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Final 2010 Gulfsongs event.

Get ready to rock in the holidays punk blues style in a Gulfsongs Benefit Concert with Hillstomp, Sassparilla, Cicada Omega on December 11  at 9:00pm at Ash Street Saloon. These 3 great Portland bands, along with the renowned DJ Highway 7 spinning from his extensive and amazing collection of  vinyl gems will help put you in the holiday spirit and get you warmed up with energy mined right out of the Mississippi Hill Country and Kentucky. This is not music for the faint of heart or weak of constitution. And you’d best be prepared to shake it. Here’s a little on each band from their websites:

CICADA OMEGA is a southern original. The music is a continuation of blues, country, gospel, R&B and rock traditions. It is an other-worldly blend of pounding rhythm, southern evangelism and electrified junk. With two drummers, a home-made upright bass, banjo, fife, cigarbox and electric guitar, mixed with the chants, screams, and preaching of a snake-handling front man, their music takes tradition, puts it in a blender, and turns it up to the breaking point. They have been described as “southern goth” or “gospel punk,” but they defy categories by reinventing musical traditions rather than simply following them. http://www.cicadaomega.com

SASSPARILLA’s hard driving sound never gives you a moment to catch your breath. Their lyrics speak of love and lust, jealousy and betrayal, crime and punishment and death and dancing with the devil. But their music is more than listening music. If you aren’t on your feet dancing, you’re missing the point.  They take Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grittiness and Lightning Hopkin’s power and aim to blow the walls down on every song. With their washtub percussa-bass, 5 gallon bucket drums,  washboard, resonator  and cigarbox guitars, accordion  and hot as H-E-Double hockeysticks harmonica,  band members Dagger, Gus, Sweet Pea, Jessie and Naima create their own brand of “Insurgent Blues” http://www.myspace.com/sassparillajugband ( just call ‘em Sassparilla).

Portland Oregon junkbox blues duo HILLSTOMP is infamous for digging through the dumps and forgotten backwoods of American music, recycling traditional elements into a refreshing and distinctive brand of do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp. North Mississippi trance blues, a bit of Appalachia, and a dash of punkabilly come clanging and tumbling from assorted buckets, cans and BBQ lids, all drenched in rambunctious slide guitar. Somehow it works. Despite their homemade instruments and novel approach, Hillstomp is no novelty act. Hillstomp’s memorable live performances tap into a magic that cannot be rehearsed, converting outlaws and traditionalists alike from skeptics into preachers. http://www.hillstomp.com

DJ HWY 7 ( AKA Jay Martin) A designer by day, Martin got his start DJing vinyl at Dunes and has continued to spin ever since at many a venue around town. He takes his DJ name from HWY 7 (Highway 7) which runs North and South through the hill country of North Mississippi (Holly Springs) through the Delta and in to southern Mississippi (Belzoni). It’s along this stretch of highway that a lot of the artists whose records he spins live or were from. It has a history steeped in blues and soul music. Jay says of Hwy 7, “It’s an incredible stretch of highway and very scenic—tons of kudzu, wildlife, great roadside markets to buy BBQ, catfish sandwiches and beer from…I love it. And I always look forward to driving it.”—Nilina Mason Campbell, Willamette Week.   Jay will spin selections from his incredible collection before, in between and after each of the band sets,  keeping your feet moving into the wee hours. http://www.myspace.com/djhwy7

Ash Street Saloon is located in downtown Portland at 225 SW Ash between Second and Third Streets. They have generously donated all production costs for the night to the event.

You may also find all of these artists  and Ash Street Saloon on Facebook as well.

All proceeds of the $10 suggested donation will be sent to the two charities selected as beneficiaries of Gulfsongs concerts: Gulfaid Acadiana and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.  This well may be the last Gulfsongs event. Come on out and show your support and help folks affected by the oil spill…it’s still washing ashore. For more information, you may contact the organizers of Gulfsongs at http://www.gulfsongsoregon.org or at their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/gulfsongsoregon#!/profile.php?id=100001172409963

We’re excited to have received our first response from afar to our “Why Should We Save Coastal Louisiana?” photo project. Today’s submission comes to us from Jane-Clair of Oregon.

Jane-Clair's message

Read more of Jane-Clair’s message at the Bayou Grace site.

$2000 more sent to Louisiana

Checks have been sent to Gulf Aid Acadiana ($1400) to forward on to Bayou Grace Community Services , and to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans & Acadiana ($600) ….

Thank you everyone for your support of the Gulfsongs efforts to raise money to help folks in southern Louisiana.

A hundred fifty people attending an outstanding night of Louisiana music and fun at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Saturday night brought in over $1900 to Gulfsongs Oregon!  Between ticket sales, the silent auction, additional donations, and half the proceeds from the Delta Music Experience merchandise for sale, over $1600 was collected or committed.  Given this was well over the $300 needed to match the KEEN Footwear matching donation, the night’s contributions will bring the total collected in the 11 Gulfsongs shows to $7250!

We (Stacy and Jim) are very pleased that our little idea to help folks in south Louisiana suffering the economic effects of the oil spill generated so much interest and support from the community – from the venues and musicians who provided their services, to our partner organizations who provided key organizational and marketing support, to a dedicated group of volunteers that were instrumental in coordinating the events, and especially, to all of you who showed up to enjoy the music and generously support our efforts.  Thank you!

In the next days and weeks we’ll have more about how this project will proceed (there’s already a December show being planned).  From conversations with our contacts in Louisiana we know the need will be there for a while, and know that it’s imperative for groups around the country to continue to bring awareness and education about the ongoing and devastating loss of coastal wetlands along the Gulf Coast – the oil spill being just the latest challenge in a problem that threatens the the environment and economy of area.  For more information, a great place to start is with our local partner – the PDX 2 Gulf Coast project and their fact-finding trip to the Gulf in August.  You can also go to Bayou Grace Community Services to see how much of the money we’ve raised is being used by this vital community-based organization in Lower Terrebonne Parrish.

We’ll be posting some more photos from the shows too … but for now, we’re taking a little break to rest and plan the future of the project.

And here’s a link to the Oregon Music News’ story of the evening.

The outstanding Devin Phillips at Gulfsongs' Louisiana Music Celebration

Music Director Steve Kerin and Devin Phillips tearing it up on "Big Chief" at Gulfsongs' Louisiana Music Celebration

A full stage for the finale at Gulfsongs' Louisiana Music Celebration

Gulfsongs volunteers Carla Solis, Tim Deal, Jim Friscia, Jane-Clair Kerin, Steve Kerin and MC Tom D'Antoni mug for camera after a long fun night at the Alberta Rose

Alberta Rose Theatre Poster

This first cycle of 11 Gulfsongs Oregon shows comes to a rousing finish on Saturday with an all-star celebration of the music of Louisiana and New Orleans at the Alberta Rose Theatre in NE Portland.

Performers includes Reggie Houston, Devin Phillips, Steve Kerin & Atomic Gumbo, the Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band, Turtle VanDemarr, Mac Potts, Paris Slim, David Vest and a number of other special musical guests. Tom D’Antoni of Oregon Music News and KMHD-FM will be the MC for the evening. Pianist and Louisiana native Steve Kerin is serving as music director for the show and has put together an fast-paced and exciting program that will explore the various musical styles we associate with Louisiana and New Orleans.

The show will kick off with Reggie Houston’s Box of Chocolates (w/Tim Acott and Turtle VanderMarr) diving into some early New Orleans jazz and pop. Then we move to the country for a little Cajun and Zydeco with Too Loose and some special guests.  It will be a mix of styles with Atomic Gumbo, as Steve Kerin and friends will take us on a journey from the bayous to the Treme, connecting the many musical influences that created the sounds we associate with the state and city.  Devin Phillips will bring us to the present with a helping of jazz and funk before the finale … a little lagniappe for us … with almost all of the musicians back on stage for some New Orleans favorites.   Fun? Yea, you right!

There will also be a silent auction of donated items from local artists, photographers, restaurants and service providers.  Items include a $25 gift certificate to EaT: An Oyster Bar, three beautifully custom-painted Gulfsongs buckets (useful and attractive!), a New Orleans travel package (Ogden Museum of Southern Art admission and books), a bike messenger bag from KEEN, a New Orleans gift basket from Orleans Candle Co. (think there’s some Gris gris), tee shirts and CDs from Music Millennium, and more.  Please note that the auction is cash or check only.

The Alberta Rose Theatre is at NE Alberta and 30th. The show starts at 8:30 PM and tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  Really hope we see you there!

KEEN Footwear has give Gulfsongs a generous matching donation of $300 for Saturday’s show at the Alberta Rose Theatre.  Once we collect $300 in donations (admissions, etc), they will match it.

Big thanks to KEEN for helping the cause!

They have also donated a bike messenger bag and a pair of very cool socks to the silent auction …

As we approach the show next Saturday at Alberta Rose Theater, we find ourselves being asked, and  are asking ourselves,”What’s next?”.  Rest assured, we are giving that important question some good thought.

We know for certain that the problems are NOT going away in the Gulf. We see that the media has turned it’s attention away from the disaster yet there is still rampant unemployment due not only to the Oil disaster, but to the lingering effects of Katrina, and the pollution of the Gulf from agricultural run off. There is still oil washing ashore,  still the environment and wild life are being damaged and people’s voices are still going unheard.


  • have some other fund raising ideas we are considering
  • have a late fall/ early winter show  scheduled  and confirmed.( to be announced soon, as part of a winter series perhaps?)
  • are always looking at the most directly involved organizations to which to contribute

AND most importantly

  • are interested in knowing how you would like to be involved.

We may take a needed breather from organizing Gulfsongs events for a time to catch up on some other things, but this project is near and dear to our hearts, and we have found over the course of the summer, it is to many of you as well. We are open to your ideas and inspirations, and encourage you to follow through with them…either in conjunction with a Gulfsongs project, or on your own. Feel free to contact  either of us.

We hope you will be able to make it to the last show of the summer on Saturday, September 25 at The Alberta Rose Theater. It’s a Lousiana Music celebration with some of the best of that genre our region can offer. It’s sure to be a great night, and you are most cordially invited to attend.

Thanks for your support of our neighbors in the Gulf.

Jim Friscia


Stacy L. DeHart

by Gulfsongs Oregon on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 1

On Sunday Gulfsongs Oregon raised over $1300 at its ninth benefit show of the summer. This was an afternoon and evening of blues music produced by the Cascade Blues Association.  Between admission donations and the silent auction, generous blues fans helped push the total amount raised by Gulfsongs in nine shows to date to over $5000.

Gulfsongs would like to give a big thank you to the board of CBA, and especially president Greg Johnson and vice-president Jerri Shelton for all of their hard work in putting this day together.  We’d also like to extend big thanks to the musicians, sound crew, and the staff at the Trails End for a wonderful day in Oregon City.  Big thanks go to Eric Tweed, David Brothers, Karen Lovely, Kevin Selfe, Joe Powers, David Samuel, Ben Rice, Robbie Laws, Ellen Whyte, Dave Mullany, The Insomniacs, and all the rest of the fine artists that contributed their time and music to help.

The next Gulfsongs Oregon is this Thursday, September 16th, at the White Eagle Saloon with Ron Rogers & The Wailing Wind, Wendy and the Lost Boys, and the Chris Miller Band.  Show starts at 8:30 PM and the suggested donation at the door is $6-$10.  This will be another wonderful night of music, so hope you can come out.

This past weekend, Amanda Gresham’s Delta Music Experience contributed $300 to Gulfsongs Oregon.  Every year Amanda chooses a cause and donates a percentage of the DME merchandise sales at the Waterfront Blues Festival.  This year she also included sales from the DME Big Easy Express music train trip that happened on Saturday.

Gulfsongs is very grateful to Amanda and her crew for giving us table space at the Waterfront Blues Festival in July and this generous contribution!

If you’re interested in the music and culture of the Gulf Coast, you should check out the DME site.

Gulfsongs #9 at Trails End SaloonGulfsongs Oregon is extremely grateful to the Cascade Blues Association for producing am extraordinary day of music at the Trails End Saloon from a number of the Northwest’s best blues artists.  There will also be a silent auction of some very cool items, including framed Gary Houston posters, and beautifully painted buckets (especially for Gulfsongs by a group of Portland artists), Pratt & Larson brown pelican tiles, photos and more.

Music begins at 1 PM and continues until 8 PM.  Here’s the schedule:

1:00 – Eric Tweed & The Devil’s Advocate with special guest David Brothers
2:00 – The David Samuel Project
3:00 – The Karen Lovely Band with guests Kevin Selfe & Joe Powers
4:00 – The Ben Rice Band
5:00 – Ellen Whyte & Dave Mullany Duo
6:00 – The Insomniacs
7:00 – Robbie Laws Trio

You can find the full story here at the CBA site with lots of great info about (and photos of) the artists playing this event.  This is going to be a blast and Gulfsongs Oregon and the Cascade Blues Association hope you can drop by!

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