2023 Journey to Memphis Finalists

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

Saturday, September 11

Artichoke Music 2007 SE Powell

This is a fundraiser for the winning act.

Tickets on sale NOW! $20+$2.85 fee (limit 4)  If you’d like to donate without buying a ticket, just click on the ticket button, that takes you to the donation option.  No amount is too small, or too large! All funds will go to the winning act.

This will not be announced to the general public until Aug. 15, so members … get your place reserved!

We have two acts competing this year.

JME (Jenny Moriarty & Bradford Bleidt will go on at 1:30 pm.

Sugar Roots featuring Chad Rupp will be at 2:30 p.m.

Each set will be live streamed separately on the Artichoke Music Facebook page.

The winner will be announced at 3:15 p.m. on the Cascade Blues Association Facebook page.

Meet the competitors


Journey To Memphis Competition 2021 - JMEThe JME Jazz is stylized blues and post-modern jazz for the next roaring ’20s. The band combines decades of musical experience exploring the vast genres of rock, blues, and jazz.
Anybody that has been active in Portland’s blues scene will be familiar with Jenny Moriarty’s powerful and expressive vocals as she has performed with many of Portland’s more prominent musicians. JME provides Jenny perhaps her most versatile and expressive vehicle where she can truly display her performance abilities and musicality.
The instrumental aspects of JME are anchored by Brad Bleidt on piano.  Brad’s primary piano focus is providing a rich imaginative harmonic interpretation to Jenny’s varied repertoire while injecting complementary solos to round out the ensemble’s stylizing.

Jenny and Brad are active in Portland’s music venues with other projects such as JME Jazz, Bedazzled, the Beacon Street Titans, and The Mystic Mama Band.

Sugar Roots Featuring Chad Rupp

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021 - Sugar Roots Featuring Chad RuppSugar Roots Featuring Chad Rupp is a Portland, Oregon based blues band formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Chad Rupp, guitarist Jason “JT” Thomas, keyboardist Sam Gendler, bassist Timmer Blakely and drummer Chandler Bowerman.

This band was forged from the roots of Portland’s uniquely prodigious local blues scene with three Portland natives and two extremely talented transplants who appreciate the legacy of Portland’s musical history and the amazing musicians that have provided a lasting tradition of blues performance. Sugar Roots draws on inspiration from Portland greats, like Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Jim Mesi, Paul deLay, DK Stewart, and Norman Sylvester, to name a few along with their supporting bandmates.

The band takes its name as a nod to popular local blues band, Brown Sugar, a pioneering staple of Portland’s live music scene. Front man, Chad Rupp on the band forming, “Really, the band came together because we had been playing together regularly pre-pandemic for a few years at a popular local jam session, The 1-4-5 Blues Jam Party and we were having a great time! Sam Gendler and Chandler Bowerman brought their experience and mojo from the LA and Illinois scenes combined with veteran local and national act musicians, Timmer Blakely and Jason “JT” Thomas. This group really became a tight and organic unit for me to work with. When we looked at the chemistry we had, we decided that we should be recording and gigging together more! These guys have made it possible for me to stretch out on stage leading to some fun and powerful performances for me, personally! “

We are all looking forward to bringing our best to the stage as we approach the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey to Memphis and the possibility representing Portland’s live blues legacy at the International Blues Challenge in 2022! Sugar Roots will be releasing an album of originals on 10/3 with some sneak peeks via social media! Please visit our Facebook Page for news and events and support live music and the blues, wherever you are!

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

August 2021 – Key Events and Save the Dates!

8/3 Johnny Burgin Band with Joel Astley, Backroom/Catfish Lou’s

8/4 Johnny Burgin & Joel Astley CBA Livestream Membership Meeting at Artichoke Music

8/6 Johnny Burgin Band with Joel Astley, Murphy’s Watering Hole, Bingen

8/8 Melody Guy-Ketcham, Artichoke Music

8/11 Carlton Jackson-Celebration of Life-CANCELLED DUE TO COVID CONCERNS

8/21 Curtis Salgado Band, Billy Blues

8/26 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Billy Blues

8/28 Lloyd Jones Band, The Pines Estate, Hood River

8/28 Curtis Salgado Band, The Garages

9/9 Allman Betts, Roseland Theater

8/12 Kara Grainger Band, Alberta St. Pub

9/11 CBA Journey to Memphis Competition, Artichoke Music

9/11 Sonny Hess Birthday Bash, Blue Diamond

9/24 Duffy Bishop, Alberta Rose Theatre

9/29 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Alberta Rose Theatre

9/30 Ruthie Foster, Mary Flower, Alberta Rose Theatre

10/7 Booker T Jones, Alberta Rose Theatre

10/10 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert, Aladdin Theater

10/15 Robert Cray, Aladdin Theater

10/17 Blues for Slim Lively, A Benefit for Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson, Crystal Ballroom

10/18 John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band, Revolution Hall

11/7 Chris Hamann Celebration of Life, Catfish Lou’s

11/9 Paul Thorn, Alberta Rose Theatre

11/14 Los Lobos, Aladdin Theater

11/11 JJ Grey & Mofro, Crystal Ballroom

11/18 The Record Company, Roseland Theater

12/1 Marc Broussard, Revolution Hall

12/12 CBA Holiday Party, Moose Lodge



3/23 Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Revolution Hall

4/21 Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge Duo, Revolution Hall



Thanks to Mike & Debra Penk for editing this!

New Music to Note-September 2021

New Blues Releases of Note-August 2021


Christone “Kingfish” Ingram — 662 (Alligator)

Ben Rice Shake A Hand- (Self-release)

Rodd Bland And The Members Only Band — Live On Beale Street: A Tribute To Bobby “Blue” Bland (Nola Blue)

Joe Bonamassa — Now Serving: Royal Tea: Live From The Ryman (J & R Adventures)

Joseph Spence — Encore (Smithsonian Folkways)

Tedeschi Trucks Band — Layla Revisited (Swamp Family Music)

Tom Feldman & Noah Levy — Brothers in the Mud (Self Released)

The Shrimps – So Worried (Bone Union Records)

The Amy Ryan Band — Shake & Shimmy (Self Released)

Electro Blues Society feat. Boo Boo Davis — Choogie Billum (Black and Tan Records)

Adam Schultz — Soulful Distancing (Blind Raccoon)



Cascade Blues Association / Artichoke Music  Present Livestream with Johnny Burgin and Joel Astley

Cascade Blues Association / Artichoke Music
Present Chicago/Seattle Blues Duo
Johnny Burgin and Joel Astley

Two Great Sounds That Sound Great Together!

We are excited to host two incredible musicians from out of town: Guitarist Johnny Burgin, returning to Portland from time spent in NOLA and points east; and Seattle-based harpist Joel Astley, multi-award winner at the Washington Blues Society. Some may recognize Johnny’s Chicago sound, while others enjoyed Astley’s regular live stream art+music shows over the past year.

The Membership Meeting is going LIVE and IN-PERSON in August!

We’ll be live streaming the performance on Facebook PLUS up to 48 CBA members and friends can watch from inside Artichoke Music.

Doors will open to Members-only at 6:15pm. Pending available seating, both Members and Guests may enter after 6:45pm. First come, first seated. CBA members get in free and Guests pay just $5.

Johnny Burgin earns his name as The Worldwide West Side Guitar Man by performing up to 250 shows a year in Europe, Japan and coast to coast in the US.  Johnny grew up in Mississippi and went to University of Chicago at 18, but ended up attending “blues university”.  Johnny met a DJ on the college radio station who took him to see the Howlin’ Wolf-style singer Tail Dragger on the West Side of Chicago.  Tail Dragger took Johnny under his wing and gave him his first professional gigs, and from there Johnny learned quickly and went on to tour or gig with blues legends such as Pinetop Perkins, Sam Lay and Billy Boy Arnold.  He’s been praised by the Cascade Blues Association for his “stunning guitar playing– the pure Chicago styled sound”.

Johnny’s played on dozens of records as a sideman and as a leader, he’s released ten CDs on Delmark and Vizztone records.  His Johnny Burgin Live features special guests Charlie Musselwhite, Nancy Wright and Rae Gordon and debuted at #3 on the Living Blues Blues Radio Chart.  His latest effort No Border Blues: Japan came from Johnny’s many tours and long relationships in Japan and is the first American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene.  Vintage Guitar stated: “Stellar fretwork, gloriously loose, earthy and immediate Chicago blues”.  Johnny and his blues partner Stephanie Tice host the No Border Blues podcast, the only blues podcast focused exclusively on international blues artists.  He was nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues CD of 2017 for Howlin’ at Greaseland, a Howlin’ Wolf tribute, Best Live Recording in 2020 from Blues Blast magazine, and is up for three Independent Blues Awards in 2021.

“His guitar style is raw and rude and real– on the vocal side, a nice original style– he’s damn good!” –Elvin Bishop

“An adventurous musician who’s never shy about taking chances.”  – Marty Gunther, Blues Blast


Award winning singer, songwriter and harmonica player Joel Astley was a visual artist for 20 years before abruptly jumping headlong into music. Since starting his first band in 2014, he has been performing around The Pacific Northwest and beyond, and has quickly risen to local favorite. He has been recognized by the Washington Blues Society with several music awards including Best Blues Harmonica 2018-2021, Best Male Vocalist 2019 & 2021, Best Songwriter 2020-2021, and in 2020 released award-winning album Grit City with the T-town Aces. He currently leads Seattle-based High Note Group.

“[Joel] can sing like Lowell Folsom and play like Cary Bell.” – Bluesletter article February 2018

“Joel you can write, you can play harp, and boy can you sing.” – Leslie Fleury KSER Blues Odyssey DJ

 Virtual Tip Jars:

Johnny PayPal:

Johnny Venmo: Johnny-Burgin-1

Joel PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/JoelAstley

Joel Venmo: @Joel-Astley