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!