Robert Cray Band - Oct. 15 - Aladdin Theater

Robert Cray Band
Oct. 15 – Aladdin Theater

Interviews with Robert Cray and Dover Weinberg

By Kirk Anderson

The Influence: Born in Clarksdale, Miss., in early 1931, Sam Cooke made the most of his 33 years traversing this Earth. He was on the downside of a racially segregated society in central Mississippi and on the heels of some of the original blues greats. He transitioned many artists from gospel into secular practitioners of the blues, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. “A Change is Gonna Come” is a favorite of lovers of Cooke’s bluesier side about an ever-running man who yearns to have a better life. He knows this means leaving the fast life behind someday and that inevitably …” A Change is Gonna Come.”

Peter Guralnick’s Sam Cooke autobiography, “Dream Boogie” is a delicious trip through Sam’s influences, those he influenced and the music sliding from the blues, gospel, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Driving ambition, roots in the Mississippi Delta, a rise to the top with his career, people he helped as well as the unpolished dark side …oh, man! I want to read this history again. Amazon it if you must, but wouldn’t it be more fun to go down to the local bookstore? And that would help support your local community.

What the heck is the connection between Sam Cooke and Robert Cray Band’s new tour? Robert is quick to share the pre-recording story of him and producer Steve Jordan kicking around a definitive feeling for the upcoming recording.  Robert notes that Steve sent him a recording of some Sam Cooke’s tunes and again the two clicked right into the new record.

The Interviews:

Two members of the Robert Cray Band have ties to the area. Robert spent his early years in Fort Lewis just south of Seattle and Dover Weinberg (keyboards) makes his home near the City of Roses. An exciting but busy time for a musician is getting ready for — and starting — the first week or so of a tour. It’s a time of anticipation and a time of relearning to click with other musicians. So it is with appreciation that both took time out to talk with the Cascade Blues Association.

Dover was up first just a few days prior to the start of their fall 2021 tour in support of “That’s What I Heard.” Blues Notes readers will remember the article last year of another record released right before the pandemic started.

In talking about recording “That’s What I Heard,” Dover remembers that the grand piano that Nat King Cole played during his stint at Capitol Records’ Studio B was a prominent part of history that carried a positive ghost to influence the upcoming recordings.

When asked about what instruments he plays on the record and on the road, Dover shared that in the Robert Cray Band, his main ax is the classic Hammond-Leslie pairing for a majority of the texture needed.  When the other needs arise, his Rhodes Electric Piano gives him the versatility to play a lead or rhythm role.

I asked Dover about one of his favorite memories of working with Robert  Cray. He was quick to recall that eight or nine years ago he was just minding his business when his phone rang. He felt compelled to answer, and a cat on the phone claimed he was Dover’s longtime acquaintance, Robert Cray. Robert said he was calling to offer him a slot in his band as keyboardist.  With so many friends who love to get one over on each other, Dover was sure it was a friend playing a joke on him.

Robert tried to convince Dover, but he had been caught one too many times. Finally Robert asked Dover to ask him a question from their past that only he would know. Dover thought for a second and asked Robert to say the nickname that he had for Dover years earlier when they shared time in England.

Oh man, this should be a climax paragraph, but you know, if I tell you the nickname, then everyone would know. We’ll just say that it had to do with a famous English landmark.

Dover has added his blues/rock keyboards to perennial blues in the studio and with road acts from Albert Collins to Otis Rush to Janiva Magnus, Curtis Salgado, Duffy Bishop, Kevin Selfe to Charlie Musselwhite and Elias McDaniel, better known as Bo Diddley. And that’s just eight musicians/bands out of several dozen. He’s been influenced by and continues to influence many others.

Robert’s interview took place about a week and a half later, after the tour had already started.

Robert’s memory of recording was finally entering the building he had driven by so many times, the Capitol Records Building. He remembers walking down the hallway, lined with so many pictures of music’s heroes, who had walked down that same hallway toward that same Studio B to record memories that marked good times throughout our lives. “Respect the building. Respect the people,” notes Robert.

When asked about his guitars of choice, Robert sticks with the American Standard Stratocaster with the Alder body, Maple Neck, Rosewood Finger Board, three Custom Vintage Fender Stratocaster single coil pickups.  He also mentions his preference for using a pair of Matchless Clubman 35 as his main amp with its Class A 35 watts with a 4×10 cabinet.

As an artist whom critics have awarded five Grammy wins over 20 strong records, Robert is always quick to talk about how this isn’t about him, but about the musicians that he’s worked with to ply a profession based on love of music. “Love of playing, listening, sharing. This is what we do every night and we can’t do it without love.”

I asked Robert who he has been listening to recently, and he mentioned Larry Young and Art Blakey.  Both are known as trail-blazers in the blues sister genre, jazz. Larry was an American jazz organist who pioneered a more experimental modal approach to the Hammond.  Larry also is known for his jam with Jimi Hendrix that was captured and then posthumously released on the record, “Nine to the Universe.”

Art is a revered American jazz drummer and bandleader who is influenced by and has influenced the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Wayne Shorter. Want to learn more about the music you love by hearing what your favorite musicians like Robert Cray are being influenced by?  The two cats and their influences are a helluva start.

The Tour: It is with these feelings that the Robert Cray Band brings their 2021 tour to the Aladdin Theater in the Brooklyn neighborhood of southeast Portland, Friday, Oct. 15. The tour that started in September will wind its way across the United States, headed for the Pacific Northwest. A week into the tour, I asked Robert if they are able to bring the vibe from recording at Capitol Records to the tour.

Robert shared that the recording was more than 20 months ago. The lockdown put time between the recordings and the tour.  Locking into each other’s playing at the recordings and the contributions of Steve Jordan, although still remembered, had faded some from muscle memory. But Robert was quick to add that as they play more gigs together, the magic from the recording’s interplay is coming back.

A longtime friend, schooled in the ways of live music, saw an early gig for this tour at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo, Mich. A fan of Robert Cray since just before Cray’s “Strong Persuader” record came out in 1986, the friend confirms that the current live performance didn’t suffer from the pandemic break.  Adding this first-person gig review to Robert’s comment that more of the recording memories are coming back as the tour progresses makes me mark the Aladdin date on the calendar as “Can’t Miss.”

The Community: Vaudeville is a term I had to look up as this type of early 20th century entertainment was the impetus of so many theater venues being built. Oxford Languages define vaudeville as, “a type of entertainment … featuring a mixture of specialty acts such as burlesque, comedy & song and dance.”

The Aladdin was built in the late 1920s as a venue for Vaudeville acts. The original name was Geller’s Theatre. As the Great Depression hit, a new form of entertainment known to us now as “movies” forced the change for many vaudeville houses to new places for families to enjoy the medium together. With this change, in 1934, the Geller changed its format from vaudeville to movies and changed its name to the Aladdin Theater.

Forty years later saw a change in the makeup of these neighborhoods and the prosperity that America was graced to enjoy post-World War II. In the 1970s and ‘80s, family films turned into adult movie theaters. Then VHS proved too strong for the adult movie theater, leaving the building with a history of performances for the community with property values that had tanked.

This formula has been proved over and over again in Portland, the United States and around the world to provide a low-cost venue with an infrastructure for renovation back to the live performances of the ‘90s through to the present. Forwar- thinking people with their own passion around music invested their fortunes in the community and took the chance to put money into the renovation of the building and booking acts to come in and fill a much-needed hole in the fabric of their communities.

Well, now you’re mentally prepared for the Oct. 15 show of the Robert Cray Band at the Aladdin Theater in Portland. Now you need to get your tickets and start looking around for a pre-concert place for dinner before the show … or just drinks. Maybe make plans to meet up with some of your Cascade Blues Association sisters and brothers.

In doing research for this article, another comment that Robert posted on his website,, hung with me and I thought you might like it, too.

“Hearing is a funny thing. It’s not just receiving sound – it’s understanding and interpreting it, making sense of variations swirling around in our heads. That’s how people can listen to the same thing, and come away with opposite impressions. The sounds may be the same, but the comprehension isn’t.” Robert Cray –

“My Baby Likes to Boogaloo.”  I hope you’re ready and like to Boogaloo, too.

Key Events - Save the Date! 2022 May

Key Events and Save the Dates! October 2021

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

10/9 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert, Aladdin Theater

10/15 The second installment of the Blues Nights series, presented by the Cascade Blues Association and featuring the NW Women in Rhythm & Blues lineup starring: Sonny Hess, Julie Strange, Rae Gordon, Kathryn Grimm, Myrtle Brown, Leah Hinchcliff, and Ward Griffiths. Lovejoy Rooftop at the Botanist

10/15 Robert Cray, Aladdin Theater

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-CBA cosponsored event

10/28 Anderson East, Aladdin Theatre

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

11/20 JD Simo, Jack London

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


12/1 Marc Broussard, Revolution Hall

12/8 & 12/9 Black Pumas- Roseland Theater

12/12 CBA Holiday Party, Moose Lodge


1/21 Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, Jack London

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!

CBA Presents Blues Night - NW Women Rhythm & Blues

CBA Presents Blues Night – NW Women Rhythm & Blues

Produced by Sonny Hess

Part of the Elevate Unity Benefit Series at Lovejoy Rooftop,
the event side of Botanist
910 NW 14th Ave., Portland

NW Women Rhythm & Blues are composed of top female performers in the region as well as fresh new talent ready to be introduced to the Portland blues scene. This night’s planned impressive line-up includes Sonny Hess, Julie Strange, Rae Gordon, Kathryn Grimm, Myrtle Brown, Leah Hinchcliff and Ward Griffiths. Every show is a little different. When women perform with women, a certain magic happens!

The CBA has been working in partnership with Elevate Unity, a 501c3 charity, to advocate for social equality and address the need to support our local venues, production staff, restaurant workers and musicians from the devastating effects of our industry shutdown. The benefit music series spotlights Portland’s top soul, blues, Latin, jazz, and rhythm & blues artists, and features positive commentary from community activists, nonprofits and social equality advocates, sharing ideas and tangible strategies to unite our divided country.

This series is a fundraising effort for various nonprofits, including Elevate Unity, Cascade Blues Association, Jazz Society of Oregon, Ethos Music Center, Black United Fund, Legacy Mentor & Friends of Noise. Even if you can’t make it to the show, please consider offering a direct contribution from the ticket page to support this very important work.

The Deets:

Friday, Oct. 15

Lovejoy Rooftop at Botanist, 910 NW 14th Ave., in The Pearl

Door: 5 p.m. / Show: 6 p.m.

Tickets: $20 — required two-drink minimum (cocktails, beer, wine, N/A)

  • CBA Members can get $5 off their ticket from Eventbrite

Seating is limited due to city and state restrictions / Reservations are suggested in order to ensure entry (971.533.8064) / 21 and older / Tickets are Non-Refundable / Performers subject to change.

Midnight at the Crossroads - feat. LaRhonda Steele

Midnight at the Crossroads
– feat. LaRhonda Steele

by Marie Walters

The CBA has partnered with Querencia Dance Productions and Echo Theater Company 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.

Querencia Dance Productions and ETC are turning the historic Echo Theater into the hottest juke joint in town with “Midnight at the Crossroads,”’ a dark cabaret featuring burlesque and cabaret acts accompanied by live music. Fresh off her induction into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, “The First Lady of Portland Blues,” LaRhonda Steele, and her band will provide the smouldering soundtrack for the rest of the performers.

The cast consists of Dahlia Kash, Kizmyastrid, Viper and the featured performer from Seattle, Nox Falls “The Naughty Body.”

  • Dahlia Kash is known as “The Mocha Mae West” for her quick wit and sultry moves. A burlesque performer since 2013, this queer fat femme is gonna rock your world!
  • Viper (they/them) is a burlesque/drag performer from Chicago. A sex-positive African deity that aims to please, they will tantalize you with their style, grace and fierceness …
  • Nox Falls “The Naughty Body” is a “slow- burning doomwitch” with a niche for nasty — they have earned international accolades and a reputation for doing anything for you … in the dark.
  • 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.

This is participatory theater, costumes and other finery are highly encouraged. Let the spirits inspire you and dress however you dare! But please wear a mask (required).

The audience is requested to wear masks and engage in physical distancing. Reduced capacity. Show is for ages 18-plus ONLY, no exceptions. VACCINE or negative COVID test required for entry. No refunds will be given for not meeting entry requirements.

Friday Oct. 22nd

Showtime: 9 p.m.

Tickets at Arts People:  $20 advance, $25 at the door (if tickets remain)

$40 VIP front row table seats available, plus goodies. Must select two tickets at time of purchase.

Size positive and accessible seating area and entry.

More information on the Facebook event or at Echo Theater.

For proof of vaccination, they will accept one of the following:
• Your physical vaccination card
• A clear, legible photo of your vaccination card
• A digital vaccination record
• A negative result from a COVID-19 test (PCR only, test taken within 72 hours)
You may also be asked to show your photo ID along with proof of vaccination.


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 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



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!   


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.


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 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

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