Blues In The Gorge Workshops

Blues In The Gorge Workshops

Immerse yourself in a long weekend of classes and jams with four world class blues players and teachers. During your stay, take up to 12 classes, enjoy exceptional meals, and in your free time explore the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. We limit enrollment in order to keep Blues in the Gorge Workshops an intimate and unforgettable experience.

Artistic Director and instructor Mary Flower is renowned for her personal vision of roots music that blends ragtime, acoustic blues and folk. She is technically dazzling yet grounded in the simplicity of early 20th century American music; her instrumental skill with the Piedmont blues guitar is at a level of mastery that takes most players a lifetime to hone.

This year’s instructors will be Guy Davis, Albaine Falletta, Rich Moore and Mary Flower.

All levels of players are welcome and there will be jumpstart classes available each day for people who are just getting started with the blues.  To get the most out of Blues in the Gorge, participants should know all first position chords (majors, minors, and sevenths) and have some finger picking experience.

Registration now open at menucha.org. Co-sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association

Blues In The Gorge Workshops at Menucha Retreat, 38711 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, OR. September 25 – 29.

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.

–30–

Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled

Volunteers Needed for the Waterfront Blues FestivalIt’s again time to volunteer for this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival, July 4-7. Many of you volunteer year after year, and we appreciate your dedication to the CBA and the festival. If you’d like to join us again this year, they’re plenty of opportunities. Here are a few:

CBA Merchandise Booth

Committee Members: Richard LaChapell (lead) Belinda Clark, and Jeanette Aglipay.

The committee members will offer sign up sheets at various CBA functions, beginning with the April Membership Meeting at the Mission Theater.

Backstages

Merry Larsen and Terry Odor manage and organize backstage volunteers. They too will have sign up sheets available beginning with the April Membership Meeting at the Mission Theater.

You may also contact these committee members through the contact form below. Be sure to write in the subject line the name of the volunteer position, either merchandise booth or backstage, which interests you.

Waterfront Blues Festival (gate entry, etc.)

Sign up at waterfrontbluesfest.com/volunteer-signup/

 

CBA Volunteer signup

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your phone number (required)

    Subject (required)

    Your Message

    Cascade Blues Association, Many Opportunities for CBA Volunteers

    Cascade Blues Association, Many Opportunities for CBA VolunteersMany Opportunities for CBA Volunteers to better serve our community and plan upcoming events, the CBA is forming some new committees. If one of these committees piques your interest and you think you might like to volunteer for it, contact any CBA board member for more information. And of course we can always use volunteers at our events.

     

    Journey to Memphis Competition: Greg (lead) We need suggestions for judges as well.

    Journey to Memphis Portland Blues Cruise Fundraiser: Rae Gordon (lead)

    Muddy’s: James, Greg, Randy (co-leads), volunteers Cristina Walker

    December Holiday Party, CBA Fundraiser: Shelley (lead) volunteers Cristina Walker

    International Blues Challenge (Jan. 2020) “Going Away” Fundraiser: Rae Gordon as a co-lead (bands to do their IBC set with several local musicians with IBC experience give feedback). Rae also needs another co-lead to help with Operations.

    Volunteer Coordinator: Richard La Chapelle

    Merchandise Coordinator: Jamey Winchester

    Youth & Dancer Outreach: Daniel Oliver

    Christopher Mesi Scholarship…Your Name here??

    Blues in the Schools…Your Name here??

    Musicians Relief Fund Fundraiser-Shelley (lead)

    You may contact any board member at cascadebluesstaff@gmail.com. Be sure to place in the subject line on your email that you’re invested in a committee position.

    Carvin Jones

    Carvin Jones Buddy Miles called Carvin Jones “The New King of Strings,” and The Cascade Blues Association is proud to announce Jones’ first appearance in Portland at The Big Legrowlski.

    Guitarist magazine ranked Jones as one of the top fifty blues guitarists of all time, and his show, dubbed “The Ultimate Guitar Experience of the Year” will showcase Jone’s extraordinary musicianship.

    While performing in over thirty-seven countries and playing as many as 330 shows a year, Jones has shared the stage and toured with many musical legends including BB King, Santana, Jeff Beck, Albert King, Albert Collins, The Animals, REO Speedwagon, Jimmy Vaughan, Double Trouble, and many more. In September 2016, he appeared on the late night show Radio 3 on Spain’s RTVE National Television which drew 20 million viewers. On June 23, 2016 he performed his biggest show to date in Valladolid, Spain as 60,000 people attended Jones’ 50th Birthday show.

    The Carvin Jones Band website features an extensive tour schedule, and Jones’ guitar licks and showmanship promise to be something we haven’t seen in the NW in a very Long time. Check it out for yourself at www.carvinjones.com and get your soon as this show is sure to sell out. May 11th, Tickets are, general addmission $25 VIP $75, available at www. biglegrowlski.com.

    The Big Legrowlski is located at 812 NW Couch St. Portland, Oregon 97209

    Be sure to keep an eye out on www.CascadeBluesassociation.org and in BluesNotes for special packages, promotions, and interviews with “the new king of strings, Carvin Jones.

     

    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.

    Moxie

    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.

    Thank You Squrl

    Thank You Squrl

    After twenty-seven years of bringing the blues to radio and promoting shows in the Columbia River Gorge, Steve “Squrl” Curley will be retiring from further endeavors at this time. Through his radio program, listeners were exposed to the very best in blues, gospel, soul, zydeco, and American roots music. Since the early 1990s he has hosted shows featuring such national legends as Johnny Copeland, Chris Cain, Kenny Neal, Jimmy Thackery, The Holmes Brothers, Doug MacLeod, Janiva Magness, Tinsley Ellis, Franck “Paris Slim” Goldwasser, Bugs Henderson, and more. He also brought many of our local musicians to the Gorge, with his most recent event this past New Year’s Eve with Lloyd Jones. Thank you Squrl for your many years of work at making the blues vital for everyone.

    Journey To Memphis Competition 2022

    2019 Journey To MemphisIf you want to participate in this year’s Journey To Memphis competition for the chance to represent the Cascade Blues Association and the region at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, you must submit your application packets no later than the end of the CBA monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, April 3. The meeting will be held at The Mission Theater. No late applications will be accepted.

    The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held this year on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at The East Portland Eagles Lodge. 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 the Fourth of July.

    Application packets must include:

    • Entry fee is $25.00
    • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
    • Only acts located within Oregon or Washington states 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 Liquor Commission laws.
    • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band members with whom they won previous rounds. 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, 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.
    Journey To Memphis Competition 2022

    2019 Journey To MemphisThe Journey To Memphis is the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition to select the acts that will represent our organization and region at the 2020 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 on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at The East Portland Eagles Lodge. 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 what you need to do to enter:

    • Entry fee is $25.00
    • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
    • Only acts located within Oregon or Washington states 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 Award 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 with whom they won previous rounds. 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, 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.

    Now you can actually read the entire paper online!!  It takes a little practice but here are some useful tips to be successful.

    1. click the bottom right corner with the little square to view the paper full screen.
    2. to enlarge the print (on your computer) there is a sliding scale on the bottom
    3. If you are on your mobile device – enlarge as you would using 2 fingers
    4. If all else fails – as a member – you should get a copy of the paper in the mail. As a non-member there are papers delivered at a variety of establishments around town. And lastly, there is always the website where articles may be posted.

    Read All of the Digital mags here.