Dennis Lusk

Dennis LuskBorn and raised in Oklahoma City, Dennis Lusk took organ lessons from age nine until sixteen. “I joined my first band in Oklahoma City when I was thirteen. I played several nights per week from age sixteen until age twenty-four, when I left Oklahoma. Mostly, I played in OKC with the band ‘Squatty and The Bottys.’ We performed in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas on the weekends. During the week we played all five nights, for months at a time, at the local Hilton and Holiday Inns. I can actually thank Grant Perry, aka ‘Squatty’ for my transitioning from a Farfisa Combo Compact to Hammond B-3. Because I was so self-conscious and embarrassed at having to do dance steps with the rest of the band, Grant said if I bought a B-3 and two Leslie speakers he would let me sit down,” Dennis said.
“When I was younger, I just wanted to play music, but my family convinced me that I needed a ‘real job’, so I stopped playing music completely after finishing college. I moved from Oklahoma just days after graduation. Since I moved to Seattle without knowing anyone there or having anywhere to stay, I sold everything I owned that wouldn’t fit in my VW Scirocco. Of course, this included my beloved B-3 and two Leslie speakers.”
Dennis moved to Portland around 1986. After an extensive break from performing, about 34 years, Dennis started taking lessons from Dover Weinberg about eight years ago. That got him back gigging. “I began playing blues in Portland just over seven years ago when Kevin Selfe finally convinced me to come to the jam he was hosting at The Refectory.”
Dennis worked in sales and marketing jobs in telecommunications and financial services. “Last year I was playing a lot of gigs with Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes. So, in December I retired early with the dream of getting more than three hours sleep after a gig before having to get up and go to my day job. I still wake up after only three hours sleep, but I’m really enjoying being able to roll over and go back to sleep instead going to work and needing at least two pastries and four cups of coffee to get me through the morning,” he said.
When asked how he would describe his music, Dennis said, “That is a tough one for me. Since I am part of the rhythm section, I try to listen to what is being played, then find a place that I can fit in by playing to the style of the song and complimenting or reinforcing another instrumentalist or vocalist harmonically or rhythmically; even laying out completely if that is what seems appropriate to support the other musicians.”
“I played Hammond B-3 in bands back in Oklahoma, having bought my first B-3 in 1974. Although I had two Leslie 122RV speakers on stage, they weren’t miked and we were an eight-piece soul band, so I got used to being in the background and not fully cutting through the mix. People would often come up to me and say: “I can’t hear you.” I’d tell them to listen to what happens when I stop playing. The organ was there to fill things out and there was a noticeable hole when I quit playing.”
Musical Influences
In his early teens Dennis enjoyed listening to Felix Cavaliere, Billy Preston and Steve Winwood. “I also listened to a lot of Booker T. Jones and Jimmy Smith. I started listening to Mike Finnegan when he was with The Serfs and still enjoy listening to his music. More recently, I’d like to add Big John Patton, Baby Face Willette, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Freddie Roach along with Bruce Katz and Dave Limina to the list of influential keyboardists.”
“There have also been a number of musicians in the Portland music scene who have laid the groundwork for my returning to music, either influencing me through their own style of playing or for the encouragement and advice they have given. There are too many to mention individually, but the two that actually got me back on stage, after 34 years of not playing, stand at the top of that list and they are Dover Weinberg and Kevin Selfe. Also, two friends I met at my very first CBA meeting were Linda Myers and Harvey Wicklund. They were kind enough to let me share the stage on a couple of gigs when I was first getting started and have always been very supportive as well.”
Although Dennis hasn’t won any individual awards, he did have the good fortune of receiving a 2016 Muddy Award in the Performance of the Year category for his participation in the Kevin Selfe “Buy My Soul Back” CD Release Party at the Bossanova Ballroom.
Musicians Dennis Has Played With
Dennis said he’s had the pleasure of playing with many top local musicians, whether sitting in at jams, or playing some gigs. “For the sake of obligatory name dropping, I’ll mention just a few of the local notables that I’ve been able to join on stage for a few tunes or more. In no particular order I have played with the likes of Mitch Kashmar, Lisa Mann, Michael Osborn, Jimi Bott, Curtis Salgado, Ben Jones, David Stassens, and Brian Foxworth. There are so many other talented keyboard players in town, I feel very fortunate to have been able to share the stage with those mentioned as well as many others I’ve been given the honor of joining on stage.”
“The band I’ve had the closest association with has to be Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes. Kevin, along with his band mates, Don Shultz and Allen Markel have really helped me immeasurably get to where I am as a player today. I’m not really sure where I am as a player right now, but, depending upon your perspective, you can either thank or blame these fellas for bringing me to this place in time musically.”
“Second to Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes has to be AC Porter and the Livewires. AC has graciously allowed me to share the stage with him as well as his bandmates, Timmer Blakely, John Moore and Whit Draper, on many occasions at The Blue Diamond. I’ve also had the opportunity to play some gigs with Harvey Brindell and The Tablerockers and, most recently, with PDX Social Club. Last year I was a member of the house band at the Blue Monday jam put on by Franco Paletta.”
Although he doesn’t have any CD’s he did record enough songs for a CD several months ago at Roseleaf Recording, strictly for the purpose of having a demo to possibly market an organ combo. Those songs can be found on his ReverbNation page. “I would certainly like to personally acknowledge the musicians who performed on the demo I created. They are: Jimi Bott, drums; David Stassens, guitar; and Peter Moss, saxophone and flute. All are outstanding musicians who greatly helped to make my first recording session an enjoyable learning experience,” Dennis said.

Mojo Holler

Mojo Holler“It started in August 2011. On our first date, a huge meteor fell right over the Willamette River as we were going for the first kiss. Not kidding! So, we took it as a sign and started making music together that very night,” said Missi Hasting of Mojo Holler. Some may remember them as Missi & Mister Baker, but since 2016, they’ve been known as Mojo Holler. “It was really just a name change. We wanted a name that was easier to remember and that would allow us to broaden to more band members,” Missi said.

Mojo Holler performs as both a duo and trio. The duo consists of Missi Hasting as lead singer, on rhythm guitar, or on washboard, and John Baker on vocals and on lap steel and guitars. As a trio, they add Eric Shirazi on vocals and bass guitar. “His addition to the mix increased our ability to explore bluegrass harmonies. His bass guitar adds an infectious groove.”

Missi describes their music as “roots Americana, but it’s a weave. There are a lot of threads: Mississippi Delta blues and Appalachian folk, southern outlaw country, rhythm and blues, and plain ol’ rock-n-roll. We like to believe we’re also weaving in some magic by trying to stay focused on love and respect. We see our shows as a chance for folks to let go of the frustrations and negativity that seem to be prevailing in our culture, and just enjoy the music and remember to love each other.”

The pair released their debut album, Where Black Ravens Flew, in late 2014, and were tapped to showcase at South By Southwest in 2016. Its founder, Louis Black, said of the pair: “Why Missi had to move to Portland from Austin in order for The Bakers to channel their inner Mississippi Fred McDowell, I do not know. But she did, and they did.” The album combines complex rock guitar and country stylings with rich vocals that hearken Joplin and Fleetwood Mac.

Missi and John are both Oregon transplants. Missi was born and raised in Maryville, Tennessee. She later lived in Austin, Texas, where she raised her children, then she moved to Portland in 2011. John was born and raised in Upland, California, forty miles east of Los Angeles, and he moved to Portland in 1991.

John and Missi were destined to become performers. Johns says, “I became infatuated with pop music, particularly Elton John, around the fourth grade. I was obsessed with him—not just the music, but also his delivery. I started taking piano lessons and did pretty well, not because I was learning theory, but because I could imitate Elton. At the end of sixth grade, I was voted ‘Most Likely To Be Elton John’ in the yearbook.”

“I played rock guitar in high school. But in 1987 I read an article in the Los Angeles Times about Robert Johnson, and that was a huge turning point for me—suddenly, the origins of rock and roll were clearer. I went that day to Rhino Records and walked away with a stack of Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf LPs.”

“The slide was my language. I knew that voice and I could speak it, too. I came to Portland in ‘91 and was at the Blues Fest that year checking out Paul deLay. I embraced the blues scene immediately and started playing in bands here and there.”

“In 2001, I made a replica of a Hawaiian-style lap steel guitar called a Weissenborn. Ten years later, I met Missi and started listening to her songs, and I thought, they’re tailor made for that guitar. We constructed our initial sound around the slide, and it has become a signature for us.”

Missi talks about her first love of music, “From early on, I remember listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top Forty every Sunday for three hours. God’s honest truth: I whispered ‘I’m gonna be on there someday. I’m gonna be on there someday,’ while I listened and sang along.”

“So, for much of my childhood, my exposure to music was through radio and my parents’ LPs. My father was a fan of rhythm and blues, and I was deeply enamored with Gladys Knight. After my parents’ divorce, my mom married an acoustic guitarist with a fabulous talent for vocals and harmony. I sat at the feet of some amazing musicians in our living room who played folk and southern rock, and that’s where I learned to harmonize.”

“Later, my stepfather made a change and entered seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. I was immersed in church music, and spent twenty years singing in religious projects. Gospel music, combined with a lot of country/western and Americana, really paints my voice the color it is. I’ve got Tennessee and Jesus in my DNA, and you can hear it.”

“I have performed in some form or fashion my whole life, whether in music, improvisational comedy, musical theater, public speaking, or as a fill-in radio host on a tiny AM gospel station.”

“Austin, Texas taught me respect for blues music and musicians. In Austin, live music is everywhere, and I learned a lot by just sitting quietly (and sometimes even crying) while listening to these diverse, legendary artists like Jon Dee Graham, Pinetop Perkins, Marcia Ball, and Slaid Cleaves. There they were, playing for dimes in small rooms, and I got to be right up close and personal. I learned, by watching them, that making music is something you have to commit to do, whether you make some money or not. So I just wrote my songs and waited for the day my kids were grown up so I could live on less money and do music without harming anybody else in the process.”

John lists his musical influences as Ry Cooder, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, Son House, and Reverend Gary Davis.

Missi said, “I’m a big fan of Mississippi Fred McDowell and his wife, Annie McDowell. Annie doesn’t get a lot of attention because she stayed behind the scenes. But the woman could really sing the blues and gospel, and her voice was like a beautiful cat’s. Fred was playing gospel in the mornings and blues at night. Annie was singing a lot of those gospel songs along with him.”

“Patty Griffin’s 1996 album Living With Ghosts shook me to the core from a songwriting perspective. She taught me that I can tell the whole truth if I’m willing to wail and not be afraid of myself. Sometimes, the truth ain’t pretty, but it needs to be told. I’ve had some shit happen (including a child who was in prison for many years) and writing songs and singing lets me tell my stories without being interrupted,” she said.

A new album is in the works for 2018. Missi says the new songs are acoustic. “Our last album was plugged in with a lot of electric vibes. This one is more porch style.”

This is an act you need to put on your list of “must see.” For more information and a listing of upcoming shows, visit

Thank You To Holiday Party Volunteers

Thank YouOops! We missed posting this last month, but we didn’t want to overlook everybody who helped out at the Cascade Blues Association’s Concert in the Park in August. Without our volunteers we cannot accomplish a lot of the necessary activities that go on at our events and we want to throw out a huge thank you to all! You’re all the best!!

Thank you: Al Raines, Bonita Davis, Brian Olsen, Carol Hamley, Danny Knoll, Holly Thomas, Jon Pierce, Kathy Rankin, Larry Riche, Mark Rankin, Mark Von Presentin, Pat Rolsing, Priscilla Miller, Ron Beed, Terry Nolan, Vince Rolsing, and Will Crowe.

Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival

Vancouver Wine & Jazz FestivalBy Jeff LeVine

Every year for the last 20 years, Bravo! Northwest has hosted the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival as a benefit to support its concert ensembles and concert series. True to the vision of the organizers, this is a world class cultural event. And it is just the other side of the mighty Columbia River in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

Granted, the traffic over the bridge of the clods can be an impediment. The trip up for the Friday night show took me 90 minutes. Still, this gem of a festival is right in our back yard and gets very little coverage in Portland. Now the Cascade Blues Association was hip to the event this year, with a staffed tent selling memberships and CBA swag.

For blues festival lovers, this spectacular event offers top stars, with few crowds in a shaded comfortable park with very reasonable ticket prices.

The festival features jazz and blues starts, here is breakdown to the 2017 blues shows.

Ruthie Foster
Headlining Friday night Ruthie’s trio brought her unique mix of blues and gospel to the ‘couve. Ruthie opened with songs of devotion and praise and the “Promise of a Brand New Day.” Her “Small Town Blues” brought the dancers out. Just when I thought this was all about gospel, Ruthie went back to the blues roots with Mississippi John Hurt’s “Richland Women Blues” and a modern cover “When It Don’t Come Easy.” And once again Ruthie switches styles and plays a jazzed up version of “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. The fans were out in force, and I could see why! The show is uplifting and covers the timeless praise and pain of the blues. If you have not listened to Ruthie, give her a try!

Shemekia Copeland
Saturday afternoon featured a lady with blues legacy. Shemekia is the daughter of Johnny Copeland and shared several tales of growing up Copeland in Harlem when blues was out and hip-hop reigned supreme. Two fine guitar players and a bass and drum rhythm section backed Shemekia . Shemekia is promoting her new CD Outskirts of Love and opened with the rocking title track. Following was a very dark song called “Cross-Bone Beach”, which tells a scary crime story. Shemekia followed with a song that hits close to home for many, she couldn’t find love and wound up “Married to the Blues” featuring a clean guitar solo. Shemekia covered one of her daddy’s songs, about the devil. Then informed us she was a full service blues singer, singing about the lord and about the devil. Shemekia brought it down with “Salt in My Wounds” and I felt the deep sadness of the song. She covered several of her father’s songs “Circumstances” and “Ghetto Child” about a boy who couldn’t go to school because he had no shoes. The Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival does offers a chance to meet some of the artists. I got a chance to speak to Shemekia for a few minutes and she recounted the time her father brought home the Grammy for the album Showdown (with Albert Collins and Robert Cray).

Ronnie Baker Brooks
Sunday afternoon brought my favorite show of the festival with another legacy. Ronnie is the son of Lonnie Brooks. Ronnie lead the group on the Gibson 339 guitar and was backed by an amazing keyboard player and bass and drum. Chicago electric blues is my favorite. Ronnie opened with “I’ll Play the Blues for You” just as sultry as the original with an amazing organ solo. Ronnie was promoting the Times Have Changed album, co-written by Big Head Todd. “Doin’ Too Much” featured a modern chord progression, but Ronnie’s solo was pure Chicago. Ronnie covered several of the blues forefathers with a John Lee Hooker tribute and covers of Howlin Wolf and a fantastic version of “Let Me Love You Baby”. Ronnie was my favorite performer. As blues lover’s we can listen to the old records, or we can listen to rocked out versions of the old songs. Ronnie is one of the few performers I’ve heard who offers a truly updated version of the Chicago blues with the passion and the pain adapted for today.

John Mayall
John was the closing act for the festival. Sadly, he exposed one of the weaknesses of the event. The sound check took 45 minutes for a trio. John Mayall is not young, he was a very early British Invasion blues star. His voice was creaky, but his harmonica playing was as tight as ever. John switched between two keyboards, harmonica and guitar. He played his own songs like “Moving Grovin Blues” and covers like Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me.” John closed the show with an awesome version of “Congo Square”. John did come back for an encore and played his big hit “Room to Move.” This was the highlight of his show.

So if you have the chance next summer, try to catch the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival. You are sure to catch some excellent acts in a very enjoyable park with none of the crowds we have at the waterfront.

2021 Best Self-Produced CD Competition

If you’re planning on submitting your original, self-produced CD release for consideration to represent the Cascade Blues Association in The Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD Competition, you must have your copy delivered to us no later than the October General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, October 4 at Catfish Lou’s.

Since 2005, The Blues Foundation has held an annual competition to recognize excellence in independent blues recordings. The Best Self-Produced CD competition is open to affiliated blues societies from around the world to submit one entry each, preferably selected by a regional competition. The Cascade Blues Association has taken part in this event since its inception, including having the overall winner chosen in 2011 with Joe McMurrian’s Get Inside This House.

All bands and musicians are welcome to enter with the exception of artists who have been nominated for or received a Blues Music Award or recordings released on labels that have been nominated or received a Blues Music Award. No compilation discs are accepted. The CBA will only consider artists from Oregon, Washington, or Idaho and only CDs released after November 1, 2016.

Entries will be judged by a committee and will be based on the same criteria that The Blues Foundation will later use in their own judging. These are: Blues Content,  Musical Performance, Audio Quality and Production Value of the Recording, Professionalism, and Visual Appearance of Cover Art and Design, and Credits and Liner Note Information.

After submissions from each affiliated blues society have been received, The Blues Foundation will conduct judging in three stages, with the first two rounds being conducted by a select group of radio/print media people. The finalists will be announced a week prior to the 34th annual International Blues Challenge and the winning recording will be named at the IBC finals in Memphis on January 20, 2018.

Entries can also be mailed to: BSPCD c/o Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566, Portland, Oregon 97228, but still must be received by the October 4 deadline date.

The Randy Morrison Band

The Randy Morrison Band is one of the best in the Portland area. They proved that by being one of four finalists in the 2017 Journey to Memphis competition. The band consists of Randy Morrison on guitar and vocals, Steve “Midnight” Anderson on guitar and vocals, Laura Petch on bass and vocals, and Dusty Hill on drums. Everybody in the band is self-taught for the most part, though all have taken lessons from time to time.

Music was a part of Randy’s upbringing—singing and playing violin from an early age. He picked up a guitar in the ninth grade and has been performing off and on, both in bands and solo, for over 35 years.

Steve and Laura are lifelong musicians and have been playing together for 36 years, although not continuously. At times, both have played in separate bands. They played with Dusty in a previous band called Midnight Blue here in Portland for three or four years.

Dusty has studied with the best and toured with various groups such as The Coasters and The Drifters. He was also the drummer for the popular Portland band The Sleazy Pieces. He has a solid background playing rock, country, top 40, and jazz.

But here’s the real story of the band:

Randy met Laura and Steve at a camping trip about three years ago. A few months later they decided they should do a band thing. After 6 months, and a few drummers, they got Dusty on board and haven’t looked back!

As a youngster growing up, Randy had a phase where he wanted to be a magician. Later, as his tastes refined, he either wanted to be a part time camp counselor or maybe a game show host. “Not landing either of those gigs, I settled on a hitch in the US Air Force, bought my tobacco sunburst SG, as soon as they would give me a loan, and started jamming with other guys on base. That’s when I first thought it would be cool to play music for a living,” explained Randy.

Laura started playing guitar when she was in fourth grade. Her grade school music teacher would accompany her on the standup bass. That’s when she got the taste of what it is like to play with other people. Her first big performance was at her grade school talent show in the fifth grade where she took second place (Lisa took first), playing and singing “Four Strong Winds.” She kept at the guitar and played her first paying gig in 1981 in John Day with Steve. Steve had an old Fender Precision bass and suggested Laura learn to play it. Three days later Laura played bass at their first duo gig in Mt. Vernon.

Steve has always wanted to be a professional musician from the time he first picked up a guitar when he was 12. He played his first paying gig at 13. He went on to live and play in Vegas before he hit the road for seven years playing in the Western states. Thereafter he settled in Oregon.

Day Jobs

When asked if they had day jobs, Randy commented that “Day jobs are a fact of life. It’s expensive to play music!”

Randy works as a Quality Manager in a precision machining and sheet metal manufacturing environment. “I measure cool stuff using a lot of various cool stuff.
I’ve been in precision manufacturing for 30 plus years,” he said.

Steve became legally blind a few years ago, so he is retired on disability.

Laura is Director of Human Resources at a large Portland law firm and has been working in the legal field for 25 years.

Dusty is a bus driver for the Beaverton School District.

Musical Influences

Randy–Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, lots of rock guys, and some singer-songwriters. “My favorite being Shawn Mullins. But the guy that made me want to play bluesy funky guitar stuff was Donald Kinsey from The Kinsey Report. That guy squeezed more tone and soul out of an old Peavey Classic and a beat up Epiphone Les Paul than I ever heard. No effects at all. Guitar, cord, amp. Vocally, I love killer ‘feel singers.’ Besides Daryl Hall and Curtis, one of my favs is Marc Broussard. Dude is amazing!”

Steve—All the Kings and all the Alberts, Little Feat, The Band, high powered soul like Tower of Power and Cold Blood. Of course the post-war blues giants like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

Laura—Allman Brothers and Barry Oakley particularly. Also Katie Webster, Etta James, and Koko Taylor.

Randy describes their musical style as a combination of blues, R&B and soul, with a hint of a jazz vibe here and there just for good measure. “We are a very vocal band so there are lots of solid harmonies as well as some pretty catchy melodic and lyrical hooks. It’s bluesy, it’s funky, and it’s fun. And we have fun playing it!”


The band is in the finishing stages of their first CD project. They hope to have it out early this fall.

Other Projects Band Members Have Been Involved In

After playing in a local rock band for a few years, Randy played with Rae Gordon in Rae and The Rebounders, back when she was just starting out. After that, he focused on solo acoustic stuff until the inception of the Randy Morrison Band.

Steve played with the Arnold Brothers, Coasters, Sheila Wilcoxon, Lee Blake, and Midnight Blue.

Laura also played with Midnight Blue, and with Paulette Davis, one of the original members of NW Women Rhythm and blues.

More Information

This band of veterans are a site to behold. Check out their schedule and get out and see them live. For more about The Randy Morrison Band and upcoming gigs, visit

The Lightning Kings

The Lightning KingsDid each of you always want to perform professionally?

Every musician in this group was drawn to music through their passion. A testament to the level of interest in the music. Music is clearly in every one of their blood.

Do each of you have day jobs?

The members of the Lightning Kings, and extended members, possess jobs across the professional spectrum, except for Thomas—music is his life and his life’s work.

Who has influenced your music?

All of the musicians in the band are professional musicians so, as you may imagine, there are way too many to list.

Thomas’ influences are wide, but he always credits his fifth grade music teacher the most. If it was not for his teacher, Dorothy Kunkel, and a then, well-funded school music program, he may have never started.

How would you describe your music?

I think Terry Robb, the Grammy nominated producer, Oregon Music Hall of Famer, and 19-time Muddy Award recipient described our music the best. The Lightning Kings is a “unique blend of classic blues, rock and funk. Albert King meets Led Zeppelin and Earth Wind and Fire. Passionate playing and original songwriting with strong arrangements.” We just call it blues fueled rock de-funk.

Did you have any formal training or self-taught?

The entire horn section are all trained and educated musicians that read and write music, as well as Thomas and Rich. Both Thomas and Rich attended and completed multiple music programs in separate colleges. The other performers in the Lightning Kings have similar stories and backgrounds.

What CD’s do you have out?

Our current CD is The Road is My Throne.

Music and lyrics written by Thomas. Ryan’s song and additional arrangements written by Rich Petko. Horn arrangements by Terry Baber. Produced by Thomas Andersen. Engineered and co-produced by Tom Van Riper at Lost Studios. Mixed by Terry Robb and Tom Van Riper and Mastered by Cass Anawaty at Sunbreak Music.

Any more CD’s in the works.

Thomas has a deep catalog of original songs that he will be revamping along with Rich Petko’s original song and arrangement work. The Lightning Kings plan to be back in the studio early next year for their second CD release in spring or summer 2018.

Who have you played with?

The combined members have been in numerous bands, local and national and currently also play in a number of other bands of different styles. Too many to mention.

Are there any former band members you want to mention?

Ryan Petersen was the original drummer. Tragically, Ryan passed away suddenly during the recording of the album The Road is My Throne. It was a devastating blow to the group, but as a testament to Ryan’s talent all of Ryan’s tracks appear on the album as first takes. The album is dedicated to him and his drumming expertise. Knowing Ryan would want the band to keep going, Tom, Matt and Rich decided to continue, recruiting Seth Troublefield to join on drums.

Any other comments:

The Lightning Kings is very grateful for the opportunities the CBA has given them and all the support they have received from the blues community. We would be nothing without our fans and will continue to give all we can to them.

For a list of current shows, find information at

2021 Best Self-Produced CD Competition

Best Self-Produced CD CompetitionSince 2005, The Blues Foundation has held an annual competition to recognize excellence in independent blues recordings. The Best Self-Produced CD competition is open to affiliated blues societies from around the world to submit one entry each, preferably selected by a regional competition. The Cascade Blues Association has taken part in this event since its inception, including having the overall winner chosen in 2011 with Joe McMurrian’s Get Inside This House.
The CBA is now accepting submissions for this year’s Best Self-Produced CD competition. All bands and musicians are welcome to enter with the exception of artists who have been nominated for or received a Blues Music Award or recordings released on labels that have been nominated or received a Blues Music Award. No compilation discs are accepted. The CBA will only consider artists from Oregon, Washington, or Idaho and only CDs released after November 1, 2016.
Entries will be judged by a committee and will be based on the same criteria that The Blues Foundation will later use in their own judging. These are: Blues Content, Musical Performance, Audio Quality and Production Value of the Recording, Professionalism, and Visual Appearance of Cover Art and Design, and Credits and Liner Note Information.
After submissions from each affiliated blues society have been received, The Blues Foundation will conduct judging in three stages, with the first two rounds being conducted by a select group of radio/print media people. The finalists will be announced a week prior to the 34th annual International Blues Challenge and the winning recording will be named at the IBC finals in Memphis on January 20, 2018.
All entries for the CBA must be received no later than the October 4 membership meeting at The Melody Ballroom. Entries can be mailed to: BSPCD c/o Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566, Portland, Oregon 97228 or can be delivered in person at the August, September, or October general membership meetings.

Annual CBA Member Concert

The First Annual CBA Member Concert@the Crossings on August 6th should be a fantastic way to spend a lovely summer day.
WHERE: Columbia Crossings located at 515 N. E. Tomahawk Island Drive
WHEN: August 6 12PM – 5PM
WHO: Members Only. A Family membership consists of 2 adult and 2 children living in the same household.
LINEUP: Terry Robb, Billy Dee & The Hoodoos, Tracy Fordice Band, Franco Paletta & The Stingers, and The Thunder Brothers
By now you should all be aware of the new format for this event. As in past years, we will offer limited beer, wine, sodas, and water on site. Dan from Dano’s Dogs will be offering food for sale. Mimicking the local Concerts in the Park format members will need to bring their own food to the event. We want to thank those members who have expressed understanding the reason for this change. We are aware that some members aren’t too pleased with this change and honestly we all feel somewhat disappointed that it has had to be modified this way. Basically it boils down to finances and people power. This is the most expensive event for us to host and we just do not have the funds. But even more difficult is the setup, preparation and tear down for this. As you know – we consistently ask for volunteers and we just don’t get enough help to continue to keep the format that we have done in the past. The 5 person board is stretched too thin. That being said – there is nothing stopping any of the members to step up and organize their own pot luck experience. If someone wants to organize and be responsible for setting up a pot luck – feel free to contact Wendy Schumer – she can send out a notice in the email blast. You can reach Wendy here:
As in past years – this is a MEMBERS ONLY event. A family membership permits 2 adults and 2 children living in the same household. There will be a charge for additional children. CBA membership will be available for purchase at the event. So bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic basket and join us for a fabulous day of good friends and some killer blues.

Terry Currier Day

Terry Currier DayMayor Ted Wheeler issued a Proclamation designating August 12, 2017, as “Terry Currier Day” throughout the City of Portland. The official announcement was made on July 4th at the Waterfront Blues Festival, prior to a set of music by Duffy Bishop.
As the Proclamation notes: “Terry Currier, owner of Portland, Oregon’s long-serving, independent, and iconic Music Millennium record store for over thirty years has provided tireless, unrivaled support and assistance to all facets of the renowned and well-established Portland music community, including musicians, venues and events…. Ted Wheeler proclaims August 12th to Terry Currier Day in Portland and encourages all residents to observe this day.”
Currier’s list of accomplishments is a long one. He began his career in 1972 as a clerk then buyer then district manager for DJ’s Sound City in the Northwest and Hawaii. He joined the Music Millennium staff in 1984 as a manager and bought the business in 1996. As the store flourished and rode the waves of format changes and economic upheaval, Currier ran Burnside Records and co-founded Burnside Distribution, a company that has helped thousands of musicians nationwide to reach a broader public. Away from the store, he has served on the boards of Cascade Blues Association, Portland Jazz Festival, and the Grammy’s Pacific Northwest Chapter of NARAS, Coalition of Independent Music Stores, and co-founded the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2003. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Terry Currier has supported all genres of music or 40 years and even brought the phrase “Keep Portland Weird” to Oregon. Last month the national Music Business Association presented its prestigious Independent Spirit Award to longtime member Terry Currier in Nashville, and now, on August 12th the City of Portland will honor him as well.
The Cascade Blues Association is honored to have a long-time friend in Terry Currier. He has been a part of the organization since the beginning. One of our longest and most important and loyal supporters, a recipient of two Back What You Believe In Muddy Awards and an inductee into the Cascade Blues Association Lifetime Achievement. We congratulate Terry on an honor more than deserved!