob Shoemaker. Other first-rate covers include Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” and Willie Dixon’s “Built For Comfort; and again Piper has treated them as her own making them fresh and exciting.

There is a bevy of tremendous guitar playing throughout the album aside from Shoemaker’s remarkable work, including great riffs from Joseph Barton on “Contagious” and interplay between AC Porter and Ben Rice on “Big Bengal,” and Troy Johnson lays it out nicely on “Uncrustables.” Other artists contributing are Steve Kerin on keys, Melonie Owen on vocals, drummers Dave Melyan, Jeff Hudis and Jeff Aboott, and of course engineer/producer Jimi Bott delivers nice percussion, too.

“Blow Up Doll” is one of those albums that will be considered as one of the best of the region when this year comes to an end, and it should be played for a great deal of time long once this year is over. Anni Piper has created a true gem here.

Total Time: 45:30

Uncrustables / Get Right Church / Big Bengal / Pink Cadillac / Blow Up Doll / Two’s Company / Cake Walk Into Town / Built For Comfort / Contagious / Sailin’ Shoes / 24 Guys Name Dave

The Lucky Losers

The Lucky Losers

Danger meets sophistication in the soulful music of San Francisco’s The Lucky Losers. Accompanied by a dynamic four-piece ensemble, veteran Bay Area artists Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz deliver a truly signature sound, layering elements of Stax/Volt styled R&B, electric Americana, and psychedelic rock atop a Chicago and Texas blues foundation. The Lucky Losers perform original music about transcending the dark side of the American dream, the beauty and pain of being alive, and devotion in all of its complexities. Lemons has the velvety, gritty-edged voice and rebel conviction of a woman who’s risen from the ashes. Berkowitz has earned renown as one of the west Coast’s most distinctive harp players. The stark contrast between Lemons and Berkowitz makes for a captivating musical union, breathing new life into American songwriting tradition and the vanishing art of duet singing.

Catfish Lou’s, 6540 SW Fallbrook Pl, Beaverton. Saturday, May 30, 8:00 pm.

Samantha Fish

Samantha FishAfter launching her recording career in 2009, Samantha Fish quickly established herself as a rising star in the contemporary blues world. Since then, the charismatic young singer-songwriter has earned a reputation as a rising guitar hero and powerful live performer, while releasing a series of acclaimed albums that have shown her restless creative spirit consistently taking her in new and exciting musical directions.

The New York Times called Fish “an impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power” and “one of the genre’s most promising young talents.” Her hometown paper The Kansas City Star noted, “Samantha Fish has kicked down the door of the patriarchal blues club” and observed that the young artist “displays more imagination and creativity than some blues veterans exhibit over the course of their careers.”

Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.  Tuesday, May 26, 8:00 pm. $22.00 All ages.

Anni Piper

Anni PiperOne listen will tell you why her homeland has labeled Anni Piper The First Lady of Blues. Not only is she a sultry vocalist, but she’s also an insightful composer, accomplished bass player and show stopping performer. Born and raised in Australia, her passion for blues was ignited by the sound of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Piper is releasing her first album since moving to Oregon, recorded at Jimi Bott’s Roseleaf Studios, it is packed full of top-rate musicians from the Northwest. But even more, the music is a stunning collection of original songs and superb covers of classic material that she has made all her own. Perhaps the best album of her career, she will be holding a special release party at Catfish Lou’s with guest guitarist AC Porter joining in.

Catfish Lou’s, 6540 SW Fallbrook Pl, Beaverton. 8:00 pm, May 15. $7.00 at the door. 21 & over.

Phenomenal Women

Phenomenal WomenThe Lake Theater & Cafe will host singer-songwriters LaRhonda Steele, Bre Gregg, and Beth Wood as they share a stage for the first time to perform the music of their heroes— Nina Simone, Etta James, Dolly Parton, Sara Bareilles, Patty Griffin, and Aretha Franklin.

In LaRhonda, Bre, and Beth’s music you hear the undeniable influence of these singers and musicians, an influence shaped by hours and hours of listening and absorbing and feeling each lyric and each note of their favorite musical songwriters.

This show is filled with feminine brilliance! With expert support from Leah Hinchcliff (the femme fatale of funk), Dan Gildea (one of the finest guitar players in the pacific NW) and Ward Griffiths (goddess of the back beat) on drums

Lake Theater & Café, 106 N State St, Lake Oswego. Monday, May 11, 7:00 pm. $20.00 general admission, VIP tables $100.00 (seats four, closest to the stage) all ages.

New Music to Note-September 2021

May New Music Releases

There is so much good music out there. To help sort through it, we recommend starting here.


Anni Piper – Blow Up Doll (Sugar Daddy Records)

Casey Hensley – Good As Gone (Self Release)

Crystal Shawanda – Church House Blues (True North Records)

Dom Flemons – Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus (Omnivore Recordings)

Early James – Singing For My Supper (Easy Eye Sound)

Greg Dayton – Sailing For The Sun (Ropeadope)

Jay Willie and James Montgomery – Cadillace Walk (Zoho Roots)

Jesse Mae Hemphill – Run Get My Shotgun (Big Legal Mess Records)

King Solomon Hicks – Harlem (Provogue)

Little Albert – Swamp King (Aural Records)

Ryan Perry – High Risk, Low Reward (Ruf Records)

Sass Jordan – Rebel Moon Blues (Stony Plain)

Sonny Landreth – Blacktop Run (Provogue)

The James Hunter Six – Nick Of Time (Daptone)

Victor Wainwright & The Train – Memphis Loud (Ruf Records)

Ramblings On My Mind-March 2021

Ramblings On My Mind - May 2020Greg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association President

In this time of pandemic, like everybody else, I found myself confined to either home, or in my case also spending long hours at work, listening to a lot of music. Whether live online broadcasts from various musicians, including being able to see some old friends that I haven’t gotten a chance to catch up with in a number of years, or just simply listening to a lot of personally-owned recordings or sampling new music and artists, the time was available and I took the opportunity to give my ears some long-overdue treats.

This month we’re probably facing more of the same, with cancellations of so many events and stay at home orders. So I am going to try to give more time to new music reviews and the monthly list will probably extend past the regular ten we’ve been posting. And I also want to make a point of putting out a varied amount of blues approaches and styles, because it is not just the same old I IV V sounds, or Chicago, Texas, Delta, Hill Country, Blues-Rock or whatever.

As I said, watching online performances is a great way to catch the musicians we’ve been missing so much in live settings for the past few weeks. I got to see several people online who it has been way to long since crossing paths, like Richard Ray Farrell, Greg Nagy, Dave Muskett, Son Jack, Don Haupt and Dave Keller for instance. If you’re not familiar with them take a moment and check them out. Or if you see other names you’re not familiar with, look into them, too. You may be surprised. Of course, do not even hesitate to watch broadcasts from our local acts. And if you can afford to, as we know many of us are pretty much living on a shoestring, please give a little to their pay outlets, because as you know, no gigs, no income for a lot of musicians.

To help out with these efforts, since venues are closed, Shelley Garrett is collecting the broadcasts and posting them in place of our regular venue calendar. And she will post your pay outlets too.

If venues are open to take out food, help them out, too. Every little bit will help. And if you see new music that sounds interesting to you, go to Music Millennium’s website and see if they’re carrying what you’re after. Order it online and pick it up at their curbside service. Just because we’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean we can’t support these musicians and businesses.

We do have a small handful of events that we’ve included, including the Sunbanks Blues Festival. At the time of this writing, the events we included have not been cancelled. We recommend that you check with the venues to verify whether they will actually be happening. If we find out beforehand, we will post the cancellations on our Facebook page, and update our online calendar.

Stay safe everybody, you are important to us and we want to see your smiling faces enjoying live music once everything comes back. In the meantime, listen and watch at home as much as you can.

virtual tip jars

Here is a list of local Blues & Roots Musicians**

Please help if you are able to!


Big Monti, Venmo @Monti-Big

Brian Foxworth, Venmo @Foxworth-Brian, Zelle @BrianFoxworth, Cash app @BrianFoxworth

Chad Rupp, (Divine Fire Pepper)


Dave Melyan,


David K.

Duffy Bishop/Chris

Edwin Coleman



John, Venmo @John-Bunzow

Julie Amici

Kivett Bednar, Venmo @kivettbednar




Mary Flower,

Melody Guy, Venmo @Melody-Guy2

Norman Sylvester Band venmo@NormanSylvester

Rae Gordon, Venmo @bluesrae, paypal

Steve, Venmo Steve Kerin

Tave Fasce Drake, Venmo @TaveFasceDrake, Paypal, PayPal.Me/tavefasce

Terry Robb
Venmo: @terryrobbguitar

Ty Curtis,, Venmo at @Tyler-Curtis-31



**contact us at to be added

CBA Board Important Message

Important Message
from the Cascade Blues Association

If you’re reading this and you’re a member of the Cascade Blues Association the website now contains your monthly issue of the BluesNotes online. Due to the coronavirus situation and its serious impact on all our lives, we have had to make some difficult and unforeseen decisions. All of the content that is usually printed is now available here on the website by clicking on each heading above for now. The pandemic has led to the state-wide stay at home order, shutting down venues and businesses and preventing gatherings. These circumstances have created a tremendous hardship for local musicians and venues with the loss of performance dates and subsequent loss of income. Please bear with us as we navigate our new reality.

The major consequence of the coronavirus pandemic for the Cascade Blues Association is the cancellation of our monthly membership meetings. Most of our monthly revenue comes from membership, merchandise, and raffle-ticket sales at our meetings, and our advertising income for shows has dried up as well. Further, with no local gigs scheduled, the calendar we provide is basically nonexistent. Without this income, it’s clear we simply cannot afford to print BluesNotes. The cost behind putting the paper together and mailing it would deplete the budget we have for this year long before we even approach the end of December. So, at least for the next couple months, perhaps for however long this pandemic continues, the BluesNotes will only be available online for our members. Once the situation begins to straighten out, we will have to look at how our finances are holding out before we return to printing the paper.

Our general membership meetings are also on hold until the stay-at-home order is lifted and we can again congregate in groups and bars/restaurants are allowed to operate. As we did in April, we have cancelled the meeting scheduled for May. The acts scheduled to perform in May were contacted and have accepted an offer to perform at September’s meeting. Hopefully all will be back to normal, or at least as close to normal as possible, by then. If more meetings need to be cancelled we will let all know in advance.

Thank you for your understanding. But even more, thank you for being Cascade Blues Association members.CBA Board Important Message





– CBA Board of Directors