ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

Well I think I am going to be a little more personal this month in this rambling. I want to personally apologize to all the local musicians and those touring through the area this past month and a half. I have missed a good deal of your shows. It’s not that I didn’t want to attend those, it was my vehicle deciding to take itself out of service about a week-and-a-half after the Waterfront Blues Festival. So I have only seen a small handful of happenings over that time. And since we’re talking about Portland that means an awful lot of shows coming through our area. It was hard not being able to see friends like Janiva Magness, Grady Champion, Cee Cee James and Too Slim when they stopped through.

And it was especially hard to turn down an offer from my friend Mike “Bear in the Chair” Berichon sent me. Bear is the producer of the Project Blues Review in Columbus, Ohio, raising money for the Columbus Cancer Clinic and he had asked me to come out with Karen Lovely to help with the event. One look at that line-up just killed me to have to say no. So many friends were involved: Karen, Sean Carney, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Diunna Greenleaf, Tom Holland, Bob Corritore and Bob Margolin, plus David Maxwell, Kenny Smith, John Primer and Bob Stroger. I do want to thank those friends who offered to help get me back to Columbus, but I just felt that I needed to get back on track with my car expenses and travelling was not something I should be doing at this time.

I guess this just means I’m living the blues this summer. But I did manage to attend a few shows that I would not have missed for anything. The celebration of life for Mel Solomon was a very heartfelt day at The Lehrer with terrific performances by everybody. Getting to see Shemekia Copeland and the Robert Cray Band almost in my back yard was certainly a treat. And after about a year-and-a-half of pushing them to come out to the Northwest, having The Ori Naftaly Band finally in Portland at Duff’s Garage proved to be well worth the wait. Anybody who missed this one should pound their head on a wall now. They delivered a sensational night just as I knew they would. Hope they come back sometime soon.

The world lost one of the blues true giants this past month with the passing of Johnny Winter. Without him Muddy Waters career may not have caught that second wind that it did with Johnny behind the production helm. A blistering slide playing guitarist himself, he earned the right to call himself a bluesman. I am happy that I had the opportunity to see him perform a handful of times. He will surely be missed.

Watch your mail boxes for your Muddy Award Nomination Ballots and make sure to take the time to fill them out and return them. This is your chance to tell us who you want on the final ballot and it is part of your membership with the Cascade Blues Association. If you do not vote or you’re not a member, you have no right to complain if you do not agree with those on the final ballot.

And do not forget about the Fourth Annual CBA Rummage Sale on Saturday, September 6th at The Bomber in Milwaukie. Bring us your usable items that you no longer want and donate them to the CBA. You can help us raise money for the organization for various projects and it’s tax deductible, too. You may also want to consider volunteering to help out with this rummage sale. We can always use the help and it’s fun to hang out with friends.

Well, I hope to see you out there a lot more in the oncoming months, hoping to have these car troubles handled soon. And I’m missing being there to support the music as often as I’d like.