Ride, drive or walk to Blues Fest in Oroville

At last year's Rally at the Border Blues Fest. This year six popular Northwest blues bands are scheduled to perform. Gary DeVon/file photo
At last year’s Rally at the Border Blues Fest. This year six popular Northwest blues bands are scheduled to perform. Gary DeVon/file photo

Blues, Bikes and Backroads, Rally at the Border Blues Fest May 16-17

OROVILLE – The Run for the Border motorcycle charity ride returns to Oroville for 13th time this Saturday, May 16, as does the Rally at the Border Blues Fest which will be celebrating with music on Saturday.

Oroville’s Rally at the Border Blues Fest takes place at the city’s Deep Bay Park on the shores of Lake Osoyoos. Now in its second year, the festival is timed to coincide with the Columbia River HOG’s annual Armed Forces Day Run to the Border motorcycle rally that originates in Wenatchee and ends in Oroville. While as many as 300 riders from Wenatchee have treked the 150 miles to Oroville in past events, many attendees from Canada are also expected on this three-day Canadian holiday weekend. Visitors may also enjoy the kick-off barbecue on Friday night at Veranda Beach Resort as well as Spring Barrel Tasting at local wineries like Copper Mountain and Esther Bricques on Saturday, as well as take in a car show.

The musical line-up at the blues fest includes six of the Northwest’s premier blues bands playing all day Saturday, starting at noon and continuing until 10 p.m. After the park closes, music will continue in town at the Pastime on Main Street with an All-Star Jam. Sunday all riders are welcome to participate in the Poker Run from 9 AM to noon.

Bands scheduled to play are The Randy Oxford Band Featuring Lady A, Steve Bailey & the Blue Flames, The CD Woodbury Band, Jesse Weston Band, VooDoo Church of Blues and Royce-Govedare High Rollers.

The Randy Oxford Band – Featuring Lady A

This band has international roots bringing a unique, 21st century sound in the blues. Winners of over 25 music awards in Washington State, The Randy Oxford Band showcases their sophisticated brand of Chicago style musicianship, daring arrangements of blues classics, Americana, Soul, R&B, Funky, Rock, Motown and more. The band is led by Washington State Performer of the Year, Randy Oxford, whose prowess on trombone and ability to ignite an audience’s enthusiasm have become legendary in the Pacific Northwest. http://therandyoxfordband.com/

Steve Bailey and the Blue Flames

Steve Bailey and the Blue Flames have been a Seattle fixture since the 1980s. They are known for their intensity, great songwriting, and world class musicianship. From Memphis soul to rollicking New Orleans gumbo, Bailey keeps crowds dancing and is a triple-threat performer on vocals, guitar, and harp. They entertain at a high level with their positive, danceable music. www.stevebaileyandtheblueflames.com

The CD Woodbury Band

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. Last year, Beale Street merchants crowned The CD Woodbury Band “Kings of Beale Street” at the Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe and Honky-Tonk. That same year, their CD, “Monday Night!” was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge Best Self-Produced CD competition. www.cdwoodbury.com

Jesse Weston Band

Not only was the Jesse Weston Band the group chosen to open the 2014 Inland Empire Awards ceremony, Inland Empire Blues Society members voted the band as “Best New Blues Band.” About a year and a half ago Jesse Weston burst onto the Spokane music scene, and it was apparent from the start that there was a “new piano man in town.” Jesse was not just another musician. He immediately stood out with his energetic vocals and rhythmic playing. www.jesseweston.com

Voo Doo Church of Blues

Gary Yeoman’s lowdown dirty blues band with a little bit of Texas bar rock thrown in for added flavor. You will find the band every Sunday night at Daley’s in the Spokane Valley hosting a weekly blues jam. Gary’s on guitar and vocals, Ryan Dunn and Dennis Higgins also on guitar, Scott Ratterman bass guitar and Mark Stephens on drums. They are a Spokane favorite!

Royce-Govedare High Rollers

The High Rollers are known for their Rockin’ Blues, as they lay down a deep danceable groove topped with flashy licks from their two guitar players. Anita Royce belts it out vocally in her rockin’ blues style with some jump swing thrown into the mix. Joined by the rest of the High Rollers, they take turns singing. Instrumentally the High Rollers include Anita Royce on guitar, Forest Govedare on guitar & harmonica, Art Donnelly on Bass, and Doug McQuain on drums. Well deserved, The High Rollers won the Inland Empire Blues Society Best New Band Award for 2013.

Many motorcyclists who attend the festival spend some of their time here riding the back roads of the Okanogan Highlands east of Oroville and along the lakes and rivers that border Oroville to the west. A Sunday poker run for riders will again take place, stopping at several locations in the region. There is a local Shriner Chapter 50/50 charity raffle held during the day of the event at Deep Bay Park. The charitable donation for this year’s festival will again be earmarked to help local low income families from the Okanogan area with transportation needs to Spokane’s Shriners’ Hospital for Children.

The Rally at the Border Blues Fest is open to the general public. Advance tickets are on sale for $20 online. At the door, admission is $25. Poker Run is $15 at the event. For more information about the festival and the region, go to www.rallyattheborderbluesfest.com, find us on Facebook or phone 509-485-2272. For information on Columbia River HOG go to http://www.columbiariverhog.net