With its deep resonant tones and lyrics that speak to the human experience, the blues is the music of the workingman. So it’s no surprise you’ll find Portland’s best blues artists playing throughout the week at North Portland’s Mock Crest Tavern, a working class neighborhood bar on NoPo’s Lombard Street.
Mock Crest Tavern is an intimate, cigar-shaped building that is one of those great “dive” bars where patrons are friends and band members are on a first name basis with their fans. Favorite local blues bands from the Cascade Blues Association play three to four times a week, including Muddy Award winner, Suburban Slim. And keep checking Mock’s calendar for artists from around the country who stop by periodically to jam in a venue that’s been part of the Northwest’s blues circuit for over sixty years.
Recently, I stopped by Mock to check out Sneakin’ Out, Portland’s original mash-up band. With a collection of unexpected instruments—electric mandolin, bass, accordion, and a drum kit that features a pie plate and typewriter—they took on the pop and rock songs we all love from the 60s to the 90s, recreating them with their own unique and irreverent sound.
Co-owners Jon Batcheller and Rainer Wieland, a German born beer connoisseur, insist the best beer, wine and liquor be stocked behind the bar and the menu features all the best pub grub, plus a few special features, like the Mock Crest “Blues Chicken Sandwich” ($10.95).
Next time you’re in the mood to sing the blues look for the “Portland Bluesman” mural on the east side of Mock Crest Tavern, then sit back and enjoy the best blues musicians playing in Portland.
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