Sonny Hess shows her hand on new ‘All Aces’

April 28, 2012


Sonny Hess plays Waucoma Club April 28

Sonny Hess shows her hand on new ‘All Aces’ CD

A veteran guitarist and vocalist, Sonny Hess first picked up a guitar at age 8. By the time she was a teenager, she was picking up gigs in Portland’s top bands. Sonny went on to be the first woman nominated for Best Lead Guitar by the Cascade Blues Association. The Sonny Hess Band has a brand new CD “All Aces,” which critics say is her best work yet. Catch her at the Waucoma Club in Hood River on Saturday, April 28.

Interview with Sonny Hess By Jim Drake

I’ve been keeping tabs on the music scene for a while, but I honestly can’t remember the last time you guys were here. Is this a first time for you guys in Hood River, or am I really forgetting?

We played in Hood River at the old River City Saloon in the ’90s. You can could say we were the “house band” because we played there so often as the NW Women Rhythm & Blues, which is a show I produce and play in with a host of selected female talent. What you will be seeing is my current band, hopefully with new CD in hand.

Your bio says you are a cancer survivor, and the press that I’ve read about you says your attitude about winning that battle comes through in your music. How did music help you heal?

I never missed a gig, I put myself in my music, and that resulted in me seeing other people’s joy while I played.

You’ve been playing guitar from an early age. Who did you learn from growing up and who do you listen to now?

I learned from BB King, Eric Clapton, Grand Funk Railroad, Johnny Winter and Jesse Ed Davis. Now I listen to a bit everything, paying attention to who is current, new and different like Mayor Hawthorne, Adele, Melissa Etheridge and Freddie King. It’s a wide range.

Your new cd “All Aces” is due out in May. How would you compare this new one to your first release in 1995?

The new CD is no comparison to my work in 1995. For me and my ability in my music now . . . this CD is my best. I am very proud of it.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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