ramblings201306BNGreg Johnson, CBA President

Where is 2015 going? This year has been flying by so fast. Summer festival season has passed us by and we’re getting closer to the end of the year. So with that noted, I want to remind you of two important things. Muddy Awards and Cascade Blues Association officer elections.

First of all, the Muddy Awards. By the time you receive this copy of the BluesNotes you should have found your final Muddy Award ballot in the mail. That is as long as you’re a member. Non-members are not permitted to vote, so make sure you turn your ballot in to make your selections count. Don’t turn it in; then don’t complain.

Over the past couple months I have received and purchased a significant number of new CDs from local musicians. This is outstanding seeing so much new material. They have included (but not limited to) releases from people like Kevin Selfe, Karen Lovely, Mary Flower, Tracey Fordice & The 8 Balls, The Sportin’ Lifers, Hank Shreve, King Louie & LaRhonda Steele and The Roseland Hunters. I bring this up while discussing the Muddy Awards because many of the new releases came out after the August 31 deadline for nominations and aren’t eligible for this year. But, those recordings that did come out beyond the date should not be forgotten when ballots come up next year. This happens so often. I hope that when you filled out your ballots your focus was not only on what has occurred within the last few months, that you think back to what went on all year long. And this does not only apply to recordings, but performances and events as well.

The other item at hand is the upcoming CBA Board of Directors Officer positions. This is extremely important and I hope that people consider running for these roles. But, and I want to stress this, these are not merely positions by name alone. They carry commitment, time and work. Not everything can be fun and games, we are running a business. Don’t get me wrong, we do have our share of fun. But we also require that if you take on a role that you are involved. There is only one board meeting a month, we expect you to be there consistently. We are staffed by volunteers, but the officers are elected by our members who have certain expectations that we keep the CBA viable. All board members should be attending our monthly membership meetings and events that the CBA host, but we know that is not always possible each and every time. But the officers and the board are the face of the organization and our members look for your assistance, whether it is receiving your membership card or being able to answer questions about where they can pick up a copy of the BluesNotes or who is performing at a meeting. It may not seem like much, but if the work is not kept up to date, we fall behind and then the entire board takes the hit of not appearing like a functioning unit. Believe me, that is the last thing we want to come across as.

You can submit your intent to run for an officer position by sending a note via email to CascadeBluesStaff@gmail.com or by mail to Cascade Blues Association, PO Box 6566, Portland, Oregon 97228-6566. Positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary. Please, if you do consider running, especially for Treasurer or Membership Secretary, we request that you have some background in finances and spread sheets. This is your Cascade Blues Association, so be active if you can and make your choices for the right people to run our blues society.

One last note on a more personal basis. We can also use writers to assist with the BluesNotes. I have noted this before, but we really do need your help. At this time I am personally writing the majority of the paper, with editor Laurie Morrisey taking on the feature article most months. What this does, for me especially, is cause a lot of time consumption and stress to make sure everything is reported, written and submitted on time. Believe me it is tough. I do have a full time job, a private life and would like to attend events that you’re going to yourself each and every mid-month. But it takes at least a couple weeks to prepare everything and I can use the help. Please let us know if you can offer that type of help.

Okay, enough of my soap box. Get out there this month and attend as much live music as you can. You know the drill: pay the cover, tip the band, buy food and drinks ….. and most of all, have fun, because that is what going to music is supposed to be all about.