ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

It’s already mid-July as I write this column. What? The summer is half-over and it seems like it just begun. So much happening around Portland and the area it is next to impossible to keep up with it all. As I sit here behind my computer screen, I am seeing photos and notices reported from shows all around town happening just tonight. It makes your spin, and it is not slowing down any come August.

One thing I do want to say, though is, enough is enough. Two months and two of Portland’s blues icons have passed on first Janice Scroggins and then Mel Solomon. This is too much hurt for our blues supporters to have to take. It is time for that grim reaper to give us a pass before claiming somebody else. At least give us some time to recover from those we have already lost.

On a better note, and I cannot believe it has already come and gone (I may have said something different last week when my legs were still feeling the pain), the Waterfront Blues Festival was once again off the charts. I do not know how he does it, but Peter Dammann continues to bring in the best performers to make the event roll smoothly. My favorites of the year? There were so many, but to keep it somewhat short: Leo Welch, Sugaray Rayford, Lee Fields, Curtis Salgado, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Andy T & Nick Nixon, the entire Journey to Memphis competition, , where do I stop? Always way too many to catch everybody you want to see.

A huge thanks to Steve Pringle who scheduled the emcee announcing. I had a plethora of introductions this year including two of the four closing headliners, Los Lobos and Maceo Parker. But Steve gave me a last minute addition that certainly had to be a bucket list intro for me with Charlie Musselwhite. And as I walked off the stage, Charlie made a point to walk up to me and say, “Nice job, thank you.” It made it that much more personal and falls right in line with my all-time favorite introductions alongside Hubert Sumlin, Robert Lockwood Jr, Phillip Walker and Bobby Bland.

Hey, there’s still a lot more summer to come. Don’t miss out on the CBA’s members only picnic and the CBA Rummage Sale is right around the corner in September. And you’ll also be seeing those Muddy Awards nomination ballots making it your way, too. Get out. Enjoy the sun. And find some blues to keep you company. This is Portland, so that should not be too hard.