You know life hits you the strongest when it brings loss. That certainly was the impact I felt when I received the news that Ted Todd had died this last month. Ted was not just another blues supporter. He was not just the former President of the Inland Empire Blues Society in Spokane. He was not just the editor of their newsletter. He was not just a radio host on his internet show Blowtorch Blues. He was a good friend. Not just of mine, though Ted and I knew one another for many years. But he was a good friend to everybody in the Northwest blues community and beyond. In fact I probably saw Ted more of the last few years in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge or the Blues Music Awards than I had in the Northwest. He supported what he loved. And he loved the blues.
I will never forget when The Blues Foundation announced that the Cascade Blues Association was receiving the Keeping The Blues Alive recognition for Blues Society back in 2003. Ted was the very first person to call me up to congratulate the organization for being honored. My response to him was, “Now let’s work at Inland Empire and all the other Northwest societies who do so much for the music to receive the same recognition.” Ted won this coveted award himself for radio with the Blowtorch Blues show, an award very well deserved.
Ted, the Northwest is going to miss you. Your smile and enthusiasm will live on with all the musicians and fans that you touched with your love of the blues.
On a happier note, I will miss the May meeting for the CBA. Well I guess I am not too happy about missing the meeting. But the reason is that I will once again be heading to Memphis to assist in the Blues Music Awards celebrations. I will be helping set up the Hall of Fame induction dinner on Wednesday, spending the whole day doing line checks for the performers on Thursday, then working as one of the stage managers for the actual show, my fifth year in this position. It really is a lot of fun being involved with what is surely the most important single event in the blues world every year. Plus I get to help root for our local nominees Lisa Mann, Curtis Salgado and Jimi Bott right from the side of the stage.
And don’t forget summer is coming and festival season is drawing nearer. So many events that we’re hoping the CBA will have a presence at this year. Besides the Waterfront Blues Festival we’re in the works of returning once again to the Cidar Summit and Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, plus looking at others like the Kalama Blues Festival and the Bronze Blues & Brews Festival. Who knows what else we may show up at. All this on top of the Journey To Memphis competition and the CBA Summer Picnic. So plan on getting your blues on this summer with the Cascade Blues Association!