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Three Nights With Austin's Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash
Posted On 07/26/2008 15:12:48

(Portland, OR)  I just returned from three days on the road with Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash, of Austin, TX. We performed at Hwy 99 Blues Club in Seattle, Wild Buffalo Hall Of Music in Bellingham, and Dante's in Portland. With no opportunity to rehearse with the band, I learned three albums worth of material and stepped onto the stage and together with BSOJC, delivered a rousing, fast-paced show each night. It was a memorable weekend playing with some of the finest musicians out of Austin, Texas. Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers of Seattle also performed songs from their new CD release, Miles From Home.

You never know what to expect when you fill in: how's it gonna mesh, what are they like etc. These were some of the nicest guys I've ever performed with. Off-stage, same thing. BSOJC were truly accommodating folks. From guiding me through the set to helping schlep my gear. It was a fun hang all the way around, and the songs are amazing.

Now, I'm planning for their Midwest tour in September. Looking forward to spending a few days in Austin, then hitting the road for ten days.


It's Enough To Make Vince Wince
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:13:03
For those of you who are not already aware, after next Sunday I am having rotator cuff surgery followed by a recovery period this winter.

In the downtime I will get to spend some much needed time at home with my beautiful wife, Sharon. That is, until she realizes what a pain I'm going to be.

Let's have a blast together at one of the venues below and give it one last shot before I'm put on the DL.

(For my drum students, we will conclude the year on December 18, and begin again the week of January 7. )

See you out there!

Thursday 13th, 9:30pm - Karaoke From Hell at Tiger Bar - Portland

Friday 14th, 5:30 to 7:30pm - The Reverb Brothers do Eagle Hour at The White Eagle - Portland

Friday 14th, 9pm - The Greg Earl Band at The Thirsty Lion Pub - Portland

Saturday 15th, 8pm - The Blue Vein Miners at The Astoria Event Center - Astoria

Sunday 16th, 8:30pm - The Ward Stroud Blues Jam at The Trail's End Saloon - Oregon City

Not Just A Drummer, But A Promoter
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:10:56
Announcing The Grand Opening of The Astoria Event Center
and exclusive partnership with Adame Artists Presents.

Vince Adame to be concert promoter/producer of record for
new 300 occupancy music/entertainment venue in Astoria.
The Astoria Event Center will kick off this Saturday night with a Grand Opening. Adame Artists Presents' creator, Vince Adame, will be booking, promoting, and producing the various acts that he brings into the Astoria Event Center. "I am building a music highway from Portland to Astoria. The facility and I are intent on showcasing Portland talent to the music lovers and concert-goers in Astoria and the surrounding coastal area," says Adame. "The city is going to be exposed to the best rock, blues, funk, Americana and country that Portland has to offer."

He will also bring in regional and national touring artists traveling between Seattle and Portland. "The only other place for larger acts is the Liberty Theatre, but what we offer at Astoria Event Center is a more intimate experience. The seating is club-style, the bar, with seating on three sides, is at the midpoint of the venue, plus there is theatre seating in the back. This is a truly unique music scenario," Adame added. "And the gear! We've got brand new JBL arrays flying over the stage for front of house, stage monitors and PAR 46 lighting all overhead on trusses for the musicians, and Mackie mixing boards." A nice feature that has been preserved from its days as the Astoria Eagles Aerie is the original hardwood dance floor, running the entire length of the concert area. "Astoria is very excited about this and I hope my fellow musicians in Portland will be too. We're creating a unique opportunity for Portland's top artists to perform in Astoria for a ready audience in a first class venue, a historic downtown state-of-the-art music hall."

Vince reports a website is in the works for the venue, but bands may reach him through his website he uses as a professional drummer. Go to www.vinceadame.com, click on Events and scroll to Adame Artists Presents. If you are looking for an easy getaway, consider a night in Astoria, just two hours up Hwy 30 or via Hwy 26 from Portland. Accommodations in town at The Hotel Elliott and The Holiday Inn Express are minutes away. The Astoria Event Center is located at 9th St and Commercial St. Music for the Grand Opening will be provided by Portland's own, Joshua James and The Runaway Trains. The Bar Pilots, of Astoria, will open.

Saturday Dec 1st, 8 PM - Grand Opening
Joshua James and The Runaway Trains w/special guests, The Bar Pilots

Saturday Dec 8th, 8 PM -
Jennifer Lynn w/special guests, The Bar Pilots

Saturday Dec 15, 8 PM
The Blue Vein Miners w/special guests, The Bar Pilots


Musicians' Jokes I've Composed
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:09:39
What's the difference between a frog and a trombone player?
Even the French don't like trombone.

(I bet you thought the answer was: The Frog is on the way to a gig. : )

Even when the drummer can't find the pocket, you can rest assured that he is deep within his ol' lady's purse.

How come a guitarist can't remember to put a pick in his pocket, but he's so good at walking around with his thumb up his butt.

When the dude on bass can't find the b, he makes an ass out of you and me.

Kenny G is a Sax Offender.

Comment with your original musicians' jokes today!


Musicians' Jokes I've Composed
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:09:35
What's the difference between a frog and a trombone player?
Even the French don't like trombone.

(I bet you thought the answer was: The Frog is on the way to a gig. : )

Even when the drummer can't find the pocket, you can rest assured that he is deep within his ol' lady's purse.

How come a guitarist can't remember to put a pick in his pocket, but he's so good at walking around with his thumb up his butt.

When the dude on bass can't find the b, he makes an ass out of you and me.

Kenny G is a Sax Offender.

Comment with your original musicians' jokes today!


Sitting-In Etiquette
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:06:39
Most jams operate similarly. Usually a host band generously provides the back line of amplifiers, microphones, and drums. This keeps things moving at a brisk pace, and reduces the downtime between sets. The host band will perform the first set of music, then the jammers are invited to play. The order of play is where jams may differ. Some hosts will provide a sign up list and make selections based on a first-come, first-play basis or they may first bring up their favorites, friends, regulars or special guests. At some jams, the newbies and late arrivals, in an unspoken rite of passage, may have to wait their turn until later in the night. Some will undoubtably make their feelings of being ignored known to the host, quite possibly pushing them further down the order.

So when you arrive, find the host and introduce yourself. Briefly tell him or her a little about yourself, including your instrument of talent. Don't make the wrong impression right off the bat with a monopolizing conversation. Find a good spot to watch the stage, enjoy yourself and order something from the bar or grill, and remember to tip the waitstaff. The dollars you put down count toward both the venue's success and the continuation of the host band's standing gig. Simply stated, a happening jam is when musicians flock, and fans follow, translating to a full till and a good night for the club.

When you are called to play, hopefully you haven't overly imbibed because you need to stay sharp to play a jam. There will be good and mediocre jammers on stage. If you are pleasant, confident, and a tad humble, consider yourself in the good category. For a drummer, it also means that you approach the supplied drums with respect. Don't bang into them when you are settling in, even if the stage layout is confined. Do not over adjust the positions and settings of the drums and hardware just to suit your comfort. Rather, decide on the one thing you just can't overcome, make the adjustment, and this is crucial: leave them like you found them. The host drummer is already sacrificing his gear for you, the least you could do is return anything you changed back to its original position. It can be frustrating for the host drummer to have to constantly readjust his own drums. Bring your own stick bag and you'll appear more professional. You don't want to leave the host drummer with the carnage of broken sticks and mangled wire brushes.

When you are done or before you leave, make sure you thank the jam's host and drummer. They will remember that you appreciated their efforts, enabling you to play out. So be the best version of yourself and have fun.


Seriously, Where Be The Drummers?
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:04:23
Another Sunday night blues jam and not a single drummer came to sit-in. We had wonderful guitarists, bassists, keyboard players, vocalists, saxaphonists, and me. I was the host drummer and only drummer of the night. If you were there, I didn't know. Everybody was so much fun to play with, but I barely had time to get a drink, much less order my comped dinner. No wonder I'm losing weight.

Don't you drummers, out there in the Portland, Oregon City, Lake Oswego areas, burn inside to play? Don't you yearn to be seen and heard? Now I reserve a little sympathy for my fellow working drummers, but on the other hand, I do get out to your jams now and then. You know, to visit with you, to give you a break. Man, a break would be nice.

Is it that, being drummers, you couldn't borrow your girlfriend's car to come to the jam? Maybe you couldn't work the pedals, or show up on the correct day. Maybe your drumsticks were out looking for a gig. Maybe it was your night to deliver the pizzas. Maybe it's because Sunday is a day of rest. No, if you're a musician, Sunday is a day of rest for the rest, for you it is a work night or a play night, or an excuse to get out of whatever you're doing, or not doing, to go have some fun.

There is no better way, no CD, no instructional DVD or tape, to improve your drumming than by playing with other musicians. And some of you really could gain alot from that. I did. Still do. Always will. To jam with others is to nurture confidence in yourself, while at the same time developing humility, grace, and patience. I would guess that any of us could stand a little more of at least one of these characteristics. Maybe right now I could stand to withhold my tongue? But I feel I owe you this.

Perhaps this is what it takes for you to realize that while you are at home watching TV, or playing your drums, with your headphones on, listening to The Grateful Dead or some other guilty pleasure, you could be improving your listening skills, your musicality, your dynamics, and your chops. Or you could stay where you are literally and figuratively, which I am sad to contemplate, and know that I am out there representing a dying breed.

Won't you come out and play?


What A Great Night
Posted On 12/11/2007 15:03:08
The Blue Vein Miners, a new band I co-lead with Lynn Axtell on guitar and Greg Earl on bass, was invited to create and host a First Tuesday Blues Jam at Kelly's Olympian in downtown SW Portland, an area that Blues has yet to establish itself. Well, the three of us already host a blues jam led by Ward Stroud at Trail's End Saloon on Sunday evenings, so we took every available chance to hand out personal invitations to this new jam at Kelly's. I also did the same at Duff's Wednesday night blues jam and Rae Gordon's new jam at Kelly's on Mondays. Lynn got us listed in the Cascade Blues Association's Blues Notes calendar and his girlfriend posted fliers at Apple Music and a lot of other places. Suffice it to say we worked the p.r. machine pretty hard.

And what a crowd we had! We had a full house before we struck the first chord, thanks to all our friends and players. We are blessed to have a town full of great players-some weekend warriors, some purely jammers, and lots of pros. I'm happy to say we had a nice mix of all three, and everyone was having a great time. There was such a cool vibe in the room, like it was something novel. It might be because it's brand new and there were no attitudes, pecking orders or purists. All of these afflictions can dampen a jam beyond repair. But it's my belief that we will continue to host nights of spirited play on level ground. Of course, at this moment, all of this is contingent on turn out and Kelly's Olympian.

Thanks to our participating musicians and attendees: Thomas, James, Russ, Vernon, Scot, John, Larry, Stan, Pat, Robert, David, Prudence, Linda, Harvey and everyone else that came out. We're off to a great start!


A Lot Going On
Posted On 12/11/2007 14:58:43
It's been a while since I've done an update, which indicates how busy I've been.

Jennifer Lynn:
The new CD is mixed and ready for mastering. We should see a release party in early November. We played Bend's Les Schwab Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series, Portland's West Lynn and Sellwood Summer Concert Series, North Plains Garlic Festival (wonderful time, but do not try the garlic beer), and completed two popular stints at Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, WA and Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, OR.

Joshua James and The Runaway Trains:
In May, Joshua James and The Runaway Trains had the distinct honor of being invited to open for The Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash's legendary band, at Dante's. Our most recent appearance was a raucous Saturday night at Ash Street Saloon in September. Most of Joshua's efforts have been aimed at producing multiple CD recordings, so our performances have been rare. But that is changing with the hiring of new manager, Tim Cowan, of Cowan Country. Look for a greater presence from, and emphasis on, this live behemoth.

Karaoke From Hell:
Closing in on three years of drumming with KFH at The Gemini Bar, playing to/with exhuberant crowd participation on Thursday nights. If you haven't been, you really should. It's a different vibe than the Monday night Karaoke From Hell at Dante's. Sometimes I host/MC when Tres Shannon can't make it due to his Voodoo Doughnut obligations.

Pilar French Intention:
Guitarist, Robert PeArt brought me into the fold on this project while Bevan, drummer, is out on personal leave. We've played Rock Creek Tavern, and Grand Lodge, both of McMenamin's fame.

One Hit Wonders & Guilty Pleasures:
In June I was invited to join a consortium of talented Portland performers known as One Hit Wonders & Guilty Pleasures. Led by the stellar vocals of Nicole Campbell, Little Sue, and Lara Michele, we musically quizzed the crowd at Imbibe about obscure song references, then went on in August to play the main stage at The Bite Of Oregon.

The Reverb Brothers:
After filling in for Morgan Geer on drums whenever he was leading his Drunken Prayer revival, I have been asked to assume the drum throne for The Reverb Brothers. You can see us play 20th Century Dustbowl Americana every Friday at The White Eagle from 5:30 to 7:30pm, and once a month at The Mock Crest. On Saturday, September 8th, we played Sullivan's Gulch-O-Rama.

The Ward Stroud Band:
In May we took over hosting responsibilities for The Trail's End Saloon Sunday Night Blues Jam. We're there every Sunday night at 8:30pm and we've built up a loyal following of veteran and new players. In July, we played the first Portland Summer Concert of this year's series. In September, Ward underwent sinus surgery, and is experiencing a speedy recovery. The band will continue to host in his absence.

The Blue Vein Miners:
Take the Trail's End Saloon Sunday line-up and watch 'em burn. Guitarist-Lynn Axtell, bassist-Greg Earl, and drummer-Vince Adame let loose with their own custom repertoire of blues, rock, soul, and funk, administered power trio-style, and all three go to the mic for lead vocals. Look for them at Kelly's Olympian the first Tuesday of the month, and bring your axe because it's an open jam.

The Greg Earl Band:
After producing a crack CD recorded with guest players, Greg Earl has invited Vince Adame to be his first-call drummer. Between Greg Earl on bass/vocals and Edwin Fountaine on guitar/vocals, this is a very entertaining band to experience.

Blues Train:
This is a great time for me because I get to press my jazz skills into play. John Soller plays guitar, Ben Partain strokes the Hammond B3, Paul Graham plays jazz guitar, and I work the skins. This is like Booker T and the MGs, like the soundtrack to Get Shorty, like nothing else in Portland.

Last Regiment Of Syncopated Drummers:
Sadly I had to take the year off due to injury. I have a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and it causes me unbearable pain to strap on the 20 lb. marching snare drum. Look for me next year though, better than ever after surgery later this year.

That's it for now, and thanks to everyone who comes out to support Portland's bands and America's most vibrant music scene. If you see me, come say hi. I'd like to know you came out.


Great Folks At The Seattle Folklife Festival
Posted On 12/11/2007 14:56:33
Saturday, Memorial Day weekend was a whirlwind. I'd just gotten back to Portland at 2:30 am from a Friday night show in Eugene and now I'm climbing back into the rig just five hours later. Gotta make Seattle downtown to play a 2:15 pm slot on the mainstage with The Ward Stroud Band at The Folklife Festival. After we arrivedat Seattle Center (Space-Needle park) and took a look around I perused the concert schedule to find that amid three full days of folk and world-beat ensembles, we would be the only "traditional" blues/rock band on the bill, and quite possibly the only one with electric instruments and looouud Fender amps. The closest thing was a cajun/zydeco band following us.

As we made way to the stage and quickly prepared for our thirty minute slot, the front-of-house sound engineer wanted to get a bass drum level. After some friendly back and fourth, and tweaking the volume up bit by bit, he congratulated me over the monitors for officially having the loudest bass drum mix of the festival. I turned to the stage hands, who were wondering what my reaction would be to the sound guy's comment, and with a grin I jested, "Oh just you wait..." [Ed. Eerie foreshadow music.]

Showtime! Everything is going well in the first song. It's a Bo-Diddley arrangement for Ward's didjeridoo, we call it the Bo-Didjeri song.
I'm up there pounding out this "Gene Krupa-meets-the-Hand Jive" kinda rolling floor tom pulse when suddenly, the beater falls right out of the bass drum pedal. So now the bottom end has fallen out of the sound just like the beater fell away, and I'm waving and playing to get the stage hand's attention who is in charge of drums. Is he just off-stage watching my every move? Nope. He's down behind the stage chatting it up with another stage hand. Finally he sees me and runs to my side. I'm yelling over my drums that the pedal's come apart. He's frozen about what to do. So with one hand, I pick up the floor tom and move it a foot over to my right while still playing with my other hand, I toss the drum key at him and point to the pedal, which I'm comically still playing even though no sound is coming from it. I lift my foot off the pedal and rest it on the drum head over the pedal and he crawls in between the floor tom and my drum stool and puts the pedal back together, all in about twenty seconds, the longest twenty seconds, mind you. Whew, and the rest of the show goes smoothly.

Afterwards, the stage hand and I are re-living that moment and he tells me that the pedal did the same thing on two occasions before me that same day. I faked a laugh and thought, "now why didn't you make me aware of that possibility so I could have put the "monkey grip" to the screw that holds the beater in place?". I didn't, though. It was too nice a day, and the crowd really loved what we did (I think they were in need of some rock music after all the twinkle ding dong stuff they had been sampling all day from the various festival stages). The rest of the day we walked around this festival, the second largest inner-city festival in the country. Picture an art festival, a hemp fest, a renaissance festival and Mardi Gras all rolled up in one and that's where we were. It was great fun. You should go next year, just tighten up your bass drum pedal.


Vince's News and Views
Posted On 12/11/2007 14:54:49
Joshua James and The Runaway Trains have completed final mixdown on their new CD, Casino El Camino. Mastering comes next. CD Release party to be announced.

Jennifer Lynn's new CD, untitled so far, is in the final stages of recording. Sweet Basil of The Derailers, is flying in from Austin to add keyboard tracks to some of the songs. The Derailers and Jennifer Lynn and band became friends after performing a couple of shows together.

The Ward Stroud Band enters into competition for best blues band in the Journey To Memphis, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association, the largest blues organization in the U.S. This year's runoff is being held at the Cascade Bar and Grill, Vancouver, WA's foremost blues venue. The winner plays the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland and goes on to represent the NW in Memphis at the international competition.

February 2007 marked the 2nd anniversary of Karaoke From Hell at The Gemini Bar and Grill in Lake Oswego.

Starting May 20th, The Ward Stroud Band hosts the Sunday Night Blues Jam at Trail's End Saloon, Portland's largest and longest-running blues jam to date.

May also marked an end to our tenure at Shanahan's in Vancouver, WA. Many thanks for the string of Wednesday night jams we hosted there. It was fun, and we enjoyed getting to know everyone there.

The Ward Stroud Band has been invited to play Seattle's Folklife Festival, May 26th. It is the second largest inner-city festival in the U.S.

The Last Regiment Of Syncopated Drummers will again perform in the Rose Festival's Starlight Parade, June 2nd. The LRSD return for the PGE Concert At The Park, June 8th.

Jennifer Lynn and The Ward Stroud Band have both been selected to perform in Portland's Summer Concert In The Park series.

Jennifer Lynn will be center stage, June 9th, for the Portland Rose Festival's 100th anniversary.

Jennifer Lynn has been invited to open for Rodney Atkins at the Crystal Ballroom, June 27th.


Johnny Cash Tribute
Posted On 12/11/2007 14:53:10
I've posted a few pics from our February 25th Johnny Cash Tribute at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland, Oregon.

As usual this annually-scheduled show had a big turnout, thank God and Johnny's die-hard fans for a packed dance floor and lots of liquid refreshment for the band. Kate Mann started the night off in her unique and comely style with several acoustic renderings of her favorite Cash tunes. Then came Myrrh Larsen, also alone on stage, but plugged in with telecaster, leading the crowd toward a rougher edge. During the brief interlude, Johnny Cash's son-in-law, Fred, arrived with the family's blessings and Johnny's beloved Gibson acoustic guitar with pearl inlaid signature on the fret board. It would again be Joshua's great honor to play this guitar once owned by his biggest influence, hero and savior.

Without further ceremony, Joshua James and The Runaway Trains (Vince Adame on drums and Keith McCarthy on stand-up bass), and Mr. Cha Cha with his Gretsch electric guitar, took the stage and quickly ripped into the first number, then pummeled the audience with back-to-back rave ups and heartfelt ballads, all of it by Johnny Cash. After a quick break, another set followed, this time played even harder and faster than the first, but with all the reverence and black sheep spirit that Mr. Cash must surely have been channeling through these boys on this misty northwestern night.

Thanks again to Fred and the Cash family for their support, the Ash Street Saloon, Heather for her sound engineering, and all the true and new fans of Johnny Cash. God willing and the creek don't rise, we'll see you next year.


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