Michele D’Amour

Michele D’Amour is a born storyteller and award-winning songwriter who penned her first song at the age of 6 and became a published poet in her early 20s. Her lyrics treat difficult topics with a sense of soulful whimsy and wry humor. Michele sang in her church choir, wrote songs and sang lead for some local bands before honing her craft at several of the blues jams in the Seattle area. Upon the advice of friends, she formed Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers in 2011. The band features Patrick McDanel on bass, guitarist Mike Kohary, drummer Dave Delzotto, Brian Olendorf on keys and saxman Noel Barnes. They have been recognized with multiple awards and nominations from the Washington Blues Society and were named by LA Music Critic as 2019’s best blues band. 

At The Garages Satellite Pub, 4810 SW Western Ave, Beaverton. Friday, June 5, 8:00 pm. $10.00 cover. 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

There are few artists whose names are synonymous with one instrument and how it’s played in service to an entire genre. 

Utter the phrase “young blues rock guitarist” within earshot of anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the modern musical vanguard and the first name they are most likely to respond with will be Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The Louisiana-born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums while throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens. 

In a 20-year recording career that began when he was just 16, Shepherd has established himself as an immensely popular recording artist, a consistently in-demand live act and an influential force in a worldwide resurgence of interest in the blues. 

Opening the night will be Canadian blues icon Colin James. The award-winning guitarist is one of his country’s most-renowned and prolific musicians, with 19 releases and endless touring throughout North America. 

Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St, Friday, June 5, 8:00 pm. $45.00 general admission tickets at revolutionhall.com. 21 & over. 

Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled

Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled

As with many events scheduled for this coming summer, the Waterfront Blues Festival has been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Though this was surely a hard decision, it is the correct one and the Cascade Blues Association agrees with it. Since it is unknown now how long the pandemic will endure and threaten the public’s health, it’s simply too risky to attempt to plan for this year’s festival. It is not easy to schedule so many acts and make arrangements to accommodate their needs, as well as planning with the City, staff, and volunteers, as well as the financial challenges involved.

Thank you to the Waterfront Blues Festival staff for making this decision. We will miss the event this year, but know that it will return stronger than ever next year.

2020 Sunbanks Music Festival

2020 Sunbanks Music FestivalAt the time of this writing, the 2020 Sunbanks Music Festival is still scheduled to occur, depending on Washington Governor Inslee’s decision whether the state’s stay-at-home and limited gathering size order is lifted beyond May 4. Please check with the festival website, sunbanksfestival.com or Facebook page for updated information including possible date rescheduling..

The Sunbanks Music Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the first of two biannual weekends, with its spring event scheduled for Thursday, May 14 through Sunday, May 17 in Electric City, Washington. This year’s event will feature: Leroy Bell & His Only Friends, Delgado Brothers, Duffy Bishop, Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, Junkyard Jane, Rich Layton & Tough Town, Harlis Sweetwater, Felix y Los Gatos, TuN the Band, Ben Rice Band, Coyote Kings, Sister Mercy, Diego Romero, Brooks Forsythe, James Coates, Kristen Marlo & Gina Belliveau, Sherie Roberts Greimes Duo, and Curtis Moore.

Sunbanks Resort, 57662 WA-155, Electric City, WA.

The Lucky Losers

The Lucky Losers

Danger meets sophistication in the soulful music of San Francisco’s The Lucky Losers. Accompanied by a dynamic four-piece ensemble, veteran Bay Area artists Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz deliver a truly signature sound, layering elements of Stax/Volt styled R&B, electric Americana, and psychedelic rock atop a Chicago and Texas blues foundation. The Lucky Losers perform original music about transcending the dark side of the American dream, the beauty and pain of being alive, and devotion in all of its complexities. Lemons has the velvety, gritty-edged voice and rebel conviction of a woman who’s risen from the ashes. Berkowitz has earned renown as one of the west Coast’s most distinctive harp players. The stark contrast between Lemons and Berkowitz makes for a captivating musical union, breathing new life into American songwriting tradition and the vanishing art of duet singing.

Catfish Lou’s, 6540 SW Fallbrook Pl, Beaverton. Saturday, May 30, 8:00 pm.

Samantha Fish

Samantha FishAfter launching her recording career in 2009, Samantha Fish quickly established herself as a rising star in the contemporary blues world. Since then, the charismatic young singer-songwriter has earned a reputation as a rising guitar hero and powerful live performer, while releasing a series of acclaimed albums that have shown her restless creative spirit consistently taking her in new and exciting musical directions.

The New York Times called Fish “an impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power” and “one of the genre’s most promising young talents.” Her hometown paper The Kansas City Star noted, “Samantha Fish has kicked down the door of the patriarchal blues club” and observed that the young artist “displays more imagination and creativity than some blues veterans exhibit over the course of their careers.”

Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.  Tuesday, May 26, 8:00 pm. $22.00 Eventbrite.com. All ages.

Anni Piper

Anni PiperOne listen will tell you why her homeland has labeled Anni Piper The First Lady of Blues. Not only is she a sultry vocalist, but she’s also an insightful composer, accomplished bass player and show stopping performer. Born and raised in Australia, her passion for blues was ignited by the sound of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Piper is releasing her first album since moving to Oregon, recorded at Jimi Bott’s Roseleaf Studios, it is packed full of top-rate musicians from the Northwest. But even more, the music is a stunning collection of original songs and superb covers of classic material that she has made all her own. Perhaps the best album of her career, she will be holding a special release party at Catfish Lou’s with guest guitarist AC Porter joining in.

Catfish Lou’s, 6540 SW Fallbrook Pl, Beaverton. 8:00 pm, May 15. $7.00 at the door. 21 & over.

Phenomenal Women

Phenomenal WomenThe Lake Theater & Cafe will host singer-songwriters LaRhonda Steele, Bre Gregg, and Beth Wood as they share a stage for the first time to perform the music of their heroes— Nina Simone, Etta James, Dolly Parton, Sara Bareilles, Patty Griffin, and Aretha Franklin.

In LaRhonda, Bre, and Beth’s music you hear the undeniable influence of these singers and musicians, an influence shaped by hours and hours of listening and absorbing and feeling each lyric and each note of their favorite musical songwriters.

This show is filled with feminine brilliance! With expert support from Leah Hinchcliff (the femme fatale of funk), Dan Gildea (one of the finest guitar players in the pacific NW) and Ward Griffiths (goddess of the back beat) on drums

Lake Theater & Café, 106 N State St, Lake Oswego. Monday, May 11, 7:00 pm. $20.00 general admission, VIP tables $100.00 (seats four, closest to the stage) Laketheatercafe.com. all ages.

Blues In The Gorge

Blues In The GorgeThough it may seem quite a ways off yet, it is never too early to think about signing up for the Blues In The Gorge acoustic blues guitar camp. Hosted by Menucha, this camp sells out every year, as it is only open to 50 participants. The limited number allows the world-renowned instructors plenty of one-on-one time with the students. Once again, the teaching staff is led by Portland’s own Mary Flower, and she will be joined by Kristina Olsen, Jim Kweskin, and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes. Held in Corbett, Oregon at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center located in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, this year’s camp will take place from October 7 – 11 and includes food, accommodations, and plenty of music. This event is cosponsored by your Cascade Blues Association.

For more information and to sign up now, visit Menucha.org/programs/blues

Marc Cohn

Marc CohnAfter winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Rooted in the rich soil of American rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel, and possessed of a deft storyteller’s pen, he weaves vivid, detailed, often drawn-from-life tales that evoke some of our most universal human feelings: love, hope, faith, joy, heartbreak.

Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. Thursday, April 30, 8:00 pm. $39.50 Eventbrite.com. All ages.