Monday, May 6, 2019

Rae Gordon: Gospel Blues Singer on Edge of Stardom




A Review by




Steven Masone

    I had watched some video's of Rae Gordon, and knew she was the real deal, but had never seen her live. The video's I watched were her Blues performances with The Rae Gordon Band, not the Gospel Band she is with every 1st Sunday at "Trails End Saloon in Oregon City, Oregon. I was looking at their Sunday Jam night schedule when I saw that Rae would be there at 2pm till 5pm on May 5th. *"The 1st Sunday Gospel at Trails End Saloon is a unique place once a month where you can come as you are, wherever you are to just listen to music and have a good time with each other. Whether you are an every Sunday church goer or it's been years since you have seen the inside of a chapel, you are welcome. Whether you are running to or running from a higher power or you are still finding your path, you are welcome." 

      When I walked in the door, Rae was working the crowd like a seasoned politician, chatting it up and making her way to the stage and I could tell right away these attendees were her people. Like the country song "My Church" ...I came for some of my church as music is my spiritual therapy. As she began her first song, I knew I was in church! Rae's friendliness exuded from her like "this little light of mine." She even had Sunday school songs for the several young children in attendance. But back to Rae's voice...she sounded like some of the Gospel singers I used to see and hear back in the south at an African American Pentecostal singspiration and revival! Her range and style reminded me of little bit of Mahalia Jackson, Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin thrown in for good measure. She can scat, she can hit runs one would expect, but also had such great control of her vocal instrument, she hit some runs that I've never heard any of the greats do. Possibly it was her Blues style that she pulled from that made her Gospel singing unique and originally her own. With a rasp and growl here and there, her intonation was perfect as well as her rich tone and the depth of her voice made me wonder how much more did she have to explore deep down for more potential to get better...if that is even possible? With her incredible singing talent and magnetic personality, music is not the only place Rae can excel in. TV, Movies, whatever and wherever she wants to go is hers for the taking. The Northwest is her springboard to launch her career to the next level. I look forward to seeing her blues show live very soon and will expand this review! Thanks Rae! That was an awesome Sunday at Church!




      





2017 – 3rd Place Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee(Blues Blast magazine article with photos here)
2017 – Best Blues Artist | Willamette Week Reader Poll
2017 – Muddy Award, Best Contemporary Blues Act | Cascade Blues Association
2017 – Muddy Award, Best Northwest Recording (Better Than I Was) | Cascade Blues Association
Gordon had the audience in the palm of her hand” – Oregon Music News
“When the band launches into the more r2017 – 3rd Place Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
(Blues Blast magazine article with photos here)
2017 – Best Blues Artist | Willamette Week Reader Poll
2017 – Muddy Award, Best Contemporary Blues Act | Cascade Blues Association
2017 – Muddy Award, Best Northwest Recording (Better Than I Was) | Cascade Blues Association
Gordon had the audience in the palm of her hand” – Oregon Music News
“When the band launches into the more rollicking numbers, hands start waving” – Willamette Week
Mailing: PO Box 3217, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Phone: 503.452.0440 | Email: Rae@RaeGordon.com
Recordings: Newest | Previous
“The amazing tone and the gospel inflections…Rae Gordon is one of the more sincere purveyors of torch blues that I have ever heard.”  James “Coach” Hurley, Stage Manager & Talent Coordinator, Gorge Brews & Blues

HIGHLIGHTS 
Pandora | iTunes | CDBaby
  • 2017 – 3rd Place Winner | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2017 – Best Blues Artist | Willamette Week Reader Poll |  Portland, Oregon
  • 2017 Better Than I Was receives Muddy Award for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2017 Rae Gordon Band receives Muddy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Act | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2017 Rae Gordon Band receives Muddy Award Nominations for Best Female Vocalist (Rae Gordon), Best Drummer (Ed Pierce), Best Saxophone (Scott Franklin)
  • 2016 Journey to Memphis Band Winner | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2016 Rae Gordon receives Muddy Award Nomination for Best Female Vocalist | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives third consecutive Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist, inducted into Muddy Award Hall Of Fame | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Dirty Flowers receives Muddy Award for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives Back What You Believe In Muddy Award (given by the CBA Board of Directors for going above and beyond for starting charity events for the organization including the Annual Rummage Sale & the Portland Blues Cruise Benefit for Acts going to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis) | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Semi-Finalist Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2014 Semi-Finalist Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2013 Blue Lemonade holds #10 spot for 2 weeks on Billboard National Blues Chart (July 2013)
  • 2013 Blue Lemonade receives Muddy Award nomination for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • Opened for Lydia Pense & Cold Blood | Chris Cain Band
“Add equal parts of Janis Joplin’s pain, Aretha Franklin’s soul and Grace Slick’s power; mix them thoroughly, and add a big gob of gooey molasses and you have Rae Gordon’s voice” … Positively Entertainment and Dining
VENUES & FESTIVALS
Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival | Portland, Oregon
Big Blues Bender | Las Vegas, Nevada
Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival | Winthrop, Washington
KINK FM Radio/Skype Lounge | Portland, Oregon
Oregon State Fair | Salem, Oregon
Clackamas County Fair | Canby, Oregon
Blues by the Sea | Astoria, Oregon
Ventura County Blues Festival | Camarillo, California
Big Sky Blues Festival | Noxon, Montana
Gorge Blues & Brews | Stevenson, Washington
Walla Walla Guitar Festival | Walla Walla, Oregon
Sunbanks Music Festival | Electric City, Washington
The Orpheum Theatre | Memphis, Tennessee
Alfred’s | Memphis, Tennessee
BB King’s | Memphis, Tennessee
Club 152 | Memphis, Tennessee
Flinn’s | Memphis, Tennessee
The Country | Nashville, Tennessee
Aladdin Theater | Portland, Oregon
Alberta Rose Theater | Etta James Tribute | Portland, Oregon
Candlelight Bar & Grill | Portland, Oregon
Catfish Lou’s | Portland, Oregon
Columbia Theatre | St. Helens, Oregon
Duff’s Garage | Portland, Oregon
Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club | Portland, Oregon
Roseland Theater | Lydia Pense & Cold Blood opener | Portland, Oregon
Wilf’s at the Portland Train Station | Portland, Oregon
Oregon Golf Club | West Linn, Oregon
Roadhouse 101/Rusty Truck Brewing | Lincoln City, Oregon
The Eventuary | Lincoln City, Oregon
Spirit Mountain Casino | Grand Ronde, Oregon
Sand Dune | Manzanita, Oregon
St. Josef’s Winery | Canby, Oregon
Christopher Bridge Winery/Satori Springs | Oregon City
The Wild Hare | Canby, Oregon
The Horseradish | Carlton, Oregon
Troon Tasting Room | Carlton, Oregon
Downtown Dog | Lebanon, Oregon
The Peacock | Corvallis, Oregon
Cascade Tavern | Vancouver, Washington
Vinyl Tap Bar & Grill | Portland, Oregon
Sunbanks Music Festival | Electric City, Washington
Maribeau Hotel | Spokane Valley, Washington
Sapolil Cellars | Walla Walla, Washington
Hwy 99 Club | Seattle, Washington
88 Keys | Seattle, Washington
Club Fox | Redwood City, California
Little Lou’s Aki Kumar Show | Campbell, California
Smoking Pig | Fremont, California
Biscuits & Blues | San Francisco, California
Guinda Commons | Guinda, California
Arcadia Blues Club | Arcadia, California
Cinegrill at the Roosevelt Hotel | Hollywood, California
Celebrity Centre | Hollywood, California
Carlos & Charlies | Hollywood, California
The Rose Tattoo | West Hollywood, California
Malarky’s | Long Beach, California
Maui Sugar Mill | Tarzana, California
Nick’s Hideaway | Garden Grove, California
Godmother’s | San Pedro, California
Palm Roadhouse | Palm Springs, California
Discography
2017 – Better than I Was (Written by Pat McDougall & Rae Gordon)
2015 – Dirty Flowers (Written by Gaddis Cavenah and Rae Gordon)
2013 – Blue Lemonade (Written by Gaddis Cavenah and Rae Gordon)
“They have struck paydirt in bringing out the beauty of Rae’s vocal abilities”…“Listening to the disc leaves no question on why she is a perennial nominee for female vocalist in the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Awards”  “Blue Lemonade is a deeply accomplished work with superb original songwriting that stands up to the best releases of recent years anywhere”…Greg Johnson, President of the Cascade Blues Association.

BACKGROUND
Rae cut her singing teeth in the piano bars and comedy clubs of Los Angeles, and it gave her the sense of humor she brings to her show today.  She has played the big and little stages of northwest’s favorite clubs, dance floors and festivals helping to mold a signature sound that spans from a danceable get up and groove to a haunting slide tone that will make you want to find a back porch and sit a spell. Rae enjoys playing intimate venues where she can connect one on one with people in the audience to large festivals where she can connect with a whole community.  Her style and approachability hasn’t been contained in the northwest only, with performances in Montana, Nevada, Memphis, California and back.
RECORDINGS
Her much awaited first CD release of original tunes, written with former bandmate Gaddis Cavenah called “Blue Lemonade” debuted in 2013 to a sold out venue and rave reviews. It highlighted Gordon’s extensive range and ability to move effortlessly from soul to blues-infused gospel. In July of 2013, it hit the Billboard Charts for Blues at number 10 and held that spot for 2 weeks just a few notches down from Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart and was in the semifinals for the Best Independent Recording for the Blues Foundation. The following CD in July 2015 Dirty Flowers, also written with Cavenah, is now getting airplay and was the 2015 Muddy Award Winner from the Cascade Blues Association for Best NW Recording.ollicking numbers, hands start waving” – Willamette Week
Mailing: PO Box 3217, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Phone: 503.452.0440 | Email: Rae@RaeGordon.com
Recordings: Newest | Previous
“The amazing tone and the gospel inflections…Rae Gordon is one of the more sincere purveyors of torch blues that I have ever heard.”  James “Coach” Hurley, Stage Manager & Talent Coordinator, Gorge Brews & Blues

HIGHLIGHTS 
Pandora | iTunes | CDBaby
  • 2017 – 3rd Place Winner | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2017 – Best Blues Artist | Willamette Week Reader Poll |  Portland, Oregon
  • 2017 Better Than I Was receives Muddy Award for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2017 Rae Gordon Band receives Muddy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Act | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2017 Rae Gordon Band receives Muddy Award Nominations for Best Female Vocalist (Rae Gordon), Best Drummer (Ed Pierce), Best Saxophone (Scott Franklin)
  • 2016 Journey to Memphis Band Winner | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2016 Rae Gordon receives Muddy Award Nomination for Best Female Vocalist | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives third consecutive Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist, inducted into Muddy Award Hall Of Fame | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Dirty Flowers receives Muddy Award for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Rae Gordon receives Back What You Believe In Muddy Award (given by the CBA Board of Directors for going above and beyond for starting charity events for the organization including the Annual Rummage Sale & the Portland Blues Cruise Benefit for Acts going to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis) | Cascade Blues Association
  • 2015 Semi-Finalist Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2014 Semi-Finalist Band | International Blues Challenge | Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2013 Blue Lemonade holds #10 spot for 2 weeks on Billboard National Blues Chart (July 2013)
  • 2013 Blue Lemonade receives Muddy Award nomination for Best Northwest Recording | Cascade Blues Association
  • Opened for Lydia Pense & Cold Blood | Chris Cain Band
“Add equal parts of Janis Joplin’s pain, Aretha Franklin’s soul and Grace Slick’s power; mix them thoroughly, and add a big gob of gooey molasses and you have Rae Gordon’s voice” … Positively Entertainment and Dining
VENUES & FESTIVALS
Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival | Portland, Oregon
Big Blues Bender | Las Vegas, Nevada
Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival | Winthrop, Washington
KINK FM Radio/Skype Lounge | Portland, Oregon
Oregon State Fair | Salem, Oregon
Clackamas County Fair | Canby, Oregon
Blues by the Sea | Astoria, Oregon
Ventura County Blues Festival | Camarillo, California
Big Sky Blues Festival | Noxon, Montana
Gorge Blues & Brews | Stevenson, Washington
Walla Walla Guitar Festival | Walla Walla, Oregon
Sunbanks Music Festival | Electric City, Washington
The Orpheum Theatre | Memphis, Tennessee
Alfred’s | Memphis, Tennessee
BB King’s | Memphis, Tennessee
Club 152 | Memphis, Tennessee
Flinn’s | Memphis, Tennessee
The Country | Nashville, Tennessee
Aladdin Theater | Portland, Oregon
Alberta Rose Theater | Etta James Tribute | Portland, Oregon
Candlelight Bar & Grill | Portland, Oregon
Catfish Lou’s | Portland, Oregon
Columbia Theatre | St. Helens, Oregon
Duff’s Garage | Portland, Oregon
Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club | Portland, Oregon
Roseland Theater | Lydia Pense & Cold Blood opener | Portland, Oregon
Wilf’s at the Portland Train Station | Portland, Oregon
Oregon Golf Club | West Linn, Oregon
Roadhouse 101/Rusty Truck Brewing | Lincoln City, Oregon
The Eventuary | Lincoln City, Oregon
Spirit Mountain Casino | Grand Ronde, Oregon
Sand Dune | Manzanita, Oregon
St. Josef’s Winery | Canby, Oregon
Christopher Bridge Winery/Satori Springs | Oregon City
The Wild Hare | Canby, Oregon
The Horseradish | Carlton, Oregon
Troon Tasting Room | Carlton, Oregon
Downtown Dog | Lebanon, Oregon
The Peacock | Corvallis, Oregon
Cascade Tavern | Vancouver, Washington
Vinyl Tap Bar & Grill | Portland, Oregon
Sunbanks Music Festival | Electric City, Washington
Maribeau Hotel | Spokane Valley, Washington
Sapolil Cellars | Walla Walla, Washington
Hwy 99 Club | Seattle, Washington
88 Keys | Seattle, Washington
Club Fox | Redwood City, California
Little Lou’s Aki Kumar Show | Campbell, California
Smoking Pig | Fremont, California
Biscuits & Blues | San Francisco, California
Guinda Commons | Guinda, California
Arcadia Blues Club | Arcadia, California
Cinegrill at the Roosevelt Hotel | Hollywood, California
Celebrity Centre | Hollywood, California
Carlos & Charlies | Hollywood, California
The Rose Tattoo | West Hollywood, California
Malarky’s | Long Beach, California
Maui Sugar Mill | Tarzana, California
Nick’s Hideaway | Garden Grove, California
Godmother’s | San Pedro, California
Palm Roadhouse | Palm Springs, California
Discography
2017 – Better than I Was (Written by Pat McDougall & Rae Gordon)
2015 – Dirty Flowers (Written by Gaddis Cavenah and Rae Gordon)
2013 – Blue Lemonade (Written by Gaddis Cavenah and Rae Gordon)
“They have struck paydirt in bringing out the beauty of Rae’s vocal abilities”…“Listening to the disc leaves no question on why she is a perennial nominee for female vocalist in the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Awards”  “Blue Lemonade is a deeply accomplished work with superb original songwriting that stands up to the best releases of recent years anywhere”…Greg Johnson, President of the Cascade Blues Association.

BACKGROUND
Rae cut her singing teeth in the piano bars and comedy clubs of Los Angeles, and it gave her the sense of humor she brings to her show today.  She has played the big and little stages of northwest’s favorite clubs, dance floors and festivals helping to mold a signature sound that spans from a danceable get up and groove to a haunting slide tone that will make you want to find a back porch and sit a spell. Rae enjoys playing intimate venues where she can connect one on one with people in the audience to large festivals where she can connect with a whole community.  Her style and approachability hasn’t been contained in the northwest only, with performances in Montana, Nevada, Memphis, California and back.
RECORDINGS
Her much awaited first CD release of original tunes, written with former bandmate Gaddis Cavenah called “Blue Lemonade” debuted in 2013 to a sold out venue and rave reviews. It highlighted Gordon’s extensive range and ability to move effortlessly from soul to blues-infused gospel. In July of 2013, it hit the Billboard Charts for Blues at number 10 and held that spot for 2 weeks just a few notches down from Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart and was in the semifinals for the Best Independent Recording for the Blues Foundation. The following CD in July 2015 Dirty Flowers, also written with Cavenah, is now getting airplay and was the 2015 Muddy Award Winner from the Cascade Blues Association for Best NW Recording.

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