Blues in the Gorge logo

September 25-29, 2019

Co-Sponsored by Cascade Blues Association

Camp is full! But you can join the waiting list.

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Immerse yourself in a long weekend of classes and jams with four world class blues players/teachers. During your stay, take up to 12 classes, enjoy exceptional meals, and in your free time explore the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. We limit enrollment in order to keep Blues in the Gorge an intimate and unforgettable experience.

Artistic Director and instructor MARY FLOWER is renowned for her personal vision of roots music that blends ragtime, acoustic blues and folk. She is technically dazzling yet grounded in the simplicity of early 20th century American music; her instrumental skill with the Piedmont blues guitar is at a level of mastery that takes most players a lifetime to hone.

All levels of players are welcome and there will be jumpstart classes available each day for people who are just getting started with the blues.  To get the most out of Blues in the Gorge, participants should know all first position chords (majors, minors and sevenths) and have some finger picking experience.

We are excited to announce the 2019 Instructors:  Guy Davis, Albanie Falletta, Rich Moore, Mary Flower

We are thankful for our sponsors and supporters:


Loren Schulte, Luthier









Visit and “Like” the Blues in the Gorge Facebook Page



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Triple Occupancy Lodging: 3/room, bathroom in hall or room Program Fee $290 + Meals $196 + Lodging $307 = $793 4 Nights + 12 Meals
Double Occupancy Lodging: 2/room, bathroom in room Program Fee $290 + Meals $196 + Lodging $407 = $893 4 Nights + 12 Meals
Single Occupancy Lodging:  1/room, bathroom in room, bath in hall or room Program Fee $290 + Meals $196 + Lodging $507 = $993 4 Nights + 12 Meals
Commuter: no lodging; lunches & dinners only Program Fee $290 + Meals $138  +  Facility Fee $150 = $578 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Non-participating Spouse/Partner (semi-private housing, all meals)  Meals $196 + Lodging $407 = $603 4 Nights + 12 Meals


Cancellation Policy:

If 90+ days out, canceling a registration results in a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.

If 46-90 days out, 65% refund.

If 30-45 days out, 50% refund.

If fewer than 30 days out, there is no refund available.

Payment Plan Option:

You may choose to divide the cost across several months, depending upon how far in advance you are registering. Options will automatically appear in the online registration process. The cost is only $5 per month.


Thanks to the generosity of previous students, several partial scholarships will be available. If you would like to apply, send a short email to, asking for the scholarship application form. There’s no need to go into your story in this email – that’s what the form will be for.


Guy Davis

Beginning Harmonica:

If you’ve always wanted to play one but never tried, come to this workshop. I’ll teach you how to get up and down the scale, bend notes, and play simple songs, including the Blues.

Intermediate and advanced Harmonica:

In this workshop, we will reinforce 1st and 3rd position playing. If you’ve got talent, great. I teach control. Whatever you’re used to doing, you can do it faster, and better. We will also cover first position high up Jimmy Reed blues style.


How did Aretha Franklin do it? How did Maya Angelou, and James Brown, do it. How about Garrison Keillor, and Dolly Parton? This is a participation class. We’ll learn by doing, what all the performers listed above have in common. Simple mortals like you and me can use it too. This is a sharing class. Show everybody what you’ve got. Let’s see if we can tweak your ability to express yourself. This is a 100% non-judgmental experience.


Whether it’s your deepest, most comprehensive work headed for the top 10, or just a light, fun piece of fluff to entertain your friends in the kitchen, a song can have magic. In this Workshop, you’ll learn how to craft a song. Though you are encouraged to perform your stuff, you can participate, write a song, even if you can’t sing, or play an instrument. Bring your works-in-progress. Come one, come all.


Storytelling stands on it own, though it can be a useful craft for writing songs. Whether you seek to be a professional teller of tales, like Garrison Keillor, or even Shakespeare, you’ve got to learn how to have fun with words that make an impact. Bring stories that you have written, or ones that you just want to tell. We are going to share, discuss, and figure out ways to step up your game.

Mary Flower

Lap Slide Guitar

Bring your dobro-like instruments, action raised for lap style playing, as well as some form of “tone bar” (not a bottleneck slide ). We will look at some basic fundamentals for playing both as a back-up player and as a solo player. Class will focus on D tuning and will learn how to get around the neck to create melodies while keeping the bass present.

Effortless Versions of Great Songs

Mary will provide some easier arrangements of  tunes from the blues songbag to add to your repertoire. Requests will be considered! No tab for this class but recording is encouraged.

Great Fingerpicking Blues Arrangements 

This class will take on a song a day from a diverse catalog of Piedmont style players who had a “band in the hand” technique. Through these tunes, class will learn how a solo player holds down the bass, the rhythm and melody. These songs will reinforce syncopation, bass runs, moveable chords and alternating thumb. Students will come away with new tools to apply to their own arrangements.

The ability to read tablature is essential and students are encouraged to audio tape the class.

Songs of Rev. Gary Davis


Rich Moore

“Basic Music Theory For Guitar”

What do all these numbers mean? Is a relative minor a family member? Why are we starting on “The 5”  for this song? This class will go over some of the structures and basic theories of music as it applies to us playing the guitar. Numbering systems, some terminology, roots and 5ths and majors and minors, progressions and repeats. And if time permits, maybe we’ll get into a little bit about charts. Sometimes a little structure is a good thing!

“When In Doubt, Drop D” (and some other re-tuning tips)

Re-tuning your guitar can open up a whole world of sounds for you and your guitar. Drop D tuning is probably the easiest venture away from standard guitar tuning, and it allows for some new chordal and soloing opportunities. And remember, not all songs in the tuning need to be in the key of D. We’ll look at how to open up your guitar with this tuning, and also cover some partial capo positions that employ drop D.


Blues music—and lots of other types of popular music—employ a device known as a “turnaround”, which is used to begin the song (or chord progression, usually) over again (and again and again…). These turnaround sections can provide a great opportunity for instrumentalist to dress up the song and catch the listener’s ear. This class will delve into the myriad of ways to play a turnaround, and in a variety of keys.

Sliding, Pulling, Hammering, Muting, etc.

Is your guitar playing sounding boring? Repetitious? Same old same old? What turns a regular old guitar part into something interesting? This class will show you some tricks and techniques to help dress up a song and make it more enjoyable, both for you and your listeners. We’ll take a song you know and explore some options as to how to add a bit of flash. Let’s find out what works and what doesn’t.

How to Practice

I have as much trouble as everyone else getting motivated when I pick up my guitar. I’ve got a few things I sometimes do that help me get the guitar juices flowing when the motivation is low.

Albanie Falletta

Learn To Play Like A Dead Guy (alternate title, Early New Orleans Blues Guitar)

In this class we’ll learn the music of often overlooked New Orleans early blues guitar masters Lonnie Johnson and Johnny St. Cyr. Both players worked in New Orleans traditional jazz bands, but were heavily rooted in the blues. They were innovators, and represent a time of rapid musical evolution and what guitarists were doing before jazz guitar became so “jazzy”.

The Songs Of Bessie Smith

All hail the Original Queen of the blues, Bessie Smith! I’ll begin each class with a few easy vocal warmups, and then we’ll learn some of the great Bessie repertoire over the course of the weekend. Blues is improvisatory music, and we’ll get to have some fun stretching out and exploring our voices.

Guitar Stylings of Lonnie Johnson

Playing Single Note Leads as a beginner

Guy Davis

Guy Davis once said, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.”  Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing.  It’s no wonder his reverence for the music of the Blues Masters who’ve gone before him has been evident in every album he’s ever recorded or concert he’s given.

Guy has had his musical storytelling influenced by artists like Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy, and his musicality from artists as diverse as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Babatunde Olatunji.  However, there’s one man that Guy most credits for his harmonica techniques, by stealing and crediting from him everything that he could, and that man is the legendary Sonny Terry.

Guy Davis has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues.”  His work as an actor, author, and music teacher earmark him as a renaissance man of the blues.  What music and acting have in common, he explains, “is that I don’t like people to see the hard work and the sweat that goes into what I do. I want them to hear me and be uplifted. And I want some little eight-­‐year-­‐old kid in the front row to have big eyes and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that!’.”

Albanie Falletta

A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Albanie was in her formative years exposed to the local music of Louisiana: the sounds of Cajun, zydeco, blues and gospel musics at festivals and backyard parties.

Shortly after relocating with her family to San Marcos, Texas at the age of nine, Albanie began taking guitar lessons and developing an interest in acoustic-roots and electric blues, punk rock, and hair metal. Albanie began her love and study of early American Jazz as a freshman in highschool in Wimberley, Texas, when she was exposed to the Parisian Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Listening fervently to recordings of Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, and other such great figures of jazz, she began to develop her feel for swing. Soon she was performing alongside mentors and other players of the Austin scene where she lived and performed in the years after high school.

In the summer of 2013 Albanie relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is currently living and performing with various traditional jazz and swing ensembles. Since the summer of 2015, Albanie has also been doing solo performances featuring her original songs.

Rich Moore

n 1956 or ’57, finger-style guitarist Rich Moore saw and heard a guitar for the first time, somewhere on a tourist boat, maybe near Bermuda. And, as fate would have it, that guitar player with the big archtop, a broad smile and a big hat, was also wearing a thumb pick, something that would later come to play a prominent role in Rich’s musical life. “I can clearly remember seeing that pick on that man’s thumb, wondering if it was part of him, and why was it there. It kind of scared me!”
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Rich heard all kinds of music growing up. “Being a guitar player, a musician, was really all I’ve ever wanted to do”, says Rich. From his father’s singing with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and his mother’s frequent piano playing (on a working player piano, no less!), through exposure to much classical music on the radio, he also managed to later find other styles of music through pop radio (“WIBG Radio 99”), and later on the FM “underground” radio scene playing folk, bluegrass, and psychedelic rock. But the music really stuck with him when he began frequenting the area’s legendary Main Point. It wasn’t long before after attending a few shows that the owner asked him if he’d consider working at the club, tearing tickets and helping out. And so began an immersion into the music that he continues to hold close to his heart. “Seeing Doc & Merle Watson, Joni Mitchell, Josh White, Sr., Laura Nyro, Odetta, David Bromberg, Chris Smither, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, James Cotton, Muddy Waters, on and on and on—that kind of exposure is bound to have a lasting impact on an age 16 and 17 year old kid. I was a very impressionable youngster, and I just soaked it all in.” From then on, he pursued playing that music—folk, blues, Americana, country, on acoustic and electric guitars and bass—and continues to this day.

Fast forward, and Rich has played with folks all over the the Denver area and beyond playing solo, duos, country & western bands, blues bands, studio work, etc. Most notable is his collaboration with his wife, Grammy-Award winner Mollie O’Brien. He’s toured throughout the US and into Europe, appearing at clubs and festivals (Telluride, Tønder, Strawberry, Live Oak, etc). He’s proud of the recordings he’s made with Mollie (“Love Runner”, “Saints And Sinners”, “900 Baseline”), as well as those with the rest of the family (“Daughters” with Mollie and their daughters Brigid & Lucy, and “Reincarnation—The Songs Of Roger Miller”, which featured Mollie and their daughters, along with Mollie’s brother Tim and his two sons, Jackson & Joel.) He’s also released a solo album of his own original guitar pieces, “Steady State”.

Mary Flower

Mary Flower’s immense finger picking 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,  that include 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.

2019 Schedule

Note: Workshops for beginning/entry level players have a star beside them.

Download a copy of the schedule