BluesMania: A Benefit Concert For Steve Pringle

BluesMania: A Benefit Concert For Steve Pringle

Show your support of longtime radio personality “Uncle” Steve Pringle,who is suffering from stage four cancer, by attending BluesMania: A Benefit for Steve Pringle.

Scheduled to perform: Rose City Kings, Kevin Selfe Big Band, Norman Sylvester Band, Karen Lovely with Ben Rice, Curtis Salgado and Alan Hagar, Lloyd Jones, Lisa Mann, Jimi Bott, and more. The event will conclude with a “guitar showdown” featuring special guests including Terry Robb, Robbie Laws, Ty Curtis, Peter Dammann, Tim Langford, and more.

Pringle has more than 25 years’ experience on the airwaves of Portland radio, including time with KKJZ and mornings and middays on KINK.FM. His passion for blues music led to hosting KMHD/OPB’s Friday Freeway Blues and taking over for his mentor Bob “The Big BA” Ancheta on KINK.FM’s Sunday Night Blues after Ancheta’s retirement in 2011. In 2017, Pringle took his blues show to KGON where it remained on air for two years.

A longtime supporter of local blues, Pringle’s blues programs highlighted numerous Portland-area blues bands. In 2018 he was honored with a “George Page” Back What You Believe In” Muddy Award from the Cascade Blues Association for his work in promoting the local blues community.

Roseland Theater, 8 NW Sixth Ave. Sunday, November 24, 5:00 pm. General Admission main floor $25.00, Reserved Seating balcony $50.00 at 21 & over.

Blues Blast Awards Honors Ben Rice

Congratulations to Ben Rice for being named the 2019 recipient of the Sean Costello Rising Star Award from the Blues Blast Awards. It is hard for us to believe that Ben is a “rising star” as he has been such a solid presence in our region for the better part of two decades. Along with his Blues Music Award nominations, this has been quite a ride for him this year gaining much-deserved international recognition. The Cascade Blues Association is proud of Ben’s accomplishments and we foresee it as only the beginning of many more honors to come.

2019 Waterfront Blues Festival

By Don Campbell

2019 Waterfront Blues FestivalBy all accounts, last year’s Waterfront Blues Festival was a smash – another beautiful Fourth of July weekend run along the Willamette River. What many don’t know is the underlying turmoil that nearly closed the gates for good. Festival ownership changes, management shakeups, and new sponsors and beneficiaries – all late in the game – put the fest on the brink.

It took some muscle, grit, huge leaps of faith, motivated new partners, and a little luck, but the 2018 edition came off without a hitch. With a fest led by a strong roster of national, regional and local talent that included not only the traditional side of the blues, but some new acts who are fearlessly pushing the boundaries of the genre and bringing something new to the party, few can dispute the event’s success last year.

2019 Waterfront Blues FestivalAnd that includes what lies and continues to live in the fest’s DNA – a strong sense of community. New beneficiary, the Sunshine Division, continued the event’s long lineage of letting music help those in need.

The good news is the 2019 version, set for July 4-7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, is on firm footing and firing on all cylinders. Even as operating costs skyrocket and shifting demographics continue to alter the music landscape in general, the fest’s heartbeat is strong and, per its long history, remains rooted in and deeply committed to the music.

A full slate of passes and ticket options are available to get you through the gates again this year (visit for complete information) but don’t dawdle – they sell out fast.

2019 Waterfront Blues FestivalFest-goers can take in the full experience, with two main (and alternating) stages, the Front Porch and Crossroads stages, the Louisiana Pavilion, after-hours shows and cruises, blues-swing and Zydeco dance lessons, Fourth of July fireworks, a full complement of food, beverages and fest merchandise, and more. Even the canned food drive is back, with all proceeds going to the Sunshine Division.

Unlike other major festivals, the backbone of the WBF has always been a strong inclusion of top-flight local and regional acts, many of whom have built strong careers here and gone on to greater heights. This year is no exception.

Familiar names include Alligator Records artist Curtis Salgado, Portland’s own MarchFourth marching band, guitarist and producer Terry Robb, former Portlander and now Nashville resident Big Monti Amundson, the mighty Andy Stokes (who recently landed on the Billboard charts), Arietta Ward (daughter of the late, legendary Janice Scroggins) debuting with her own band, Farnell Newton and his Othership Connection James Brown tribute show, soul and worldbeat vocalist Lilla, acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Mary Flower, saxman and New Orleans expat Reggie Houston, the young and talented Samuel E-M (Eisen-Meyer) and his boundary-pushing band Joyful Noise, the legendary Ural Thomas, the mesmerizing Saeeda Wright (Prince’s former backup vocalist) debuting her own project, Washington’s Tim “Too Slim” Langford and his Tail Draggers, Seattle’s Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints, LaRhonda & the Steele Family Band, Ty Curtis and Karen Lovely.

There’s no dearth of major-league talent either. Native son Robert Cray and his band return after a long absence and will help fuel the four-day run along with the explosive Trombone Shorty (who played his first big Northwest gig at WBF in 2010) and his band Orleans Avenue, New Orleans royalty Cyril Neville, Shemekia Copeland (who nabbed two BMA awards recently for Album and Contemporary Blues Album), the hard-working Karl Denson and his funky Tiny Universe, the rowdy St. Paul and the Broken Bones, the well-traveled California Honeydrops, and blues-rockers Vintage Trouble.

And don’t miss the sizzling guitar work of Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, who also got a big break at WBF in 2015 when Buddy Guy called the youngster on stage for his headlining set, a spectacular guitar duel that led to Guy’s producing the new Kingfish recording, just released on Alligator.

For the purists, don’t miss vocalist Sugaray Rayford (a recent BMA winner for Soul Blues Male Artist), newcomer to the fest Delta guitarist and vocalist Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Bakersfield’s own Brother Yusef, Canada’s Harpdog Brown and his Uptown Blues Band, the fiery Arkansas born-and bred guitarist and showman Lucious Spiller, and singer, saxophonist and guitarist Vanessa Collier (also a recent BMA winner for Instrumentalist-Horn).

If you’re looking for something fresh, try Hawaii’s Ron Artist II & the Truth, and the pure African influence of Mali’s Songhoy Blues, led by Oumar and Aliou Toure.

Fans of TV’s “The Voice” can catch newcomer Sarah Grace and her band the Soul. She packs a big soulful punch in a pint-sized package, and is a triple threat on vocals, trumpet and the mighty Hammond B3. She may surprise you.

Zydeco and Cajun lovers are in for another solid flight of the rollicking party music. Chubby Carrier makes a return to the fest with his Bayou Swamp Band. Check out Louisiana’s Feufollet, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Wayne Singleton and the Same Ol’ 2-Step, and Lil Pookie and the Zydeco Sensations.

This is just a taste. The list goes on, from the Brazilian beat of Bloco Alegria to the traditional blues of Dan Nash, and from the West Coast sounds of Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, Terry Hanck and Roy Rogers with Carlos Reyes, to the gospel goodness of the Sons of Soul Revivers and the NW Women in R&B Tribute to Sister Rosetta  Tharpe.

It’s a bountiful four days. Get some rest and remember to hydrate.


Cascade Blues Association, Many Opportunities for CBA Volunteers

The following is a list, though not limited to assignments for individuals, that your board of directors and several volunteers are currently working on. As you can see, there is a lot more to being behind the scenes with the Cascade Blues Association to keep it running on a daily basis.


Elected Officers

Greg Johnson, President – Membership Meeting scheduling, BluesNotes content, proofing & final authorization for print, Website updating, Journey to Memphis lead, Muddy Awards Ceremony co-lead, Best Self-Produced CD lead, Blues Foundation and other society liaison

Shelley Garrett, Vice-President – Calendar Production, Email Blast, Website and Survey Monkey Voting liaison, BluesNotes Delivery, Merchandising, Waterfront Blues Festival Booth lead, Volunteer Committee liaison

Merry Larsen, Treasurer  (and currentlyActing Secretary) – Finances reporting & documenting, Mail pickup, Waterfront Blues Festival Stage volunteers, Christopher Mesi Scholarship board lead

Shelley Garrett, Interum Membership Secretary – Maintaining Membershipship records and renewals, Muddy Awards Ceremony co-lead, PayPal technologist

At Large Members

Randy Murphy – BluesNotes content & proofing, Non-Profit of Oregon liaison, Various Festival liaison

Kim Allmaras – Treasurer support

Brad Bleidt –  MBA Non-Profit Management Consultant, Bylaws, Ethics

Jamey Winchester – BluesNotes advertising & liaison with Cedar House Media, East Eagles Lodge liaison, Community Outreach, Hawthorne Business Association liaison, Travel Portland liaison, Portland Trailblazers/ Portland Timbers Sponsorship liaison, Holiday Party lead


Volunteers – Richard LaChapelle – lead, Belinda Clark, Jeanette Aglipay

OPEN: seeking outside volunteers to help with board for the following committees:

Christopher Mesi Scholarship – Merry Larsen, board lead

Blues in the Schools

Musicians Relief Fund

Please Note: our by-laws do not allow for officers to hold more than one position. Our Secretary position is still vacant. If interested in fulfilling this role, please submit your interest in writing and give to any board member. Since this is an officer position, it must be approved by the membership and would be filled through an online process to all. We can also have up to 15 members on the board meaning we have 6 open At Large positions available at this time. Please let us know if you may be interested, or attend a monthly board meeting to see how things are run.

2021 Journey To Memphis Postponed

Beale Street

The 2019 Cascade Blues Association Journey To Memphis competition will take place over the weekend of Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Eighteen acts will face off for the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association and the region at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN (January 28 – February 1, 2020). Past CBA acts have fared well in Memphis including Karen Lovely, Ty Curtis, and Rae Gordon each taking home prizes from the finals.

Each act will play twenty-minute sets before a group of judges scoring them on blues content, vocals, instrumentation, originality, and stage presence. The top two scoring acts from each night will move onto the finals to be held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4 where the overall winner will be determined.

The competition will be held at The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd. $10.00 admission each day (proceeds to be awarded as prize money to help defray some of the travel expense to Memphis). All ages welcome.

 FRIDAY, May 10 SATURDAY, May 11
Kenny Lee & The Sundowners
Justus Reece
Generation Headstrong
Tom Gilberts Band
Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys
Mick Schafer Band
Bob Shoemaker & Anni Piper
Louis Creed & The Geezer
Project Tsunami
Nikki Jones Band
Jimmy Haggard Band
Altai Band
Fenix Rising
Billy Dee & The Hoodoos
E. Wayne Jones Band


Madeleine Crawford

A celebration of life for Madeleine Crawford will be hosted by her sisters Sophia Gabaldon and Beck Lafollette on Sunday, May 12 (Mother’s Day) at The Milwaukie Community Center 10666 S. E. 42nd Avenue, Milwaukie, Oregon from 12:30 until 5:00 pm. There will be live music, a pot luck with lots of food, and a keg of beer. You may bring your own bottle as well.  There will also be a bounce house for the little ones. Pleas come and help us celebrate Madeleine’s life with her family and friends.


In Loving Memory of Jim Mesi

Jim Mesi passed away in early March. He was an icon of the Portland music scene, having played for more than fifty years at the very top level. Throughout his career in Portland, and for a short while in Seattle, Mesi inspired countless musicians. In tribute the Cascade Blues Association offers but a handful of memories from friends and peers. There will never be another Jim Mesi. The word “legend” is most fitting for this unique man — one of the most talented musicians not only in Portland or the Northwest, but among the very best to be found anywhere.

Lloyd Jones: The passing of legendary guitarist (and lifelong pal) Jim Mesi hit hard! His powerful brilliance and demolishing swagger still ring in my memory. From the shine on his shoes to the sparkle in his tone, there was great pride in every performance.

Jim’s list of fans included BB King, Billy Gibbons, John Hammond, and more. On my wall at home is a photo of Mr. Mesi bringing a smile to Les Paul’s face while sitting in together at a club in New York City. Who can say that!

Jim Mesi with Ed Neumann, Steve Bradley, Scott White, Johnnie Moore

Jim Mesi was the greatest guy to be in a band with. He only hit home runs. In the early years, Jim Mesi, Al Kuzens, myself and fellow band mate Paul deLay put together a freight train of a band called Brown Sugar. Blazing a trail for blues in the Northwest and building lifelong friendships. When Paul deLay passed, Jim came to me and said “Let’s put the ol’ band back together for Paul’s memorial concert at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival…but, you have to play drums!” Jimmy marched up on that stage with a little bitty Blues Jr. guitar amp, placed it on two milk crates and blew the top off that festival! We felt like kids again. Paul would have smiled. I sure did.”

Ed Neumann:  Having played with him the last 20 years he has ruined me and I will miss him every night, but I will continue to laugh at his SO very many jokes and quips. I am a very spoiled man.

Terry Currier: Jim Mesi’s contributions to the Oregon music scene was vast. From the late 60’s on he was known as one of the area’s best guitarists in the state. From early bands like Wrinkle and Brown Sugar (a band that would launch careers for other local musical heroes Paul deLay and Lloyd Jones), to his long time musical relationship with Steve Bradley playing a combo of rock and blues, the Paul deLay Band as well as his countless incarnations of the Jim Mesi Band, his guitar playing excelled. I often heard people state when other blues guitarists came to town “Why is Jim Mesi not as big as this artist? He’s definitely as good or better.” He was definitely a master of his instrument and I was definitely lucky to see him play so many times over the years.

Don Worth: I’ve know and respected Jim’s talent, and wardrobe, for almost 50 years. I will miss him and his wicked sense of humor. His passing will be the end of The Loser’s Club. I have years of great memories from those Tuesday “meetings.” RIP Jim.

Chris Carlson: I was gobsmacked the first time I heard Jim Mesi play the guitar. And every time after that. It wasn’t just the amazing bag of tricks that he had, it was the seemingly endless well of ideas. And that soul. And the humor. Man, that guys was funny.

I had the chance to buy a pedal steel from a buddy of mine, but I didn’t know anything about pedal steel. So I called the only steel player in town that I knew – Jim Mesi. I described the instrument to him, he said, “Buy if! I’ll show you how to play it.” I did and Jim taught me the fundamentals. I still owe him dinner for that.

Whether it was seeing him play or hanging out at a bar, Jim always made me laugh.


Paul Jones: Saying that Jimmy was Talented is a vast UNDERSTATEMENT. He was truly amazing as a musician and a friend. I was fortunate to have played music with him for 53 years. Never heard him play the same thing twice! He’s in my soul. I will always hear his laughter.

Mark Dufresne: Back in 1979 when I first came to the Pacific Northwest I would go down to Seattle from Bellingham where I was living and occasional meet up with local blues players trying to get my own thing going. I met a great Harp player named Kim Field (who now resides in Portland) who would sometimes make tapes of various musicians for me. One in particular was of Paul deLay that completely blew my mind. Just a live tape in a Portland haunt, probably Sac’s Front Ave. I had never heard quite anyone like Big Paul, (harp-wise, vocal-wise) The band arrangements were stellar. As much as Paul’s brilliance on this cheap tape (which I still have) the guitar playing was killing me. I asked Kim, who is this Monster. He was to the guitar what Paul was to the Harp. Unique, and recognizable every time you hear him. I played this tape to people for years and every time they would ask me about the Guitar master on there. I could only say his name was Jimmy something, an Italian  name I’d say. I caught them at Bumbershoot in Seattle in 82 with the great Dave Stewart now on keyboards. This was a special band. Few have equaled it anywhere. At the time Jimmy’s approach to the fretboard was amazing. A man who was his own thing but yet could play within the sometimes strict parameters of the roots music scene.

In Loving Memory of Jim Mesi

Paul deLay Band with BB King

After the demise of that version of the band, I figured Paul’s in trouble “How you gonna replace Mesi? Well, we know Peter Damman came in with new guys and the deLay band did some of their best Music. All of this gave me the opportunity to meet and befriend Jim Mesi for his brief stay in the Emerald City. At the time, I had a manager who was trying to get something going for me but did not want me doing standard club gigs. But anytime Jim had something going on he was always more than gracious to me, allowing me to sit in anytime , anywhere he was performing. I did several outdoor shows and having no real band, Jimmy was kind enough to help me put something together and we played some fun shows. Any type of blues, rockabilly,

R&B or even country sounds he handled with absolute confidence and unbelievable chops. I feel so blessed to do even a small portion of work with him. When Jim moved back to the Rose City he would often invite me down to hang and sit-in. He introduced me to Dave Kahl, Dickie Burns, Steve Bradley and a very dear friend, Mike Moothart. Actually I consider all the members of that Mesi unit as good friends. Of course they would always have me sit-in whether it be Portland or Seattle. I will be forever grateful for this.

Jimmy was a one of a kind  individual. A lot of us would try to do our best Mesi impressions complete with the cigarette and quick turn of the head as only Jimmy could do. What a thrill to have a musician of this caliber encourage and let you take part in some of his excursions. I loved his Surf stuff with Bradley. He played with one of the most fearless attacks on his instrument of anyone I have ever known. To know the Italian Chainsaw was to love him. I shall miss him dearly an as a friend and as musician who had a lasting impact on me and many, many others.

With Love, RIP Jim Mesi,

Brown Sugar

Terry Robb: I had the great honor to know Jim Mesi. He was not just a fantastic guitarist, but a great musician. I was a huge fan from when I first heard him in 1971. Later, we became friends and we had a lot of laughs together. It was always really special to play with him. I can’t say enough about what it meant to receive a compliment from him. No one played like him and no one was like him — a true original. We would always laugh about how independently of each other when we were kids, not knowing each other. We would both go to Gateway Music to stare at the Gibson SG they had in the window. He and the late Buddy Fite were the most inspiring guitarists you could ever hope to see. It is overwhelming how much I will miss him.

Bob Lyon: This is tough . . . what I remember can’t be printed . . .

Duffy Bishop: Jim Mesi was a mesmerizing master of the guitar, with a persona far larger than life. He was a truly unique character, a sharp funny man who could crack you up one second and then wow you with his brilliant playing the next. Mesi had natural spot on timing in his humor and this vast musical ability.

Jim Mesi Band – photo by Jim Dorothy

The anticipation he’d instill, seeing him drive up in of his cool classic cars, hop out dressed to the nines in audacious, colorful garb and footwear, and then pop the trunk of the long car to reveal even more sleek, stylish suits, more fancy pointed Italian shoes, and many cases filled with flashy, personalized, killer guitars. He could have had his own TV show, and we all would have tuned in not to miss it!

I count myself among the very fortunate to have gotten to play music with Jim. None of us whoever met him and heard him play will ever forget him

Nico Wind Cordova: I was a skinny wisp of a kid in 1974 or so when I first met Jim Mesi.  I had the determination of a pit bull to become nothing other than a full-blooded musician at that time.   I used to go to this place called Sac’s Front Avenue; it was one of the hottest venues for the emerging Portland blues scene.  Sac’s hosted and promoted local and regional bands.  It was here where I would be exposed to the artists that would blaze the trail for what we now consider to be the royalty of the Portland music scene.

One of my favorite bands of all time was Brown Sugar; its core members were Paul deLay, Jim Mesi and Lloyd Jones, and I went to see them whenever I could.  My friend, John Henderson, aka Westside Johnny, a harmonica student of Paul’s, prompted me to ask Paul deLay if I could sit in and sing a song with him and his band.  Paul took a quick up-and-down look at me, raised one eyebrow, and pretty much blew me off.  But Jim encouraged Paul to let me do a song.  He was pretty vocal about it, advising, “Everyone started somewhere – even you, Paul.”  The next thing I know, I’m standing up on the stage with all these guys looking at me, my knees shaking so hard I can hardly stand up.  Jim directed me:  “Okay, kid.  This is it!  What are we doing and what key is it in?”  I managed to spit out, “‘Little Red Rooster’, by Big Mama Thornton, in the key of G.”  Jim raised an eyebrow at Paul, and it was on!  After it was done, Jim said, “Let’s give a hand to the little kid with the giant voice.”  I’ve never forgotten Jim’s raising me up like that; later on down the road, he would continue to give me opportunities that helped sculpt me as an artist.

After touring with my own bands for decades, I came back home to re-introduce myself.  Again, there was Mesi and his bandmates, inviting me into the light (along with a lot of other mainstage bands that included Curtis Salgado, Bobby Torres, DK Stewart, Norman Sylvester, and many others).

Jim Mesi with Seth Cordova and Nico Wind Cordova

I met my husband, Seth Cordova, eighteen years ago at the Candlelight Cafe and Bar. Seth had been on tour with Jim Mesi as a second guitar player; it was one of Seth’s greatest opportunities when Jim took him under his wing.

Seth had met Jim through a family friend, Pat Pattee and his wife, Carmen.  Pat was the first KISN Portland radio DJ back in the 50s.  At the time, he was working as a DJ for The Crossing in Vancouver, Washington.  Mesi liked to hang out with Pat because he had one of the largest music record collections in the region, especially blues recordings.  Pat was known for opening his home to aspiring young musicians like Seth to give them an opportunity to listen to the real stuff.  After one of these sessions, Jim told Seth he should come down the Denny’s Music Store, and he’d give Seth some guitar lessons.  Seth didn’t think Jim was serious, so he didn’t show up; a few months later, Seth ran into Jim and Jim said, “Where the X!#&!* were you?  I waited for you!”  Needless to say, Seth showed up the following week, on time and ready to learn that Jim Mesi was a “no BS kinda guy.”

In 1995, Jim informed Seth, “I’m doing another USO tour, so get your stuff together, get a passport, and let’s go!  Seth was working for Bob McDonald at Blaze Jose’s, one of the places where Jim held The Losers’ Club meetings.  Bob was gracious enough to give Seth the time off so he could go on tour with his mentor.

Years later, after the loss of Jim’s son, Christopher, Jim asked Seth to move into his home.   Seth lived with Jim for a year or so while he grieved; part of Jim’s healing included focusing on teaching Seth to play guitar.

When Seth and I started the Free Rein Band, it was The Jim Mesi Band that spring-boarded it.  Jim agreed to join our first gig as Free Rein at the Candlelight, the last week it was open before getting bulldozed.  We played our hearts out, and that would set the bar high for our future as a band.

In 2016, I began work on a project designed to acknowledge and inform Portland music lovers about the legacy Portland’s talents (like Salgado, deLay, Fountaine, Whyte, Ross, Steele and others) had left them through the years.  Nico’s Road Dog Tales ‘n Jam featured a number of these well-known musicians, including Jim Mesi, in an hour-long interview on stage followed by sometimes hours of a jam with each interviewee and our Free Rein Band.  It is only appropriate that I release the Jim Mesi episode of Road Dog Tales as the pilot for our mini-documentary series that honors and preserves the legacy of our treasured icon, friend, and mentor, The Italian Chainsaw – Jim Mesi.

Fly Me To The Moon

Fly Me To The MoonIn order to “rage against the dying of the light” as Dylan Thomas so eloquently instructed us in his poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” we enter the golden years holding our hearts open to the visceral moments that weaved the cords of a good life:  Our families, our loves, the tragedies and triumphs, and our songs.

As we age, the depth of our memories can be strengthened by a familiar tune that takes us back — and full circle — to the people we were, and are, and will be.  So it’s sad to consider that  opportunities to experience live music are diminished for senior citizens who live in care centers and other communities.

Local musician and producer Dean Mueller realized the need for live music in senior communities and formed Fly Me To The Moon, a nonprofit organization based in Portland whose mission is to bring high quality performances directly into their homes — the care facilities.  “Scientific evidence shows the benefit of bringing music to these facilities. But it’s more than that.  Having a positive impact on their emotional state hits you in the heart.  You have to give the music they want to hear. So, we provide music that stimulates memory and takes them to a sweet place, hence the name Fly Me To The Moon,” he explained.

His first performances at senior centers created an impetus to form Fly Me To The Moon.  “We were loading in the gear and there were lines of seniors in wheelchairs and with walkers waiting to get in before the doors opened.  During the show, about a hundred people were singing along and dancing; some were crying.  There was this heartwarming connection, and when we played Crazy, the whole room exploded in love.  I thought, this is having an impact, and we’ve gotta do it again.”

The late Jim Miller was an inspiration to Mueller in forming the organization.  “I heard from many people about the good work by Jim Miller in bringing music to seniors.  His are some big shoes that can never be filled, but if I can carry on his work in the same spirit, it will be an honor,” he said.

Fly Me To The Moon received fiscal oversight sponsorship by the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.  Its focus in 2019 will be to deliver at least fifteen performances in local area senior communities.  “Oregon’s music scene is rich with musicians who deliver a wide array of music that appeals to seniors,” said Mueller.  “Many of these musicians are hungry to give back to their communities by offering their performances to audiences who don’t have access to traditional venues,” he added.

Mueller hopes to tap these musicians by supplementing the limited — or nonexistent — budgets most senior communities can pay for the performances.  “I have gotten plenty of requests to arrange the shows, but there’s not enough money to cover expenses or pay the performers.  So this will let us pull together quality events that benefit the seniors and compensate the musicians for their time.”

Merry Larsen, board member and Marketing Director of Courtyard Village Raleigh Hills, explains it well:  “Listening to music has always been an integral part of life for our seniors. It began with listening to the radio, moving to the melodies on the dance floor, being touched with the emotions it brought in church.  Music has been the fabric that built their relationships with each other and within their community.  They are subsequently losing this ‘fabric’ when their ability to spend time with others is limited.  When they gather for musical performances, they quickly return to those feelings of joy, hope, peace, emotion, and the sense that everything will now be alright with their souls. They deserve for us to give back the gift of musical rhythms.”

Fly Me To The Moon kicked off its fundraising cycle for 2019 with a holiday event at Lake Theater featuring LaRhonda Steele and Julie Amici, and a holiday show at the Juanita Pohl Center.  A Valentine’s Day performance will follow on February 13 at The Springs at Tanasbourne.

To make a donation, find Fly Me To The Moon on Facebook, or go to .

Missi Hasting Baker is the co-leader of Mojo Holler, a Portland-based roots Americana and blues band.

The Journey To Memphis is the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition to select the acts that will represent our organization and region in 2020’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Up to 250 acts from around the world converge on Beale Street to perform before the music industry searching for new talent, with the chance to win recognition and prizes that include major festival performances and more. But the only way an act may participate is to win a regional competition held by one of The Blues Foundation’s affiliated societies like the Cascade Blues Association.

The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held this year in mid-May at a venue to be determined.  The event may take place over more than one night depending on the number of acts wishing to compete. Acts are scored by a trio of judges selected for their backgrounds and knowledge of the blues. The highest scoring acts from each night of competition (up to four acts) will advance to the finals held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4th.

Applications to participate in the competition will be accepted from now until Wednesday, April 3 at the Cascade Blues Association membership meeting. No late applications will be accepted. All acts that meet our criteria as described below will be eligible to compete. The performance schedule for the competition is drawn at random.


Here’s the application information:

  • Entry fee is $25.00
  • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues


  • Only acts located within the region of Oregon, or Wasshington are allowed to enter the

Journey To Memphis.

  • Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music

Awards from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete. No exceptions.

  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years,

regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year

before being allowed to compete again. Acts can only participate three times in Memphis

(acts competing previous to 2017 will be grandfathered and may compete three times

starting from 2017).

  • Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of

all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this

may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be made aware

of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so

the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon or Washington Liquor Commission laws.

  • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band

members that they won the rounds with. In other words, if you won with a certain bass

player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and drummer must be in

your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances when not                           under control of the act, such as health issues.

  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so

with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before

ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from further

competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.

Dear CBA Members: We are very thankful for the CBA’s support by inviting us to write for this newspaper.

You are all cordially invited to subscribe to our new website on or by emailing us at

All new subscribers receive a free ticket to a blues concert. Our new website is becoming popular among young blues dancers and we believe our small but important role in CBA’s mission to preserve and promote the blues is through the next generation. Our overarching goal is to be a resource to everyone online, especially young people, and in the process demonstrate on the ground how to reach and retain the next generation of blues lovers. Yes – our project is a lot more than a website. We regularly help organize, promote and/or sponsor blues dances that bridge the generational gap of older and younger blues fans. We usually see 100 or more young people ages 21-39 show up and dance at the shows we’re involved in. We’ve supported blues dances as far away as Eugene, where we recently sponsored a live blues dance with teen blues performer Savanna Coen. On September 25th we had our first “Bluesaraoke” event – a karaoke dance party with singers young and old! We also have an amazing event coming up on November 13th with Julie Amici, and November 27th with Rae Gordon… check the CBA Calendar for these events! Don’t forget to subscribe to our website so we can invite you to all the cool events we have coming up.

Thank you again to the CBA for the warm welcome… we believe a lot more young people will be joining the CBA over the next few years and there’s really no limit to how much the blues community can grow when generations are united.

This message was written by cofounders Daniel Oliver and Robert Evans. You can reach us both at thank you!