Johnny Wheels and The Swamp Donkeys

Johnny Wheels and The Swamp DonkeysThe first of what will most likely be several fundraisers to help send the Cascade Blues Association’s acts to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge will be held at Mekong Bistro on Sunday, August 25. An all-star event to assist our band entry, Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, will include appearances from Ben Rice, Lisa Mann, Karen Lovely, Rae Gordon, Nikki Jones, Timothy James, Billy D & The Hoodoos, Michael Osborn and more guests TBA, along with Johnny Wheels and the band himself.

Mekong Bistro, 8200 NE Siskyou Street. Sunday, August 25. 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm. $15.00 donation to help send the band to Memphis.

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

2019 Journey To MemphisOn May 10 and 11, the Cascade Blues Association hosted its first round of Journey To Memphis contestants vying to travel to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge. Sixteen acts played twenty minutes each before three judges who scored the acts on their blues content, vocals, instrumentation, originality, and stage presence. The top two scoring acts from each night move on to the finals at the Waterfront Blues Festival. This year’s top scoring acts were Fenix Rising, Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, Nikki Jones Band, and Louis Creed & The Geezer. Being the only solo/duo act scoring high enough, Louis Creed & The Geezer will automatically be our entry in Memphis in that category, and as the only under-age act in our competition this year, Generation Headstrong will also be headed to Memphis for the Youth Showcase.

Make your plans to attend the finals on July 4, on the Front Porch Stage at the Waterfront Blues Festival to start out the day. Come cheer on your favorites and see who will also be going to Memphis. Congratulations and good luck to all. And thank you to all of the participants as you brought a splendid two nights of entertainment.

Thanks also to all of our volunteers; our judges for this round of Journey To Memphis Mark Young, Mark Bittler and Tom Wendt; Coach, Jay & Mike from JBL Sound, and The East Portland Eagles Lodge. None of this could’ve happened without you all.

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

Beale Street

The 2019 Cascade Blues Association Journey To Memphis competition will take place over the weekend of Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Eighteen acts will face off for the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association and the region at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN (January 28 – February 1, 2020). Past CBA acts have fared well in Memphis including Karen Lovely, Ty Curtis, and Rae Gordon each taking home prizes from the finals.

Each act will play twenty-minute sets before a group of judges scoring them on blues content, vocals, instrumentation, originality, and stage presence. The top two scoring acts from each night will move onto the finals to be held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4 where the overall winner will be determined.

The competition will be held at The East Portland Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd. $10.00 admission each day (proceeds to be awarded as prize money to help defray some of the travel expense to Memphis). All ages welcome.

 FRIDAY, May 10 SATURDAY, May 11
7:10
Kenny Lee & The Sundowners
7:15
GreyDogz
8:15
Justus Reece
7:50
Generation Headstrong
8:50
Tom Gilberts Band
8:25
Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys
9:25
Mick Schafer Band
8:55
Bob Shoemaker & Anni Piper
9:55
Louis Creed & The Geezer
9:30
Project Tsunami
10:30
Nikki Jones Band
10:05
Jimmy Haggard Band
11:00
Altai Band
10:40
Fenix Rising
11:35
Billy Dee & The Hoodoos
11:15
E. Wayne Jones Band

 

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

2019 Journey To MemphisIf you want to participate in this year’s Journey To Memphis competition for the chance to represent the Cascade Blues Association and the region at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, you must submit your application packets no later than the end of the CBA monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, April 3. The meeting will be held at The Mission Theater. No late applications will be accepted.

The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held this year on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at The East Portland Eagles Lodge. Acts are scored by a trio of judges selected for their backgrounds and knowledge of the blues. The highest scoring acts from each night of competition (up to four acts) will advance to the finals held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on the Fourth of July.

Application packets must include:

  • Entry fee is $25.00
  • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
  • Only acts located within Oregon or Washington states are allowed to enter the Journey To Memphis.
  • Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete — no exceptions.
  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years, regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year before being allowed to compete again. Acts can only participate three times in Memphis (acts competing previous to 2017 will be grandfathered and may compete three times starting from 2017).
  • Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be made aware of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon Liquor Commission laws.
  • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band members with whom they won previous rounds. In other words, if you won with a certain bass player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and drummer must be in your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances, such as health issues.
  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from further competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.
Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

2019 Journey To MemphisThe Journey To Memphis is the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition to select the acts that will represent our organization and region at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Up to 250 acts from around the world converge on Beale Street to perform before the music industry searching for new talent, with the chance to win recognition and prizes that include major festival performances and more. But the only way an act may participate is to win a regional competition held by one of The Blues Foundation’s affiliated societies like the Cascade Blues Association.

The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held this year on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at The East Portland Eagles Lodge. Acts are scored by a trio of judges selected for their backgrounds and knowledge of the blues. The highest scoring acts from each night of competition (up to four acts) will advance to the finals held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4th.

Applications to participate in the competition will be accepted from now until Wednesday, April 3 at the Cascade Blues Association membership meeting. No late applications will be accepted. All acts that meet our criteria as described below will be eligible to compete. The performance schedule for the competition is drawn at random.

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  • Entry fee is $25.00
  • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
  • Only acts located within Oregon or Washington states are allowed to enter the Journey To Memphis.
  • Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music Award from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete. No exceptions.
  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years, regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year before being allowed to compete again. Acts can only participate three times in                                               Memphis (acts competing previous to 2017 will be grandfathered and may compete three times starting from 2017).
  • Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be                                    made aware of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon or Washington Liquor Commission laws.
  • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band members with whom they won previous rounds. In other words, if you won with a certain bass player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and                                   drummer must be in your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances, such as health issues.
  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from                                      further competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.

The Journey To Memphis is the Cascade Blues Association’s regional competition to select the acts that will represent our organization and region in 2020’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Up to 250 acts from around the world converge on Beale Street to perform before the music industry searching for new talent, with the chance to win recognition and prizes that include major festival performances and more. But the only way an act may participate is to win a regional competition held by one of The Blues Foundation’s affiliated societies like the Cascade Blues Association.

The Journey To Memphis competition consists of two rounds. The opening round will be held this year in mid-May at a venue to be determined.  The event may take place over more than one night depending on the number of acts wishing to compete. Acts are scored by a trio of judges selected for their backgrounds and knowledge of the blues. The highest scoring acts from each night of competition (up to four acts) will advance to the finals held at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4th.

Applications to participate in the competition will be accepted from now until Wednesday, April 3 at the Cascade Blues Association membership meeting. No late applications will be accepted. All acts that meet our criteria as described below will be eligible to compete. The performance schedule for the competition is drawn at random.

 

Here’s the application information:

  • Entry fee is $25.00
  • Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues

Association.

  • Only acts located within the region of Oregon, or Wasshington are allowed to enter the

Journey To Memphis.

  • Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music

Awards from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete. No exceptions.

  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years,

regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year

before being allowed to compete again. Acts can only participate three times in Memphis

(acts competing previous to 2017 will be grandfathered and may compete three times

starting from 2017).

  • Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of

all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this

may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be made aware

of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so

the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon or Washington Liquor Commission laws.

  • We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band

members that they won the rounds with. In other words, if you won with a certain bass

player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and drummer must be in

your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances when not                           under control of the act, such as health issues.

  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so

with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before

ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from further

competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.

On January 20, help the CBA’s Journey To Memphis winner Ben Rice make his way to the International Blues Challenge at the end of the month by attending an all-star extravaganza of some of Portland’s most amazing talent. This all day event will feature local luminaries such as Karen Lovely, Kivett Bednar, Doug Rowell, Marty Henninger, Dante Zapata, Arrogant Bastards, and a performance by United By Music North America. 100% of all raffle proceeds and admission sales, plus 10% of all bar sales for the event will go towards helping Ben make his way to Memphis.

Catfish Lou’s, 2460 NW 24th Avenue. January 20 — Noon until whenever. Admission is your donation, $10.00 minimum recommended. 21 & over.

Fenix Project

Fenix ProjectThe Fenix Project will represent The Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this month. A dynamic, soulful rhythm and blues band led by saxophonist/vocalist Fenix Sanders, the band has held court in Portland’s most venerable juke joint, the Blue Diamond, weekly for nearly twenty years. Fenix, with his gravelly vocals and stirring sax, reveals the depth of emotion and experience of an authentic blues man. He is backed by a smooth and well-oiled rhythm section: Jason Thomas on guitar, Jeffery Frankel on drums, Calen Uhlig on bass, and Danny Barnett on keyboards.

Traveling to Memphis is an expensive journey — especially for a large band like The Fenix Project. To help ease some of the expenses, on Saturday, January 19 there will be a last minute fundraising effort held at The Blue Diamond. Hosted by past IBC third-place winner Rae Gordon (who will also sit in with the band), the night will also include raffles to help raise funds, so come out and help support their trip to Memphis and cheer them on to the international event.

The Blue Diamond is located at 2016 NE Sandy Blvd. The fun begins at 6:00 pm and tickets are $10.00 at the door.

 

Portland Spirit of Portland Blues Cruise

Portland Spirit of Portland Blues CruiseJoin the Rae Gordon Band on October 6 for the biggest party and Fall Floating Fundraiser of the year! Once again, Rae and the guys will be hosting a Willamette River party on The Portland Spirit, featuring the acts who won the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey To Memphis competition this year at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Those winning acts, Ben Rice and The Fenix Project, will be traveling to Memphis, TN in January to represent the CBA and the region at the International Blues Challenge, one of the largest blues events in the world. Acts from around the globe will descend on Memphis’ famed Beale Street for four days of competition to help find some of the best unsigned Blues bands on earth.

Music will be flowing on all three levels of The Spirit, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm as the ship cruises up and down the Willamette River for amazing views of the downtown Portland skyline.

Come dance and sway with other blues lovers and support YOUR CBA representatives and help put Portland on the blues map.  Food and beverages will be for sale on board, plus there will be drawings and a silent auction taking place. Funds raised through these and ticket sales will help offset some of the cost for the acts to travel to Memphis.

Buy your ticket to ride the river and dance to fun blues music at www.brownpapertickets.com/pbc2018

Journey To Memphis Competition 2021

The finals for this year’s Journey to Memphis competition were held on July 4 at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Four strong acts, who had won the right to participate out of a field of fifteen original acts at Mekong Bistro in mid-May, brought out their best before the scoring judges and an enthusiastic crowd on the Front Porch Stage.

Fenix Sanders - Journey To Memphis WinnersJourney To Memphis Winners - Ben RiceThis year was unique in the fact that we had two bands, Fenix Project and Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, and two solo/duo acts, Rae Gordon & Kivett Bednar and Ben Rice, vying for the right to go to Memphis in January. So it was guaranteed that one from each category would have that honor. Each delivered amazing sets, but when it was all over Ben Rice was named the overall winner of the event and will represent the Cascade Blues Association in the solo/duo category. The top band of the day was the Fenix Project who will also be heading to Memphis to compete in the band category.

Thanks to our finals judges, Chris Azorr, Kendra Carpenter, Michael Bard and Tony TC Coleman. This is a very tough job having to score each act individually in blues content, vocals, instrumentation, originality and stage presence, without trying to compare one act against the other.

Congratulations to the winners and all those who competed!! Good luck in Memphis. Watch for upcoming events to help these acts raise funds to defray travel costs.