Duffy Bishop Band September 24
Alberta Rose Theatre-CBA Co sponsored

$25 advance/$30 at the door…buy tickets here  (CBA members, see your email blast for a code that saves you $2)

By Shelley Garrett

Duffy Bishop and Chris Carlson were mainstays of the Portland (and Seattle) blues scenes for decades before they moved to sunny Florida. Duffy won the CBA Muddy Award for Female Vocalist so many times (12 out of 14 years), that she is in the CBA Hall of Fame and the award is named after her.  The band also won for Best Regional Blues Act in 1994. Duffy has also been inducted into the Oregon Hall of Fame and the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame.

I had a chance to spend some time with them on a Zoom interview.  As always, the couple was warm and generous … and funny!

The strangest thing happened when I asked Duffy what her favorite memory of her time in Portland was. Believe it or not, she was SPEECHLESS!  Not because she couldn’t think of one, but because there were so many! She said, “How do I isolate just one?” then mentioned all the Waterfront Blues Festival performances. Both Chris and Duffy have great memories of the special shows they were a part of at the Alberta Rose, like the Etta James Tribute. Duffy also mentioned the Ray Charles Tribute with the Oregon Symphony. Another memory was when she was on stage with Paul deLay, and he said “OK when I sing this line grab my belt loop and walk away.”

As for what they’ve been up to lately, they’ve done 48 livestreams, but have only performed three live shows in the past 18 months. Two were outdoor festivals, one was an indoor show.

The indoor show was special to them. “It was at the Bradfordville Blues Club,” Duffy said, “it’s a true Roadhouse down a dirt road to the middle of nowhere and the people reminded me of the blues enthusiasts in Portland.  You know they came to this club, there’s no TVs or pool tables in this club. It’s just listening and people just connected and interacted and it was great fun. You know it’s been hard for me to have a year where I couldn’t hug anybody, but it’s like that human contact thing.”

Duffy also spoke about how hard this past 18 months has been. “It’s been really hard having friends pass away. You know, part of that would have happened anyway at our age, but why has that been accelerated? It’s like Carlton Jackson, I mean where did that come from? A sock in the stomach.”

They also mentioned how influential Greg Johnson was as they were deciding to move down to Portland. Duffy thought it would be warmer and less rain. That never happened, so eventually, off to Florida they went.

We talked a bit about the blues, and the British invasion. Chris mentioned the Rolling Stones. They were asked to do a TV show. They said they would only do it if you have Howlin’ Wolf on.

Chris wants to invite all of you down to the Alberta Rose on the 24th. They are so looking forward to seeing their Portland friends. Chris mentioned that they always do something special there, since the space allows them to do more than they can in a club setting.  They will have a full band with them, including Keith Lowe (bass), Bruce Laven (keys), Jon Goforth (reeds), Chris Leighton (drums), Chris Carlson (guitar) and Duffy!

They will do songs from their 2020 release “I’m Gonna Do What I Want” including a train song, “Whistle Callin,’” which Duffy wrote in Portland. They will also perform “Love Grown Cold,” written by Paul deLay and Dan Fincher, and a selection of the classic Duffy songs we’ve all come to love like “Monkey Pants” and her special rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom, Boom.” They also mentioned “Black Mangrove,” recorded with Carlton Jackson on percussion and Kelly Dunn on drums.

Duffy wants to continue to perform so that we can all feel joy. “It’s a different stage of life and you know you can pick and choose and do the things that make you happy. That’s right … well, this makes me happy.”

They have several dates in the Pacific NW:

9/18 Triple Door in Seattle — two shows that night

9/24 The Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland

9/30 The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima, Wash.

10/3 Sunbanks Blues Festival, Electric City, Wash.

10/8 Lincoln Theater, Mount Vernon, Wash.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers September 29th

Too Slim and the Taildraggers September 29th
Alberta Rose-CBA Co Sponsored

“Pandemic Hold” on Steroids

By Kirk Anderson

Early 2020 at Zack Kasik’s Wild Feather Recording studio in Nashville. A fist full of songs written and rehearsed. Fresh off of a 2019 Blues Music Award nomination in the Blues-Rock category. Continuing a phenomenal string of 14 studio albums, five live albums and two compilation albums. Six of these albums charting in the Top 10 Billboard Blues albums. Best Regional Band for 11 of 13 years by the Cascade Blues Association (CBA) and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Washington Blues Society (WBS).

March 2020, 11 tunes in the can and a tour in support of the new 15th album, “The Remedy,” booking briskly …BAM … The world begins to shut down as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 makes people sick and steals lives from individuals and their families across the globe. Billboard’s blues chart again debuts “The Remedy” at No. 3. Pandemic Hold on steroids.

Music fans and venues across the music communities of the Pacific Northwest are obviously hip to Too Slim and the Taildraggers. Started in Spokane in 1986, Tim “Too Slim” Langford is quick to tell appreciative stories of fans in the area letting him and the band flop at their houses after early gigs.

So many venues of all sizes booking and showing support for the band over the past 35 years.

As we start to again be able to cautiously get back out to live entertainment in 2021, Too Slim and the Taildraggers are coming back to Portland. The historic Alberta Rose Theatre and its unique Spanish-Colonial courtyard setting now opens its doors after their own “pandemic hold.” First live show in 18 months, Friday Sept. 10, followed by a line of shows including Too Slim and the Taildraggers on Sept. 29, 2021. Cascade Blues Association supporters know the Alberta Rose Theatre as a supporting advertiser and host to many “Get the Blues at the Alberta Rose” shows.

Originally opened in 1927 as the Alameda Cinema, the facility served to bring people together in the way that only movies can. Although the cinema closed in 1978, in 2005 the building was used to serve the community by the Victory Outreach Church of Portland.

In the summer of 2010 the Alberta Rose Theatre opened to live performances. In our interview for this article, Tim noted that the Alberta Rose Theatre has always provided great sound, lights and an intimate vibe. He echoes the thoughts of many performers who comment that the staff’s attention to the technical details of live performances helps them concentrate on their performance.

When I interviewed Adam East of the Alberta Rose Theatre for this article, he provided the live performance photo inside the theatre and shared, “We appreciate your support and can’t wait to get back to hosting you all for amazing shows at the Rose.”

So now that the stage is set, so to speak, let’s look at the upcoming show of Two Slim and the Taildraggers at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Sept. 29. Opening the show is Tevis Hodge, Jr. Already familiar to many of you through his regular range of blues- and ragtime-steeped gigs in the Portland area, he also played at the CBA Members Meeting at Artichoke Music on Sept. 1.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers are making their way through Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho in September and early October. The band has given us a chart-topping studio CD and now will bring their music to us through live performances again. In October they’ll be in Florida and November in Virginia Beach. Starting back to touring isn’t like it used to be. Every gig is important to getting the music out.  Regular rotation play on XM/Sirius’ BB King’s Bluesville channel and CD reviews at major media outlets are good, but a lot of you already know that watching this trio make their music and work their crowd live is something not to be missed.

To Slim and the Taildraggers consist of:

Tim “Too Slim” Langford – guitar-vocals

Zach Kasik – bass-vocals. Yup, for those not paying attention, Zach was mentioned in the first sentence.

Jeffrey “Shakey” Fowkles drums. Yup, gigged with many including Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise.

Too Slim got his nickname years ago when he wore a younger man’s body. The Taildraggers got their name from the Willie Dixon-written and Howlin’ Wolf-performed 1969 vinyl, 7” – 45 RPM single B side tune, “Tail Dragger.” The A side?  “Evil,” written by Chester Burnett.

Tim wanted me to tell you that he’s considering this gig a “CD Release Party” even though the CD was released back in July 2020.  Well, you heard what happened due to “pandemic hold.”  New CD ready in March, held until July, support tour canceled and No. 3 slot debut for “The Remedy” on Billboard’s blues chart. With their first real tour since the CD release, Sept. 29 at Alberta Rose is going to be a “CD Release Party” and Tim even says with a chuckle, “The Too Slim Mini Mall will be set up.”  This is the kind of CD that you have to purchase 4-5 copies of so you can tell a friend, ”Hey… you gotta hear this,” and then give them a copy of the disc. Good for your friend, good for the band and heaping good for you.

I saw that Delaney Guitars endorses Too Slim and the Taildraggers and remembered that they made a Signature Tim “Too Slim” Langford guitar.  Mike Delaney is known as a guitar player and woodworker, so he chooses the tone, wood, shape, pick-ups and volume/tone controls with his clients to incorporate his craftsmanship with that of the musician. Mike quickly added, “It’s a gift to work with Tim.”  He was proud of the Signature Series guitar as its “grizzly, bad-ass tone is perfect for Tim.”  He even was able to laser-etch and float color into the awesome Too Slim and the Taildraggers logo onto the solid body. How did Mike and Tim meet? Back in the day, Mike booked Tim for a festival in Montana.

Get your tickets for this show early. Check out www.tooslim.net for other gigs within a short drive.  I can tell from the interview that these guys are eager to tear it up.

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

9/9 Allman Betts, Roseland Theater (CBA c0o-sponsored event)

9/11 CBA Journey to Memphis Competition, Artichoke Music

9/11 Sonny Hess Birthday Bash/Street Fest, Blue Diamond

9/24 Duffy Bishop, Alberta Rose Theatre (CBA co-sponsored event)

9/24 Beacon St. Titans, Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist (CBA co-sponsored event)

9/26 The Kingsmen & Friends Present a Celebration of Mike Mitchell, The Aladdin Theater

9/29 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Alberta Rose Theatre (CBA co-sponsored event)

9/30 Ruthie Foster, Mary Flower, Alberta Rose Theatre

10/3 Triple CD Release Party-Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys, Sugar Roots & Mick Schafer, The Garages

10/10 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert, Aladdin Theater

10/15 Robert Cray, Aladdin Theater

10/15 NW Women In Blues-Sonny Hess (CBA co-sponsored event)

10/17 Blues for Slim Lively, A Benefit for Greg Johnson, Crystal Ballroom

10/18 John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band, Revolution Hall

10/22 Midnight at the Crossroads, Echo Theater

11/3 Mini Muddy Awards—The Covid Edition, Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

11/7 Chris Hamann Celebration of Life, Catfish Lou’s

11/9 Paul Thorn, Alberta Rose Theatre

11/14 Los Lobos, Aladdin Theater

11/11 JJ Grey and Mofro, Crystal Ballroom

11/18 The Record Company, Roseland Theater

11/22 Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real, Crystal Ballroom

12/1 Marc Broussard, Revolution Hall

12/12 CBA Holiday Party, Moose Lodge

 

2022

3/23 Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Revolution Hall

4/21 Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge Duo, Revolution Hall

 

 

Thanks to Mike and Debra Penk for adding to and editing this!

Blues Nights - Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

Blues Nights – Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

Lovejoy Rooftop 910 NW 14th Ave. in the Pearl District

The CBA is delighted to be working in partnership with Soundstage Events and Muse Media Collective to bring these special nights of blues music to Lovejoy Rooftop! This beautiful, spacious new venue, on the event side of Botanist bar, features safe and covered seating, commercial gas heating, and a panoramic view of the skyline and the Beautiful Pearl District.

For more details/ticket links, check back on this space, join our Facebook group, or like and follow our Facebook page to receive notifications when we post updates!   

BEACON STREET TITANS — Sept. 24

Two-time Journey to Memphis finalists (2015 and 2016) and jump blues band the Beacon Street Titans will be playing the Lovejoy Rooftop’s Blues Night at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

Strap on your dancing shoes and come on up to the roof for spacious open-air seating, a delectable menu and creatively mixed cocktails. RSVP for tables of 4 or 8 due to social distancing guidelines. For your safety, our venue requires masks unless sitting at your table inside or outside.

Tickets will be on sale through TicketTomato [link to come] … and information will be updated on the Facebook Event

$15 GA ticket, w/general seating. Purchase at door w/ two-drink minimum.

Reserved tables for groups of 4 or 8 w/two-drink minimum.

(For limited 2 person per table/standing room only tickets, please call direct: 971-325-3877.

CBA PRESENTS: NW Women in Rhythm and Blues Oct. 15

With the perfect amount of sun and shade, fresh air and elevated energy, join us on the event side of Lovejoy Rooftop / Botanist for Northwest Women in Rhythm and Blues, hosted by Sonny Hess. The Oct. 15 show is part of the “CBA Presents” series.

Together with Muse Media Collective and Soundstage Events, the Cascade Blues Association is thrilled to bring you this Portland favorite front and center for a special event that supports local musicians.

A portion of proceeds will go toward the Elevate Unity Benefit Music Series, a collaborative effort created from the necessity to support local artists, music venues and industry workers critically devastated by the COVID-19 shutdown last year. The goal is to reconnect our community and promote unity through the connection and message of live music!

The focus is to advocate for social equality while addressing the need to actively support our local venues, their staff, restaurant workers and specifically the musicians still struggling from the consequential effects of our industry being shut down.

The line-up is still being finalized and tickets will be on sale through Eventbrite in September.

The CBA and Artichoke Music Present 2021 Journey to Memphis Sept. 11

The CBA and Artichoke Music
Present 2021 Journey to Memphis Sept. 11

A fundraiser – your tickets and donations help the winner get to Memphis!

Saturday, Sept. 11 — Doors at 1 p.m. Program at 1:20 p.m. Tickets at Eventbrite are $20 per person. There is also the option to make a donation on the ticket site.  There will be limited seating capacity and no entry during set performance … acts will be using the video recording for promotion.

*** PLEASE NOTE THAT THE VENUE WILL REQUIRE PROOF OF FULL VACCINATION OR NEGATIVE COVID TEST WITHIN PRIOR 48 HOURS TO ENTER ***

The International Blues Challenge (IBC) represents the worldwide search for blues bands and solo/duo blues performers ready for the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each affiliated blues society of the Blues Foundation has the right to send an act or acts to represent its organization at the IBC.

The Cascade Blues Association has two acts competing this year. Because there is only one act in each category, they will compete with each other. Each act will perform a 25-minute set that will be judged according to an established set of criteria by which all competing musicians are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC.

The first act, JME, will perform at 1:30 p.m.

Sugar Roots, featuring Chad Rupp, will perform at 2:45 p.m.

The scores will then be tabulated, and the winner announced at approximately 3:45 p.m.

For those who are not able to join us in person, each set will be livestreamed separately from the Artichoke Music Facebook Page. The announcement will be livestreamed from the Cascade Blues Association Facebook page. Donations to the fundraising efforts can be made directly on the ticket site.

JME

JME is stylized blues and post-modern jazz for the next roaring ’20s. This duo combines decades of musical experience exploring the vast genres of rock, blues and jazz.

Anybody who has been active in Portland’s blues scene will be familiar with Jenny Moriarty’s powerful and expressive vocals as she has performed with many of Portland’s more prominent musicians. JME provides Jenny perhaps her most versatile and expressive vehicle where she can truly display her performance abilities and musicality.

The instrumental aspects of JME are anchored by Brad Bleidt on piano. Brad’s primary piano focus is providing a rich imaginative harmonic interpretation to Jenny’s varied repertoire while injecting complementary solos to round out the ensemble’s stylizing.

Jenny and Brad are active in Portland’s music venues with other projects such as JME Jazz, Bedazzled, the Beacon Street Titans and The Mystic Mama Band.

 

Sugar Roots, featuring Chad Rupp

Sugar Roots, featuring Chad Rupp, is a Portland-based blues band formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Chad Rupp, guitarist Jason “JT” Thomas, keyboardist Sam Gendler, bassist Timmer Blakely and drummer Chandler Bowerman.

This band was forged from the roots of Portland’s uniquely prodigious local blues scene with three Portland natives and two extremely talented transplants who appreciate the legacy of Portland’s musical history and the amazing musicians that have provided a lasting tradition of blues performance. Sugar Roots draws on inspiration from Portland greats like Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Jim Mesi, Paul deLay, DK Stewart and Norman Sylvester, along with their supporting bandmates.

The band takes its name as a nod to popular local blues band, Brown Sugar, a pioneering staple of Portland’s live music scene. Frontman Chad Rupp said this about the band forming: “Really, the band came together because we had been playing together regularly pre-pandemic for a few years at a popular local jam session, The 1-4-5 Blues Jam Party, and we were having a great time! Sam Gendler and Chandler Bowerman brought their experience and mojo from the LA and Illinois scenes combined with veteran local and national act musicians, Timmer Blakely and Jason “JT” Thomas. This group really became a tight and organic unit for me to work with. When we looked at the chemistry we had, we decided that we should be recording and gigging together more! These guys have made it possible for me to stretch out on stage leading to some fun and powerful performances for me, personally!”

We are all looking forward to bringing our best to the stage as we approach the Cascade Blues Association’s Journey to Memphis and the possibility of representing Portland’s live blues legacy at the International Blues Challenge in 2022! Sugar Roots will be releasing an album of originals on Oct. 3, with some sneak peeks via social media! Please visit our Facebook page for news and events. And support live music and the blues, wherever you are!

Blue Diamond Street Fest & Sonny’s Birthday Bash
Saturday, Sept. 11, from 3-9 p.m.

Once again, this year the Blue Diamond takes over Flanders Street at the back of the club.

 

The music schedule:

3 p.m. — Sportin’ Lifers with Erin Wallace

4:30 p.m. — Big Bad Beat with Melanie Roy

6 p.m. — NW Women in Blues, LaRhonda Steele, Lady Kat, Sonny Hess, Rae Gordon, Kathryn Grimm

7:45 p.m. — The Strange Tones

Come for the music, barbecue, the full bar and to wish Sonny a happy birthday!

$20, 21+ only, tickets at bluediamondpdx.net

2016 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland

2019 Muddy Award for Best Venue

 

And yes, all current COVID protocols will be followed … they’ve been doing this very successfully!
Information about current policies can be found here

Allman-Betts Band

The Blues. Americana. Allman-Betts Band

by Kirk Anderson

Music has so many definitions around the world. The definitions change with time. Each generation feels their definition is the only one that matters. Oxford Languages defines Americana as, ”things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States.”

As we go back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s, Americana was often defined by folk music.  John Avery Lomax was a pioneering musicologist who was recording Americana when he came across a guttural music being made on the plantations of the South.

The blues of the time, sung only to a few other slaves on individual plantations, had few real instruments, much less recordings. But Lomax was able to take recording equipment to the Mississippi Delta in the early 1900s as the Great Depression was revving up.

The blues was born in the American Southeast as slaves toiled endlessly in the plantation fields, starting early every morning. The slaves were given just enough food to sustain them through their hard workdays. At the end of the day, leftover food from the plantation house was thrown out to the slaves to replenish the calorie deficit. The next day, they’d do it all again. Pay? None. Hope of working their way out of indentured servitude? None.

As hot summer days turned to hot summer nights, any feelings of optimism gave way to animalistic moaning out in pain and despair. As the workers mixed these guttural vocalizations with rhythms and beats from their central West African homes, the blues was born.

Jump forward 100 years. Americana has grown into the blues, into jazz, into country and rock ‘n’ roll.   Again, as artists do, a new group of lifelong musicians are interpreting the music’s growth. Where? Back to a new Americana. They are keeping one foot firmly planted in their musical influences. They mix their inner musical voices to bring music to a new place.

Cascade Blues Association, I introduce you to the Allman Betts Band.

Alphabetically, for your reading enjoyment…

Devon Allman – guitar, vocals

Duane Betts – guitar, vocals

  1. Scott Bryan – Percussion – second drum kit – backing vocals

John Ginty – B3, keyboard – backing vocals

John Lum – drums

Berry Oakley – bass – vocals

Johnny Stachele – slide guitar

“The Brotherhood of the Light” with Pete Rabinowitz and Chris Samardizch

In the late 1990s I interviewed Devon Allman and worked on tour with Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley. More than 20 years ago, as they started their professional music careers, they were adamant about making their way on their own terms and with hard work.

Sure, you might come see them because of their dads, but they stand on their own merits to gain you as a fan. What? Their dads? If the last names haven’t already given it away, I always encourage my readers to Google the names they don’t know. My musical knowledge still only touches a small portion of the incredible variety of music. I always try to take the time to search out the roots for music for which I am listening. read up about names I don’t know. This extension has opened my experience with music like a meeting with Morpheus (don’t know Morpheus? The Oracle?  More Googling may be needed).

Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, the individual band members crossed paths many times as they shared the stage in many incarnations. They bring with them more than 100 years of musical interpretations and performance.

Four years ago, Devon and Duane came together in a new project called the Devon Allman Project. Devon brought with him three decades of progression, recording and touring with endeavors like The Dark Horses, Honeytribe, Royal Southern Brotherhood and solo projects.  Duane himself had a busy three decades of musical experiences with Backbone69, Oakley Krieger Band, Whitestarr, Great Southern, Dawes and Jamtown.

During a nationally streamed broadcast, BMG-NYC’s Lea Gerschwinder interviewed Devon for the national release of their first CD, “Down to the River.” Devon shared that it was natural to bring in a longtime third leg of their musical family, bassist Berry Duane Oakley.

Berry brings with him three decades of professional life in music. His musical experiences include Robby Krieger Band, Bloodline, Oakley Krieger Band, Backbone69, Chuck Negron Band, Butch Trucks & the Freight Train Band and Indigenous Suspects.

The Allman Betts Band’s first CD, “Down To the River” debuted at the top of the iTunes rock chart.  Grammy winning producer/engineer Matt-Ross Spang (Jason Isbell, John Prine) brought his skills to the CD, pulling together the history of the music, the facility and the musicians to lay down the first recorded landmark of this band’s evolving new sound. Classic recording techniques and vintage gear completed an environment conducive to finding their own sound. The result was nine songs recorded to two-inch analog tape without computers or digital editing, allowing the listener to hear the warm nuances that the band works hard to share.

Their first CD highlights the vocals of Allman and Betts and is a combination of rockers, blues runs and a country ballad. You get a chance to hear them establish their sound. Many times, artists are inspired by musical venues that carry with them the history of those who recorded there before them.  Such is the case with the Allman Betts Band.

Joining part of their musical family is their studio of choice, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. After years of backing some of the best musicians at Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section( aka The Swampers) took their rhythm section talent and left to form Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in nearby Sheffield, Alabama. Again.

The Swampers’ rhythm section backed many branches of the blues tree and its soul branches as they recorded hit after hit. Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Boz Scaggs to name but a few.

The Allman Betts Band is now part of the studio’s history. Twice. The Allman Betts Band, after recording their first CD and touring the world, have evolved. They wrote new songs as they sat in the tour bus going down the road.  They have had another stint at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios laying down fresh tracks.

The second CD is titled, “Bless Your Heart.”  Stronger, more familiar, direction becoming clearer. Oakley adds his distinctive vocals to the project as the band further defines itself.

Music has many personalities. Each member brings their own essence to the project. The recording studio and venue can add their imprints on the music. Ultimately, it’s the musicians, their instruments and amplifiers that bring the project to life.

  • Devon’s Johnny Cash model Martin acoustic guitar and ’61 Fender Stratocaster ”Frankencaster”;
  • Duane’s ’61 Fender hard tail Stratocaster and Les Paul gold top Dickie Betts Signature prototype;
  • Johnny’s ’59 Leroy Parnell edition butterscotch Gibson Les Paul;
  • Berry’s Fender Jazz Basses;
  • John’s Hammond B3 through the Leslie speaker;
  • Louis’s John Lum’s Pearl drum kit and
  • R Scott Bryant’s percussion set up rounds out the percussion section and
  • (Touring) Peter Rabinowitz and Chris Samardizch-Brotherhood of the Light add a distinctive light and video show building on 50 years of complementary innovation.

While we’ve all been in various states of COVID-19 lockdown, the Allman Betts Band has had to satisfy our live music needs with a streamed, live performance at Belly Up in Solana Beach, California. A high-quality video and soundboard audio on live streaming concert production company NOCAP hosted the event. NOCAP had already streamed more than 70 virtual concerts at well-known music clubs and theaters and sold more than 350,000 tickets.

With BMG again behind the band, the band performed on its first nationally televised performance on “CBS This Morning’s Saturday Sessions.” Not just one tune played on the cutaway, but performances of the “Bless Your Heart” single, “Pale Horse Rider,” paired with the single “Magnolia Road” from their inaugural CD “Down by the River.”

As the spring of 2021 grew with what was hoped to be post-pandemic optimism, the Allman Betts Band again came back to the NOCAP live streaming platform with three different performances streamed weekly over three consecutive Monday’s. One stream was a more controlled environment performance at Village Studios in L.A., followed by two live concert performances at West Hollywood’s Roxy Theater.

Everyone has to fight to keep live music alive. The bands, the venues, the community and YOU! The Allman Betts Band, its management and the venues in your community are in the middle of an 80-plus  U.S./European stop tour which started in late May.

Late July finds our intrepid friends (friends? Yeah, don’t you feel like you know these guys now?) on the same bill as another group of musicians finding their own way, Blackberry Smoke. They are together for a line of concert dates across the U.S. At the end of this joint tour, the Allman Betts Band continues on their own as they head out west, taking a hard right turn up the coast to the Pacific Northwest before heading back for a line of European gigs.

BMG is again showing their love for the recording endeavor. Gibson Guitars and Facebook Music have put their assets to work for the tour. Big Hassle Media has continued its representation of the Allman Betts Band as the 20-year-old company represents an incredible string of artists over a wide variety of musical genres and experiences. Man, Google these people!

Again Big Hassle Media has opened their hearts to the music fans of the PNW, providing access to information about the band, exclusive interviews with the band as well as the community of Pacific Northwest venues hosting the shows in early September. There are four shows starting the second week of September in Oregon and Washington.

The PNW run starts at Century Center in Bend on Thursday, Sept. 8, and into Portland’s Roseland Ballroom on Friday, Sept. 9. The tour crosses the border into Washington for a show in Seattle at the Neptune Theatre in the University of Washington district on Saturday, Sept. 10,  and at Spokane’s Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Special guests opening the show are Marc Ford (Google him) and St. Louis’ own soulful folk duo, River Kittens.

In this preview, I wanted to make sure you knew that you have several opportunities to see the Allman Betts Band for yourself. You also have the chance to help your community. Your musical community that has hunkered down during the past 16 months of the pandemic lockdown. They now need your patronage to help them come back. Have you thought maybe of taking a trip to a neighboring community in the PNW and maybe seeing a second show? Support the music, support the band, support the venue and support the community around the venue. Have fun!

As I’ve been reading about the Cascades Blues Association, I’ve found a group of people who do more than just go see shows. You care about your community. You participate with the musicians and the venues as a community. So it is with great honor that I am able to exclusively cover the PNW portion of the Allman Betts Band tour for both the Cascades Blues Association and the Washington Blues Society. We are a community that is more the same than we are different.

We’re planning one article for each group previewing the early September tour, followed up by a second article for each with special emphasis on the shows in your home state. Interviews with the band members, reviews of the shows and community experiences as well as  information from the venue representatives about what they’ve been through during COVID-19 and what they are doing to open back up. I hope to pique your interest in your and your neighboring communities’ music scenes so we can all be part of the comeback.

Thank you for spending the past 20 minutes with me as I brought you up to speed on the Allman Betts Band. As my first effort for the Cascade Blues Association, I hope I have earned your interest and have provided useful background to broaden your understanding of the music in your life.

Midnight at The Crossroads - Oct. 22 Echo Theater

Midnight at The Crossroads
Oct. 22, Echo Theater

By Marie Walters

We are partnering with Querencia Dance Productions to promote a completely different kind of blues show on Oct. 22. “Midnight at the Crossroads” is a celebration of the blues and burlesque, an adult-oriented show presented dinner theater style at Portland’s Echo Theater.

We are ecstatic to feature Portland’s First Lady of the Blues and her band — the LaRhonda Steele Band — providing the live soundtrack, plus performances by Dahlia Kash, Fannie Fuller, Viper and featured performer from Seattle, Nox Falls “The Naughty Body.” BeeBee Sanchez, whom many of you may remember from her years volunteering on the hospitality team at the Waterfront Blues Fest South Stage, will emcee and perform.

Watch this space for the ticket link when they go on sale in September!

Melody Guy-Ketcham August 8th

Melody Guy-Ketcham August 8th at Artichoke Music 7pm

Artichoke Music is pleased to welcome a uniquely gifted songwriter and performer, Melody Guy. She reaches fans and inspires them to follow her through a life’s journey of love, loss and independent triumph of the spirit. Artists of varying genres have recorded her songs from Sherrie Austin to Jesse James. “She sings with passion and beauty from the depths of her soul and writes from a real place that few writers rarely even touch upon” “You’d have to be dead to not feel something when Melody Guy sings.”— Steve Seskin American Singer/Songwriter / Author – www.steveseskin.com

Melody back on the road as a troubadour, visiting fans and weaving tales that resonate with music lovers across a wide range of styles. Her live performances with her band have garnered even more attention, sharing the stage with Keith Urban, The Avett Brothers, Leon Russell and Tanya Tucker, where Melody earned a standing ovation at the famed Ryman Auditorium.

After achieving success with her last release “Diamond On The Street,” Melody recently completed the long awaited “Dry The Rivers” album, Produced by famed musician and producer Michael Webb and recorded in Nashville, TN. She is currently on tour and will be making a stop here with stops throughout the Southwest and California. Join us.

Advance purchase of tickets is recommended.

Doors open at 6:30 pm. There are no printed tickets for Artichoke events. You will receive and email confirming your purchase and we will place your name on the will call list. Tables of 4 may are reserved in advance. Location of seating is first come first served.

This performance will be livestreamed free simultaneously and will include tip jar links for artist.

Kara Grainger August 12th

Kara Grainger August 12th at the Alberta St Pub. 8:30pm

(CBA co-sponsored event)

With Pat McDougall on keys, David Guy (from Nashville) bass and Simon Lucas, drums

Her music career began in a small suburban town of Sydney Australia and since then has taken her on an incredible journey throughout the globe.  Combining tasteful blues and slide guitar, soulful vocals and a heartfelt approach to songwriting, Kara’s truly unique sound will leave you uplifted, inspired and always wanting more.

At the age of 16 Kara joined with her brother Mitch Grainger to form the band “Papa Lips”. The band toured consistently throughout Australia and produced two studio albums that received national air play.

The band was heavily influenced by the sounds of Stax recording in Memphis, and by the Funky style of blues and soul that derived from New Orleans.

In 2008 Kara signed to Australian label “Craving Records” and was invited to the US by producer David Kalish where she recorded her debut solo album. The recording entitled “Grand and Green River” received critical acclaim and remained in the top 30 of the Americana Charts for 38 straight weeks.

Since then Kara has made three further albums whilst residing in the US. In 2011 “LA Blues” was recorded live at Studio City Sound. The cd paid tribute to some of Kara’s earliest blues inspirations and in 2013 Kara recorded and released” Shiver and Sigh” through Los Angeles record label “Eclecto Groove.” The album was produced by Grammy award winning producer David Z with some of LA’s finest musicians, including Mike Finnigan, Hutch Hutchinson, James Gadson and Kirk Fletcher among others.

One of Kara’s touring highlights was performing in Northeast India for the Himalayan Blues Foundation. Her performance at the “18 degrees cultural Festival” introduced the local community to roots and blues music for the very first time.

She has traveled to Indonesia several times to perform at the Jakarta International Blues Festival, performing together with her US band and as a special guest with “The Jakarta all Women Blues Review”.

In 2011 she toured Japan opening the show for “The Swampers and Donnie Fritts”, the infamous house Rhythm section for “Fame Recordings” in Muscle Shoals…She has taken her band to Switzerland where she performed at the “Sierre Blues Festival” as well as “Lucerne”. The band has also toured in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Spain.

In 2015 Kara performed at the “Beautiful Swamp Festival” in Calais France and to sellout crowds on her debut tour of the UK. Another highlight was preforming at “Ronnie Scotts”, London’s premier blues and jazz venue.

In the US Kara has performed at several Festivals such as ‘The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival’, ‘Blues from the Top’ in Colorado and “Austin City Limits”. She has also opened the show for many extraordinary acts such as Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal and Jonny Lang, to name a few.

Tickets at  http://albertastreetpub.com/music