from the Cascade Blues Association
If you’re reading this and you’re a member of the Cascade Blues Association the website now contains your monthly issue of the BluesNotes online. Due to the coronavirus situation and its serious impact on all our lives, we have had to make some difficult and unforeseen decisions. All of the content that is usually printed is now available here on the website by clicking on each heading above for now. The pandemic has led to the state-wide stay at home order, shutting down venues and businesses and preventing gatherings. These circumstances have created a tremendous hardship for local musicians and venues with the loss of performance dates and subsequent loss of income. Please bear with us as we navigate our new reality.
The major consequence of the coronavirus pandemic for the Cascade Blues Association is the cancellation of our monthly membership meetings. Most of our monthly revenue comes from membership, merchandise, and raffle-ticket sales at our meetings, and our advertising income for shows has dried up as well. Further, with no local gigs scheduled, the calendar we provide is basically nonexistent. Without this income, it’s clear we simply cannot afford to print BluesNotes. The cost behind putting the paper together and mailing it would deplete the budget we have for this year long before we even approach the end of December. So, at least for the next couple months, perhaps for however long this pandemic continues, the BluesNotes will only be available online for our members. Once the situation begins to straighten out, we will have to look at how our finances are holding out before we return to printing the paper.
Our general membership meetings are also on hold until the stay-at-home order is lifted and we can again congregate in groups and bars/restaurants are allowed to operate. As we did in April, we have cancelled the meeting scheduled for May. The acts scheduled to perform in May were contacted and have accepted an offer to perform at September’s meeting. Hopefully all will be back to normal, or at least as close to normal as possible, by then. If more meetings need to be cancelled we will let all know in advance.
Thank you for your understanding. But even more, thank you for being Cascade Blues Association members.
– CBA Board of Directors
Due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s announcement cancelling any events or gatherings of 250 people for a four-week period, the Cascade Blues Association’s General Membership Meeting scheduled for April 1 has been cancelled.
This decision was difficult. After the CBA board members discussed the issues and then consulted with the musicians scheduled to perform at the meeting, we determined it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel April’s meeting.
Although our meetings do not usually bring in 250 people, there were many factors we needed to consider when making this decision. Our concern was for CBA members, guests, musicians, the sound crew, our board members, and volunteers, both those for the CBA as well as those for The Eagles. Given the fact that many who attend our meetings fall within the age and at-risk categories health authorities suggests should stay away from large gatherings, we wanted to err on the side of caution and avoid exposing anyone to a potential risk of infection.
Though this decision is disappointing, it is also the right and responsible decision to make at this time.
Due to the cancellation, the Journey To Memphis application deadline which was originally set for the conclusion of the meeting, will be extended for one week until April 7. Entries may be mailed (post-marked no later than April 6) to Journey To Memphis (J2M) c/o Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566, Portland, OR 97228. Or they can be handed over directly to any CBA board member no later than April 7.
Also, the Waterfront Blues Festival volunteer sign-ups normally begins at the April meeting. We apologize for the inconvenience of those planning on doing so at this meeting, but we will continue the process in both May and June.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Plan on joining us at The Eagles Lodge for our monthly General Membership Meeting where you are guaranteed to find some fun times with two sets of blues, a bunch of fun give-aways for our lucky ticket drawings, and good times with special friends. This month we have two acts that we know you’re going to love, so come on out and check them out.
A professional musician for close to 40 years, Thad Beckman has paid his dues on the dusty roads which run from Oregon to California to New Jersey to Texas to Amsterdam to Vienna and points in between. His finely-crafted original songs are the story of life, the voice of modern America…from the growling Delta blues of the Deep South to evocative contemporary folk blues…bound by the common thread of experience gleaned from the road.
Thad Beckman, is a prolific songwriter, having written and produced seven solo albums, whom Tom Russel as called, “One of America’s best guitar players and a damn good songwriter” As a guitarist, Thad Beckman has been hired by Bo Diddley, The Shirelles, Earl Thomas, Tom Russell, and as a bandleader has found himself sharing the stage with such renowned artists as B.B. King, Albert Collins, James Cotton, The Band, Emmylou Harris, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin, Jimmy Webb, and The Flatlanders to name a few. Thad has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman playing guitar for Tom Russell.
Founded by guitarist and band leader Josh Makosky and his high school best friend Rich Staats, Love Sloth is a mutation of their original band August In Blue. Makosky has been playing music since he was five, starting on piano and picking up guitar when he was ten. He studied music at a local community college and a few years later with a desire to play for more than just his friends, he began hitting jams around town and fell in love with the local blues scene. Finding a calling for the blues he started playing regularly with musicians such as Angel Bouchet and Lucy Hammond, then touring with American Idol favorite and super-diva Naomi Tstsuoka and also with his friend, the award-winning Ben Rice.
Although founded as primarily a blues-rock band, Love Sloth, with its own sound has been crafted from many styles, blending the genres of blues and R&B, funk and high-energy rock. Through several line-up changes, the band released their debut recording 2017. Staats ended up moving to Arizona, leaving a vacuum within the group which was filled by Nathan Mayers taking on the second guitar position, with the band rounded out by the amazingly talented Juliet Terrill on bass and Chandler Bowerman holding it all together on drums.
Live onstage is where this band shines. They have a belief in writing fun, relatable songs and strive at delivering a fun and energetic musical experience that will make their audiences want to see them again and again.
The East Portland Eagles Aerie, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, March 4, 7:00 pm. Members always Free, Non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.
The first Wednesday in February means more exciting blues coming your way courtesy of the Cascade Blues Association’s monthly membership meeting at The Eagles Aerie on Hawthorne. Your CBA always brings you the very best in blues and blues-related music in an all-ages friendly venue, and we also strive to offer some familiar musical friends or maybe some that’ll be new to you. These meetings are also entertaining and worth spending a couple hours with us every time out.
Opening the evening this month will be Corvallis’ favorite acoustic bluesters Dave Plaehn and Jeff Hino. This duet hasn’t played for us for several years, but they’re super talented and work in the traditional format of harmonica and National steel guitar, with the occasional banjo. Their repertoire is rooted in bare bones country blues and 2020 marks the 30th anniversary for Dave and Jeff’s musical journey together.
A typical Plaehn and Hino set features traditional blues, originals, and contemporary and creative interpretations of current artists like Taj Mahal, Sonny Landreth, and John Mayall. But Dave and Jeff can just as easily surprise the audience with the high and lonesome sound of a country blues gospel song. It’s a blues-based musical Cuisinart, with an enjoyable and varied blend in every performance.
Plaehn and Hino will certainly get things jumping, and expect the roof to be raised to an even more elevated level following them as Robbie Laws will take the stage. Robbie will be leading a power trio with the combination of blues strength of drummer Eric Ching, keyboardist Ben Partain and Cascade Blues Association Muddy Awards Hall of Famer and the recipient of the “Paul deLay” Lifetime Achievement award guitarist Robbie Laws. Definitely a set that going to cook!
Expect this set to offer selections of bluesy guitar, a touch of funkiness with steady drumming and keyboards holding the groove and bass both at the same time. This is a tight outfit who have played with many of the very best the Northwest has to offer and they work off one another to perfection and they’ll be bringing the goodies to the Eagles to get you all out on the dance floor.
The East Portland Eagles Aerie, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 pm. CBA members always Free, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.
Here it is another year and because New Years Day actually falls on Wednesday 1 this time around, we are pushing our monthly general membership meeting back one week to the 8th. This will allow everybody the opportunity to recuperate from all the partying and football over the previous two days. But it gives us a few extra days to plan ahead to attend the meeting and witness some more fantastic blues to kick off the year just right. Because we plan on celebrating 2020 with you every month of the year in a big way!!
Opening the evening will The Jenny Moriarty Experience (JME), a stylized blues and jazz for the next roaring 20s. The band combines decades of music experience exploring the vast genres of rock, blues, and jazz.
Anybody that has been active in Portland’s Blue’s scene will be familiar with Jenny‘s powerful and expressive vocals as she has performed with many of Portland’s more prominent musicians. JME provides Jenny perhaps her most versatile and expressive vehicle where she can truly display her performance abilities and musicality.
The instrumental aspects of JME are anchored by Steve Maliszewski on bass and Brad Bleidt on piano. Steve displays his incredible musical talents on both upright and electric bass in his ability to creatively provide a solid foundation for the ensemble’s wide array of music but also in his incredible soloing abilities. Brad’s primary piano focus is providing a rich imaginative harmonic interpretation to Jenny’s varied repertoire while injecting complementary solos to round out the ensemble’s stylizing.
Jenny, Steve, and Brad are active performers in Portland’s music venues with other projects such Bedazzle, Beacon Street Titans, and The Mystic Mama Band
For the second set, we’re bringing the kids back to The Eagles. When Generation Headstrong participated in the Journey To Memphis competition here last May, they won everybody’s hearts and brought the crowd to their feet dancing. Expect more of the same as they’ll have an hour long set rather than the timed set allowed by the J2M.
Generation Headstrong is quickly emerging as one of the area’s most explosive and captivating youth rock and blues bands. After playing together in a local music program for two years, this ambitious group took the stage as an official band in February 2019. Not long after, Generation Headstrong competed in the Journey to Memphis Competition, where they earned a chance to represent Cascade Blues Association as the youth act at the 2020 International Blues Competition in Memphis.
Age knows no bounds for this young group of musicians. Their song choices are complex and powerful, with inspiration coming from many diverse genres and artists. Early on as a band, this group gravitated toward rock/metal classics and some progressive rock. However, more recently, they have found a love for the blues, especially songs that have a strong blues-rock vibe. Currently they strive to find rock and blues-rock cover songs to add their twist to, but they are working hard writing some of their own originals to add to their set list soon.
Generation Headstrong’s dynamic rhythm section is made up of two young brothers Jameson and Bennett Fyfe. Jameson, the youngest in the band at nine years old, is the band’s energetic and animated drummer. Bennett, at 11 years old, is the band’s commanding frontman bass player and lead vocalist. At fourteen, Grayson Much consistently shreds lead guitar and sings vocals while the talented Aiden Baird, also fourteen, shares the load of lead/rhythm guitar. They’re ready to light the stages on Beale Street on fire in Memphis, but they’re going to take care of business doing just that here at home first. Don’t miss out!!
The East Portland Eagles Aerie, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, January 8, 7:00 pm. Members always Free (show your current card at the door), non-members $5.00. All ages.
Well, the end of another year is upon us and your CBA has seen a number of changes during that time — moving our memberships meetings from Catfish Lou’s to a temporary home at The Mission Theater, then finding a permanent location at The East Portland Eagles Lodge, along with adding color to BluesNotes and kicking off a Musicians Directory. Our board has grown as well and we’re starting to see the revision of some of our older programs that have been sorely missing for a while, for instance, offering a “Blues in the Schools” grant to Julie Amici in support of her efforts to bring LaRhonda Steele to rural coastal communities hungry for musical programs.
But you all already know all that, so let’s get to the meat and potatoes. That’s our monthly general membership meeting and the great music we’ll be bringing to you. And this month, as usual, we mean great!!
We’ll be starting the night off with Mark Shark. With over forty years of guitar playing experience he brought his unique talents to the Pacific Northwest a few years back. This multi-instrumentalist, performer, composer, author and educator has had the good fortune to share the stage and studio with many of his own personal heroes during his career, including Jackson Browne, Jesse Ed Davis, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, and John Trudell. That right there should be enough to show just what an amazing artist we have in our midst with Mark.
He is currently working on two recordings. The first is titled Wild Seed with John Trudell’s band Bad Dog, featuring songs from the late indigenous performers Trudell and Jesse Ed Davis. He is also finishing up a blues project he started many years ago with Grammy nominee Terry Wilson (Teresa James, Eric Burdon) titled Treasure Room set to be released in 2020. The album will feature an all star line-up with Teresa James, Lloyd Jones, Johnny Lee Schell, Tony Braunegal, Todd Roibinson, Doug Legacy, Gary Ferguson, Joe-Mack MacCarthy, the late Terry Evans, and John “Juke” Logan.
Joining Mark Shark for his performance is Portland horn master Joe-Mack McCarthy, fresh off a lengthy tour with The Proven Ones.
Not to be outdone, the second set of the night will also be a thrill-ride as six-time Muddy Award nominees for the “Lloyd Jones” R&B Act, the Ken DeRouchie Band will ignite the Eagles Lodge with their get down and funky good time music. This 8-piece band runs the gamut playing soul, funk, R&B, and blues, with four-part harmonies and featuring original music from Ken DeRouchie alongside a few handpicked twists on classic tunes. Influences on the band include everything from Aretha Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, Koko Taylor, Steely Dan, Jill Scott, and Galactic.
Top players from the Northwest join DeRouchie, including Northwest soul phenom, Arietta Ward (DooDoo Funk All-stars), long-time KDB bassist Rob Busey (Robbie Laws), virtuoso guitarist Jeff Knudson (Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band), keyboardist Brian Harris (Curtis Salgado), drummer Paul Ansotegui, Pete Peterson on tenor sax and Caleb Denison on trumpet. This band has had the pleasure of opening for such national acts as Cheap Trick, Blood Sweat and Tears, Curtis Salgado, Robben Ford, The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, and Leftover Salmon.
Portland Radio legend Steve Pringle wrote “Ken and his band bring it each and every night. Horns that moan and wail, guitars that grind and soothe and a rhythm section tighter than a frogs ass. The KDB has a story to tell, pull up a chair.”
So don’t be sorry that you miss this month’s membership meeting, haul yourself down to The Eagles and join in on this party in the making.
The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne St, Wednesday, December 4, 7:00 pm. Members are always free (show us your current cards), non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.
The Cascade Blues Association continues our long-standing tradition of bringing great music to our members with our monthly general membership meeting. We’re always striving to offer some of the top talent of our region, favorites and perhaps someone new that will spark your interest to catch at our fine venues in the area.
For October, we are pleased to bring Mojo Holler back to play for us. Mojo Holler weaves threads from mountain ranges to the Mississippi Delta into a tapestry of indie folk rock. Formed as a duo in 2012, “Missi & Mister Baker,” 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.
Lisa Lepine, the late Portland music promotion legend, described the pair: “They weave their dark, modern spirituals from shared roots in magic, ‘mericana, and metaphysics. Mister Baker, like Robert Johnson before him, may have made a deal with the devil — channeling an innate genius through lap steel, slide and dobro. Missi’s earthy voice brings burning intensity to each song. Picture them sitting knee-to-knee on a Southern Delta, watching the dark moon rise and singing from their eternal souls.”
For the second act of the night, we bring the Cascade Blues Association debut of Kim Field and The Perfect Gentlemen. A new, all-star roots-music group fronted by harmonica player and vocalist Kim Field, and a band made up of Alan Hager (guitar and vocals), Whit Draper (guitar and vocals), Albert Reda (bass, keyboards, and vocals), and Ed Pierce (drums and vocals).
The group’s members have performed throughout the United States and Europe at such showcases as Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Canada’s Tremblant Blues Festival, the Lucerne Blues Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, and on the Legendary Blues Cruise. They have shared stages with such rhythm and blues legends as Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Gregg Allman, James Cotton, Otis Rush, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, the Righteous Brothers, Walter Horton, Big Mama Thornton, the Drifters, and the Coasters.
Individually, the members of the Perfect Gentlemen have been honored by the Cascade Blues Association with a total of 27 Muddy Awards for their instrumental prowess and their recordings. Guitarist Alan Hager, bassist/keyboardist Albert Reda, and guitarist Whit Draper have all been inducted in the Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Fame.
With their international reputations as true blues stars, Kim Field and the Perfect Gentleman are sure to quickly establish themselves as one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier R&B acts.
The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, October 2. 7:00 pm. Free for members, $5.00 non-members. All ages.
It may be September, but the summer heat is a long way from being over. Especially when it comes to blues performances in Portland and its region. That’ll certainly be true for the September Cascade Blues Association General Membership Meeting. And to make sure that’s the case we’re bringing back two of our strongest acts over the past few years, both who represented our organization in Memphis and continue to do the Northwest proud every time they take the stage.
Julie Amici and Dean Mueller will be kicking off the meeting with the help of Thad Beckman on guitar. Julie and Dean just recently finished their upcoming album “I Loved You So,”and since the early feedback has been so strong, they’re holding off officially releasing the album while they prepare to launch it nationally. Many of the tunes from the album will be presented during their set at the meeting, giving the CBA membership early access their original music.
This pair has been nominated for three Muddy Awards and were the winners of the 2017 Solo/Duo Competition for Journey To Memphis. Much of the material they developed for the International Blues Challenge made it onto the new record giving this Americana album a distinct blues flavor.
Julie’s strong yet sweet voice is reminiscent of the 50’s when female singers ruled the world of music, a time when jazz and blues co-mingled at the height of popular culture. Her repertoire combines the jazz of Billie Holiday with the soul of Nina Simone and the sophisticated country of Patsy Cline. Dean’s bass playing is rooted in the blues chops he earned playing with some of the finest blues legends in America and touring with the award winning international act, The Insomniacs. With this deep background of musical taste and expertise, Julie and Dean have developed their own unique style that is hard to define, yet intimately familiar and broadly approachable to a wide varied audience.
For the second set of the night, we will be bringing back Sister Mercy. Fonted by the amazing vocal prowess of April Brown, they’ve quickly become one of Portland’s favorite blues band. Winner of the Journey to Memphis in both 2015 and 2017, Sister Mercy went on to compete in in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and placed in the semi-finals in 2016 and 2018. Their latest album “Diamonds” has steadily been gaining critical international acclaim for the band’s powerhouse vocals and original songwriting.
Vocal harmonies are the key to the unique quality of the band with Scott Garcia on vocals and guitar, Roger Espinor on vocals and drums, John Webb, vocals and bass and Debby Espinor, keys and vocals.
Nominated for the Best New Band and Best Contemporary Blues Band Muddy Awards by the CBA, Sister Mercy will make you want to dance the days and nights away. Expect another album in 2020 as the band is busy in the studio writing and recording new material. And expect an fun, entertaining evening as they take the The Garages Stage.
The summer is in full swing and the Cascade Blues Association has been present at a number of happenings all over the city this year. One spot that you can always count on us being at is our own monthly membership meetings, where you’re certain to be entertained by some of the finest blues artists in the region. Whether well-known musicians or new acts about to break out, we’re here to introduce, or re-introduce, this talent to you. This month however, we do not need to introduce anyone as our two acts have made their names highly regarded in our home town and well beyond.
Opening the night will be one of the world’s finest acoustic guitar players. Mary Flower has toured the world and brings smiles to all who listen to her exquisite playing and witness her charming stage personality. Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of inventive, dexterous, and mesmerizing artistry. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story, and her precise and well-crafted material.
Originally scheduled to perform for us last February, Mary was forced to cancel due to illness, but it works out all the better to have her play for us now as she has recently dropped her latest recording, Livin’ With The Blues Again, on the Little Village Foundation label. The album is filled with new material that will become instant favorites alongside her deep catalog of brilliant musicianship that have long been praised by fans and critics alike.
The second set of the night will be in the hands of popular harmonica playing bandleader Franco & The Stingers. Since breaking into the Portland blues scene in the mid-80s, Paletta has become one of the mainstays of the city’s blues community. His dynamic harp style, strong vocals and outstanding songwriting reflect his personality and make him instantly recognizable on stage.
There have been many variations of The Stingers over the years, and the band has twice represented the Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The current line-up may be the best yet, with Tom Gilberts’ exceptional guitar work and the dynamic rhythm section held down by drummer Chandler Bowerman and bassist Timmer Blakely. This powerful set is likely to light the East Portland Eagles Lodge on fire and bring the roof down — in a good way of course. Be prepared to party!
The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne St. Wednesday, August 7. 7:00 pm. Members are always Free, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.