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Plaisance Ranch: Da Blues are back after five years away – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

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Portland’s Ben Rice and his trio will perform at the Summer Blues Revue in Williams Valley on May 14, after a five-year absence. Courtesy picture

David Pinsky, left, and Phil Newton will open for the Summer Blues Revue. The two have been performing as an acoustic duo lately. Courtesy picture

Lisa Mann and her band from Portland will be featured at the Summer Blues Revue at Plaisance Ranch in Williams Valley. May 14 She is known for her sultry voice and solid bass guitar playing. Courtesy picture

After five years of absence, the Summer Blues Revue is back and will be held on Saturday May 14 in a new room at the Plaisance Ranch, 16955 Water Gap Road in Williams.

The concert is sponsored by the Rogue Blues Society and will feature David Pinsky and Phil Newton, the Ben Rice Trio and the Lisa Mann Band.

The gate opens at 4 p.m. and the show runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $30 at the door, $25 presale, with discounted tickets available for Blues Society members. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.rogueblues.org.

“Plaisance Ranch is a great place,” said Linda Huffman, president of the Rogue Blues Society. “The large performance area is covered, protected from excess sun or rain, and has good acoustics.”

A working ranch since 1858, Plaisance Ranch is run by third-generation winemakers Joe and Suzi Ginet. It is located in the heart of the Williams Valley, in the shadow of Greyback Mountain.

Food will be available from a caterer, along with award-winning wines and other beverages.

“We are excited to bring back a live venue and hold the event halfway between Medford and Grants Pass,” Huffman said.

Pinsky and Newton will open. They are well known in Rogue Valley and are on the founding board of the Ashland Blues Society.

“They’ve been an integral part of the southern Oregon blues scene for over 30 years,” Huffman said, “and join forces as an acoustic duo for the show.”

Longtime friends, the two started performing together at local venues recently.

“David’s propelling guitar and Phil’s harmonica chops deliver a steady groove, reminiscent of 1960s Chicago-style duos,” she said.

Rice, second in the program, comes from Portland. He has won awards for his vocals and guitar for the past seven years.

“On his second consecutive trip to the International Blues Challenge (in Memphis), he reached the final in the solo/duo category and received the St. Blues Guitarist Award for Best Guitarist,” Huffman said.

“His original music blends soul, delta blues, rockabilly, jazz and funk into a rootsy stew,” she said.

Mann will close the show with a set of mostly originals, plus some covers. Originally from West Virginia, she now resides in Portland.

“Her voice straddles the line between the gentle warmth of the south and the sound of the force of nature that she has cultivated playing everything from hard rock to rhythm and blues,” Huffman said.

Mann is known for her considerable bass guitar prowess.

“His bass grooves offer the solidity of a Muscle Shoals Swamper or a Funk Brother,” Huffman said.

Although Mann leads her own powerful band, she has also played with many North West artists, such as Lloyd Jones, Kevin Selfe, Karen Lovely and Sonny “Smokin'” Hess.

“She’s also appeared with big national names like Sugaray Rayford, Johnny Rawls and Annika Chambers,” Huffman added. “And she’s currently the lead singer of Portland metal band, Splintered Throne.”

Plaisance Ranch is about 45 minutes from Medford. Go west on Highway 238, through and past Jacksonville, approximately 23 miles. Turn left on Water Gap Road and travel approximately 4.5 miles to the ranch, located on the left.