Soul Sisters Productions, LLC
As the wives of professional musicians, Tracy Turner Pain and Susan Mills have long been aware of and concerned about the plight of uninsured musicians facing medical crises. Tracy and Susan's husbands have performed at countless benefits for their fellow musicians, but the two women observed that, sadly, those benefits were often poorly-organized and ineffective.
Tracy served on the Love For Linda committee that produced Linda Hornbuckle's successful benefit on November 11, 2012, after which Tracy and Susan formed Soul Sisters Productions, LLC. The two close friends had previously financed the 2012 Soul Vaccination/Bruce Conte CD, "What Is Hip?". But now they decided to become a bonafide production company, focusing initially on organizing benefit concert/auctions.
Soul Sisters Productions' first major event was the March, 2013 benefit for former Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte, also titled "What Is Hip?", which featured Soul Vaccination, legendary organist Chester "CT" Thompson, Curtis Salgado, and others. (For that event, they partnered with the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, a 501© non-profit, which administered the funds on Bruce's behalf.)
Next, Tracy and Susan assisted with the April 28 benefit for soundman Bill Postles, "Blues For Bill," put together by Bill's friend Loretta James. Soul Sisters Productions, LLC also sponsored a July 4th set at the 2013 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival featuring Soul Vaccination and legendary organist Chester "CT" Thompson (Tower of Power & Santana). On September 3rd, 2013, Tracy and Susan, along with the help of Santana keyboardist David K. Mathews, organized "East Bay Grease--a Benefit for Bruce Conte," an all-star concert held at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. On November 11th, 2013, Soul Sisters Productions, LLC produced an all star benefit for LaRhonda Steele. This year, Soul Sisters Productions, LLC collaborated with the Caring Ambassadors Program and HealthNet to create awareness for free health screenings for musicians at the HealthNet Pavilion at the 2014 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival.
On October 20, 2014, Soul Sisters Productions, LLC produced "A Benefit for Tom Royer", an all star event at Jimmy Mak's.
On November 5th, 2014, Soul Sisters Productions, LLC were the proud recipients of the Cascade Blues Association's 2014 prestigous Muddy Award, recognizing their achievements and their efforts to support musicians.
SSP went on to produce several more benefits in 2015 including another benefit for Bruce Conte and a benefit for Alyssa Lily, cousin of BMA winner Lisa Mann.
Earlier this year, SSP produced Love for Lynn: "A benefit for Lynn Kahl (wife of Portland bassist Dave Kahl) and the MS Society. Lynn has advanced multiple sclerosis. The benefit also served as the grand opening of Portland's newest venue, The Rose Room Bar and Grill. Over 70 musicians played to support their friend and raised needed funds for the Kahls and the MS Society.
Look for SSP again this year at the 2016 Waterfront Blues Festival as they collaborate with the Caring Ambassadors Program and MusiCares to promote the Health Net Pavilion.
Update: Susan Mills has left Soul Sisters Productions, LLC to pursue a promotion with her primary job. We wish Susan well on all her endeavors in the very near future!
Louis Pain has since taken over her role and duties. For more information about Louis, please check out his website at: www.louispain.com
Tracy Turner-Pain - Owner/Co-founder
Tracy Turner-Pain is a very giving person. Maybe that's partly the result of her having grown up in Hawaii, land of the “Aloha Spirit.” In her professional life, Tracy's generosity has translated into providing excellent customer service, first as the owner of a cell phone business, and, since 1999, as a flight attendant (now retired). Tracy empathizes with customers' needs and goes the extra mile to satisfy them. Tracy is also knowledgeable about the music business, having interned at a Hawaiian radio station as a youngster and managed her musician husband's career for over twenty years. So producing musical events is a natural for Tracy.
Louis Pain - Owner
Louis Pain, dubbed “Portland’s boss of the B-3” by The Oregonian, is a musician’s musician. When called upon, Louis is a dynamic soloist, but he specializes in the subtle art of making the musicians and vocalists he works with sound their best. For him, the song’s the thing, not showing off. That’s why he’s always in demand with his peers.
It’s been that way since Louis started playing professionally in his hometown of San Francisco back in 1970. Starting out in “Top 40” bands, Louis quickly graduated to playing in a variety of genres with some of the best musicians in the Bay Area, including funk guitarist Bruce Conte (Tower of Power), jazz saxophonist Jules Broussard (Ray Charles, Santana), gospel vocalist Dorothy Morrison (Edwin Hawkins Singers), and the late rock/jazz saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus (Doobie Bros & Steely Dan).
Since moving to Portland in ‘86, Louis has continued the trend, working with top Portland blues/soul artists including the late, great Paul deLay and Linda Hornbuckle, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, plus jazz musicians Mel Brown, Thara Memory, Dan Faehnle, and Dan Balmer. Louis also is the “first call” organist to back visiting musical legends, who have included Bernard “Pretty” Purdie,” Phil Upchurch, Martha Reeves, the Shirelles, and now-departed musical giants Solomon Burke, Howard Tate, and Bo Diddley.
In addition to working extensively as a sideman, Louis has blossomed as a bandleader in Portland, co-leading King Louie & Baby James with legendary NW vocalist “Sweet Baby James” Benton and organizing a series of successful soul music tributes featuring the Portland Soul All-Stars (aka King Louie's Portland Blues Revue). Louis also has frequently led bands for weddings and corporate gigs, becoming Nike’s go-to musical contractor along the way.
In addition to freelancing as a sideman and leading his own groups, Louis rents out the best Hammond organs in the NW, teaches music, and hangs out at his Washougal, WA home with his wife/manager Tracy Turner-Pain and their children, grandchildren, & remarkably friendly cats.
Louis' long history of music and huge network of musician friends has played a instrumental part in getting and recruiting musicians to participate in benefits for SSP events. An avid writer and former editor and professional proofreader, Louis is also the webmaster and creator of this site.
Susan Mills - Co-founder
Susan Mills is a native of the great Pacific NW. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, she has a genuine sense of the local culture. Having studied Business Administration at NW College of Business, Susan brings twenty-five years of administrative and customer service experience to Soul Sisters Productions. For the past five years, Susan has held the position of Events Specialist with a local school district. Although she is not a musician herself, Susan does enjoy all genres of music and is married to a local musician.
Update: We are sad to report that Susan has left SSP to pursue a promotion with her job with the school district. We are grateful for her contributions to SSP and wish her well in all her endeavors.