Watch your mail boxes this month for your first-round ballot for the Muddy Awards. Ballots will be sent to CBA members, giving you the opportunity to nominate your favorite performers, venues, recordings and events in 20 categories. Please remember that these awards are meant to recognize local artists for their work from September 1st, 2012 through August 31st, 2013. There are categories open for national performers, too. You may select up to three nominations in each category. You are not required to give three nominations, but if you put down more than three your selections will be voided in that category. All first round ballots must be received no later than September 14th; those arriving after that date will not be counted. The top three vote getters in each category will make the final ballot that will be sent out later in September (in event of more than three nominations being  tied , we will include all of them on the final ballot). So make sure your voice is heard and send in those ballots!

New this year, the Waterfront Blues Festival has requested to be removed from the balloting. Having been the recipients of the Best Northwest Event Muddy every year since the awards began, they would like to offer the opportunity for other events to receive recognition. It is hard to go up against one of the world’s premier events and we wish to thank the Waterfront Blues Festival and the Oregon Food Bank for their continued support of live music in our city.

We have recognized several artists over the years by naming Muddy Awards in their honor after receiving no less than a dozen awards in a single category. We received permission to honor the late Paul deLay for his awards in the harmonica category, but unfortunately he passed before achieving the dozen awards. We do not want to take away the chance for another artist who may reach this plateau from being honored, so we decided to keep the harmonica category open. But we still wanted to honor Paul and the Cascade Blues Association’s Board of Directors felt that no greater honor could be given to him than by naming our Lifetime Achievement Muddy in his name, recognizing his contributions as one of the most popular and respected musicians from our area in the blues world ever.

We will also be providing you a listing of Northwest Blues CDs released during the eligible period, blues events and concerts by touring artists. This list is not by any means encompassing all events and releases, but we tried to do as best we could. For events that had multiple acts, we have only listed the event name as it would be extremely taxing to try to list all artists appearing at each. This list will be available on the CBA website at www.cascadebluesassociation.org.