ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

As I sit here with less than a week before I head to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge, things seem to be out of place in a way. Why? Because here we are putting the finishing touches on the BluesNotes and normally we would be reporting on the results of the competition. But we’ll have to wait until next month to report that (though you’re more than likely going to hear how things came out long before we even get to this point next month) and you’ll most likely be seeing posts from Memphis on the happenings when this issue is delivered to you. C’est la vie, it is what it is.

But I have good feelings on what both Ben Rice and Tevis Hodge can accomplish with their trip to Tennessee representing us.  And at the same time I get to gather with close friends, eat great food and hear a bevy full of new acts that we’re sure to be hearing about many in the future. Can things get any better than that?

2013 sure took a sad turn as it came to a close, with the passing of Jim Miller. You’d have to be pretty hard pressed to find anybody who did not get along with Jim. He was everybody’s friend and always there to offer advice or assistance if needed. And though people from elsewhere may ask who? Those in the Portland music community know that he was a true icon in these parts. We’re going to miss you Jim, sending you our love always.

On a happier note, 2014 is going to have a great beginning as two of our area’s musicians (well, one has been living in Nashville for the most part), Melody Guy and Jake Blair will be walking down the aisle of matrimony in early February. A match truly blessed as you could not ask for two nicer people to be matched up with one another. The Cascade Blues Association offers congratulations to you both and we’re certain there will be some creative music from this harmonious union.

But then again, it is a new year and the CBA still has the same need. The Board of Directors is sorely lacking bodies. Following the election in December we have five elected officers and one at-large member. Two people have recently expressed interest in possibly coming on board, but we sure could use maybe three or four more. It is a lot of work for such a small group. We are fortunate to have such a great support from volunteers when needed. Recently Vice President Wendy Schumer put out a notice that we needed people to help distribute the BluesNotes around town as we were losing a couple people that had extremely large routes and new venues were popping up. With that one notice she received multiple calls from those willing to give a hand. In fact, she had more than necessary, so we can split up to shorter routes and have added some new names to our list of volunteers. Thank you all so much!!

Yet, we have many committees and positions that we could an use your skills for. We’d like to explore new avenues in the way of merchandise and fundraising, education and possibly even doing some of the musician visits into long-term care facilities and assisted living centers as Jim Miller had taken on with Golden Harvest. Please contact us if you’d like to get involved. We will also welcome new ideas, but remember we need to raise funds in order to achieve these goals. Are you savvy on ways of bringing in advertising revenues for the BluesNotes or working as a form of a street team going to venues and pushing memberships? Are you able to travel to represent the CBA selling merchandise at regional festivals and other events? We cannot simply survive on membership dues and ticket raffles at meetings (though they certainly do help us immensely), so believe me we are open to your visions on how to make the CBA continue in being a successful and stable organization. Get in touch with us and help support the local blues community. We really are a fun group to work with. Give us a try.