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“There were many sad faces last May when owner Steve Arel closed the doors and sold his beloved O’Connor’s restaurant and music venue The Vault in Multnomah Village.

Thanks to restauranteur Alex Nemchev of Gastro Mania who will be opening up his second Portland restaurant in the old O’Connor’s space, great music will once again be heard in The Vault at Gastro Mania.

The Vault at Gastro Mania will be opening Saturday November 3 with Lloyd Jones, Mark Shark and Tim O’Hare from 7-10 doors opening at 6. Cover $8.00

Those who frequented the O’Connor’s Vault might miss the funkiness but don’t be surprised to see a room facelift and doorman Steve Arel back with his tin cash box collecting cover and booking the music once again!”

Best Regards – Sheila Goudge


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After a creative and busy year (13 concerts in Europe and concert tours throughout the Midwest and Canada including exciting pre-production work in the studio in Nashville) it’s nice to spend holiday time with friends here at home town venues and present new songs at holiday events including a return to “New Years Eve at the Hoodriver Inn!”                    Love to see you “blues lovers” at the Muddy Rudder on any Monday for the real folk blues. For all the latest shows and updates always check

Dave Kahl

Dave Kahl

In the past, when anything related to David Kahl has been mentioned on these pages, it’s been in third person. This time, I want to speak to you directly, in first person. It’s more comfortable and there’s really no better way. The last two months have been a whirlwind of mixed emotions for me. What began with open heart surgery transitioned into a bunch of other events, activities, and tasks, notably the benefit at Mekong Bistro that overwhelmed me with gratitude.

Thanks go to Marlena Masterson, for organizing, to her small, but mighty crew of volunteers, to all the performers, including many that had scheduling conflicts, and, most certainly, to all those who supported, through attendance or donations. A big thank you goes to Greg Johnson, who, even with his wedding plans, was gracious enough to MC the event. I also can’t express enough gratitude for Coach Jim Hurley and crew. Over the years, these guys have never hesitated to step into the fray, selfless in their commitment to community and to cause. This spirit is strong enough that the event was nominated for a Muddy Award. That’s affirmation on top of affirmation.

Speaking of Muddy Awards, thanks for placing me, once more, on the list of nominees. In a town full of remarkable, gifted players, this old guy is honored, yet humbled, by your remembrance. I had started the year expecting to fade away, to be good with it, but the push back has been amazing. Instead of less work, there’s been more. Even with a two-month interruption, I’ve been blessed with a schedule that’s the envy of other players. It speaks volumes about this family of musicians that so many were willing to step in, not just for some extra gigs, but for me. To a man, these guys made it clear that they were willing to hold my spot until I was ready – Ben Jones, Randy Monroe, Denny Bixby, Kenny Goldstein, Greg Hyatt, Jim Solberg, and John Mazzocco, among several others. If there was a categorical award for most supportive group of players, it would be bass players.

That said, I’ve already started my comeback. The doctors have cleared me to work, with some restrictions on weight loads, and it’s looking good, so far. A few gigs with Ty Curtis, two successful shows with Junior Watson and Mitch Kashmar, a couple Wednesday nights with Soul Cookin’, and Sundays with the Bayou Boyz have given me enough to promise, from October on, regularly filling out my main off night gigs – those noted, adding Mondays at Mekong Bistro with the Bayou Boyz – and every other Tuesday with AC Porter. By the end of the month, I should be back to duties with Chad Rupp and the 1-4-5 jam at the Lair. My weekends will be wide open. A few special shows are expected; they’ll be announced when they are confirmed.

In the meantime, just know that I’m probably better than I’ve been in years, that I’m probably playing better than ever, that I am not finished yet, and that my gratitude is never ending. Hope to see you around so that I can thank you, personally.

Rae Gordon Band

Rae Gordon BandIt has been an amazing summer for the Rae Gordon Band.  The band appreciates all the venues, both in Portland and out that treat our band and musicians in general like family.  It felt like a family affair as always at the Waterfront Blues Festival and even up in Canada at the Iron Mountain Music Festival, when we met people up from Portland and Oregon City!   We enjoyed hanging with our Washington blues brothers and sisters at the Poverty Bay Blues Festival in Des Moines. Special thanks to incredibly talented musicians and wonderful guys Garry Meziere, Michael Osborn and Jim Solberg who held the guitar and bass chairs while Kivett Bednar and Joseph Conrad had some away days.

We finished up the year again at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas where at every turn there was somebody from Portland cheering us on.  As a performer, being in a different state and seeing wonderful people from home is such a blessing.  The temperature was WARM, but not as hot as acts from all over, including, but not limited to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Sugaray Rayford. It was an honor to share the stage with our guys and then finish up the weekend sharing the stage with the likes of Bob Margolin, Annika Chambers, Terrie Odabi, and a cast of amazing characters.

October 6th will find our band hosting the Portland Blues Cruise again to support the Journey to Memphis winners Fenix Project and Ben Rice, who are heading to the International Blues Challenge in January to represent the CBA at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.  It was an honor for us to represent the CBA in 2017 and take 3rd. We want these two acts to also do well and not stress about the money. So we look forward to you coming on board the Portland Spirit to help us help them.  Consider going yourself to the IBC January 22-27th.  It’s an amazing event, that our president has gone to for years and helped run one of the venues and it would be a blessing for our 2019 representatives to see your smiling faces in the crowd!

This summer also found our CD Better Than I Was doing better and better with airplay across the US and abroad. As always we are grateful to everybody who supports not only us, but live music in general and keeps buying and singing along to our songs.   Thank you personally to Pat McDougall, Kivett Bednar, Joseph Conrad, Scott Franklin, Allan Kalik, and Ed Pierce for an amazing summer.

Rae Gordon

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“I’ve got the blues.”

My best friend (and keyboard player extraordinaire for more than forty years) Glenn Holstrom has lost his battle with cancer.

Though never nominated or recognized for his brilliance, he was without a doubt, the greatest talent I’ve ever known. His horn arrangements captivate all my recordings and can be heard on others such as Bobby Torres, Curtis Salgado, Soul Vaccination, and the Hobbs & Bard Big Bang. His own compositions are incredible and I hope will be showcased in a recording . Glenn was the “Go To Guy” for so many musicians and studios in the town. This unsung genius has probably reached your ears without you even knowing it, but the musician community truly mourns the loss of our powerful, kind, funny and brilliant brother…The Incredible…Glenn Holstrom!!

Lloyd “Have Mercy” Jones

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Mitch Kashmar

I’m very excited about bringing the great (no exaggeration) Jr Watson to town for two shows and a workshop: Mekong Bistro, Friday, 8/31; a joint harmonica/guitar workshop Sunday, 9/2; and The Lake Theatre Monday, 9/3 . I’ve known Jr. for 35 years–we’ve played many gigs, done many tours, and made some records together. He’s simply one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and I’m far from alone in that opinion! We’ll have myself, Jimi Bott, Dave Kahl, and Ed Pierce ready to back him up. All those in attendance will be given a helluva show. Thanks, and hope to see ya there.

Mitch Kashmar

AC Porter

Hey Blues People! The Blues Jam I am hosting at Mekong Bistro is off to a great start. I’m writing this to say thank you, and to get the word out that the hardworking owners of the Bistro will be closing for a well-deserved vacation August 7 to 15. So that means we have two Tuesday Jams there in August–8/21 with special guest Mitch Kashmar, and 8/28 with Dover Weinberg. Jam starts at 7:30pm and goes to 10:30pm. Then back to every Tuesday in September! Also, I’ll be covering for Kevin Selfe’s great jam at Blue Diamond every Sunday in August from 6pm to 9pm! Hope to see a bunch of ya at these fine establishments!

AC Porter

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David Kahl and Friends – Too Much Not To Mention

As most of you know, David Kahl continues to have a lot on his plate, musically and personally. While he prepares for bypass surgery, scheduled for July 19th, his professional calendar is hitting critical mass.

The Bayou Boyz have found themselves on a roll, with Sundays at Spirits Pub and their “Family Style” show, featuring a rotation of guest artists, at Mekong Bistro on Mondays. In May, they kicked off the official start of Waterfront Blues Festival season, followed by a performance at the CBA general membership meeting, with a sneak peek at what they’re serving up during festival week. A featured spot on the Front Porch Stage, July 5th, finally brings their unique approach to the Great American Songbook, with a Louisiana-based vibe, to a much wider audience. According to the WBF site, these guys should be a surprise discovery for festival-goers, just a taste of what they’ll present during the “Midnight Rose: Hotel Rose After Dark” series at, you guessed it, Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison, from 10pm to 1:30 am, July 4-7.

The events at Hotel Rose aren’t limited to after-hours. DME produced “Blues Brunch”, showcasing United By Music North America, will be held July 4-6, from 11am-1pm. This is a great chance to see a great program at work. UBMNA has quickly become a premier program, using music as a tool that goes beyond therapy. It’s something you must witness to appreciate. Another offering will be the “Happy Hour Acoustic Music Series”, all festival days, from 4-6pm. Solo and small groups will be featured, allowing a break from the crowds and heat, without missing the music.

Soul Cookin has settled into things, quite nicely, at Spirits Pub on Wednesdays. This place is as friendly as can be, a legitimate roadhouse with a great mix of people about as diverse as you’d want. The musical program has been such a hit that they’re working on adding Friday nights to the lineup, featuring some of the finest acts around. Ty Curtis gave it a test run and, from all indications, this looks like a go-to place for high quality entertainment in an intimate setting.

Speaking of Ty Curtis, the more things change, the more they stay the same. David was asked to fill in while the band looked for a new bassist and, for the sixth time, he agreed. What’s different now is the realization that this combination of players is too special to let go. In the past, David felt that age was too much of a concern and, with medical issues arising, things looked too serious to ignore. However, with diagnosis, the problem was identified, and the prognosis is very good. While he will be down for a few weeks, David will be making his way back, so you’ll get a lot more chances to catch these guys, whether as a powerful trio or in a more expanded form. Ty is as prolific as ever, which means more new material, more stories to tell, and more excitement.

The Creative Community Cooperative continues its work to create equity for working-class creatives. While David’s role remains important, a reorganization will allow him some relief and ability to focus his efforts where they’re most effective. A remarkable team of experienced individuals has come together to prepare for a major event in the Fall, to raise funds for this program that will not only benefit artists, but the broader community, its neighborhoods, and schools. Stay tuned for updates. Even though he’ll be laid up for a while, for David, things are just beginning to kick into gear.



Hello Blues Fans! I’m hosting a double header! Tuesdays now at Mekong Bistro will be a blues jam from now on, but Jammers will be able to share a great stage and s big room as soon as the house band and guests are done! So July is looking great with folks like Doug Rowell, Jim Wallace, Whit Draper, Suburban Slim as Guests, and then who knows!  Please come out and support a killer venue with your friends and family! See the CBA calendar for who’s playing when! 7:30 to 10:30 every Tuesday, No Cover!


James Clem

Hi friends, I just renewed my CBA membership and if you are one of those that has put off joining just keep in mind the great job the CBA does keeping blues alive. We all need to do our part.

I am recording a new CD that should be out later this summer and it is being recorded at Ron Rogers’ studio onto analog tape. Ace upright bass man Craig Snazelle plays throughout and Mary Flower adds her great vocal and guitar skills on some tunes as well. The CD is mostly acoustic, but a few tracks have some electric slide and drums. Of course we will have a CD release party or two. Stay tuned.

One of my sidelines is teaching ukulele and I will be playing a 3 day ukulele festival down in Oakridge, Oregon, September 7-9. These festivals are a blast with workshops, jamming, concerts and more. The uke has really taken off worldwide and is just a lot of fun to play. There is a great camaraderie among the players at these festivals.

On October 1, I am heading over to play some dates in Europe starting in London and some other UK dates and then to Belgium, France and Holland. Mostly I am playing venues I have played in the past and we get some really good crowds and a lot of returning fans so it is all good.

Just a reminder that you can hear my music on Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and CD Baby. Hope to see some of you out on the town at my gigs.

Cheers, James Clem

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Steve Cheseborough

Hey Folks! If you have any interest in learning to play blues harp or guitar (or improving the skills you already have), consider the summer classes I’m offering through Artichoke Music. Both meet on Monday evenings beginning June 18 and run for eight weeks.

Blues Harmonica is open to all skill levels. We’ll work on some of the traditions of the early 20th century, when African-American players brought new levels of virtuosity and expressiveness to this German instrument! Open ears and mind, a willingness to practice and an interest in blues are all that’s required. Oh, and a professional-quality diatonic harp in the key of A, which you can buy at the Artichoke store if you don’t already have.

Blues Guitar 1920s-30s-style aims to get you picking and singing the blues in the tradition of Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Blind Lemon Jefferson and other great bluesmen and blueswomen. Prerequisites: familiarity with basic chords, ability to keep a beat, interest in the blues and in improving your playing! You’ll need an acoustic guitar, a capo and a slide.

More information and registration is available through You can also contact me through that site with any questions.

Have a great summer (and it’ll be a happier one if it’s music-filled)!

Steve Cheseborough

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Bayou Boyz, Soul Cookin’, and More
Things have changed a lot over the last year, the last few months, and even weeks. There have been health and living issues, but everything is on track and getting better. The loss of Blackwell’s caused us to regroup and rethink a lot of things that we’ve taken for granted, though, through the help of a great network of friends and fans, one venue lost has turned into two venues gained.
The month of May finds Soul Cookin’ still doing Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30, and the Bayou Boyz kicking it on Sundays, 5-8:00, at Spirits Pub, 4037 NE Cully Blvd. It’s the perfect replacement, with much of what you loved about Blackwell’s – a roadhouse with a bit of juke joint thrown in – but in a much-improved setting. With a full bar, a menu that’s simple, but varied, at reasonable prices, a covered smoking patio, great sight lines and friendly clientele, Spirits has the makings of a place that’s comfortable enough to call home.
As it has been for the past few years, Soul Cookin’ features Lloyd Jones, Brian Foxworth, and me, David Kahl, with either Dover Weinberg, Steve Kerin, or Louis Pain on keys. The Bayou Boyz, featuring Steve, Brian, and David in a Louisiana-based mashup of musical styles, has gone through two big changes. The first, of course, is the venue, but the bigger one is our guitar-vocalist. World-renowned instrumentalist, Mark Shark, has found demand for teaching to be so high that he had to step away from a full-time commitment to the band. He’ll still pop in occasionally, so there’ll still be some chances to see him with his old band mates. Fortunately, another great player is filling in that slot. Dan Berkery, who you’ve probably seen with the Rose City Kings, Sultans of Slide, Next Waltz, or several other great groups, is the perfect fit, exciting, entertaining, and a great hang.
Rounding things out for off-night entertainment, Mekong Bistro, 8200 NE Siskiyou, may seem an odd choice, but there’s convergence here. What do the Mekong area of Southeast Asia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Portland all have in common? They’re all river deltas, places where life flows, from backwaters and bayous, into larger bodies. They are places where the convergence of cultures makes something greater than the individual parts.
Mondays, 7:30-10:30, the Bayou Boyz puts a different spin on things. Over the past year-and-a-half, folks like Jesse Lee Young, Mark Bowden, Peter Dammann, Hershel Yatovitz, Ty Curtis, and more have brought their talents to the bandstand, expanding the musical range and creating opportunity. Bayou Boyz – Family Style is jamming on that riff, bringing a different featured guest each week. The response has been encouraging enough that things are looking very good for the future here. Speaking of which, AC Porter’s Tuesday nights have found a new home at Mekong Bistro, as well. Running from 7:30-10:30, AC draws on a deep pool of featured guests, backed by a rotation of David Kahl and Timmer Blakely, John Moore, Brian Foxworth, or Jimi Bott. This is about as good as it gets, but it needs your support if it’s going to last. Mekong Bistro has everything you’d want in a dedicated music venue – roomy stage, seating, and dance floor, excellent cuisine, and plenty of parking.
Looking forward, stay tuned for updates on the Waterfront Blues Festival related shows at Hotel Rose, as well as what looks to be a major fundraising event in support of the Creative Community Cooperative Project – here’s a hint: remember the Mayor’s Ball, Artquake, and Neighbor Fair? Some of the best new things come from repurposing the old.
David Kahl


Chad Rupp
People the 1-4-5 Blues Jam Party has been bringing some truly remarkable talent to stage! Please count yourself invited as we continue to bring live music to this great little venue. This jam is about you!!! Bring your instrument and count on having some fun playing blues with friends! The illustrious David Kahl teams with either Gene Ermel or Chandler Bowerman as your rhythm section! You never know who will show! You are so invited! Bring some friends and have a bite with us! 8PM Thursday nights! The Lair, 17720 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie, Oregon, OR 97267-6101.
Chad Rupp

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Lloyd “Have Mercy” Breaking News!

Lucky as can be this month, and honored to returning to Denmark, I will play a series of concerts with good friends “Shaky Ground”!! (see website for details)

Last time we toured together in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Luxemburg in 2016. The last concert was with Robert Cray Band as headliner. Dover, Robert, Richard Cousins and I had a great hang, with Dover and I playing back home in Portland 48 hours later! Small world. This will be my sixth tour with “Shaky Ground” so we’re becoming a solid unit bringing this swampified funky blues across the pond April 8-21.

Returning home just in time to celebrate my 1,000th birthday (for the third time) with the “Big Bayou Birthday Bash” at Catfish Lou’s April 27, featuring special guests Steve Kerin (from New Orleans) on piano and Mark Shark (slide guitar master) along with tons of surprise guests! Tell your friends there will be cake and balloons too!!

Lloyd “Have Mercy” Jones


Dark Tales From The Road
Volume 1, Number 3

This is a story that involves layers of place, time and person so stay with me as I travel across the country, and across the years, and unravel the layers.

I left Georgia in 1985 after living there for sixteen years and headed to the midwest, landing in Lincoln, NE.  I knew I would be returning to Georgia frequently, and did over the years and continue to do so, as I continue to have family there.  I lived in Lincoln for thirty years before moving to Portland.  I was sure I would never be returning to Lincoln as all of my family from there had long since left there.

Playing in bands has been a part of my life since my days in Georgia. I played my very first gig there.  So when I moved to Lincoln I found like-minded musicians and began playing in bands.  In 1991 I hooked up with a harmonica player and founded my first blues band. That band recorded two albums and found moderate success playing gigs throughout the region right up until I moved to Portland in 2015.  During all those successful years with that band I attempted to convince the band members that we should hit the road to Georgia. After all, I still had lots of contacts there and could find us places to book into and, with all the family and friends I still had there, we could draw a crowd. And while they thought that would be an interesting journey to make, there were just too many things working against us for that to happen (fulltime jobs, raising families, cost of travel, etc.)  I continued to raise that idea right up until I left Lincoln for Portland but we never made that trip.

One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years from my musician friends who are “road dogs” is that sometimes you have to travel with only as much of the band as you can afford to bring with you and find other players to fill in when you get there.

Do you see where this is going?

I have a son that lives outside of Atlanta and is a bass player and has been playing in bands for twenty five years. He and a drummer friend of his will be joining me on May 18th to play at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Atlanta and on May 19th at Buffington’s in Milledgeville, Georgia.  We will be joined at both of those gigs by the harmonica player that represented The Atlanta Blues Society at this year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Then in October, my band from here in Portland will be flying to Georgia to headline a festival.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Many of you know my friend and bandmate, Dave “Shakey Dizz” Wagner who moved here from Lincoln, NE a little over a year ago.  Dave and I spent decades playing in bands together in Lincoln. So, as is the tradition in our band, we often talked about putting together a roadtrip for our band to go back to and play some of our old haunts in Lincoln.

Myself, Dave, Ashbolt Stewart and Ray Beltran will be hitting the road in June to play a series of gigs in Nebraska. On June 13th we’ll be at The Peacock Lounge in Grand Island, NE, on June 14t we’ll be at The Chrome Lounge in Omaha, NE, on June 15th we will be playing the early show at The Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE and a 9:00show at The Havana Garage in Omaha, NE, on June 16th we’ll be at The Havana Garage in Omaha, and on June 17th we’ll be at Micek’s Bar in Columbus, NE. Mitch Kashmar will be joining us for the shows at The Chrome, Lounge, The Zoo Bar, and the Friday show at The Havana Garage.

Patience and persistence.

Harvey Brindell & The Tablerockers