The purpose of this fun event is to raise money to donate to local non-profit organizations that help children.
100% of this money goes to Blues Cats For Kids for distribution to non-profit organizations. A great cause
with fantastic music and friends! Admission is free with two cans of foor or five dollars per person for the
food bank. We depend on your donations in our money jar and purchases at our auctions to help
Volunteers of America affiliated organizations, Crosswalk in Spokane and Crosswalk in Coeur d'Alene.
2014 Blues Cats For Kids Lineup: Doors open at noon!
Roberson & Flores 1:00pm – 2:30pm
The BluzStars 3:00pm – 4:30pm
CD Woodbury Band 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Studebaker John & the Hawks 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Jesse Weston Trio 9:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday, March 1
Spokane Valley Eagles Lodge
16801 East Sprague Ave.
Spokane Valley, WA.
Artwork by Dave Allen
Blues Cats For Kids
Roberson BZ Flores
With Ray Roberson, and not just Ray, but also the two talented musicians who play music
with him are Neil Beese on upright bass and Miah Flores on drums. As some of you
already know, Ray Roberson won this year and last year’s Empire Award for best slide
guitarist, and also this year’s Empire Award for Best Acoustic Act.
The Inland Northwest is a long way from Texas where Ray was born, and we are not going
to give you his whole life story in this article. We do, though plan to do a bio on all three of
these guys in an upcoming issue, but let me tell you just a little. Ray was playing around
the northwest, concentrating on his acoustic act when he joined up with Neil Beese, whom
he met through the IEBS in 2005. They became the acoustic duo Roberson and Beese.
They represented the Boise Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in 2006.
They also represented the Cascade Blues Association, Portland, OR. at the International
Blues Challenge in 2011.
Ray says, “in 2009 we added our drummer, Jeremiah “Miah” Flores and became the trio
Roberson, BZ, Flores. Our music is original, and although we are blues-based, we play a
wide variety of Americana-style music. The three of us agree that there are no limits to
what type of music we create and perform. As long as it’s from the heart and played with
passion.” Yes, listening to this band was a treat.
Roberson, BZ, Flores
Photo by Andy McAlpin
The Bluz Stars
This group of musicians, each so very talented in his or her own right, put together a
collaboration especially for our meeting night. We are told that different musicians may be
in the makeup of this band from time to time. Hence, the name is what it is, and is self
descriptive. Sara Brown is the featured vocalist at the 19th annual Blues Cats for Kids.
Jennifer Kemple was aboard in June 2012 with fantastic lead vocals for the BluzStars. She
has loved singing always, and in 1997 young Jennifer sang with Raggs & Bush Doktor.
Her next band was Riverside, 2004 house band for Bluz at the Bend when it first opened.
In 2007 she joined Big Mumbo and now has been with them for over six years. Last year
she competed in the TV Program the X Factor. Please refer to our 2012 September &
October issues of Inside Blues for more info on her experience. Jennifer has also written
lyrics for songs that appear on the Big Mumbo album “How Blue Can Blue Get” including
the title song of the same name, Whatever Will Do, Could This Be the End, and Beg,
Borrow & Steal. Jennifer has also been the recipient of several Empire Awards including
Best Female Performer in 2010 & 2011 and Best Female Vocalist in 2010 through 2012,
thereby becoming a member of our Hall of Fame.
Guitarist Evan Denlinger is a Spokane native and new to the music scene in the last two
years. He modestly did not say much about himself, but Jennifer says he is a fantastic
guitar player and also has great vocals.
Dale Lewis has been playing bass since the 1970’s, playing professionally in Los Angeles
with name entertainers and has played for name bands such as the Coasters, Drifters,
and the Marvelettes. Dale came to the Pacific Northwest in the 1980’s and throughout the
1990’s played in bands including one with Steve Starkey. He more recently played bass
with the Sammy Eubanks band and in 2011 took home the Empire Award for best bass
player. He also plays a great bass solo when he is put into the spotlight.
Keven D. Franklin is a singer, guitarist/bassist from Seattle by way of Denton, Texas. He
grew up performing folk, gospel, blues, and jazz. Since moving to Spokane he has
returned to playing Rhythm & Blues, country and of course more of the blues.
Former Big Mumbo stickman and IEBS 2012 award winning drummer Mark Lee Stephens
is in demand all over town and currently performs with Rev Gary Yeoman's Voodoo
Church, Guilt Trip, and directs a 20pc swinging big band for high school kids called, The
MasterClass Big Band. Mark is also the man responsible for putting together the BluzStars.
The horn section of the group is made up of three accomplished individuals, including two
saxophone players. Three time Empire Award winner Charles Swanson is well known in
our area, playing with numerous musicians and groups, that he almost needs no
introduction. Charles’ bio ran in last month’s issue, so please refer to that article for more
details. Craig Landron, also on saxophone, taught music for ten years in Seattle before
returning to his native Spokane. He has won several awards as a jazz soloist and performs
with the Spokane Jazz Society.
Mike Lenke has also won the Empire Award for best instrumentalist three times, being the
first ever to win it ever back in 1995 when he was with Mumbo Jumbo. He is also a very fun
guy to be around. He has quite a background including having played with nationally and
internationally known artists Buddy Rich, B.B. King, Dave Rait and Ray Charles. He has
played locally and semi locally with the Pat Coast Band, Café Blue, Mumbo Jumbo, Dave
Stewart, The Hot Club (where he showed us his vocal ability as well), and The
MasterClass Big Band, and has been a notable sideman in many other situations.
All in all, I think you would agree that this group is not to be missed whenever it is possible
to see them.
The CD Woodbury Band
Written with information from the performer’s website
Since their earliest gigs together, the CD Woodbury Band has been described as "the
Northwest's best kept secret" by fans and fellow musicians. With the 2013 release of their
studio debut recording, "Monday Night!" the word is out! The CD Woodbury Band has
gone on to international critical acclaim, radio, and internet airplay. In terms of radio
airplay, the CD Woodbury Band could be the most successful currently unsigned and
unrepresented blues artists of 2013.
C.D. Woodbury has performed in Texas Roadhouses and in Stadiums. He has performed
for two US Presidents, foreign dignitaries, and Jimi's music for the Hendrix family. He has
jammed with jazz legends, international blues stars, and has worked with sidemen to the
biggest rock acts. Though he has played many styles, he always returns to the blues and
American roots music on his guitar.
Shelley, please use the photo CD Woodbury Band.jpg with the caption: CD Woodbury
In 2009, the C.D. Woodbury Band was formed primarily out of an unrehearsed
appearance at the Snohomish Blues Invasion with CD and former members of Tim
Casey's back-up band, the Bluescats. The Bluescats were one of the top acts in the
region and a top selling act in Europe, including edging Eric Clapton to be the number 1
blues act in Belgium one year. Chris Kliemann, Don Montana, and Mike Fish are a
dynamic, tight rhythm section. In 2010 the Washington Blues Society named the CD
Woodbury Band "Best New Blues Band" at their annual Best of the Blues Awards, and
awarded CD the BB for "Best Electric Blues Guitar". Multi-instrumentalist Mike Marinig
became the fifth member of the band in May, 2010.
In 2013, The CD Woodbury Band released "Monday Night!", which gained international
airplay and has been consistently in the Roots Report charts Blues Top 50 and at #1 for
their WA State Roots Radio chart for months.
The CD Woodbury Band plays a mixture of new interpretations of old favorites, obscure
gems, and original songs.
In 2010 the Washington Blues Society awarded the CD Woodbury Band "Best New Blues
Band" BB Award. CD was awarded CD Woodbury the BB Award in 2010 and 2011 for
In 2013, the recording "Monday Night!" was selected to represent the Washington Blues
Society for The Best Self-Produced CD competition in the International Blues Challenge.
Studebaker John and the Hawks
Studebaker John and the Hawks from Chicago. What a treat! They are a national touring
band, and sometimes we are lucky enough to have them come through our area. Here is
a little background on the band, which comes from their website. Studebaker John
Grimaldi was born in an all-Italian section of Chicago and started playing harmonica at
age seven. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago’s famed melting
pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the 1970’s. The
band name referenced the Studebaker Hawk, a car John still owns today, and was also
intended as a tribute to his friend, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks. John began playing guitar
after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers
perform. “...Hound Dog started playing, hitting notes that sent chills up and down my
spine. He was versatile and powerful and would play rhythm as well as leads. I left there
knowing what I wanted to do. I had to play slide guitar.”
In 1978 John recorded his first record, Straight No Chaser and continued to work concerts
and clubs throughout the Chicago area. Since then John has released recordings on
Avanti Records, Blind Pig Records, Evidence Music and other labels. A very long list is
available on his website. As a songwriter and musician, Studebaker John has emerged as
a major creative force in the world of the blues today.
The Jesse Weston Trio, a piano-organ fronted trio that honors the tradition of the blues,
with a piano man who will scorch those keys!! The Trio serves blues favorites with spirited
vocals and piano by Jesse Weston, innovative bass playing by Randolph Knowles, and
dynamic percussion. Extraordinary drummers have held the beat rock solid with the Trio
including Lynn Miner, Gary Smith, and Mark Stephens. This time Mark held the groove on
his skins. The Trio performs the blues standards and favorites by Buddy Guy, Ray
Charles, Muddy Waters, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang, Delbert McClinton, Robben Ford, T-
Bone Walker, Freddie King, and John Mayer.
This last year, the Trio performed at Rock Cut Blues Festival, NE WA Fair, Marcus
Ciderfest, and special events at Daley’s Cheap Shots, Jones Radiator, and The Viking.
The Trio excited the Rock Cut Blues Festival 2013 dancers and attentive listeners with an
unforgettable set and encore. The Trio thanks Gary Yeoman who introduced Randolph
and Jesse Weston to the Blues Community in Spokane at his Sunday Jam, and for our
shows at Daley’s. As Dave Daley’s stated, “The Trio makes their point without being loud. “
Jesse is a self-taught piano-player who is a blazing-hot natural talent. As a teenager, he
lived near a music store near Seattle, and un-crated pianos so the owner would teach him
a few tips on the piano. He soon learned to demonstrate songs for customers, and these
were songs from the 40s and 50s, the era of vintage songs that Jesse loves and plays so
At our boogie you will hear him sing the blues! Jesse Weston is an engaging showman
who will lead the audience in a chorus of “The Blues are all right” as the Trio plays
“Everyday I Have The Blues.”, Later on Jesse will kick the keys of the piano on the last
note like Jerry Lee Lewis. Currently, Jesse is also bringing out his “Tele” to more shows.
Jesse and Randolph are the core of the band who have mutually-inspired one another
since 2011 when they strike their first chord together. For 2013, Jesse Weston was
nominated by IEBS as “Best Blues Keyboardist, and Randolph Knowles as “Best Blues
Bassist”. Both are intensely passionate players. Randolph has enjoyed playing great
songs before appreciative audiences for thirty-four years, explaining, “In the late 60’s at
age thirteen I bought a Danelectro bass and Supro amp from a neighbor. A year or so
later I was very fortunate to join a Soul/Top 40 band that worked a lot. At the same time, I
was immersed in listening to blues-based music like Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Canned
Heat, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After, Almond Brothers and Mike Bloomfield, and
that led me to seek out the older blues artist. I played a lot of shows with a number of
bands in California from the late 60s to the 80s. Then, I raised a family. Twelve years ago,
I joined Planetary Refugees (from Colville) and still perform with them, and other regional