ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson / CBA President

Hard to believe that it is April already. So many events have already happened in Portland just the first three months and we’re just now getting started on spring and the festival season is on the horizon.

The benefit for Tim “Too Slim” Langford was quite heartwarming. It was wonderful to see such a large crowd come together for one of our Northwest all-time favorites, and the volunteers and the musicians who all gathered truly showed the love held for Tim here. And words could not sum up the gratitude that Tim held as he made several personal phone calls to thank many of us involved. Make a point to come out and see Tim and his band, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, themselves at Peter’s Room at The Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, May 7.

I would like to welcome and thank new board members to the Cascade Blues Association, Fred & Joann Morgan, Barry Blackwell and Robert “Reggae Bob” Hamilton. Their willingness to step up and help out is very appreciated. There is a lot of work involved with keeping the CBA up to speed and planning new events and upgrading the old. Having four new sets of hands will be quite a relief from working with a bare bones staff for so long.

But it has not all been bare bones, mind you. Richard LaChapelle, though not directly a member of the board, has taken on the role of collecting volunteers for our various events that we are associated with or put on. Richard goes above and beyond any expectations and does just as much work as any of the board members. Thank you so much Richard, for your volunteering to keep our group vital.

There are so many extraordinary shows happening throughout the month of April, but I would like to suggest that everybody who can attend the fourth annual Inner City Blues Festival. This is important because it helps build awareness to Healthcare For All Oregons. Musicians do not make much money, unless they’re big time stars like Bonnie Raitt or Eric Clapton, and most live month to month making ends meet. They are part of the group that needs such Health Care to be affordable. But this program is not just aimed at musicians, it is for everybody. This cause is huge and one way you can show your support is to attend this incredible festival.

The CBA is already looking at summer time events — can never start too early — and we expect to be right back into the mix of things as the weather heats up, with the Waterfront Blues Festival, The Cider Summit and our own Summer Picnic among them. And who knows, with new volunteers we may just be present at more of the festivals around the Northwest as well.

I also hope to see some of you in Memphis the first week of May for the Blues Music Awards. I will be working as a stage manager again for the biggest night in the blues world. My role is shuffling those musicians onto the stage on time to present a gathering of acts that rival any festival or cruise in just one night. And so many blues heroes all in one place. Big shout out to our three local artists that are up for awards this year: Curtis Salgado, Lisa Mann and Jimi Bott. Good luck and see you there.

But if you cannot make it to Memphis, I will see you at the monthly meetings and in the clubs. Happy bluesing everybody!