Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Str., Portland
Wednesday, March 1 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $5.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Mark Shark
Second Electric Set – Sister Mercy

If you look at the BluesNotes calendar for March you’ll easily see why Portland is in love with the blues. So many local heroes and a plethora of national touring artists coming through the city this month. The Cascade Blues Association is always proud to get things moving in the right direction each month with our monthly general membership meeting, offering two sets of music acts that you will definitely want to catch. This month we’re presenting two that should surely raise the roof with excitement.

Opening the evening will be an acoustic set from a fairly newcomer to the Portland area, but someone who has certainly raised the bar for all since relocating here. Mark Shark was born in St. Louis Missouri some years back and after spending 35 years in LA carving out a musical career performing with many renowned artists (Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, John Trudell and many others) he has transplanted himself and his talents to the beautiful City of Roses, Portland Oregon. Warmly welcomed into the thriving music scene here Mark has been privileged to play and record with Northwest Legends Lloyd “Have Mercy” Jones, David Kahl, Joe McCarthy, Brian Foxworth, Steve Kerin, Louis Pain, Ed Neumann, Jimi Bott, Ken Scandlyn, Jesse Samsel, Dean Mueller and Julie Amici, Karen Lovely, Ben Rice, Mitch Kashmar, Carlton Jackson, Ian and Chris Miller, and Jake Ray.

A multi-instrumentalist, Mark is a master at many strings instruments along with the guitar, including mandolin, banjo, ukulele, lap and pedal steel guitars and more. In addition to composing, playing and recording, Mark is also a busy author (Hal Leonard) and educator.  He is currently teaching at Portland Music Company at Beaverton, Division and soon the Broadway location as well.

“It isn’t easy moving to a new city and reshaping your career, notes Mark, “but all of these good folks extended their hand in friendship, took me in and gave me a place to play and teach and I couldn’t be more happy or grateful to be here.”

For the second set of the night we will have the Cascade Blues Association’s 2016 International Blues Challenge representatives Sister Mercy. This band possesses a high energy, blues driven sound.  Lead singer April Brown is mesmerizing with her powerful, beautiful presence, full range vocals and complete joy in performance. The band is filled with talented musicians that have a strong background in Portland’s scene. Steven Savoie creates memorable licks on guitar and Roger Espinor (drums) Ron Camacho (bass) and Debby Espinor (keyboards) hold the rhythms down tight. The band were semi-finalists at the IBC in Memphis and received a nomination for best new band at the 2015 Muddy Awards. This dynamic performing band, Sister Mercy presents original music that is a pleasure for the ears and a show that is a feast for the eyes.

And if the musical sets are not enough, remember that you will also have the chance to win CDs and tickets to events just by attending. Make sure that you received your free drawing ticket at the door. We’ll also have our multi-disc winner take all drawing for only a $1.00 per ticket chance. Buy as many tickets as you’d like, your purchase goes right back into allowing the CBA to bring you events and our paper.

See you at The Melody Ballroom for another great night of music and friends!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Str., Portland
Wednesday, February 1 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $5.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Ken West
Second Electric Set – Sheila Wilcoxson

It’s February, and as of yet there is no change for the location of our monthly General Membership Meetings. So we’re hoping that you can all come on out to The Melody Ballroom and celebrate another month of fun times and blues music with us. Always the perfect spot to start your month of listening to the very best musicians that Portland and the region has to offer.

Opening this month we will be featuring Ken West, a guitar and mandolin virtuoso. Originally from Central Florida where he played as a solo artist and in support of other musicians for 30 years and was a founding member of the popular Florida Blues Band, his music has taken him across the country, from Florida to Alaska, finally settling in Portland for the past several years. The Rose City has found Ken continuing to work as a solo artist and side man in a variety of musical ventures. He can often be found playing in a duet with James Clem on guitar and mandolin, and with the cowboy band Lonesome Dewey and the Coyotes playing mandolin and steel guitar.

Ken’s passion has always been music. Currently his focus is on the various styles and artistry of the early 20th century, including blues, jazz, folk, and country.

The second set of the night is going to be a real treat for all long-time Cascade Blues Association members and true blues fans everywhere as we will present the long overdue return of Sheila Wilcoxson to perform for us. This multi-talented artist is an outstanding vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and terrific songwriter. Starting in the late 1970s Sheila has been commanding stages in the Portland area, first with Sheila & The Boogiemen, then with Back Porch Blues alongside guitarist White Draper and the late Jeffrey Dawkins on harmonica. For five straight years (1989 – 1993) won consecutive Muddy Awards as Traditional Blues Act garnering themselves entry into the CBA Muddy Hall of Fame. The following years saw her work with another stellar outfit, Sheila and Backwater Blues, before taking on her own solo career. In 1997, Sheila released the album Backwater Blues and was nominated for a WC Handy Award (now called Blues Music Awards) in the category Traditional Female Artist of the Year. During the ensuing years, Sheila’s music has taken her around the world. She has appeared on some of the biggest stages in venues and festivals and has shared those stages with some of the biggest stars in the blues.

Sheila’s appearance at the CBA meeting is a celebration of her recent 66th birthday on January 8, the same day as Elvis. “I am going to enjoy the music I love, Blues.” She says. “I will sing from acoustic to jazz. Like a Bird when I am happy I sing. I retired at 62, went to Hawaii, the coast, San Francisco, Spirit Mountain, Vancouver. Hung out on my front porch doing music with my friends for a few years. Now it is time to live my life only doing music, not a single parent with two jobs or a supervisor of 3 shifts. Come and help me celebrate. I’m living my life like it’s golden.”

Sheila Wilcoxson is ready to take the Portland blues scene by storm once again, she will be playing the CBA meeting with a superb line-up of musicians behind: Jesse White on guitar, “Cordless” Cliff Ashmon on harmonica, David Lee Bassett on piano, and Reed Warrington Bunnell on bass. It is time for Sheila Wilcoxson’s voice to soar on stage again! Come help her celebrate!

This is certainly a meeting not to miss! Remember to pick up your free ticket at the door your chance to win CDs and other great prizes. We’ll also have our winner take all drawing of multiple CDs that you can win by purchasing $1.00 tickets, with all funds geared at helping the CBA in a number of ways. Best of all, though, you’re going to be treated to two fantastic sets of music with friends. There’s no better way to start each and every month out.

The Lightning Kings

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, January 4, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $5.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Tevis Hodge Jr.
Second Electric Set – The Lightning Kings

As we step into the New Year we need to look at a few changes. One is an increase to attend our monthly membership meetings for non-members. This is the first time in many years that we have made any changes in fees, including memberships which we will continue at $25.00 a year for a single membership at this time. It is a small step, but we need to do this to meet our monthly business expenses — one step at a time.

But at the same time we intend on bringing you quality blues entertainment each month at these meetings. Whether they’re artists with whom you’re familiar or new, emerging talent, there will always be two great sets each month.

Tevis Hodge Jr will open the evening with a solo performance on acoustic guitar. He was exposed to blues music at an early age and due to his African-American heritage and his love for the music, he is compelled to continue the traditions of his people. He’s inspired to keep true to the traditions and techniques of the musicians of yesterday for an authentic experience, while at the same time accenting his own original flare and interpretations, placing himself among the many original blues musicians of the past 80 years. His songwriting coincides with those traditions of yesterday, which keeps an authentic flow from song to song, whether it be his own material, or an old traditional tune. This is where he shines as an artist, being more than a re-creator of the old, he is a contributor to the new in the vein of yesterday.

Hodge works in various band configurations and as a solo act. He is a regular performer at the Inner City Blues Festival the past few years and represented the Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge. Aside from local artists he has also performed on stage with vaudeville legend Baby Gramps and folk giant Peter Yarrow. Hodge can also be caught the first Sunday of every month at The Spare Room and he is currently working on his second CD to be released this coming spring.

The Lightning KingsThe second set of the night will feature a newer band to the area that have been picking up a lot of steam with performances at venues such as Billy’s Blues, Duff’s Garage, and The Heavy Metal Brewing Company, The Lightning Kings. This four piece outfit are described as bluesy rock with a funky beat. They have hosted a few fundraising events lately for the American Cancer Society and the Doernbecher’s Childrens Hospital Toy Drive. The band is made up of guitarist Thomas Andersen, bassist Matt Lind, keyboardist Rich Petko, and drummer Seth Troublefield, and they’re letting you know that this will be “rockin’ blues and a funky ass shakin’ good time, so wear you’ dancin’ shoes!”

Pick up your free drawing ticket as you enter the venue for a chance to win prizes and don’t forget that we’ll also have the multi-CD package drawing tickets for sale at a $1.00 each. Buy as many as you’d like for this winner take-all collection. Looking forward to seeing everybody there, to kick the new year off right!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, Portland
Wednesday, December 7 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00 (NOTE: THIS WILL INCREASE TO $5.00 IN JANUARY 2017)
Opening Acoustic Set – David Brothers
Second Electric Set – The Pining Hearts

It’s December everybody, which means this is one of the most important membership meetings of the year as we will be holding the election to determine who will hold the officer positions for your Cascade Blues Association’s Board of Directors. Make sure that you bring your current membership card to receive a ballot to cast your choices.

Aside from this once-a-year occurrence, we’re still going to have a night filled with friends and music, and we’ll be offering two sets featuring acts that we are sure to both entertain you and surprise you. And yet there is something else that is truly special about this month. It is the CBA’s 30th anniversary, noting the month that the original founders filed papers with the State creating the organization as a non-profit business promoting, supporting, and preserving the blues and blues-related music. Thanks to all of you for helping keep the CBA alive for all these years.

David Brothers press photoOpening the meeting will be a set by David Brothers, a critically acclaimed entertainer and composer, who combines urban folk and blues to create a sound distinctively his own. Playing his original material, David mixes the influences of John Coltrane, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Django Reinhart, and John Fahey in his technique, style, and approach. He first began performing professionally as a teenager in Fort Worth, Texas, inspired by the likes of Leon Rouche (Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys) and Dave Milsap (Delbert McClinton’s band). Following his move to Portland, Brothers was the recipient of the Cascade Blues Association’s Christopher Mesi Memorial Scholarship. Brothers has performed with many of the Pacific Northwest’s most elite musicians and has released several solo and group albums over the years that have earned praise by critics, DJs and fans.

Joining David Brothers for his set will be bassist Rob Busey, who has worked over the years with acts like the Ken DeRouchie Band, Al Perez, and The Newport Symphony. He has also performed with Miss America Katie Harman, Tommy Tutone, Judy Collins, The Vancouver Symphony and The Oregon Chambers Players. Busey’s rock solid bass work will surely enhance Brothers exquisite guitar playing.

For the second set of the night we welcome a newer act in the area, The Pining Hearts. They are a psych-rock band out of Portland, OR and Austin, TX featuring Kivett Bednar from Land of the Living and more recently Rae Gordon & The Backseat Drivers alongside Eddie Steele from the progressive funk band Entendre Entendre. The pair started jamming in late 2015, and The Pining Hearts officially became a band in March of 2016. The group has appeared at the Alberta Street Pub and Twilight Cafe to sold-out crowds. The originals coming out of the group are rhythmic and upbeat, but in the same breath have a dark surf vibe that leaves you thinking of the ocean at night. Yet you also know that with Bednar’s background there will be a deep bluey approach as well. The group is currently working on a new EP that is scheduled for release in early.

We’ll do our regular give-aways, announcements and winner-take-all CD raffle throughout the night, and before everything is over we’ll let you know who your new officers will be for 2017. Please join us in the very exciting night. It is always so much better when we have so many friends and blues fans with us every month.

2018 CBA Officer Elections

voteEvery December, the Cascade Blues Association asks its members to attend the monthly membership meeting to cast their votes for the people who they would like to run the organization for the coming year. All five officer positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Secretary) are open for anyone who would like to seek the positions. We do request, however, that for the Membership Secretary position that you have knowledge of spreadsheets and mailing, and for Treasurer you have a firm grasp of accounting and filing taxes.

If you would like to place your name on the ballot for any of the CBA positions, please submit a letter stating your intent to run and outlining your qualifications no later than Friday, December 2. If you would like your letter published in the December BluesNotes, please submit the letter by November 15. You may mail your letter of intent to Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566, Portland, OR 97228-6566.

We are in need of At Large Board Members, too. If you have an interest in working on our Board, but not wanting to fill one of the elected positions, please speak to any of our Board Members.

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, Portland
Wednesday, October 5 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – The Tracey Fordice Band
Second Electric Set – The Beacon Street Titans

As the Cascade Blues Association’s thirtieth anniversary gets nearer, it is often fun to think back on many of the memories that the organization has put together to promote our local musicians. Many of those happen each month with our General Membership Meetings where we have introduced new artists that have since become some of the region’s and nation’s top performers as well as bringing familiar friends who just want to play for our members and say thanks. The October General Membership Meeting is shaping up to be one that you’re not going to want to miss. We’ll be bringing two of our favorite bands performing in a new format that is sure to offer excitement, fun and a reason to get up and dance.

tracey-by-bill-duikovicOpening the night will be The Tracey Fordice Band. In their previous incarnation as a Tracey Fordice & The 8-Balls, they received the 2014 Muddy Award for Best New Act as well as represented the Ashland Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. For the meeting the band will be performing in a special acoustic setting, with Tracey helming the piano and vocals, Randy Yearout on guitar, Todd Ommert on bass, Johnnie Corrie on congas and percussion, plus special guests George Discant on harmonica and James Toussaint on fiddle. Tracey and the boys will be acoustically performing selections from their latest recording, Out Of The Blues. Always a fun time to be had whenever the Tracey Fordice Band performs with their catchy and often humorous tunes

The second set of the night also is sure to get the room jumping. Fresh off their appearance at the beacon-street-titans-press-photoWaterfront Blues Festival as a Journey To Memphis finalist and the CBA Picnic, we will welcome the return of The Beacon Street Titans. The band that delivers the feel of the jump blues sound from Kansas City along with a bit of West Coast swing always get the audience dancing. The group will be a little smaller than you may have seen them before, as they’ll be working as a quartet for the meeting with Howard McClung on vocals, harmonica and saxophone, Daryl Boggs on guitar, Bill McNamera on drums and Steve Malski holding down the bass. The band has described their sound as Roomful of Blues meets the Squirrel Nut Zippers — now that’s a tasty combination.

We’ll keep you up to speed on what’s going on and coming up in our local blues scene for the month and hold our popular free ticket drawings for prizes (don’t forget to pick up a ticket as you enter the venue). This is the place to get your monthly kick-off for blues and to meet up with good friends. This is always a fun night, and we’ll see you there!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, September 7, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Steve Kerin
Second Electric Set – Julie Amici

The summer of 2016 may be coming to a close on the calendar, but we’re still not ready to let go of all the great musical happenings around our area. One look at the event’s calendar page lets you know right off that September is going to be a hotbed of blues goings-on and we know that the Cascade Blues Association General Membership Meeting is one of those dates you’re not going to want to miss.

Opening the night we have something really special going on as one of the best piano players in the region. Steve Kerin will be bringing his authentic Louisiana boogie to The Melody Ballroom that is certain to have the dance floor break out with happy feet.

steve kerrinSteve Kerin was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, the heart of Cajun Country. He first discovered the piano at the age of four and by time he was a teenager knew that music would be his life. He has immersed himself in the piano styles of Louisiana’s legendary artists like James Booker, Fats Domino, Dr John, and Professor Longhair. Since moving to the Portland area he has brought those sounds to the front of several bands including Berthaline, Atomic Gumbo, Too Loose Cajun Band, and the Rose City Kings. Aside from playing with a wealth of bands, he has also held a long-running gig as a solo musician Thursday nights at McMenamin’s Chapel Pub where he plays the venue’s pipe organ covering a wide range of music from pop and heavy metal to jazz and movie themes. Steve and his wife Jane-Clair were also at the core of founding the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus, Portland’s own Mardi Gras Krewe. For the flavor of New Orleans and Louisiana, there’s nobody more bona fide than Steve Kerin.

For the second set of the night we will be presenting Julie Amici, last year’s nominee for the “Best New Act” Muddy Award. Known for their spacious, intimate, and open sound, Dean and Julie have teamed up with Dan Gildea on guitar and Alan Jones on drums for their 2016 festival shows this summer. The addition of these two master performers have taken the band in a decidedly more powerful dimension suitable for the big stage. Alan Jones is also working as their producer for a new recording project coming out this fall.

“Julie Amici” is the collaboration between Julie and Dean Mueller that started in late 2014. 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.

DeanJulieCurtisLake2Julie’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. Over the last couple years the pair has performed as a duo as well as collaborated onstage with some of the finest musicians in the Northwest including Curtis Salgado, Chris Carlson, Alan Hager, Dave Fleschner, Henry Cooper, Carlton Jackson, Mark Shark, and many others.

Guitarist Dan Gildea teaches jazz guitar at Portland State University and has a lengthy list of acts he has performed with in the area aside from Julie Amici, including recent collaborations and tours with Earl Thomas and Dave Fleschner. Alan Jones is one of the premier jazz artists in Portland with a long resume of places he has studied, taught and performed with, including the late Portland great Leroy Vinegar as well as leading his own sextet. The addition of Gildea and Jones to Julie Amici makes this a powerful line-up that surely speaks for itself.

Between sets we will tell you about the up-coming happenings in our blues community. And we’ll hold the ever-popular free ticket drawing for CDs and tickets, plus the $1.00 winner-take-all drawing for a collection of discs put together just for the meeting.

September is chock-full of great goings-on, don’t miss out on one of the best each month at the Cascade Blues Association’s membership meeting. Like every month, this is always going to be the place to hear the best in blues and catch up with good friends. Plan on being there!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, August 3, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – David Pinsky
Second Electric Set – Ma Fondue

Boy, this summer has seen its ups and downs with the heat. We couldn’t have asked for better weather during the Waterfront Blues Festival, but whether the weather has been hot enough for you all, the blues happening around the Northwest has definitely been sizzling. Festivals, concerts in the parks, touring acts, or just plain hanging out in your favorite local venues, the music has been on fire all summer so far. And we’re far from done!

Keep that summer heat going and make plans to attend the August Cascade Blues Association General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, August 5. We’re going to present two fun acts who should not be strangers to anyone familiar with the Oregon blues community.

Opening the night will be our 2016 Journey To Memphis solo/duo winner, David Pinsky. This is his second time winning the competition in the past three years as he represented the CBA in Memphis in 2015 with his long-time partner Phil Newton. This time though, David took the prize as a solo artist.

pinskyIf you’re not aware of David Pinsky, he plays the blues in a traditional delivery of simply his guitar and his voice. He has been involved in many projects throughout his career, starting his own band The Rhythm Kings in 1988 and being involved with putting on events in Southern Oregon. More recently he has ventured into a solo career while still often playing front porch blues with Broadway Phil Newton. He lives in the Medford area, so you can see him play at many of the Southern Oregon Wineries within the intimate setting of tasting rooms. Over the years he has shared the stage with BB King, Bo Diddley, Elvin Bishop, Junior Walker, Otis Clay, Leon Russell, Tower of Power, and many other notables. Truly an audience friendly performer, you’re guaranteed to smile when David Pinsky performs.

The second set of the night will bring first-time CBA meeting performers Ma Fondue to The Melody Ballroom. Ma Fondue was born when their members first jammed together at a house party of the band’s original bassist Dale Turnbull’s home in early 2013. There was a heart-felt instant musical chemistry and with encouragement by their friend, Brad Rehn, they decided to form a new band. Each member had interesting ideas for tunes to cover and their catalog grew organically into a broad selection of genres.

“It’s a very democratic process when we submit and choose songs,” remarks vocalist Nayibe “Geebs” Rojas. “Hey, I’ve been ‘voted off the island’ a few times, but am now grateful for it! I currently get to sing fantastic tunes (with our own spins) some of which I had never even known of.”

ma fondueMa Fondue fills their shows with spirted performances of soul, R&B, rock, funk, and blues. When Louisiana born bassist Ben Rougeou took over for Turnbull in 2014 he added his own unique New Orleans flavor to the project. Drummer Sean Patrick Martin hails from Michigan and has been in Portland for nearly a decade. Mike Zilis on Keyboards grew up in Chicago but has been playing in Portland since the the 80s. Guitarist James Mason grew up in Sherwood and has been gigging in the area since ’98. Vocalist Nayibe Rojas has called Portland home since ’86 after growing up in Alaska and Washington. Together they blend into a vibrant and fun-filled combination that brings excitement and dancers to their shows.

When entering The Melody make sure that you pick up your lucky drawing ticket for a chance to win prizes including blues CDs and concert tickets. Also, for just $1.00 per ticket, you can get into our winner-take-all multi-CD drawing put together just for this meeting, knowing that each ticket purchased will help support the CBA in a variety of means to meet their everyday business expenses.

Come on out this month. The meetings are early enough that you don’t have to worry about waking up on time for work the next day, they’re family friendly, and a great place to catch up with your friends in the blues community while hearing some fantastic music. Don’t miss out, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Timothy James

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, July  6 – 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Set – Timothy James
Second Electric Set – Ty Curtis Band

Yes, it’s July and the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival has occupied a lot of our time already. While we will hold our monthly membership meeting just a couple days after that grand event, make no mistake, this is still a meeting that you’re going to want to attend. The Northwest blues scene has long held a reputation as a jumping-off point for young musicians. So this month we’re going to present one whose career promises to take him to greater achievements, and one who is just beginning to gain attention in our local blues community and with good reason.

For those who have been in attendance since Rae Gordon began doing her weekend all ages jams a few months back at the Trails End Saloon you will have noted one young guitarist of note, Timothy James. This fourteen-year-old triple threat (guitarist, singer, and songwriter) has an incredible feel for the guitar with adeptness that belies his age. He recently competed in the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey To Memphis competition against the adult musicians and clearly held his own.

Timothy JamesFrom Mulino, Oregon, Tim just completed 8th grade at Molalla River Middle School, active in both choir and band where he plays the saxophone and guitar. His first performance was at the 2011 Mulino Blues Festival. He was a finalist in both the Dustbowl Records singer/songwriter contest finishing second and the Clackamas County Fair talent show. You just know that he is going to be a sensational talent that we will be following for years, progressing through the same path that we have witnessed with past young musicians who have led successful musical careers such as Ben Rice, Mac Potts and our second act of the night ….

Ty Curtis was barely out of high school in 2006 when he released his first recording, Stubborn Mind. So impressive that the Cascade Blues Association entered it into The Blues Foundation’s Best Self Produced CD competition that year. A mere three years later, Ty had already won the CBA’s Journey To Memphis competition and took off for Tennessee where he competed against 100 or so other bands and took home second place overall at the International Blues Challenge.

Ty Curtis - photo by Greg JohnsonWith multiple Muddy Awards, five discs under his belt that have charted with numerous radio stations around the world and appearances across the country, Ty now splits his time between Oregon and his second home of Austin, Texas where he has been establishing himself quite nicely in that city’s renowned blues scene. He often makes trips home to Oregon and when he does his performances are almost always sold out. He has developed into a gifted songwriter, a vocalist of note and an innovative guitarist. It has been a while since he last played for a Cascade Blues Association meeting so we expect a full house as he brings his band of Jerry Jacques on drums and its newest member, Tony Valdez on bass.

Yes, it’s a going to be a showcase of young guitar slingers at the CBA meeting in July. More fun than one can resist after a long festival weekend, so don’t miss out. There will be a lot coming up during the summer and we’re going to let you know about many of those future shows for July. Plus we hold our popular free ticket drawing for your chance to win CDs and concert tickets. See you there!

Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, June 1, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening acoustic set – Froggy
Second electric set – JT Wise Band

Here comes the summer, and we’re all ready for lots of great music playing around town — both indoors and outside. There are always many choices in Portland when it comes to music and the blues are always right out there in front. The best way to kick off every month has long been the Cascade Blues Association’s monthly membership meeting. That has been true going on thirty years and we have no thoughts of letting up on that.

Froggy - photo by Greg JohnsonThis month we’re going to be bringing yet another out of town artist to the meeting: William “Froggy” Hyland. “Froggy” is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Albany, working on his fourth studio CD. He is the host of one of the longest running blues jams in Oregon and an innovative tour de force.

He recently took part in Bill Rhoades’ Harmonica Summit and is a past International Blues Challenge semi-finalist and runner-up of the Kings of Beale Street competition with the Vicki Stevens Band in Memphis. Froggy will also be taking part again in this year’s Journey To Memphis competition again and you’ll be able to witness a preview of his set at this month’s meeting.

It’ll be “Lappie Night” for “Lonesome Solo Froggy” at the meeting as he will be utilizing his steel guitar. And don’t be surprised if some of the friends from the Harmonica Summit drop by to pair up with Froggy. And he states, “It’ll never be just like this again!”

JT Wise Band - press photoThe second set of the night will feature another of this year’s Journey To Memphis contestants, the JT Wise Band. JT Wise is an electric guitarist and songwriter from Portland, Oregon with a  distinctive style and tone creating a signature sound. His musical influences read like a Clapton Crossroads Festival with the full spectrum of guitar from Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Vince Gill, Robben Ford, and a touch of Garcia and Betts.

JT along with his wife and the band’s bassist Margaret are the principle songwriters and their music is anchored in the blues, but also blend rock and Americana styles. The current line up has been together for three years, filled out with long-time veteran musicians Jim Stein on guitar and and Ken Woodside on drums. Together the band plays good time music and enjoy singing and harmonizing. They are tight, rhythmic and adventuresome and have been known to stretch out on a song in the tradition of the great jam bands taking the song where ever it may lead.

Remember, if you’re looking to volunteer at the Waterfront Blues Festival for either the Cascade Blues Association merchandise booth or the stage access for the Oregon Food Bank, this will be your last chance at a meeting before the festival to sign up.

Aside from the Waterfront, we’ll pass on information about other great happenings going on this month and will hold our popular free ticket drawings and the winner take all multi-CD package drawing, too. We’ll see you there!