October 5-9, 2022
We describe Blues in the Gorge as Oregon's premier acoustic blues guitar camp and back it up by gathering the finest players who are also great teachers.
Come and immerse yourself in five days of instruction with four of the best musicians:
Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Interested...scroll down to read about this year's incredible faculty.
Registration will open April 27 at 10am Pacific TimeRegister
Mary Flower’s immense fingerstyle guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.
An internationally known and award-winning picker, singer/songwriter and teacher, the Midwest native relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics at folk festivals, teaching seminars and concert stages domestically and abroad, including Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival, among many.
A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Finger Picking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and many times a Cascade Blues Assn. Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms – from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk and hot jazz.
Flower’s 11 recordings, including her four for Memphis’ famed Yellow Dog Records — Bywater Dance, Instrumental Breakdown, Bridges and Misery Loves Company — show a deep command of and love for folk and blues string music. For Flower, it’s never about re-creation. Her dedication to the art form is a vital contribution to America’s music.
"Flower is a renowned guitar instructor, teaching at music camps and festivals, offering lessons via Skype, and frequently crafting articles and tips as a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar. But she cannot be narrowly defined. Livin’ with the Blues Again showcases her talents as a complete artist, deeply versed in an array of vernacular styles for which she demonstrates an abiding love that underlies her quietly jaw-dropping technique. She may not sing with the soulful grit and urgency of Rory Block, Maria Muldaur, or Bonnie Raitt, but her stylistic range is broader, approaching that of David Bromberg or Ry Cooder. What fun for those who don’t know her music to discover her here." —Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Bruce Sunpie Barnes
BRUCE "SUNPIE" BARNES
Barnes plays accordion, harmonica, piano, rub board, talking drum and more. Combining a love of Delta blues, zydeco, and West African music, he founded Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots in 1991 to create music inspired by Afro-Louisiana. The band has put out six albums and played in more than 30 countries, from Europe to Africa to Central America. Barnes has also accompanied Paul Simon and Sting on tour.
“Bruce is without doubt the best-known zydeco bandleader who calls New Orleans home.”
— Scott Aiges, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation
National Fingerpicking Champion Eric Lugosch presents a truly original and inspirational show.
There are no gimmicks or gadgets --just a genuinely gifted imagination and a fluency that comes
from years of working on his craft. Eric’s arrangements of traditional songs and jazz standards
are now considered classics in picking circles, where he is also regarded as one of America’s
best original fingerstyle composers, as well as a talented songwriter.
Eric has played and taught in festivals around the world including The Wirral International
Guitar Festival, The Ullapool Guitar Festival, International Guitar Meeting in Sarzana, Italy, and
The New York Guitar Festival. He’s had the honor of performing with greats such as Doc
Watson, Taj Mahal, John Prine, and David Bromberg.
Those who have heard Eric perform know they’ve been treated to someone special and
“Lugosch places his tunes within pleasant, folkish guitar settings… he masterfully exploits
his prodigious fingerpicking skills, embellishing his simple, flowing songs with appealing
baroque flourishes that sound homey rather than flashy.” ~Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Mamie’s honest, deep singing voice and old school guitar walloping become a vessel for her toughness and pathos as she delivers timeless performances that can rile, groove, sooth, and understand. If you’ve been lucky enough to see Mamie perform in New York City or somewhere else in the wide world, then you know: there are some things a person is simply meant to do.
These days, you can catch Mamie in her duo with Dean Sharenow (Kill Henry Sugar, Joan Baez) at their residency at Barbes, Brooklyn’s best small club, or solo at Jalopy, NYC’s mainstay of Americana music. Mamie began playing guitar as a teenager in her bedroom listening to reissues of class country blues on repeate. Her job at a local record store gave her first dibs on releases from labels like Yazoo and Document. She would hurry home and try her hand at picking out the songs of legends like Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith. She loved the steady thumb and percussive right hand of these blues players, but she also devoured lots of different styles of music, from soul to psychobilly and old time to punk rock.
When she’s not making music, Mamie spends her days as a guitar repair luthier at Brooklyn Lutherie, the shop she and her business partner, Chloe Swantner, opened in 2014. It remains one of the few women-owned and -operated shops around. She also teaches, writes articles about luthiery and guitar playing for She Shreds and Acoustic Guitar magazines, and runs the annual Ukulele Building Camp for Girls in Brooklyn, NY.
“Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, look out, you’ve got company. Minch may be best known as an erudite, imaginative guitarist, but she also has a hauntingly nuanced alto voice and writes in an old time vernacular that can be raucously funny, or profoundly sad.”
— Alan Young, Lucid Culture
“Mamie Minch might have stepped out of a time when her guitar (a gorgeous 73-year-old resonator) was factory-fresh, if not for the tattoo peeking out from beneath the hem of her dress. Singing with a rich, deep voice, Miss Mamie blended vintage blues and country music; part Carter Family and part Odetta. With her nimble guitar work and witty turns of phrase, she was lovingly received by the audience.”
—Jody MacGregor, Rave Review
The costs below are per person and all-inclusive of class fee, all 12 meals (Wednesday dinner - Sunday lunch), public concert, and lodging. Your cost will vary according to the number of people you are willing to share a room with. There will be an option to add on a t-shirt, hat or vest for an additional cost.
Triple Occupancy (you and 2 roommates) $833
Double Occupancy (you and 1 roommate) $933
Single Occupancy (just you!) $1033
Commuter (classes, lunches & dinners, no overnight lodging at Menucha) $726
Would your partner/spouse like to come with you and stay in the same room with you but not take the classes? They can! The cost for them is $458. Total cost for the two of you is $1391
- At the time of registration fill out your information and choose "Double Occupancy" then when you see the "add another registrant" button, click on it and choose Non-participating Partner/Spouse for them. They'll stay in the room with you and eat all meals with Blues participants, enjoy the public concert and not have to do dishes all weekend!
Payment Plan Option
You may choose to pay in full, or pay half now, half in August. There is no additional charge for this.
Menucha's kitchen prepares excellent, plentiful, cooked-from-scratch meals. If you will need a different option for health or personal reasons (food allergies, vegan, low sodium, etc.) please submit an Alternate Diet Request form three weeks in advance of your arrival so we may prepare to feed you properly. We'll remind you as time gets closer.
Before the pandemic, Menucha served meals family-style (guests served themselves from shared platters and bowls shared around a table). In the weeks before Blues in the Gorge we will update this webpage with a description of how we will be serving meals safely during your time here.
If you have any mobility issues, please let us know when you register so that we may assign you an appropriate room.