Membership Meeting Cancelled

Due to the Waterfront Blues Festival occurring the first week of July, the Cascade Blues Association General membership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at The East Portland Eagles Lodge at 7:00 pm. Note that we’re meeting on Thursday, not Wednesday, for July’s meeting only. In August we’ll be back to our regular Wednesday evening schedule.

We’re sure that after a couple days off from the blues festival you’re going to be ready for more music, so come out to The Hawthorne Eagles Lodge for a couple fun sets of blues — it’s the right way to kick off your weekend a day early.

Our good friends David Pinsky and Phil Newton will be driving up from Medford to bring you a traditional acoustic guitar and harmonica performance. Longtime friends David and Phil have been a major part of the Southern Oregon Blues scene for over thirty years and have joined forces as an acoustic/electric duo. David’s propulsive guitar, welded with Phil’s harmonica chops, offer a steady groove reminiscent of the 1960s  Chicago style duets. The two on occasion will also employ a twin harp attack. Both David and Phil bring decades of vocal experience, with David concentrating on his original compositions and Phil interpreting Blues and roots. David and Phil are also past winners of the Journey to Memphis competition and have represented The Cascade Blues Association in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge. Dave has also represented The CBA as a solo performer. They have released two CDs together and are also committed to Blues education and teaching Blues to local kids to keep the Blues alive in the tradition of the great Delta masters.

Photo by Jim Dorothy

For the second set, we welcome the Pat Stilwell Band. Formed in 2010, the band is a solid group of journeymen musicians that possess a great musical chemistry. The band is led by Pat Stilwell. Pat has lived in many places across the country, picking up musical flavors from each of his stops along the way, and has fronted a number of bands including the popular Seattle-based band The Cyclones. Since moving to Portland in 2009, he has been making his mark on the local music scene with his innovative guitar work, soulful vocals, and skillfully crafted original songs.  His playing and songwriting reflect a deep connection with the blues, infused with the many influences that have informed his style.  In addition to his skills as a guitarist, Pat is also an accomplished blues violinist.

Band members include keyboardist Michael McGinty. Trained in his youth on trumpet and jazz piano he has performed in rock, soul, and fusion groups from New England to the Virgin Islands. While living in San Diego he worked with renowned vocalist Michelle Lundeen. Now in Portland he has played with various groups including Mr. Misu and Dept. of R&B.

Drummer Doug Adair has paid his dues with just about every genre there is, including rock, blues, funk, and country.  Playing professionally from the 70’s on, and aside from the Pat Stilwell Band he currently performs and fills in with a number of local artists including Kenny Lavitz, Ken Brewer, Rae Gordon, and Ben Rice.

The newest addition to the band Kirk Byant, an in-demand top level bassist who has travelled the globe touring in various high-profiled bands, garnering five Grammy nominations along the way with Bay Area jazz group Second Nature. While living in the bay area, Kirk has performed with a musical who’s who of that region for three decades, with experiences ranging from rock to jazz to blues, and everything in between.

Pat Stilwell is also celebrating the release of his new CD, Tales From The Riverside. Expect to hear new music from the recording and other favorites.

The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne St., Thursday, July 11. 7:00 pm. Members are Free, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.

Membership Meeting Cancelled

What a terrific turn-out we had for our initial General Membership Meeting at The Eagles last month — so many people we have not seen for a long time and many first timers, too. Bringing music back to inner South East Portland looks like it will be a very good thing indeed for all. Well, when you have great crowds, then you definitely need to bring in some great music to entertain them as well. And we’re planning on doing just that every month.

General Membership Meeting - James clemSo, for June we’re bringing back a long-time friend who hasn’t played for us in some time. James Clem is a master of not only blues guitar, but he is one of the finest ukulele players that you can find anywhere, and in 2015 Clem released an acclaimed uke-based CD, Sugar Moon. The instrument has skyrocketed worldwide the last few years and James has performed at ukulele festivals in the US and Europe. Every fall he does a four-week tour in Europe with blues gigs to a very loyal following. Be prepared to hear both uke and guitar music during his set, as he will also be presenting new material from his forthcoming blues CD, titled Stuff You Gotta Watch, set for a June 15 release date.

General Membership Meeting - Dan HessThe second set of the night will bring another friend who has not performed for the CBA in way too long a time period, the Dan Hess Band. Primarily a blues and R&B outfit, they have a variety of older and newer blues material that is highly recognizable and extremely danceable. A very professional and tight band, that along with Dan on guitar features Fenix Sanders on sax, Juliet Teriill on bass, and Chandler Bowerman on drums. This is a sensational outfit that plays regularly around the Portland area and it’s ready to transform our meeting into a party.

General Membership Meeting at East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SW Hawthorne Blvd. Wednesday, June 5, 7:00 pm. Free for members, $5.00 non-members. All ages welcome.

Membership Meeting Cancelled

Welcome to our new home as we move into The East Portland Eagles Lodge. And to start our path in the right direction of offering superb blues performances, we’re delighted to bring two great sets that are guaranteed to set the right pace of things to come.

Starting off will be a magical pairing of John Bunzow and Albert Reda, two highly successful artists with a wealth of history behind them.

It is John Bunzow’s mix of eclectic musical influences – meldling blues, country, rock and even jazz – that have helped establish him as an original artist of heartfelt depth, substance and style. He’s as likely to draw on his love of the music of scuffling barroom bard Tom Waits, as he is the smooth R&B and soul of Marvin Gaye, the iconic folk wisdom of Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Ry Cooder or the blues of Albert King.

After beginning his musical career in the Northwest scene playing in popular all-original bands Cowboy Angels and X-Angels for over two decades, John set his sights on songwriter heaven, Nashville. Scoring both a songwriting contract with EMI Nashville/Famous Music and a recording contract with Liberty/Capitol Records, he quickly found his services in big demand with Nashville recording artists and had the opportunity to write for and perform with some of country and rock music’s biggest names.

But as Nashville and country music trends shifted away from salt-of-the-earth working singer-songwriters , Bunzow returned to Portland, Oregon where he continues to hone his sizable talents. He’s found old fans and new ones as he tirelessly tours Northwest nightclubs, concert halls, festival stages, casinos, wineries and resorts playing original cuts and creating music that touches the heart of anybody who’s ever raised a little hell on a Saturday night, or felt the pangs of love gone bad.

Those familiar with the Pacific Northwest music scene need little introduction to Albert Reda. Over the years he has received numerous awards while supporting artists of all stripes playing his bass, piano, and singing.  He has been honored by the Cascade Blues Association 11 Muddy Awards and Hall of Fame status for his basswork.

Reda moved to Portland from San Francisco 25 years ago and has since performed alongside a variety of musicians such as Terry Robb, Duffy Bishop, Lloyd Jones, Bill Rhoades, Robbie Laws, The Shanghai Woolies, John Bunzow and many others. A much in-demand session artist, he has released two solo recordings, continues to play with many of Portland’s finest musicians and singers, and spends his days on his teaching practice, working primarily with students of elementary school age.

The second set of the night brings the Tom Gilberts Band. You will not find a more enthusiastic music lover than Tom Gilberts. It is his passion and obsession. It is from this perspective that he approaches his writing, performance and production – the pure joy of it. A multi-instrumentalist playing guitar, bass (electric and upright) and cello, his music influences and interests are widely varied and have no real bounds. They range from blues, jazz, art rock, avant guard, shoe gaze, pop, blues, rock, country to metal. His guitar focus has been on improvisation, and his influences are myriad. Classically trained, he has performed with the OSU Symphony Orchestra, The Mavens, Sweet Honey Dijpon Jazz Band, Nicole Campbell, and most recently with Franco Paletta & The Stingers.

A board-certified physician specializing in Internal Medicine as a profession, music has also captured his interest, passion and love. He has recorded three albums, with his most recent the critically-acclaime Grit. Joining Tom for his Cascade Blues Association debut will be longtime local jazz ace Wade Kirtley on Hammond B-3, drummer and vocalist Brian Foxworth who is a inductee of both the Oregon Music and Cascade Blues AssociationHall of Fames, and Joe Aloia who holds a master in music and teaches guitar and bass at various schools will be on bass.

The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 7:00 pm. Free for CBA members, non-members $5.00. All ages are welcome.

April General Membership Meeting

Well, our time is coming to an end at The Mission Theater as the April meeting will be our last at that venue. It has certainly been a lot of fun to be in an open room this size and it has been great to offer talented friends like Lloyd Jones, Terry Robb, Robbie Laws, Ben Rice, Lisa Mann, and Michael Osborn, but we will be starting a new chapter for the CBA in May as we move to a permanent home at The East Eagles Lodge on Hawthorne Boulevard. The music quality will continue to remain top notch because we have such an abundant wealth of musicians in our region who want to perform for our members. A huge thank you to McMenamins for allowing us the use of the room and to Terry Currier who worked to secure the opportunity for the CBA to hold our meetings at the Mission.

But we still have one more to go, so don’t get too far ahead just yet. And it is another stellar pairing of great acts that you do not want to miss.

Ellen WhyteA member of both the Oregon Music Hall and Muddy Hall of Fames, Ellen Whyte will be joined by her longtime bandmate and renowned musician, whether solo or as a band member, keyboardist Jean-Pierre Garau. Whyte and Garau have worked in musical groups of various sizes — from a duo, to a trio with Gene Houck, or in The Plus Size Band, and regardless of the size of the group were always terrific.

Ellen Whyte is one of the premiere vocalists in the region, performing a wide mixture of styles ranging from blues, soul, jazz, rock, funk, and even bluegrass. Ellen simply does it all. Fronting bands for over thirty years, she is not only a gifted vocalist but can work a pretty mean acoustic guitar as well. And aside from her award winning performances, she also is heavily involved with education with her “Bring Blues to the School” program and a series of concerts for those in assisted living. Ellen has a heart of gold, and once you meet her she’s a friend for life.

Jean-Pierre sings and plays piano and other keyboards, performing in more live and studio dates than he can possibly recall. He also composes, adapts, arranges, charts and teaches music as a second language. In short, music is his art and his vocation for which he is indeed grateful. His skills are in high demand in the region as he is among the “first call” keyboardists for session work.

For the second set of the evening be prepared to jump up and dance as we offer one of the CBA’s most beloved bands who are always ready to get a party started, The Strange Tones. Also inductees into the CBA’s Muddy Hall of Fame, the band is made up of guitarists and vocalists Guitar Julie Strange and Phil “Suburban Slim” Wagner, bass player Andy Strange and drummer Andy Gauthier.

The Strange TonesA great description of the band (as if we needed to give our members any at all) comes from the Polish critic Przemek Draheim in The Voice of the Blues: “Rather than plundering the shrines of American music and merely imitating their heroes, these sonic crime fighters have concocted their own secret formula, a one-of-a-kind style they call “Crime-A-Billy”. The band draws upon the rich traditions of blues, rockabilly, surf, and R & B, and then combines these ingredients with fresh, well-crafted song writing and dynamic performances. Many people find it hard to show something new within electric blues format and they should ask The Strange Tones for some private lessons as they have found their own niche and truly shine.”

This definitely is going to be another fun night happening with the CBA for our monthly meeting. Don’t miss out on the good times!

The Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 pm. Free for members, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.

April General Membership Meeting

March will find us again in our temporary home — The Mission Theater — for our monthly meetings. This is our next to last meeting here before we move in May into our permanent location at The East Eagles Lodge on Hawthorne. During our tenure at The Mission we wanted to showcase some of the most popular blues acts in our area and we’ve certainly succeeded doing so for our March meeting.

Opening our March meeting will be one of the world’s most recognized acoustic guitarists, Mary Flower. Mary is fluent in and master of the artistically tricky Piedmont style of acoustic guitar, a genre that requires intricate picking and an innate sense of subtle harmonics. But Mary — who relocated from Denver to Portland, Oregon in 2004 — is equally rooted in Mississippi blues, especially on her vintage lap-slide. Stir in her love of swing, ragtime, folk, and hot jazz, plus a healthy dose of her own song craft, and you have a modern artist with an ear for the traditional who brings an immediate vibrancy and dynamism to any concert hall and stage performance.

Flower has received many richly deserved accolades; she’s a two-time National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship finalist, a three-time nominee for the Blues Music Awards, a 2009 winner of the coveted Vox Populi award in the Independent Music Award’s Acoustic Song category, and a multiple Muddy Awards, including induction into the Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Fame in 2018 as acoustic guitarist. While the list seems endless, for Flower it’s not about the prizes and awards. Along with her teaching, it’s about making the music come alive onstage and in her recordings. She continues to compose, record, and tour relentlessly, honing and evolving her style rooted in rich tradition but always moving America’s indigenous music forward.

As we had for the February meeting with Lloyd Jones, I asked Lisa Mann if she wouldn’t mind performing at the March meeting. Like Lloyd, Lisa has put together a terrific collection of musicians you’re likely not going to see too often working together in this type of format.

Originally from West Virginia, Mann’s vocals effortlessly moves between a southern Lisa Mann Filminghoney-sweet warmth and the force-of-nature hard rock and rhythm and blues Mann has cultivated during her career. Her clever blues balladry is complimented by her considerable prowess on bass guitar. A two-time Blues Music Award winner for best bass player, she has also been awarded the Sean Costello Rising Star Award from Blues Blast magazine, and is a Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame member

Joining Lisa on guitar will be one of the West Coast’s finest guitarist, Michael Osborn. Best known for holding the reigns as lead guitarist for John Lee Hooker’s band for thirteen years, he was also a member of the Charles Ford Band, Sista Monica’s band, and Bill Rhoades & The Party Kings with whom he was inducted into the Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Fame. Osborn has received multiple Muddy Award nominations leading his own band in Portland, three times for best electric guitarist and twice for Northwest Recording of the Year, including his latest Hangin’ On.

Manning the drums will be Dave Melyan. Dave has worked in multiple bands from the region throughout his career, and toured the world as a member of The Insomniacs, with whom he received a Blues Music Award nomination.  Currently he is working alongside Ben Rice in various combinations, but can also often be found joining artists like Karen Lovely and Lisa Mann on tours around the country. A perennial nominee for the Muddy Awards, Melyan is a true journeyman who can be found performing around the city somewhere almost any night of the week.

Obviously this is another one of our monthly meetings you shouldn’t miss. One more meeting at The Mission following this one and it too will be one you’ll want to see as we will present Ellen Whyte & Jean-Pierre Garau and The Strange Tones on Wednesday, April 3.

Mcmenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 pm. CBA Members always Free, non-members $5.00. All ages welcome.

April General Membership Meeting
  • The Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street, Portland
  • Wednesday, February 13 ~ 7:00 pm
  • Members always Free ~ Non-Members $5.00
    (Members please show your current cards at the door)
  • Opening Acoustic Set ~ Terry Robb
  • Second Electric Set ~ Lloyd Jones

The January meeting at McMeniman’s Mission Theater was well received and we will continue bringing some of the absolute best local musicians for the next few months that we continue holding our monthly event here. And even beyond when we determine where we will land once the theater changes their movie format to first-run features which will require the room’s full attention away from performances. In February, we really have a treat in store for you and it’s another one of those shows you just should not miss.

Opening the evening will be Terry Robb, one of the top acoustic blues guitarists of our time. His signature Terry Robb February’s General Membership Meetingfingerpicking style has earned him international acclaim from worldwide audiences, music critics and his distinguished peers. Incorporating elements from the Mississippi Delta music tradition, ragtime, country, swing and free jazz, Robb has built a unique blues sound that has made him a legend in his prolific music career spanning more than four decades.

The multitude of awards Terry Robb has received speak to his seminal talent as a blues guitarist. Robb has been inducted into both the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame. He single-handedly defined the Muddy Award for Best Acoustic Guitar, winning the prize 19 consecutive years from its inception in 1992 to 2011. In 2011, the award was renamed the “Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar Muddy Award to honor his landmark contributions to blues music. In 2017, he received the Muddy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Terry will be releasing a new album on March 1 titled Confessin’ My Blues, so don’t be surprised if he throws out some new material you’re not familiar with. As with everything Terry does it is beyond over the top!

February’s General Membership Meeting Lloyd JonesThe night’s second set will be led by another Oregon Music Hall of Fame and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame member Lloyd Jones. A soulful singer and energetic performer, he is a superb songwriter and enjoys telling stories about his past and the musicians he’s admired from the stage. He describes his music as combining New Orleans rhythms, the simplicity of Memphis music, and the rawness of the blues, all for the 21st century.” Like Robb, he has won so many Muddy Awards in the R&B category that the award is now named for him. With six highly acclaimed albums under his belt, Jones recently traveled to Nashville to work with and lay down tracks with some of that city’s most revered musicians and songwriters for a release that’ll be heading our way soon.

Having Lloyd Jones play the meeting is quite an honor and he has pieced together an amazing line-up of talented people to work beside him for the night. Bassist Ben Jones has been a steadfast musician on the local and national scene for more than thirty years. With a list of credentials working with top-notch acts like Curtis Salgado, Patrick Lamb, The Neville Brothers, Jeff Lorber and many, many more. Carlton Jackson is also an Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee and a Cascade Blues Association Muddy Hall of Fame member. A highly sought-after drummer, he also hosts his own show on KMHD radio. Rounding out the band is keyboardist Steve Kerin, recently inducted into the Muddy Award Hall of Fame, he brings his background of Louisiana music into his piano work, always with a smile on his face.

Definitely an all-star grouping for this month’s membership meeting. Don’t miss out on the fun!!

Please make note of the date. Moved one week later due to prior commitments at the Mission Theater.

The Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street. 7:00 pm. Free for members, $5.00 non-members. (Members please show your current membership card at the door). All ages welcome.

April General Membership Meeting

Please join The Cascade Blues Association as we kick off a new year in a new venue for our membership meetings —  The McMenamins Mission Theater. This is going to be the perfect way to begin 2019 since we’re bringing in some of the finest blues musicians of the region for this first meeting at The Mission.

Starting the year off will be a set from our 2018 Journey To Memphis winner Ben Rice, who will be heading to Tennessee later this month to represent us at the International Blues Challenge. A two-time finalist at the IBC and recipient of the St. Blues Guitar Award for best guitarist in the solo/duo competition. This year he was the winner of two Muddy Awards this year for contemporary act and the “Curtis Salgado” male vocalist categories.

Ben’s website explains that “[h]is music is deeply rooted in traditional blues, yet at the same time fiercely original. His guitar playing earns labels like ‘fearless,’ ‘inventive’ and ‘powerful,’ and he routinely brings audiences to their feet with his stunning and emotionally honest vocal delivery. Ben is as much home fronting his electric blues band as he is captivating a crowd solo with nothing but his voice and his resonator guitar.”

For the second set of music, we will feature this year’s recipient of a Cascade Blues Association’s Lifetime Achievement Muddy Award, Robbie Laws, playing with his Swing Trio. Renowned as a master guitarist, Robbie has been the recipient of the Muddy Award for electric guitar nine times and has shared the stage alongside some of the very best blues artists of our time, including Albert Collins and Ronnie Earl. Laws possesses the inherent ability to authentically convey different musical styles such as 1940’s Jump Swing, traditional country blues, Piedmont, Delta, early Texas, and Chicago, yet is comfortable playing uptown jazz as well as progressive rock.

Robbie will be performing at the meeting with his Swing Trio, which teams him with drummer Eric Ching and organist Ben Partain. This is guaranteed to be one groovin’ set of tasty music you won’t want to miss.

And of course we will have our popular free ticket drawing and winner-take-all drawing, so don’t miss out on the chance on your chance to win fun prizes. It is still one of the best blues happening taking place every month — no matter the venue. Great music and good friends, what could possibly be better?

The Mission Theater is located at, 1624 NW Glisan Street. Festivities begin at 7:00 pm and the fun is free to CBA members (please show current membership card at door) and $5.00 for non-members. All ages welcome.

General Membership Meeting Slated for Wednesday, December 5

For more than the past year we have been holding our monthly membership meetings at Catfish Lou’s thanks to the generosity of Michelle and Michael Bean who stepped forward when our time at The Melody Ballroom came to a close. In January we will move to The Mission Theater, so this month will be our final meeting at Catfish Lou’s.  It is a bittersweet moment, as it has been a wonderful relationship; yet we just needed larger space and a desire to return to an all ages venue. Thank you so much for hosting us for these past months, we could not have done it without you.

So, for the final night at Catfish Lou’s we will be bringing in some long-time friends.

Ken Johnson General Membership Meeting Slated for Wednesday, December 5Ken Johnson opens the night. He is a former CBA board member, has produced a number of festivals, and is one of the original founders of the Hudson Rocket Band. These days he can be found working with either a band or as a solo artist as he will do for us. Ken says, “I’m a lucky man living the life. Music is part of who I am. It always has been and I’m sure will always be my safe place to go! Whether it’s dancing, drumming or creating songs on the guitar it’s something I truly love to do. Music has taken me around the world. The stuff that I play definitely has a blues influence and I am looking forward to sharing some music with you folks!”

We last saw Martin Henry & The Freedom Street Band in August playing at the CBA Concert in the Park. Always entertaining and crowd pleasing, the band returns for a membership meeting. Freedom Street is a tight collection of accomplished musicians from the Northwest, providing great high energy entertainment from a diverse set of songs ranging from rock, blues, country, and R&B. Their goal is to provide a unique and fun musical experience for all. Led by the harmonica playing and songwriter Martin Henry, the band includes lead vocalist Cameron Collins, the dual guitars of Jim Presley and Matt “Willie McGee”, bassist Joanne “Grandma Funk” Mead, drummer Bill Ebert and keyboard man Tim “The Deacon” Doyle and backing vocals from Julie Fairless.Martin Henry & The Freedom Street Band, General Membership Meeting Slated for Wednesday, December 5

So please join us as we have a little party one last time (for now) at Catfish Lou’s. You can win CDs and other prizes just by coming out to enjoy great blues, so don’t forget you free ticket drawing at the door. We will see you there!!

Catfish Lou’s, 2460 NW 24th Avenue, Wednesday, December 5th, 7:00 pm. Free for CBA members with a current membership card (please show your card at the door), $5.00 for non-members. 21 & over.

What’s on Tap for October’s General Membership Meeting

Catfish Lou’s, 2460 NW 24th Ave, Portland
Wednesday, October 3 ~ 7:00 pm
Members always Free ~ Non-Members $5.00
(Members please show your current cards at the door)
Opening Acoustic Set ~ Justus Reece
Second Electric Set ~ Louis Creed & The Geezers

The Cascade Blues Association is not just a group to get together with and listen to great blues music. Well, we do offer that, but we also want to provide so much more. One of those goals that we strive for is to support our local musicians and to help younger artists gain the attention that they deserve. For our monthly general membership meeting we are proud to host two young musicians who are making a name for themselves up and down the Willamette Valley. Because we all know that these will be the blues artists that we’ll be listening to hopefully for years to come.

Justus Reece played for us last year when we first started booking shows at Catfish Lou’s. He has been consistently studying guitar while also being aware that he can never know everything, and that the guitar is a lifelong pursuit. He has studied with Terry Robb with whom he has appeared at venues such as The Venetian in Hillsboro for his IBC fundraiser and the Old Liberty Theater in Camas. And aside from the IBC appearance on Beale Street, Justus has performed at events including the Blues4MS concerts, Cathedral Jazz Festival, Portland Blues Cruise, Gorge Blues & Brews, Carlton Crush, and the Waterfront Blues Festival.

The music that Justus performs includes a wide range of styles, not only blues but jazz, folk, funk, jam band, and more. You can expect to see him offer a variety of American music such as ragtime, Piedmont blues, American primitive, Delta blues and other roots music. His inspirations are many, but include among them the diversity of such as Herbie Hancock, Frank Zappa, Blind Blake, Yes, Mississippi John Hurt, Charlie Hunter, and Funkadelic among them. Certainly a young musician with an open mind and on a quest to learn something new from every direction.

The second set of the night will feature another young guitar player, Louis Creed. The last time he played for us he was accompanied by William “Froggy” Hyland, who makes up just one part of Creed’s band The Geezers. Heading up from the southern end of the Willamette River, Louis and Froggy make a rare return to Portland for the Cascade Blues meeting, this time with the more Geezers.

Froggy describes the band as based south of the big city, tearing up winery and brewery venues and local dives from Cottage Grove to Newport to Eugene, and bolstering an emerging music scene in Lebanon, of all places. Louis Creed is the hottest young blues guitarist around, a Black Sabbath acolyte turned blues historian and traditionalist. His singing is fresh, his guitar antics unparalleled.

You may remember Froggy as a Cascade Blues Association representative and semi-finalist at the International Blues Challenge, or from his long running blues jam at the Calapooia brewery in Albany. He is currently working on his fourth album of originals, laying down harp licks, lap steel, rhythm guitar and vocals for the band and anyone else with money. More Geezers include Rex Baker on bass holding down the bottom for musical conglomerations in the area, plays with a pick and chews gum at the same time. He may know every tune ever written, or imitate it convincingly. He is a wise guy. Louisiana Andy Lade joined the band with a forged AARP card, adding some second line flavor and the thrill of the unexpected to the lineup. He is a hard working guy who puts it all out there every time.

This is traditional blues, folks. Not a rock band with a harp player. Blues by the masters, a couple of folks who are still alive, and an original or two. This band is hot and Louis fans the flames.

Head on over to Catfish Lou’s for the meeting, try their new menu featuring more fantastic Southern offerings, pick up a drawing ticket at the door for a chance to win prizes and enjoy a terrific night of blues music. What can be better than blues and friends. Hope to see you there.

What’s on Tap for October’s General Membership Meeting

Wednesday, September 5 – 7:00 pm
Catfish Lou’s, 2460 NW 24th Ave, Portland
Members always Free – Non-members $5.00
(Members please show your current card at the door)
Opening acoustic set – Julie Amici
Second electric set – Rich Layton & The Troublemakers

Is it just me, or are summers in Portland getting warmer every year? And by warm I mean hot!! Well that summer heat is not going to end with the calendar when it comes to the hot music going on in this city and you can always rely on the Cascade Blues Association to bring the heat the first Wednesday of every month at our general membership meeting.
We’re going to start September off with one of our favorite acoustic duets, Julie Amici. They were the CBA’s solo/duo entry in the International Blues Challenge in 2018 and the rave reviews about their performances and their recording Yellow Roses continue to stream in. The duo is made up of vocalist Julie Yanko and bassist Dean Mueller. The name is derived from Julie’s first name, and “Amici” the original family name of Dean’s father. Much like the name is a melding of the two, the music is much the same, combining Julie’s country roots and childhood dreams of singing jazz, with Dean’s deeply rooted blues foundation.

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. The pairing of a vocalist and upright acoustic bass is a magical combination that leaves nowhere to hide. It is a setting reserved for the most qualified artists, a mingling that Julie Yanko and Dean Mueller bring together with unexpected delight. Described as “a fresh take on a bygone era that is intimate, alluring, and hauntingly beautiful,” Julie Amici is the right way to start off a new month.

For the second set of the night we’re going to take the musical taste down to the sounds of the Gulf Coast. Rich Layton & The Troublemakers are the house band at the crossroads of twang and tremolo. They pump out a high octane blend of swampified honky tonk blues that sounds like Saturday night in an East Texas roadhouse. It’s music that keeps the dance floor packed and the liquor flowing.

Together more than a decade, the band has released two albums and have performed at multiple festivals and events throughout the NW, including the Safeway Waterfront Blues Fest, The Bite of Seattle, Sunbanks Blues Festival and many more. Each year, Rich joins Lyle Lovett as a special guest when Lyle tours the NW, and he has also played with friends Lucinda Williams, Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, Dale Watson and the late zydeco great Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Dural jr as they travel through Portland.

Rich is a multiple Muddy Award nominee for harp and is featured along with LaRhonda Steele on the title track of Rae Gordon’s 2017 Album of the Year, “Better Than I Was.” The band has a new album in the works for release later this year, but plans to preview a few of the new songs at the monthly meeting. The band is made up of Rich Layton on harmonica/vocals, Larry McCoy on guitar/vocals, Eric “Haus” Krabbenhoft on bass, and Charles Pike on drums/vocals. Step on to the dance floor with the band as they’ll tell you “There’s no parole for Rock & Roll!” And they’re going to prove it with tons of fun.

It’s always a great choice to come out to the CBA general membership meeting each month, where you know that you’re going to entertained with exciting music and sharing the night with good friends. Plus your chance to win prizes just by being in attendance. Hope to see you all there!