Music festival brings region's best talent Saturday, March 10, to the Milwaukie Elks Lodge

Don't wait for summer to enjoy live music festivals. The seventh annual Winter Blues Music Festival brings a mix of musical acts that showcase the region's best talent Saturday, March 10, at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge in Oak Grove.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kris Deelane and her nine-piece band The Hurt will bring 'old school/new school soul' to the Milwaukie Elks Lodge."Every year the festival offers some of the best acts that you would usually see on big festival stages across the country, including such SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Suburban Slim Band, here playing the Naked Winery in Hood River, is coming to Oak Grove in March.artists as Curtis Salgado, Rae Gordon, Lloyd Jones, Bill Rhoades, Cee Cee James, CD Wodbury, and Jim Gustin and Truth Jones from California," said LeeAnn Gibbons-Pankratz, president of the Winter Blues Music Festival.

"This year will be no exception with award-winning acts cultivated from the region."

Blues Hall of Fame inductee Suburban Slim is known for his incredible guitar work, as well as his singing and songwriting. His band will bring to the festival longtime rhythm section John Neish and Blues Music Award winner Jimi Bott, who has played for years with Delta Groove Recording artists the Mannish Boys. The Cascade Blues Association has awarded the band members — individually and collectively — 23 Muddy awards for excellence in blues.

Guitar playing duo Doug Rowell and Michael Quinby, who front the Thunder Brothers, also will be featured at the Winter Music Festival. The band won the Cascade Blues Association's best new act in 2016 and was a finalist in the Journey to Memphis contest.

"Another powerful addition to the seventh annual show is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kris Deelane with her nine-piece band The Hurt," Gibbons-Pankratz said. "She brings you an old school/new school soul show. Her originals and Motown soul hits, along with her connection with the audience, is memorable."

For his blend of rock blues and funky soul, singer-songwriter Gabriel Cox recently was nominated by the Cascade Blues Association as the best regional blues act. His CD release last year was nominated for the blues association's best self-produced album.

Although he's only 15, Timothy James has been called an old blues soul as he has shared the stage with seasoned musicians five times his age. He appeared for his second time in January at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis as the youth representative for Portland.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Johnny Wheels is a singer, songwriter and harmonica player inspired by the soul of the Pacific Northwest.Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys highlights the singing and songwriting of harmonica player and frontman Johnny Wheels. His sound and songs take inspiration from what he calls the soul of the Pacific Northwest, and his bandmates embrace his mission to "live a song" on the edge.

The Winter Blues Music Festival has helped many charities throughout the years including the Children's Healing Arts Project and United By Music North America. This year's beneficiaries will be the Youth Music Project, whose mission is to provide outstanding music education for youth through tuition assistance and state-of-the-art performance opportunities, and the Oregon Food Bank, which distributes food through a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and about 970 partner agencies in Oregon and Clark County, Washington.

Winter Blues Music Fesival

What: Music on two stages for local causes

When: Saturday, March 10. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and music starts at 3 p.m. with raffle and silent auction to help with the charities

Where: Milwaukie Elks Lodge & Ballroom, 13121 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Oak Grove

Details: The venue offers a large dance floor, a full-service bar and food menu, limited on-site parking, and is across the street from the MAX Orange Line

Tickets: Cost is $20 online or $25 at the door. Visit or

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