2020 Performance Venue Project

Performance Venue Project
Progress Report 7/28/20 

The shutdown of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected musicians and venues particularly hard. As we re-open the economy we can see independent music venues struggling; some are trying to balance physical spacing and capacity limits and some are no longer offering live music, while others will stay closed.  This has resulted in a shortage of performance opportunities for local talent, especially those musicians who have had their livelihood dry up, and also for music lovers who may not be ready to return to indoor spaces.   

The Cascade Blues Association has teamed up with Portland Parks & Recreation Division to address this entertainment shortage by offering paid performance opportunities to participating local blues and roots musicians who are current CBA members, while supporting the Parks and Recreation’s Free Lunch + Play initiative by providing entertainment at the Park distribution sites.  This project will provide income for musicians as well as increasing awareness of the CBA to the public.  

Portland Parks & Recreation Division has diverted 100% of their Summer Free For All funding to The Free Lunch + Play program that supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities during the summer recess, supporting the thousands of children who qualify for subsidized lunches during the school year.  With this partnership, the CBA will be supporting its mission to preserve and promote blues and roots music by providing free entertainment at pick-up sites and other public locations while offering a little financial relief to participating local musicians.   

We’ve had to make adjustments along the way as stubborn COVID-19 trends have prevented Multnomah county from advancing out of Phase 1 for longer than we’d imagined. We’re still moving forward with the project, although with a longer timeline as we wait for opportunities to open up in advanced Phases.        

The CBA has contributed base funding for the first round. We launched a GoFundMe campaign and are seeking additional sponsorships. To date, we’ve raised almost $3000 of our $5000 goal! With additional funds raised, the CBA will be able to expand this project to offer more opportunities at more locations where friends and fans will be able to enjoy. 

 All funds donated through the GoFundMe campaign go directly to the performers.   

Any amount you can contribute will help us work towards our initial goal of $5000.  The Cascade Blues Association is a 501(c)(3) and your donation will be tax deductible. GoFundMe will provide an immediate tax receipt.  

Online:  charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/2020-performance-venue-project 

By Mail: Cascade Blues Association Attn: PVP, PO Box 6566,  Portland OR 97228-6566 


2020 Blues Music Awards

2020 Blues Music Awards

For the first time in its 41-year history, the Blues Music Awards was unable to celebrate with its huge extravaganza as they have done for so many years. The pandemic may have shut down the in-person event, but The Blues Foundation found the means to recognize this year’s achievements in high fashion just the same by taking it virtual — online. 

Compacted into a two-hour event broadcast by Facebook and YouTube, the celebration was hosted by Shemekia Copeland, with presentations from celebrities like Bettye LaVette, The Fantastic Negrito, Charlie Musselwhite, Beth Hart, William Bell and others, plus at-home performances by multiple acts including Larkin Poe, Southern Avenue, Walter Trout, Samantha Fish and Sue Foley.  

This year’s biggest winner was young bluesman Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, sweeping every category he was nominated for and taking home five awards, including Album of the Year. Sugaray Rayford won the most coveted prize, the BB King Entertainer of the Year Award, while the Nick Moss Band took Band of the Year honors. 

It may not have been its usual party atmosphere as in years past, with the crowd and musicians mingling together and the extended performances and acceptance speeches, but the Blues Music Awards presentation was very well done during this time when we cannot all be together. Plus, it offered the experience to many who might otherwise not have been able to have been there in person. 

This year’s Blues Music Award winners are: 

B.B King Entertainer of the Year: SUGARAY RAYFORD 

Band of The Year: NICK MOSS BAND featuring DENNIS GRUENLING 

Album of the Year: CHRISTONE KINGFISH” INGRAM – Kingfish 

Song of the Year: NICK MOSS featuring DENNIS GRUENLING – “Lucky Guy” 

 Best Emerging Artist Album Winner: CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM – Kingfish 

 Contemporary Blues Album: CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM – Kingfish 

Contemporary Blues Female Artist: SHEMEKIA COPELAND 

Contemporary Blues Male Artist: CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM 

 Traditional Blues Album Winner: NICK MOSS BAND W-DENNIS GRUENLING – Lucky Guy 

Traditional Blues Male Artist: JIMMIE VAUGHAN 

Traditional Blues Female Artist: SUE FOLEY 

 Rock Artist Winner: ERIC GALES 

Blues Rock Album Winner: ALBERT CASTIGLIA – Masterpiece 

 Acoustic Blues Album: BOB MARGOLIN – This Guitar And Tonight 

Acoustic Blues Artist: DOUG MACLEOD 

Historical Blues Album: EARWIG MUSIC COMPANY/MICHAEL FRANK – Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records – The Definitive Collection 

 Best Soul Blues Album: BOBBY RUSH – Sitting On Top Of The Blues 

Best Soul Blues Male Artist: SUGARAY RAYFORD 

Best Soul Blues Female Artist: BETTYE LAVETTE 

 Instrumentalist Guitar: CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM 

Instrumentalist Bass: MICHAEL “MUDCAT” WARD 

Instrumentalist Horn: VANESSA COLLIER 

Instrumentalist Vocals: MAVIS STAPLES 

Instrumentalist Drums: CEDRIC BURNSIDE 

Instrumentalist Piano (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player): VICTOR WAINWRIGHT 

Instrumentalist Harmonica: RICK ESTRIN 


2021 Muddy Awards

2019 Muddy AwardsThe Cascade Blues Association held its 31st annual Muddy Awards in high fashion, returning for the second straight year to the Alberta Rose Theatre. Twenty-two awards were handed out honoring our members’ selections for their favorite musicians, recordings, venues and events from this past year. Mixed with multiple musical performances, starting with this year’s Journey To Memphis winning band Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, followed in order by Rich Layton & Tough Town, Tevis Hodge Jr, Vintage Soul, Terry Robb, and ending the night with a Muddy All Star jam led by Ben Rice & Lisa Mann with Dave Fleschner, Dave Melyan, Doug Rowell, Jason “JT” Thomas, Kim Field, Louis Pain, Rae Gordon, and Timmer Blakely.

It was no surprise that the big winner of the night was Ben Rice, as he had been nominated more than anyone else with six nods, taking home four. First time recipients included Rich Layton and Kim Field, and the Norman Sylvester Band was inducted into the Muddy Hall of Fame for the “Lloyd Jones” R&B Act.

It was an emotional night as Portland’s beloved DJ Steve Pringle had passed away just a few days earlier, and keyboardist Frankie Redding Jr a few weeks prior. Both were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards, which had been determined before either had passed when Louis Pain requested to bow out and suggested that we give the award to both; the Board discussed this consideration and agreed.

The Cascade Blues Association would like to thank our sponsors for the event: BluesgirlPDX, A+ Carpentry (Mike Todd) and Wastexpress (Arthur Marx). Thanks to the Alberta Rose Theatre and Cedar House Media.

But it takes a number of hard working people behind the scenes, too. Our amazing volunteer staff was led by Belinda Clark, Jeanette Aglipay and Richard LaChapelle. This year’s volunteers were: Ben Rice, Bobby Kovacich, Brad Bleidt, Brenda Docken, Carol Alcon, Cherie Johnson, Cristina Walker, Cynthia Colombo, Don Geren, Jamey Winchester, Jane Manning, Jon Pierce, Katie Ugolini, Kenney Schulz, Marlena Masterson, Merry Larson, Nancy Lisac, Ron Johnson, Shelley Garrett, Susan Dishaw and Wendy Schumer. Apologies if I missed anybody. And if they weren’t mentioned in the volunteer staff, hats off to our CBA board for all their efforts making this event come off without a glitch this year!!

This year’s winners were:

Contemporary Blues Act – Ben Rice Trio

“Lloyd Jones” R&B Act – Normand Sylvester

Traditional Blues Act – Ben Rice Band

Regional Blues Act – Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys

New Blues Act – Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen

“Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist – Ben Rice

“Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist – LaRhonda Steele

Electric Guitar – Ben Rice

“Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar – Mary Flower

Bass – Lisa Mann

“Jimi Bott” Drums – Brian Foxworth

Keyboards – Steve Kerin

Harmonica – Rich Layton

Horns – Pete Moss

Venue – The Blue Diamond

Northwest Event of the Year – Jim Mesi Memorial Concert at The Elks Lodge

“The Hurley Award” – Terry Currier

Northwest Recording of the Year – Terry Robb “Confessin’ My Dues”

National Recording of the Year – Sugaray Rayford “Somebody Save Me”

Performance of the Year – Sugaray Rayford at the Waterfront Blues Festival

“George Page” Back What You Believe In – Julie Amici & Dean Mueller

“Paul deLay” Lifetime Acivement – (two winners) Steve Pringle & Frankie Redding Jr.


2019 Muddy Awards

2019 Muddy AwardsThe Cascade Blues Association is pleased to announce that our signature event and one of the most anticipated evenings in the blues regionally, The Muddy Awards, will be held at The Alberta Rose Theatre on Wednesday, November 6. Twenty-two awards honoring the favorite musicians, recordings, events and more as selected by our members will be announced throughout the night. The awards will be presented by musicians, CBA board members and other recognized individuals from the blues community.

And as if the awards themselves were not reason enough to attend, there will be music, and plenty of it. Scheduled to perform this year (in order of appearance) will be Journey To Memphis winners Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, Rich Layton & Tough Town, Tevis Hodge Jr., Vintage Soul, and Terry Robb. All are 2019 Muddy Award nominees. And we’ll conclude the evening with a Muddy All Star Jam, led by Lisa Mann and Ben Rice, with guests including Kim Field, LaRhonda Steele, Louis Pain, Michael Osborn, Dave Fleschner, Dave Melyan and more TBA – once again 2019 nominees all.

Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St, Wednesday, November 6, 6:30 pm. Advance tickets are $10.00, CBA members are Free but seating is limited so be there early. All ages welcome.

2019 Muddy Award Nominees

Contemporary Blues Act:

Ben Rice Trio
Rich Layton & Tough Town
Sister Mercy

“Lloyd Jones” R&B Act:

Fenix Rising
Ken DeRouchie Band
Norman Sylvester Band

Traditional Blues Act:

Ben Rice Band
Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen
Michael Osborn

New Act:

Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen
Vintage Soul
Young Guns Of The Blues

Regional Act:

Gabriel Cox
Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys
Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method
Too Slim & The Taildraggers

“Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist:

LaRhonda Steele
Lisa Mann
Rae Gordon

“Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist:

Ben Rice
Brian Foxworth
Lloyd Jones

Electric Guitar:

Ben Rice
Doug Rowell
Jason “JT” Thomas

“Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar:

Ben Rice
Mary Flower
Tevis Hodge, Jr.


Ben Jones
Lisa Mann
Timmer Blakely


Dave Fleschner
Louis Pain
Steve Kerin

“Jimi Bott” Drums:

Brian Foxworth
Dave Melyan
Edwin Colman III


Franco Paletta
Kim Field
Rich Layton


Chris Mercer
Joe McCarthy
Pete Moss


Blue Diamond
Catfish Lou’s
The Lake Theater & Café

Northwest Recording:

Lloyd Jones Struggle – Full Force
Rich Layton & Tough Town – Salvation Road
Terry Robb – Confessin’ My Dues

National Recording:

Bobby Rush – Sitting On Top Of The Blues
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – Kingfish
Sugaray Rayford – Somebody Save Me

Northwest Event:

Gorge Blues & Brews
Jim Mesi Memorial Concert at The Elks Lodge
Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival

Performance of the Year:

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram at Waterfront Blues Festival
Sugaray Rayford at Waterfront Blues Festival
Vanessa Collier at Waterfront Blues Festival

“Paul deLay” Lifetime Achievement:

Frankie Redding, Jr.
Louis Pain
Steve Pringle

George Page ” Back What You Believe In award:

Chris Hamann
Cory Burden
Julie Amici & Dean Mueller

The “Hurley” Award:

Ken & Susan Johnson
Tracy-Turner Pain
Terry Currier

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 Etix.com. 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 www.waterfrontbluesfest.com 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.

2023 Journey to Memphis Finalists

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.

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.