Jeffrey Dawkins

Gregory Johnson slimlively@hotmail.com
Fri May 2 01:43:27 EDT 2008


Back Porch Blues was one of the finest acoustic acts ever to emerge from Portland. Their sole recording "Back to Basics" was a classic that received high praise not only locally, but on a national level. Joining harpist Jeffrey Dawkins in the trio was the amazing guitarist Whit Draper and Sheila Wilcoxson on vocals. This act won the Cascade Blues Association's best traditional blues act Muddy Award five straight years, 1989 to 1993 and were inducted into the society's Muddy Award Hall of Fame in 1991. I'll never forget working for a national record distributer back in the 80s. We held a company picnic on a huge lake about 30 miles west of Portland, where we barbecued up a storm and were treated to a private performance by Back Porch Blues. Great people, they worked this day strictly for barbecue!! Whit Draper has been involved with several different acts over the years, Sheila went onto a solo career that saw her receive a WC Handy nomination in 1998 but has nearly completely disappeared from the music scene as of late. (I do see her from time to time at her day job working in the lab at Good Samaritan Hospital)  I had lost track of Jeffrey, until I received the sad news of his passing today, also from Terry Currier. This loss brings back many wonderful memories; sorry it's because of this reason.

Greg Johnson
President, Cascade Blues Association


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: bluesfantom<mailto:bluesfantom@centurytel.net> 
  To: BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG<mailto:BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG> 
  Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:30 PM
  Subject: Fw: Jeffrey Dawkins


  This post just came from my friend down in Portland, Terry Currier.  Back 
  Porch Blues was a great acoustic blues band that could get folks up dancing. 
  Had a rhythm from somewhere else and it seemed to me that everyone in that 
  band drove that beat as hard as they could.  I am once again sadden.  -tom

  > One of the things I did in my life was start a couple record labels. 
  > Tomorrow I sell those labels, not because I really want to but the 
  > industry started changing and the sale will rid me of the debts that  came 
  > along the way from a changing industry, an earlier distributer  of the 
  > labels bankruptcy and the all too famous, spending more on  promoting the 
  > things you love and those titles not selling  enough .....not a new story 
  > by any means. It's a bit of a sad moment  but the new owners will continue 
  > putting out new music on the   Burnside and Sideburn Records...the legacy 
  > will live on. The real sad  thing about this week is that Jeffrey Dawkins, 
  > the harmonica player  in Back Porch Blues, one of the artists that helped 
  > put the label on  the map has died. Jeffrey may have been one of the 
  > finest people I  ever met. He was a good musician but he was absolutely a 
  > great human  being. The guy had a stutter but he was one of the best 
  > conversationists you could ever run into. He loved music and he loved 
  > life. A tip of the hat to a my friend Jeffrey...you will be missed.

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