Review by John Taylor 

Wherever that edge is, we’re glad Mark Cameron wandered over to take a look. And we’re even gladder that he made it back OK, because he’s returned with an armload of great music, spiced with some satisfying lyrics. 

Cameron and his band, 2017 winners of “The Road to Memphis” challenge, have just buttoned up an album that moves easily from ultra-cool funk to driving, dirty blues to smooth soul and back again. It’s packed with the kind of sweat-it-out guitar, harmonica and slide riffs that suck even the most uptight among us out the dance floor. 

We were hooked at Scott Lundberg’s rangy, bass downbeat on the opening number, “It’s Alright.” As Cameron’s swaying guitar and Rick Miller’s Harp joined the mix, we were cranking up the volume. The lyrics – a bittersweet observation of modern economics (“doesn’t matter where the money went, ‘cause you’re never gonna see a cent”) – bring it all together. 

That perfect pairing continues throughout the CD. Whether they’re penning words or melodies, the Minnesota-based Cameron shows that after 30 years in the business, he and his outfit know what they’re doing. 

Cameron’s vocals, guitars and piano, backed up by Sheri Cameron on sax, flute, washboard, congas and shaker, Lunberg on bass, Miller on harp and Don Schroeder on drums power solid, driving beats on additional standout numbers like “This Is the Blues,” “All There Is to It” and “All Dressed Up.” 

An impressive list of guests doesn’t hurt anything, either: Tommy Barbarella (Hammond B3 organ), Suzanne Ernst (bass, flute), Tonia Hughes and Sarah Renner (soul vocals), Zack Lozier (trumpet and trombone), Nick Salisbury (bass) and Greg Schutte (drums). 

And like was said, playful or painful, song by song, the lyrics always seem just right. “You’re cookin’ up a story now because the truth just hurts too much …” Cameron croons on “This Is the Blues.” But he’s quick to lighten up with a line like “It’s never too late for a seventh chance,” on “All There Is to It.” 

No question about it. This is one you’ll want in your collection. And it’s one you’ll enjoy again and again, because it grows on you — fast. 

We don’t know what’s out there on the edge, but we like what we can hear of it. 


Total Time: 44:37 

It’s Alright / This Is the Blues / 2nd Job / Never See It Comin’ / All There Is to It / Back From the Edge / One Size Fits All / All Dressed Up / Dollar for Liquor / Lost and Found 

Board Update - September 2021

Board Update – September 2021

By Shelley Garrett

You may have noticed that this column has slowly been changing into something new.

Many people have told us that they don’t really know what the CBA is doing. With 10 active members currently on the board, there is a lot going on and in the planning stages.  Communicating these projects and initiatives is important for the organization. It may also serve to highlight areas that may interest new volunteers and future board members.

Each month we will introduce you to another person serving on the board. So far this year, we have highlighted Mike Todd, Membership Director, Marie Walters, General Secretary, and this month read about Randy Murphy, our longest-tenured member. Each person brings unique skills and perspectives. If you’ve missed reading about anyone, all the past articles can be found on the website.

We are also happy to welcome a new writer for Blue Notes, Kirk Anderson. Please read his short bio in the features section, and the articles on Allman-Betts and Too Slim that he wrote for their upcoming shows.

The board is committed to following all COVID protocols for any event we are involved in.

The membership meeting/concert this month with Tevis Hodge Jr. will be the last one at Artichoke Music. The CBA thanks Bob Howard for reaching out to us last year — this has been a great partnership! Each act that has performed there has a professional video from their performance posted to YouTube and sent to them the day after their show … funded by you, the CBA membership. In October we move to the Spare Room, with a new start time at 6:30 p.m.

We are getting close to the 2021 Journey to Memphis competition on 9/11 at Artichoke Music. A limited amount of tickets are being sold — see the article by Marie Walters for details.

Upcoming events that the CBA is cosponsoring in September are Allman-Betts 9/9 at the Roseland Theater, then Duffy Bishop Band 9/24, and Too Slim and the Taildraggers/Tevis Hodge Jr. 9/29, both at the Alberta Rose Theatre. Members can read the e-blast for the special code to get $2 off admission, either online or at the door. We have tickets to give away for Duffy and Too Slim, either at the show, or via instructions in the September email blast. In the first of a series, Blues Nights at the Lovejoy Rooftop (at the Botanist), join us on 9/24 for the Beacon St. Titans.

Save the date for the “Mini Muddys” Wednesday 11/3, at the Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist.  The committee identified and the board approved 10 categories (including some new ones) that we believe make sense.  The awards will include the months that would have been eligible for the 2020 awards. Members will begin voting in mid-September.

Remember, Sunday, Oct. 17 — Blues for Slim Lively, a benefit for CBA President Greg Johnson at the Crystal. Get tickets here or at Music Millennium.

Plans for the Holiday Party are in full swing, (committee members Robert Evans, Anni Piper and Jeanette Aglipay). We will again be at the Moose Lodge 16411 NE Halsey, with music by Billy D and the Hoodoos, Nikki Jones, Fenix Rising and Los Demon Drivers. This is the only fundraiser we do for ourselves. Please let Jeanette or any board member know if you have anything to donate for the silent auction/raffle.


Other projects in the works (leads noted):

Mission Statement Update — Randy Murphy

Planning and Diversity — Brad Bleidt

Blues in the Schools — Robert Evans

Scholarships — Randy Murphy

Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist/Elevate Unity Collaboration — Brad Bleidt and Marie Walters

Membership Growth — Mike Todd

Officer Elections

It’s not too soon to think about running for a CBA office. All elected positions (President, Vice-President, Membership Director, General Secretary, Treasurer) are up for re-election. Job profiles can be found here. Intent to run and a short bio are due to Brad Bleidt at by Sunday 11/14 at 11:59 p.m. We will publish the remainder of the deadlines next month. We still have room for additional at-large board positions. If any of the initiatives above pique your interest, please join us in guiding the future of the CBA.

Stay safe … be well … music is a healer.

Duffy Bishop Band September 24
Alberta Rose Theatre-CBA Co sponsored

$25 advance/$30 at the door…buy tickets here  (CBA members, see your email blast for a code that saves you $2)

By Shelley Garrett

Duffy Bishop and Chris Carlson were mainstays of the Portland (and Seattle) blues scenes for decades before they moved to sunny Florida. Duffy won the CBA Muddy Award for Female Vocalist so many times (12 out of 14 years), that she is in the CBA Hall of Fame and the award is named after her.  The band also won for Best Regional Blues Act in 1994. Duffy has also been inducted into the Oregon Hall of Fame and the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame.

I had a chance to spend some time with them on a Zoom interview.  As always, the couple was warm and generous … and funny!

The strangest thing happened when I asked Duffy what her favorite memory of her time in Portland was. Believe it or not, she was SPEECHLESS!  Not because she couldn’t think of one, but because there were so many! She said, “How do I isolate just one?” then mentioned all the Waterfront Blues Festival performances. Both Chris and Duffy have great memories of the special shows they were a part of at the Alberta Rose, like the Etta James Tribute. Duffy also mentioned the Ray Charles Tribute with the Oregon Symphony. Another memory was when she was on stage with Paul deLay, and he said “OK when I sing this line grab my belt loop and walk away.”

As for what they’ve been up to lately, they’ve done 48 livestreams, but have only performed three live shows in the past 18 months. Two were outdoor festivals, one was an indoor show.

The indoor show was special to them. “It was at the Bradfordville Blues Club,” Duffy said, “it’s a true Roadhouse down a dirt road to the middle of nowhere and the people reminded me of the blues enthusiasts in Portland.  You know they came to this club, there’s no TVs or pool tables in this club. It’s just listening and people just connected and interacted and it was great fun. You know it’s been hard for me to have a year where I couldn’t hug anybody, but it’s like that human contact thing.”

Duffy also spoke about how hard this past 18 months has been. “It’s been really hard having friends pass away. You know, part of that would have happened anyway at our age, but why has that been accelerated? It’s like Carlton Jackson, I mean where did that come from? A sock in the stomach.”

They also mentioned how influential Greg Johnson was as they were deciding to move down to Portland. Duffy thought it would be warmer and less rain. That never happened, so eventually, off to Florida they went.

We talked a bit about the blues, and the British invasion. Chris mentioned the Rolling Stones. They were asked to do a TV show. They said they would only do it if you have Howlin’ Wolf on.

Chris wants to invite all of you down to the Alberta Rose on the 24th. They are so looking forward to seeing their Portland friends. Chris mentioned that they always do something special there, since the space allows them to do more than they can in a club setting.  They will have a full band with them, including Keith Lowe (bass), Bruce Laven (keys), Jon Goforth (reeds), Chris Leighton (drums), Chris Carlson (guitar) and Duffy!

They will do songs from their 2020 release “I’m Gonna Do What I Want” including a train song, “Whistle Callin,’” which Duffy wrote in Portland. They will also perform “Love Grown Cold,” written by Paul deLay and Dan Fincher, and a selection of the classic Duffy songs we’ve all come to love like “Monkey Pants” and her special rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom, Boom.” They also mentioned “Black Mangrove,” recorded with Carlton Jackson on percussion and Kelly Dunn on drums.

Duffy wants to continue to perform so that we can all feel joy. “It’s a different stage of life and you know you can pick and choose and do the things that make you happy. That’s right … well, this makes me happy.”

They have several dates in the Pacific NW:

9/18 Triple Door in Seattle — two shows that night

9/24 The Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland

9/30 The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima, Wash.

10/3 Sunbanks Blues Festival, Electric City, Wash.

10/8 Lincoln Theater, Mount Vernon, Wash.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers September 29th

Too Slim and the Taildraggers September 29th
Alberta Rose-CBA Co Sponsored

“Pandemic Hold” on Steroids

By Kirk Anderson

Early 2020 at Zack Kasik’s Wild Feather Recording studio in Nashville. A fist full of songs written and rehearsed. Fresh off of a 2019 Blues Music Award nomination in the Blues-Rock category. Continuing a phenomenal string of 14 studio albums, five live albums and two compilation albums. Six of these albums charting in the Top 10 Billboard Blues albums. Best Regional Band for 11 of 13 years by the Cascade Blues Association (CBA) and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Washington Blues Society (WBS).

March 2020, 11 tunes in the can and a tour in support of the new 15th album, “The Remedy,” booking briskly …BAM … The world begins to shut down as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 makes people sick and steals lives from individuals and their families across the globe. Billboard’s blues chart again debuts “The Remedy” at No. 3. Pandemic Hold on steroids.

Music fans and venues across the music communities of the Pacific Northwest are obviously hip to Too Slim and the Taildraggers. Started in Spokane in 1986, Tim “Too Slim” Langford is quick to tell appreciative stories of fans in the area letting him and the band flop at their houses after early gigs.

So many venues of all sizes booking and showing support for the band over the past 35 years.

As we start to again be able to cautiously get back out to live entertainment in 2021, Too Slim and the Taildraggers are coming back to Portland. The historic Alberta Rose Theatre and its unique Spanish-Colonial courtyard setting now opens its doors after their own “pandemic hold.” First live show in 18 months, Friday Sept. 10, followed by a line of shows including Too Slim and the Taildraggers on Sept. 29, 2021. Cascade Blues Association supporters know the Alberta Rose Theatre as a supporting advertiser and host to many “Get the Blues at the Alberta Rose” shows.

Originally opened in 1927 as the Alameda Cinema, the facility served to bring people together in the way that only movies can. Although the cinema closed in 1978, in 2005 the building was used to serve the community by the Victory Outreach Church of Portland.

In the summer of 2010 the Alberta Rose Theatre opened to live performances. In our interview for this article, Tim noted that the Alberta Rose Theatre has always provided great sound, lights and an intimate vibe. He echoes the thoughts of many performers who comment that the staff’s attention to the technical details of live performances helps them concentrate on their performance.

When I interviewed Adam East of the Alberta Rose Theatre for this article, he provided the live performance photo inside the theatre and shared, “We appreciate your support and can’t wait to get back to hosting you all for amazing shows at the Rose.”

So now that the stage is set, so to speak, let’s look at the upcoming show of Two Slim and the Taildraggers at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Sept. 29. Opening the show is Tevis Hodge, Jr. Already familiar to many of you through his regular range of blues- and ragtime-steeped gigs in the Portland area, he also played at the CBA Members Meeting at Artichoke Music on Sept. 1.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers are making their way through Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho in September and early October. The band has given us a chart-topping studio CD and now will bring their music to us through live performances again. In October they’ll be in Florida and November in Virginia Beach. Starting back to touring isn’t like it used to be. Every gig is important to getting the music out.  Regular rotation play on XM/Sirius’ BB King’s Bluesville channel and CD reviews at major media outlets are good, but a lot of you already know that watching this trio make their music and work their crowd live is something not to be missed.

To Slim and the Taildraggers consist of:

Tim “Too Slim” Langford – guitar-vocals

Zach Kasik – bass-vocals. Yup, for those not paying attention, Zach was mentioned in the first sentence.

Jeffrey “Shakey” Fowkles drums. Yup, gigged with many including Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise.

Too Slim got his nickname years ago when he wore a younger man’s body. The Taildraggers got their name from the Willie Dixon-written and Howlin’ Wolf-performed 1969 vinyl, 7” – 45 RPM single B side tune, “Tail Dragger.” The A side?  “Evil,” written by Chester Burnett.

Tim wanted me to tell you that he’s considering this gig a “CD Release Party” even though the CD was released back in July 2020.  Well, you heard what happened due to “pandemic hold.”  New CD ready in March, held until July, support tour canceled and No. 3 slot debut for “The Remedy” on Billboard’s blues chart. With their first real tour since the CD release, Sept. 29 at Alberta Rose is going to be a “CD Release Party” and Tim even says with a chuckle, “The Too Slim Mini Mall will be set up.”  This is the kind of CD that you have to purchase 4-5 copies of so you can tell a friend, ”Hey… you gotta hear this,” and then give them a copy of the disc. Good for your friend, good for the band and heaping good for you.

I saw that Delaney Guitars endorses Too Slim and the Taildraggers and remembered that they made a Signature Tim “Too Slim” Langford guitar.  Mike Delaney is known as a guitar player and woodworker, so he chooses the tone, wood, shape, pick-ups and volume/tone controls with his clients to incorporate his craftsmanship with that of the musician. Mike quickly added, “It’s a gift to work with Tim.”  He was proud of the Signature Series guitar as its “grizzly, bad-ass tone is perfect for Tim.”  He even was able to laser-etch and float color into the awesome Too Slim and the Taildraggers logo onto the solid body. How did Mike and Tim meet? Back in the day, Mike booked Tim for a festival in Montana.

Get your tickets for this show early. Check out for other gigs within a short drive.  I can tell from the interview that these guys are eager to tear it up.

News from The Blues Foundation - September 2021

News from The Blues Foundation
September 2021

International Blues Challenge

We are in countdown mode! After a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all eager to gather at the 2022 International Blues Challenge (IBC), scheduled for Jan. 18-22 in Memphis. Many of you are preparing for your local blues challenges in order to send your winning band and/or solo/duo artist(s) to the competition.

Keeping the Blues Alive Awards

The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards (KBAs) are always a highlight of the International Blues Competition.  In 2022, the KBAs will be presented on Jan. 21.  KBAs are awarded exclusively to non-performers based strictly on merit and are selected by a panel of blues professionals. Nominations are accepted exclusively from blues societies that are current Blues Foundation affiliates, past KBA recipients and current members of The Blues Foundation Board of Directors. Additional information about eligibility requirements and the nomination process can be found on the Blues Foundation’s website  Please submit your completed KBA nomination and all required documentation to Keisha Moore-Alston at or by mail to The Blues Foundation; 421 S. Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103, by 5 p.m. CST on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Blues Affiliate Survey Results

Thanks go to all of you who completed our Blues Affiliate Survey.  While your responses didn’t reveal any real surprises, the information provided will help The Blues Foundation as we develop programs and strategies to respond to your current needs. Based on your feedback we learned:

  • When asked whether their memberships have increased or decreased over the past five years, 46% of responding affiliates indicated that their memberships had decreased, 23% said their memberships remained the same and 15.38% indicated that their memberships had increased. (The remaining respondents had not been in existence for more than five years.)
  • 61.54% of responding affiliates indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their membership numbers.
  • Affiliates ranked supporting local blues artists, building a community of blues fans, and holding their local IBC competition as their top priorities, in that order.
  • The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they would like to discuss strengthening their local blues society at the next Affiliate Roundtable.

Sharing information and networking is always a highlight of the Affiliate Roundtable.  Based on your response to the Blues Affiliate Survey, the 2022 Affiliate Roundtable discussion will focus on successful strategies for strengthening your blues society.  A panel of affiliate representatives will present their best practices for managing membership, succession planning, engaging younger people and other pertinent topics. The Affiliate Roundtable will be held during 2022 IBCs, with the specific dates and other details announced closer to the date.

Resources to Support Local Blues Artists

Many blues societies have prioritized supporting local blues artists as they face hardships resulting from the ongoing pandemic. With venues closed and limited opportunities to present live performances, many artists are facing financial difficulties.  Your blues society can help local artists by sharing information about The Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund.

Since March 2020, The Blues Foundation has distributed nearly $300,000 to help full-time blues musicians address essential needs such as rent/mortgage, phone, utilities and car payments.

You can help them connect with this crucial resource by sharing information about the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund in your newsletter and encouraging them to contact

Many blues musicians have delayed or foregone their medical needs during the pandemic. The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. Encourage blues musicians in your community to apply by contacting

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

9/9 Allman Betts, Roseland Theater (CBA c0o-sponsored event)

9/11 CBA Journey to Memphis Competition, Artichoke Music

9/11 Sonny Hess Birthday Bash/Street Fest, Blue Diamond

9/24 Duffy Bishop, Alberta Rose Theatre (CBA co-sponsored event)

9/24 Beacon St. Titans, Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist (CBA co-sponsored event)

9/26 The Kingsmen & Friends Present a Celebration of Mike Mitchell, The Aladdin Theater

9/29 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Alberta Rose Theatre (CBA co-sponsored event)

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

10/3 Triple CD Release Party-Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys, Sugar Roots & Mick Schafer, The Garages

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

10/15 Robert Cray, Aladdin Theater

10/15 NW Women In Blues-Sonny Hess (CBA co-sponsored event)

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

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

10/22 Midnight at the Crossroads, Echo Theater

11/3 Mini Muddy Awards—The Covid Edition, Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

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 and Mofro, Crystal Ballroom

11/18 The Record Company, Roseland Theater

11/22 Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real, Crystal Ballroom

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 and Debra Penk for adding to and editing this!

Altered Five Blues Band - Holler If You Hear Me

Altered Five Blues Band

Holler If You Hear Me
Blind Pig Records, Sept. 3, 2021

Review by Anni Piper

You might think volunteering for your local blues society would be all sassafras and tedium. However, that would be terribly misguided as there are perks involved, including being the first to hear great new music like this.

“Holler If You Hear Me” is the sixth studio offering from the Altered Five Blues Band, featuring 13 original tracks penned by guitarist Jeff Schroedl. The title track opens this release, and keyboardist Raymond Tevich lets you know you’re going to church. Quickly you realize, with the addition of wailing harmonica from special guest Jason Ricci, that the service is being held in a sawdust-strewn roadhouse.

Frontman Jeff Taylor plays the exuberant preacher and repentant sinner in equal measure. His commanding vocal presence draws your attention to the snappy storytelling in the lyrics. This is a collection of lyrical bluesman’s tales, each track an unglorified depiction of a life lived hard and fast – drinking, smoking and chasing women.

It’s more sophisticated than the “Got my whiskey, got my gin, come on now baby won’t you let me in” school of lyric writing. For example there’s more modern and relatable lines like “I got Ketel One and Keb Mo’ when I’m feeling low” in the moody “I Got All I Need.” Bassist Mark SOlveson and drummer Alan Arber drive solid grooves on booty shakers such as “Full Moon, Half Crazy” and “All Suit, No Soul.”

Masterful production from Tom Hambridge contributes to the success of this recording. The layering of instrumentation is never obtrusive. I love the way the guitar has been made to sound so close up and personal. This is achieved by using a lot of the sound from the small room the amplifier was placed in when recording. When this isn’t done correctly, it feels like getting stuck in a broom closet with the guitarist. But Hambridge shows just how to get it right, and there is such an intimacy created that I could be curled up on one end of my couch with guitarist Schroedl at the other.

Altered Five Blues Band has delivered a funky, contemporary blues album that’s both joyous and gritty. When are they coming to Portland?

Blues Nights - Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

Blues Nights – Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

Lovejoy Rooftop 910 NW 14th Ave. in the Pearl District

The CBA is delighted to be working in partnership with Soundstage Events and Muse Media Collective to bring these special nights of blues music to Lovejoy Rooftop! This beautiful, spacious new venue, on the event side of Botanist bar, features safe and covered seating, commercial gas heating, and a panoramic view of the skyline and the Beautiful Pearl District.

For more details/ticket links, check back on this space, join our Facebook group, or like and follow our Facebook page to receive notifications when we post updates!   


Two-time Journey to Memphis finalists (2015 and 2016) and jump blues band the Beacon Street Titans will be playing the Lovejoy Rooftop’s Blues Night at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

Strap on your dancing shoes and come on up to the roof for spacious open-air seating, a delectable menu and creatively mixed cocktails. RSVP for tables of 4 or 8 due to social distancing guidelines. For your safety, our venue requires masks unless sitting at your table inside or outside.

Tickets will be on sale through TicketTomato [link to come] … and information will be updated on the Facebook Event

$15 GA ticket, w/general seating. Purchase at door w/ two-drink minimum.

Reserved tables for groups of 4 or 8 w/two-drink minimum.

(For limited 2 person per table/standing room only tickets, please call direct: 971-325-3877.

CBA PRESENTS: NW Women in Rhythm and Blues Oct. 15

With the perfect amount of sun and shade, fresh air and elevated energy, join us on the event side of Lovejoy Rooftop / Botanist for Northwest Women in Rhythm and Blues, hosted by Sonny Hess. The Oct. 15 show is part of the “CBA Presents” series.

Together with Muse Media Collective and Soundstage Events, the Cascade Blues Association is thrilled to bring you this Portland favorite front and center for a special event that supports local musicians.

A portion of proceeds will go toward the Elevate Unity Benefit Music Series, a collaborative effort created from the necessity to support local artists, music venues and industry workers critically devastated by the COVID-19 shutdown last year. The goal is to reconnect our community and promote unity through the connection and message of live music!

The focus is to advocate for social equality while addressing the need to actively support our local venues, their staff, restaurant workers and specifically the musicians still struggling from the consequential effects of our industry being shut down.

The line-up is still being finalized and tickets will be on sale through Eventbrite in September.

Board Spotlight - Randy Murphy

Board Spotlight – Randy Murphy

An Oregon native, Randy’s been a fan of blues since his high school years, but his interest piqued in 1982, when he heard Albert Collins playing in a dive in Ashland. Many years later he picked up a copy of BluesNotes at Music Millennium, and that prompted him, in March 2014, to become a member of the CBA. He first volunteered for events during the 2014 Waterfront Festival, and then in January 2015 began to write for and edit BluesNotes. In March 2017 he joined the CBA board of directors. Randy’s paying gig is teaching literature and writing at Clackamas Community College.

The past several years have seen a nearly complete turnover of the board, and amazingly, Randy’s now its longest tenured at-large member. During his time on the board, apart from his work on publishing BluesNotes, he’s helped enroll the CBA in the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and worked to stabilize the CBA’s financial position.

The CBA and Artichoke Music Present 2021 Journey to Memphis Sept. 11

The CBA and Artichoke Music
Present 2021 Journey to Memphis Sept. 11

A fundraiser – your tickets and donations help the winner get to Memphis!

Saturday, Sept. 11 — Doors at 1 p.m. Program at 1:20 p.m. Tickets at Eventbrite are $20 per person. There is also the option to make a donation on the ticket site.  There will be limited seating capacity and no entry during set performance … acts will be using the video recording for promotion.


The International Blues Challenge (IBC) represents the worldwide search for blues bands and solo/duo blues performers ready for the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each affiliated blues society of the Blues Foundation has the right to send an act or acts to represent its organization at the IBC.

The Cascade Blues Association has two acts competing this year. Because there is only one act in each category, they will compete with each other. Each act will perform a 25-minute set that will be judged according to an established set of criteria by which all competing musicians are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC.

The first act, JME, will perform at 1:30 p.m.

Sugar Roots, featuring Chad Rupp, will perform at 2:45 p.m.

The scores will then be tabulated, and the winner announced at approximately 3:45 p.m.

For those who are not able to join us in person, each set will be livestreamed separately from the Artichoke Music Facebook Page. The announcement will be livestreamed from the Cascade Blues Association Facebook page. Donations to the fundraising efforts can be made directly on the ticket site.


JME is stylized blues and post-modern jazz for the next roaring ’20s. This duo combines decades of musical experience exploring the vast genres of rock, blues and jazz.

Anybody who 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

Sugar Roots, featuring Chad Rupp, is a Portland-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, 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. Frontman Chad Rupp said this about 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 of representing Portland’s live blues legacy at the International Blues Challenge in 2022! Sugar Roots will be releasing an album of originals on Oct. 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!